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.


 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.


PURCHASE AT YOUR LOCAL GUITAR SHOP, OR FOR THE SAME AMOUNT, GET THE METHOD BOOKS DELIVERED TO YOU!
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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: LeadCatPress@gmail.com