Learning to Play Guitar: How Long Should My Lessons Be?

10430371614_4255e624e2_kNot sure how long your guitar lessons should be? Take some advice from guitar teacher David G. and you’ll be on the road to success…

When prospective students are looking for a potential music teacher they are searching for a number of different aspects to their lessons. Most private teachers have a range of options for lesson times that they offer their students, the most common being 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes in length. There are a number of things to consider when choosing how long your guitar lessons should be.

30 Minute Lesson

I recommend that most beginning guitar students start with a 30 minute lesson for a number of reasons. If you are brand new to learning how to play guitar it is important during your first few lessons to gauge your interest level in the instrument. Many people have an idea that they want to learn to play guitar but it is not only a financial commitment but a time commitment as well, so it is important to think realistically about how much time and money you are willing to put in to work on the instrument.

For younger students specifically, a 30 minute lesson is a perfect slot of time because most students cannot focus effectively for a longer period of time than 30 minutes. In your first few lessons your teacher will be giving you a lot of information about a variety of aspects of learning to play and practice guitar effectively.  At times this can feel overwhelming for new students but it is important to remember that when  learning anything your mind needs time to absorb all the material that is being presented; it will get easier.

45 Minute Lesson

Most students that choose to have a 45 minute lesson are at an intermediate level of experience playing the guitar and are more serious about learning how to play guitar at a faster rate of time. Generally speaking your teacher will price the lessons so that you get more for your money by choosing a 45 minute lesson vs choosing a 30 minute lesson.

I personally recommend my students select a 45 minute lesson if they are in the age range of 12 to 18, where they are able to focus for longer periods of time, and you mutually feel that the student is progressing at a rate that is suitable for that particular individual.

60 Minute Lesson

Students that select a 60 minute lesson fall into a number of different categories. Most commonly I recommend that students take a 60 minute lesson if they are an advanced guitarist or if they are a prospective college student looking to audition at a school specifically for studying music. Similarly to the 45 minute lessons, teachers generally price a 60 minute lesson so that it is the best overall deal for the student where you are paying a price that maximizes your time with your guitar teacher.

A 60 minute lesson is mandatory for students looking to enter college as a music major. The reason for this is that at your music school you will be taking a 60 minute lesson with your professor at most major schools for music. As an advanced student your teacher will expect and demand more out of your playing. When you are auditioning on guitar at a school for music you are expected to be proficient in scales, arpeggios, sight reading, and performing repertoire at an advanced level. I like to segment my 60 minute lessons into categories to address each of these topics and allow students sufficient time to master their material and concepts.


When selecting your lesson length with your private guitar teacher consider cost, level of commitment, your experience with the instrument, your ambitions with the instrument, and what feels right. Learning guitar is an incredibly rewarding and exciting instrument as you progress with your experience. Best of luck and remember to always work hard and have fun!

DavidG.David G. teaches guitar, music performance, music theory and piano in Buffalo, NY.  He received his Bachelor of Music from SUNY Fredonia, as well as his  Master of Music Performance from University at Buffalo.  David is a multi-talented musician as a performer, composer and has been teaching students since 2006.  Learn more about David G. here!



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