How to Find a Good Guitar Teacher

unnamed-55Since a person doesn’t need any kind of degree or training to teach guitar lessons, there are a lot of guitar teachers out there. Guitar lessons require an investment of money, time, and energy, so take your time to find the best teacher for you.

Ask for recommendations from music store employees, performing musicians, schools, and your friends who take music lessons. You can also check your local paper, search online, contact your chamber of commerce, and pick-up flyers you find at local businesses. Make a list of names, websites, and phone numbers, and leave plenty of room for your notes and impressions. Try to collect between 5-10 contacts.

After you have gathered all the information, you can prepare to interview each teacher over the phone. Be prepared to tell prospective teachers what you would like to achieve by taking guitar lessons, your current playing level, any past music experience you have had, the style(s) of music you enjoy, plus any other information you think would be helpful for them to know about you. Keep it brief, and realize that the teachers you are interviewing are also interviewing you.

Most private guitar teachers set their own rates, schedules, and policies. Since you will need to learn how each teacher runs her/his studio, the phone interview gives you the opportunity to get the information you need and to observe how each teacher answers your questions, so you get feel for each teacher’s style and personality.

The phone interview can help you determine if you like the communication style of each teacher. If a teacher cannot sufficiently answer your questions during the interview, she/he probably would not be able to sufficiently explain what makes a G7 chord different from a G chord.

Sample questions to ask prospective guitar teachers:
1. What is your education background?
2. How long have you been teaching people how to play the guitar?
3. How many students do you currently teach?
4. What musical style(s) do you teach?
5. What age and levels of students do you enjoy teaching?
6. What are your strengths, and what things set you apart from other teachers?
7. Where do you teach, what do you charge, and what is your cancellation policy?

You should never feel rushed to commit to a permanent lesson time, but a good teacher may be honest and tell you that the time offered to you is the only lesson time available. If the teacher sounds like she/he may be a good fit for you, ask to take a trial lesson, which is not a free lesson.

Good teachers know that there isn’t one teacher who is right for every student, and most teachers appreciate your effort to find a good match, so let each instructor know that you are taking lessons from several teachers until you find the best one for you. After you decide on a teacher, remember that you can always go someplace else if you are not satisfied with your lessons.

If you live out in the middle of nowhere, don’t fret! There are many great teachers who are offering webcam guitar lessons, including myself. All you need is an internet connection and a webcam.



I wrote “The Guitar Lesson Companion” Method Books to help students get more out of their guitar lessons and to help teachers save time and be more effective in their studios. These books offer a clear, flexible, and progressive structure with plenty of good sounding exercises, which help students reach their goals faster than ever before. Fellow Guitar Teachers: Let’s meet via Skype / FaceTime to see if this series is right for your students. Visit: The Teachers’ Lounge

 Which book is right for you? What’s your goal?

The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One

The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two

  • Switch between popular chords fast and clearly
  • Understand college music theory concepts
  • Add new rhythms and grooves
  • Spice up your rhythm guitar with practical triad inversions
  • Get a solid introduction to music theory on guitar
  • Master the chord tones (arpeggios) in all positions, all keys
  • Learn how to read music and develop good technique
  • Use a clear, progressive structure to master the design of the guitar
  • Solo using patterns from the CAGED system (with the jam CD)
  • Play walking bass lines, quartal harmony, altered chords and resolutions
  • Know how to figure out what key a song is in, or write songs in specific keys
  • Train your ears while improvising with 8+ hours of backing tracks

(U.S. Domestic Addresses)

The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One Free with $35 Donation
The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two Free with $40 Donation
Both Book & CD Packages Free with $70 Donation

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:

Seattle Residents, buy your books at: The Guitar StoreDusty StringsEmerald City Guitarsor The Seattle University Bookstore  (Retail Prices = Volume One: $30, Volume Two: $35)