What to expect with private guitar lessons.
my twenty plus years of giving guitar lessons I have been asked a number of reoccurring questions. Most of these questions have to do with time commitment, expectations and
age concerns (young and older). Learning how to play the guitar, or any instrument for that matter certainly involves a level
of commitment. When a student signs-up for lessons I always tell them learning to play the guitar doesn’t have to be
their 1st or 2nd priority but it can’t be 8th or 9th either. Students should
plan on practicing a minimum of 2 ½ hours a week. This again is the minimum. If you want to see measured improvement
from week to week practicing only an hour or so weekly won’t do it. Remember a casual
approach to practicing and lesson attendance will yield casual results. If it was easy everyone would do it. So a level of
frustration during lessons and practice sessions should be expected and welcomed. If you’re not getting frustrated you’re
not getting better. Setting up a practice schedule and sticking to it will be very beneficial. Most people go to the gym the
same days and times each week. Sports teams generally
practice the same time and day after school. Learning to play the guitar should be no different.
Age usually isn’t an issue. I recommend waiting until
the student is at least 6 years old. I’ve had 6 year olds that have done well. Conversely, I’ve had 12 year old
students that have had issues staying focused for 30 minutes not do as well. The ability for the student to stay attentive
and focused for a half an hour is key. You are never too old to start. I often hear from my older adult students “I
waited too long to start. I might not be able to pick this up as fast as one of your younger students”. This is a huge
misconception. You will improve if you make your scheduled lessons and practice each week.
It’s that simple.
Set goals. What kind
of music do you listen to? What songs would you like to learn how to play? Write down a list of songs you would like to learn
how to play and see that this material is incorporated into your lesson plan.
No one gets a free lunch and meeting ambitious goals takes work, sweat and sacrifice.
If you are unable to meet the minimum time commitment outlined previously you were probably never really interested in the
first place. If you’re willing to work a little…let’s get started.