Choosing Between Guitar Tutors
If you’ve decided to take guitar lessons with a private teacher, you don’t want to just sign up with the first person you find. Instead, you should check out as many teachers as possible in your local area and only then make a decision about who is the best choice for you. Here are some of the things you should consider when deciding which guitar tutor to choose.
Private guitar lessons can be expensive, and the more in demand the teacher is, the higher the price is likely to be. It budget is an issue for you, as it is for most people, you’re likely use price as a factor when choosing between guitar tutors. It shouldn’t be the only deciding factor however, as the most expensive teachers are not always the best – and conversely, you can often find excellent teachers at relatively low prices, perhaps because they haven’t been teaching for so long.
Having said that, if the best candidate does charge more, it is probably worth going to that person even if it means having lessons less frequently, than having more lessons with a cheaper teacher who is not such a good fit for you.
You should also consider both the teaching and musical credentials of potential tutors. While not all good teachers will have formal qualifications, this can be a good indicator of a certain level of musical and pedagogical competence.
As well as formal training, you should also consider their experience as a musician and as a teacher. Not all skilled guitarists make good teachers, and vice versa; ideally you want somebody who is both.
Every guitar teacher has the unique teaching style, and before signing up for lessons, you should question her or him about how the lessons will be conducted, and make sure you’re happy with the answer. Some teachers may allow you to observe their lessons; if this is the case, you should take the opportunity to do so. While there’s no single perfect way to teach, it’s important that you choose a teacher whose style you feel comfortable with.
Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a suitable guitar instructor in your local area. If such a situation, you may be have to commute to your guitar lessons; if this is the case, you need to seriously consider if your motivation (and budget) will be strong enough to keep going.
If travel times and expenses are going to be an issue, you should probably go with the teacher who is closer to home.
You also need to consider which types of music you want to learn to play, and to choose your guitar instruction appropriately. While some teachers claim to be able to teach any style of music equally well, in practice this is unlikely, as everybody has their own preferences, strengths and weaknesses.
Such ‘jack of all trades’ may be able to give you a good grounding in a variety of styles, but if you’re past the absolute beginner stage, and want to study a particular style in depth, you should really see seek out a teacher whose primary specialism is in that area.
Finally, you need to choose the teacher that you can get along with on a personal level. This is perhaps the most important factor to consider, because if you don’t like someone, no matter how good they are as a teacher, you probably won’t look forward to your lessons, and won’t relax enough to get the full benefit from them. And if you’re not enjoying the process and getting your money’s worth, what’s the point?
So when you’re interviewing potential guitar tutors, listen to your gut feeling and if any of them feel ‘off’ to you for some reason, pay attention. You don’t have to be best friends with your teacher, but you do need to choose somebody who you feel comfortable with.