Guitarist A Beginner's Guide to Guitars and Learning to Play

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Choosing a teacher

When looking for someone to teach you guitar two of your top considerations should be:

1. Can they teach?

2. Do they teach the style of guitar that I wish to play?

The first of these considerations may be obvious, but it is often overlooked. It is all too easy to meet a teacher for the first time and be blown away by their playing and then sign up for a ten week course of lessons paid for in advance, only to attend your first lesson and find out that the teacher cannot communicate what they know to you.

It is essential that your teacher can communicate to you what they know.

A good teacher can progress your playing quickly by breaking down and explaining concepts so that you really understand them.

The second consideration is do they teach the style of guitar that you wish to play? It's not much use trying to learn the classical guitar with a teacher who only plays heavy rock, so be sure to choose a teacher according to the style that you wish to play.

Lesson check list

Lesson structure

How the lessons are structured is very important. If you are learning classical guitar you will probably be using a set of work books that will lead you through a formal grading system. If you are not learning classical guitar, the system will probably be less structured. Hopefully your teacher will be able to show you the set of resources that will be used to help structure your learning.

The key thing to look for is that the lessons you are about to begin are structured, and that you can see set out in front of you how you will be progressing over the weeks to come.

Lesson location

Does the teacher visit you, or do you have to travel to them. It doesn't really matter how this works, but remember if you are going to somebody else's house tell someone where you are going or better still take someone with you for the first lesson, because you wouldn't want to be left alone with an aspiring Hannibal Lecter!!

Get references

Follow up references from other guitar students of the teacher. You are looking for success, find out how long the students have been taking lessons with the teacher, and how far and quickly that they have progressed.

Payment and deals

Does the teacher offer any deals or discounts for block bookings? Or will they teach you and a friend at the same time at a discounted rate?

Introductory lessons

Does the teacher offer an introductory lesson - this could be half price or in some cases free. It is always best to arrange a trial lesson before committing to a whole course of lessons.


Do the two of you get on? It can be great if you do, but remember not to spend the whole of your lessons talking and not playing your guitar.

Cost of lessons

Individual guitar lessons can be very expensive, it is a good idea to invest in an online course (which can often be picked up for the price of a couple of lessons) to get familiar with the basics of playing, before you book any lessons with a teacher one to one.


We hope you found some of these suggestions helpful. Choose your teacher well, and happy playing!