Everybody wants to play guitar, or at least it seems that way, but many don’t realize that playing the guitar takes practice, patience, and usually guided direction. A small amount of beginning guitar players can teach themselves without the need for instruction. Some may be naturally inclined to learn guitar quickly by ear or sight-reading. Others may have a history with another musical instrument, and that experience may translate to the guitar.
Receiving regular guitar lessons is the most common method of learning the instrument, and is often required in order for the beginning student to maintain interest in pursuing the craft. Guitar lessons cost anywhere from totally free (from a family member or friend) to over $100 per hour (for “renowned” teachers). The variability in the cost of guitar lessons can be attributed to several factors, such as the platform used for the lesson (in person or online), the type of guitar being used (acoustic or electric), the ages of the instructor and student, and their respective skill levels.
Getting lessons from a local guitar teacher is most likely the cheapest option you will find (as low as $20 per hour), unless you have a close friend or relative who will do it for free. Guitar lessons cost more if you want the instructor to come to your house to teach. This increase in price, which is usually an extra $5 to $10 above the cost of going to the house of a local instructor, covers the instructor’s travel and the extra time he spends traveling. Expectedly, private (one on one) guitar lessons cost more than group lessons, and the price tends to go down as the number of students in the lesson group increases. Live, one on one online guitar lessons cost slightly more than their in-person local counterparts. This may be due to the expenses of maintaining an Internet connection and the related equipment needed to give a successful online lesson. However, pre-recorded online lessons can be very cheap, or completely free (many are available on popular video sites). Some players may benefit from learning through a mixture of learning platforms, adding to the cost of guitar lessons.
The type of guitar that you intend to be trained with is worth examining to determine what impact the guitar type has on how much guitar lessons will cost. There are four popular types of guitars: acoustic, electric, classical, and bass.
Acoustic guitars typically don’t have built-in electronics like their electric counterparts, but that line is being blurred as electric-acoustics become more popular and affordable. Classical guitars are similar to acoustics, but at a smaller size and with nylon strings. These factors give the classical guitar its signature soft sound. Bass guitars tend to be much longer than regular guitars to allow for the scale length needed to achieve the low pitch of the instrument. Basses can be acoustic, but are most commonly electric instruments. The most common type of bass has four strings, though higher string counts are available. With the variety of instrument types available, it might be surprising that type has little to no effect on how much guitar lessons cost. It is common to find lessons for all four types of instruments at nearly the same price, not taking other factors such as skill level into account.
The age of the student can have a slight effect on the cost of guitar lessons. It is most likely that a young student will require beginner’s lessons, and they are typically cheaper than more advanced guitar lessons. It is also possible to find guitar lessons at a discounted rate for children under a certain age, and the same can be found for seniors who are over a specific age. Aside from these considerations at the upper and lower limits of age, the vast majority of guitar lessons cost a set amount that is independent of the age of the student.
The average cost of guitar lessons falls in the area of $50 per hour, although you should consider that half-hour long lessons are very common. Guitar lessons for beginners can be cheaper than those for more experienced players, as a decent player can teach you the basics, but better teachers may be needed for advanced learning. Guitar lessons come in many varieties based on the type of guitar you wish to learn on, the skill level you are currently at and/or wish to reach, the instructor’s skill, and the age of the student.
The skill levels of both the student and the instructor have a significant effect on the cost of guitar lessons. A beginning student can benefit from lessons with a moderately skilled guitarist. The first months and sometimes years of learning guitar focuses on gaining a solid foundational knowledge of whatever type of guitar style catches your interest. Once you are comfortable with the fundamentals, you in turn may begin to teach these basic skills to beginners. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a beginner to find a modestly skilled but perfectly appropriate instructor who offers lessons for under $30 per hour.
If you reach and/or surpass the abilities of your beginning guitar instructor, you will need to either teach yourself from then on, or find a more advanced teacher to help you reach your desired heights of string slinging. Hourly rates can be in the $50-plus area with more advanced teachers, but the cost is well worth the education you are likely to receive from the experience. At the upper echelon of guitar lessons are those guitarists who appear to have “made it”. Some semi-famous guitarists offer private lessons (usually online to accommodate their schedule). This level of guitar lesson costs $100 per hour or more but can be worth it. However, it is important to make sure that you are paying for better lesson content, and not for a name.