Are Guitar Lessons Worth the Money?

unnamed-54I’m sure you know of someone who has never taken guitar lessons but who can captivate an audience. That’s because a lot of people learn how to play the guitar by ear and “feel.” There are only a handful of shapes and patterns you need to know in order to play hundreds of songs, so if you learn the feel and sound of those shapes and patterns, you can play a lot of music on the guitar without knowing a lot about music.

What skills do you need to learn if you just want to play lots of songs?

You can find these common shapes and patterns in many books and you can watch free video lessons online that show you how to play your hundreds of songs using these common shapes and patterns. (To find lessons on songs, type “how to play song name on guitar” into the YouTube search box.) Below are some basic chords from my book The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One, and be sure to check out my post Easy Chord Songs for Beginning Guitarists.

How do you become a really good guitar player?

If you really love music and you want to understand and express it as clearly as possible, you’ll also need to study the fundamentals of music, which have been used for hundreds of years. Serious guitarists practice important concepts like rhythm, scales, and chord voicings in order to communicate through their instruments more effectively. Beginning guitarists can save time, energy, and money by studying these concepts right away, but learning them at any point of your journey with the guitar is beneficial.

Everything is on the internet, and that may be the problem!

This is a crazy time to learn how to play guitar because there is so much information available online. But where do you begin? How do you prioritize all the information and exercises you find? Are you willing to spend hours and hours working on things that may not actually help you reach your goals? Who is going to check your work, answer your questions, keep you on track, and personalize your practice plan so your practice time leads to the results you want?

While there’s a ton of information available, nothing can replace the effectiveness of a good teacher. A good teacher will create a plan that is specifically designed to help you reach your goals in the most effective way possible. Challenging concepts can be clarified quickly, and most importantly, the learned skills are applied to the music that you want to play. A good teacher will also hold you accountable to you assignments, measure your progress, and keep you inspired and productive with helpful tips and practical advice.

So, are guitar lessons worth the money?

Guitar lessons are worth the money if you value your time, you have clear goals and a strong desire to reach them. If you are going to invest your time and energy learning something, it makes sense to learn the right skills in the most effective way possible. Whether you want to become a professional musician or you just want to learn how to strum through a few of your favorite songs, a good teacher will help you reach your goals and have fun along the way. The next step is to find a good teacher who is a good match for you: How to Find a Good Guitar Teacher.

Get More Out of Your Guitar Lessons and More Out of Your Guitar

“The Guitar Lesson Companion” method book series takes teachers and their students seriously, and it’s fun to use because it makes it easy to learn the skills you need to play the music you love. These books offer a clear, flexible, and progressive structure with plenty of good sounding exercises, so students and teachers reach their goals faster than ever before.

What’s Your Goal?

Whether you have a guitar teacher who is always asking you what you want to learn each lesson, you prefer learning on your own using a book and videos with occasional lessons, or you’d like to take weekly lessons with me in Seattle or via Skype/FaceTime, pick up your copy of “The Guitar Lesson Companion” method book series today and enjoy the process of learning the skills you need to play your best.

“The Guitar Lesson Companion” is used by teachers and students in over 10 countries, including faculty at Berklee College of Music.

Susan Palmer teaches jazz, blues, and rock guitar styles in Seattle and via webcam. Since 2006, she has been the guitar instructor at Seattle University. Palmer created and taught, “The Rock Project” at Cornish College of the Arts from 2010-15, and she was music instructor at Seattle Girls School for the 2016-17 school year. Palmer is the author of, The Guitar Lesson Companion Method Book Series which is used by teachers and students in over 10 countries, including faculty at Berklee College of Music. Her extensive collection of lesson videos and jam tracks are available for free on YouTube. Palmer’s current and former students perform regularly throughout the country, including these Seattle venues: The Comet, The High Dive, Skylark, Neumos, The Hard Rock Cafe, Chop Suey, The Tractor Tavern, The Rendezvous, The Sorrento Hotel, The Crocodile, The Mix, Cafe Racer, The Edgewater Hotel, The Sunset, and other private events.

Fellow Guitar Teachers: Are you ready for a guitar method book that takes you and your students seriously? Let’s meet in the The Teachers’ Lounge.

Are These The Method Books You’ve Been Searching For? 

 √ COMPREHENSIVE studies for guitarists of all ages, especially serious college level jazz, blues, and rock guitarists
 √ PROGRESSIVE format takes absolute beginning guitarists step by step into the advanced level
 √ EXTENSIVE reading, chord, and improvisation studies, enhanced with the exclusive online Audio Tracks
 √ WORKSHEETS help students gain a thorough understanding of notes, theory, chords, and improvisation
 √ SPIRAL BINDING keeps this book open on your music stand
 √ FREE ONLINE LESSON LIBRARY covers the topics in the books Volume One and Volume Two
 √ FLEXIBLE FORMAT for students taking group or private guitar lessons

Which Book is Right for You?

The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One is a music reading primer, a chord and scale jam guide, and a basic theory workbook. It’s jam-packed with comprehensive exercises that were designed to take an absolute beginner step by step into the intermediate stages of playing. This book will challenge the average student for 2-3 years with weekly lessons.

The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two is an advanced theory workbook, a chord tone and mode improvisation guide, and a stylistic chord resource. It is a continuation of the first volume, designed with the serious intermediate and advanced level music student in mind. This book will challenge the average student for 2-3 years with weekly lessons.

FREE SHIPPING (to U.S. Domestic Addresses)

The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One, Second Edition $40 Donation
The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two $35 Donation
Bundle Both Books (Best Value) $70 Donation

Each book is 160  8.5″ x 11″ pages, spiral bound. Retail Prices = Volume One: $40, Volume Two: $35  All books are mailed from the United States Post Office in a Priority Mailer, so most people receive their packages in 2-3 business days. You’ll receive an email when your donation has been processed and your package is on its way. Questions on International Donations? Email: