A big roadblock most people face when they want guitar lessons is trying to find the RIGHT teacher to work with. There are lots of people out there who call themselves “guitar teachers”, but all teachers are NOT created equal. Just because someone is a great PLAYER, that doesn’t automatically make them a great TEACHER! This article will give you the right information you need to filter out all the teachers who will only make things worse for you, and help you find the teacher who’ll be the perfect fit for you.
A good guitar teacher will LISTEN to you, tailor the lessons to YOUR needs, and do whatever it takes to help you get RESULTS. A bad teacher will RUSH you in and out of the lessons, be all about taking your MONEY and will usually OVERWHELM you with a bunch of information that you probably don’t want to learn in the first place. I’ve taken lessons from a bunch of teachers in all the years I’ve been studying guitar, and I learned a LOT about how to find a good one along the way. Here are my recommendations…
What To Look For In a Guitar Teacher
1) A good teacher will keep things FUN
If you’re like most people, you work hard all week at work or at school. You’re interested in the guitar because you love music, you want to play the songs you love and you want to express yourself creatively. The last thing you need is a teacher who will load you up with all kinds of complicated material to work on and then fuss at you the next week because you didn’t master it all. That’s a sure-fire recipe for making a student want to quit. This is supposed to be fun!
A good teacher knows how to manage the flow of information so you won’t get stressed and overwhelmed. They will know how to keep things interesting, challenging and fulfilling for you so you stay motivated, stay excited and keep making progress on the guitar.
2) A good teacher will focus the lessons around YOUR goals
Too many guitar teachers will toss some guitar method book at you as a new student and try to force you to fit within it’s pages. I’ve learned over the years that method books alone are NOT the best way to learn guitar. Every student is different…everyone likes different styles of music, has different players they admire, and has different reasons for wanting to play guitar in the first place. Using method books exclusively are the way LAZY guitar teachers will try to teach you.
A good teacher will begin the teaching relationship by asking you what YOUR goals are. They will then customize the whole teaching process around YOU and YOUR goals for the guitar. It’s not about the teacher and their favorite method book…it’s about YOU.
3) A good teacher will give you tons of VALUE for your money
Does the guitar teacher you’re considering provide additional value with your lessons? They should! A good teacher will go the extra mile and provide extra resources and opportunities that will help you develop on the guitar OUTSIDE of your weekly guitar lessons…and at least some of them should be FREE!
The best teachers will give you nice extras like public student concerts to showcase your playing, a way for you to communicate and get help between the lessons, tools you can use to track your progress on the guitar and opportunities to network and connect with other students so you can reinforce what you learn in your lessons. You want to join a community of guitar students who are all working toward being the best they can be…this is much more effective than simply showing up for a lesson every week.
4) A good teacher will produce RESULTS
This is true for teachers of EVERY subject…not just for guitar. Always remember this: you aren’t paying this person for their TIME. You aren’t paying them for INFORMATION about the guitar, either…you can get all the free information you want on the Internet, right? You are paying this teacher for RESULTS!
A really good teacher will make sure you are learning the right concepts, at the right time and in the right order…and they’ll protect you from excessive frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed…and the whole point of this is to help you reach YOUR musical goals, and to give you RESULTS. Talk is cheap…don’t settle for a teacher who will string you along for months without helping you make progress toward your goals.
5) A good teacher will CARE!
The most important quality of a good guitar teacher is that they’ll actually care about you. They’ll take the time to patiently answer your questions. They’ll take the time to help you find creative ways to overcome the challenges you’ll face on the guitar. They will ENGAGE with you, CHALLENGE you when you need it, ENCOURAGE you when you need it, and KNOW you well enough to be able to tell the difference.
This is one of the biggest complaints I hear from people about their past guitar teachers…that they just didn’t care whether the students got better on the guitar or not. A bad teacher will just keep taking your money week after week whether you make progress or not. A good teacher will CARE enough to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen.
P.S. – If you’re still looking for a good guitar teacher, I can help you! Contact me today so we can talk about YOUR goals for the guitar…