Getting Started: How Much Are Guitar Lessons?

5317943190_38098a9057_bWhen you’re looking around for guitar lessons, be aware that there are many different things that can change the cost per lesson. While the average price for guitar lessons falls somewhere between $20 and $40, a few important factors can determine whether you’re at the low or the upper end of the spectrum.

Instructor and Student Experience

Most guitar teachers starting out are not only trying to teach music; they are also trying to get their name out there into the music community. The average price for guitar lessons for instructors who have less than 5 years of teaching experience is much less than the average for instructors with 20 years or more.

Along with the experience of the instructor, your experience is also a factor. As you progress and can play at a higher level, you need a teacher that can help you continue to learn. In addition, you might find that you would like to specialize in a certain area of guitar playing. Many instructors have a specialty as well, and those who are able to adequately teach these specialties can command a higher average price for guitar lessons than those that maintain a standard beginner or intermediate curriculum.

Lesson Duration

Naturally, the more time you spend with your instructor, the more that he or she will be charging you per lesson. Usually, guitar teachers will start you out with a 30 minute lesson once per week. As your skill level improves, you might find that a 45 minute lesson or even a full hour of instruction is necessary for continued advancement.

The right guitar lesson length for you can be discussed with your guitar instructor at any time. Since a 45 minute lesson will cost only slightly less than 150% of a 30 minute lesson, your private lessons instructor will be getting more out of each week. If you feel like you’re always running short on time, don’t hesitate to ask your private guitar lessons teacher whether increasing the time each week would be beneficial.

Where You’re Located

If you live in a small town, this significantly limits your options as compared to a larger urban or suburban area. On the other hand, the average price for guitar lessons in a smaller community could be much less than the prices found in a larger area.

If you are located in a rural area, but are willing to drive to a slightly larger community, you might find the best of both worlds. While the prices are higher in larger population centers, this ties in to the first factor, the expertise of your guitar instructor. Often, there are teaching studios or schools where you can progress from one private teacher to the next as your ability improves.

Where You’re Receiving the Lessons

Besides your geographic location, the physical location also can impact what you find for the average price for guitar lessons. There are three main options for where the lessons can take place:

  • At a studio or your instructor’s rehearsal space
  • At your home
  • Online via a video chat setup

Out of these three, the most expensive option is to have your instructor travel to meet you at your home. While this can be the most convenient, it often comes at a premium. If you need your guitar lessons at your home, it saves you time, and travel costs. At the same time, those costs need to be picked up by someone else, in this case, your instructor. The average price for guitar lessons increases if the lessons occur at the student’s home, especially if the private lessons instructor charges mileage or or for the time spent traveling.

Online lessons can be quite inexpensive, but are not ideal for the only means of guitar lessons. Without having your instructor in the same room as you, things can prove quite difficult if there are specific fingering patterns or other intricacies that need to be discussed. Having at least one in-person lesson per month is a good rule of thumb to keep your ability progressing at a steady rate.

So…What’s the Bottom Line?

More important than the four factors listed here, is that you shop around to find the best instructor for guitar lessons. If you are just starting out, you won’t require a world-class guitarist as a teacher, but you will still want someone who is knowledgeable and has a few years of experience in teaching beginning guitar players. The beginning instructor will usually have a much lower average price for guitar lessons than the advanced teacher; keep in mind that higher level lessons will cost more down the road.

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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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