Understanding Your Guitar Teacher’s Lesson Policies

unnamed-57Guitar instructors email their rates, payment plans, cancellation/rescheduling lessons, and other information about their studios before you meet for your first lesson. Read through the information as soon as you receive it and call the teacher right away if you have a question. Many teachers ask the person who is responsible for lesson payment to sign her/his name to agree to the teacher’s policies.

How much do guitar lessons cost?

Guitar lessons are offered at a variety of rates. In Seattle, professional guitar teachers charge between $60-$120 per hour. Some instructors teach only full hour sessions, while other teachers offer half-hour or 45 minute sessions. Most teachers offer weekly lessons, although it is not uncommon for a teacher to offer students the option of coming once or twice a month. “Flex-Lessons” are sometimes offered to students who cannot commit to a regular day and time but can fill in when regular students are absent.

How do you pay for your guitar lessons?

There are many different payment plans that teachers use. Most teachers ask to be paid in cash or by check. You may be asked to be paid before a lesson begins, or to wait until after the session has ended. Some teachers also use PayPal, but those teachers usually include PayPal’s fee in their bill to you.

Some teachers allow students to pay them at each weekly session but this is not very common for professional teachers who have a lot of students. Other teachers prefer to be paid for a month of lessons at the beginning of each month, while other teachers may ask you to pay for 3 months at a time. These plans help teachers plan her/his finances and they also help students make a stronger commitment to their music education.

What if you have to cancel your guitar lesson?

Some teachers can be very flexible and can offer make-up lessons to students who are absent, but most teachers do not offer any make-up lessons to students for any reason. All teachers should reschedule or credit students for lessons that they themselves are unable to make.

Student Questionnaire

Often times, students will be asked to complete a questionnaire before the first lesson. The questionnaire gives you the opportunity to clearly state your goal(s) for the lessons, which will help you and your teacher stay on track during lessons.

The questionnaire may contain questions regarding your past musical experiences, your current playing ability, your goals, and other information that would be helpful for the instructor to know about you. Your phone number(s), mailing address and email may be asked for as well.

Other Helpful Information Your Teacher May Provide

  • The kind of guitar you should use
  • A good music store in the area
  • Directions to the studio
  • Tools you will need (usually a guitar, a metronome, tuner, music stand, and method book)
  • What you need to bring to your first lesson
  • An introductory video lesson that your teacher has posted to get you started.

Bottom line: Every teacher is different – If you don’t understand or feel like you can agree to your teacher’s policies, let her/him know before your first lesson.



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

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