I think it’s not too complicated to find a guitar teacher in general, however, I guess the better question would be: how to find a guitar teacher who has the right experience and teaching style for my personal needs? Well, that might be a little bit more challenging.
In a first step, I suggest that you sit down and define your expectations. What is your ultimate goal? Some of my students have very specific objectives, for instance, they want to play Eric Clapton songs because he’s their favorite guitarist. Others just wanted to learn how to play guitar in general, so that they occasionally can entertain their family and friends or just themselves. Anything goes, obviously. But the better your understanding of your own expectations, the easier it will be for you to find a guitar teacher who can deliver what you are looking for. Further to that, if will allow your teacher to tailor his teaching style and content to meet your goals.
In general, there are three guitar teaching methods. Over the past few years, online guitar courses, such as my Beginners Guitar Course, gained more and more popularity. These programs have one huge advantage: you don’t have to leave the house and you are not locked into a set in stone schedule. You can take the lessons any time you want and nobody cares if you’re sitting in front of your computer in your PJs. Most of these courses, though, do not offer individual support. In other words, if you get stuck you’re pretty much left out in the dark. This is one of the reasons why I decided that as part of my Online Guitar Course, my students have access to me and no question will be left unanswered. Also, the guitar courses you can take online are usually less expensive than taking ‘live’ lessons.
The other option is to join a music school or any institution/individual who offers group sessions. Learning in a group setting can be fun and if the guitar teacher understands how to keep everybody engaged and at the same level, this is absolutely a viable approach that you can look into. With that being said, if you of course don’t like learning in a group environment and much rather prefer and individualistic method, then you should stay away from these offers.
Lastly, there are the 1:1 sessions. Those are usually more expensive, yet, based on my experience, offer the highest degree of efficiency and are most rewarding for the student. Obviously, you as a student get the full attention of your guitar teacher (well, at least that’s what you should get!) and he will be able to make adjustments at any given point to make sure that you get what you are looking for.
How to find a guitar teacher that’s right for you apparently depends on where you live and how easy it is to get access to a qualified individual. But also, your lifestyle plays a huge role. Don’t underestimate the time commitment. Getting back and forth to the lessons, the program itself, the practicing, etc. all that adds up to a considerable amount of time. You also might not be able to make yourself available at the times when the lessons are being offered. That’s when a good online guitar course could be the best choice for you.
If you end up with 1:1 sessions, see if the guitar teacher offers a free warm-up lesson. I always do that. This gives my student the opportunity to get to know me and my style – and, if they decide that it’s not for them, they can look elsewhere. Fortunately, that never happened but I continue to offer the first Lesson absolutely free of charge. Further to that, make sure you understand the structure of the offered program. How long is each lesson? Some teachers stick with 30 minutes per session. I’m not trying to criticize but personally I think that’s ridiculous. My lessons are 60 minutes each and I don’t care if we run over a little bit. Also, do you only pay for any actual lessons taken, or to you have to pay even for sessions that fall on a Holiday and hence you never received the lesson? Yes, those “offers” do exist. So as you look to find the right guitar teacher for you, make sure you clearly understand their program, the method, the logistics and most importantly, that you ‘click’ with your teacher.