How to find a good guitar teacher

The most effective and efficient way to learn how to play the guitar is to study with a good teacher. A good teacher will be able to assess your abilities, listen to your goals, create a flexible plan to help you reach your goals, and hold you accountable each lesson. Teachers often do inspire students, but to succeed, students must already have a strong desire to play, and have the ability to practice each day.

Since 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 search online, and pick-up flyers you may find at local businesses or on community boards. 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 and gotten some initial impressions from each person's website, you can prepare to interview each teacher over the phone or via email. 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 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 interview can also 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. 


1. What is your education background? 

2. How long have you been teaching people how to play the guitar? 

3. Do you teach private lessons, classes, or both? 

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 including myself. All you need is an internet connection and a webcam!

Continue Reading10 Reasons to Take Guitar Lessons with Susan Palmer