There are many factors that may alter the prices for guitar lessons. You must take into account that each instructor, teaching method or school is trying to recoup the costs of providing you with guitar instruction, while also making a living.
Naturally, those costs are divided when it comes to group lessons, so those will certainly be cheaper than private classes, though not really recommended.
In either case, several other factors like instructor and student experience as well as duration and location (their place, your place or remote) will dramatically alter the price.
In case you're looking for a quick answer, we could venture to say that the average price of a one hour lesson falls somewhere between $40 and $50 USD.
Obviously, online guitar lessons are a lot cheaper than in-person lessons (an online membership costs about $19 per month)
The medium price for in person guitar lessons was calculated by Thumbtack, a project posting platform that connects professionals and consumers all over the U.S.
They calculated that average by studying over 30,000 projects related to people looking for guitar lessons, and comparing their prices.
Now, if you're looking for answers regarding which type of lesson should you pursue, as well as wanting to know more about the factors that alter the prices (to know if it will actually be worth the cost) we'll give you a more detailed look.
All in the spirit of helping you make the best possible decision for you guitar learning needs and goals.Here's what you need to know:
This factor is not only about the instructor's experience, but yours as well. Teaching guitar to someone who is just starting out may require a very different skill set than helping an experienced player transition to flamenco.
In the same manner, a guitar instructor with decades of experience will certainly be in a position where he can charge more than someone fresh out of college with a music degree.
Whether the teacher also has relevant experience in music is also a major factor. If a guitarist has touring and recording experience with big names in the music industry, or is a big name him/herself, you can expect that to be more expensive.
Depending on your learning level, you might encounter prices like these:
If you're starting out, prices should range between $20-$40 as we mentioned above. Some people even do $15 for half an hour. This is according to a Harmony Central discussion that has actually been going on for a few years.
When it comes to duration, half-hour lessons are recommended at this stage, since lots of the basic concepts and exercises you need to know to start playing guitar can be explained quickly. For a beginner, the time you spend practicing is much more important than the duration of the lesson.
Going back to selecting classes, keep in mind that the basic stuff you need to get started is somewhat attainable from the vast majority of teachers, given that they are patient, enthusiastic and overall good at teaching.
So it wouldn't make sense to enlist someone with tremendous experience at a higher price range, since it's probably not necessary until you're more skilled and comfortable with the instrument.
When you reach an intermediate level, you probably got some music theory under your belt, as well as a more refined technique. This means you can start getting into specific genres and more complicated stuff like soloing, a bit of composition and special techniques such as finger-tapping, barre chords, etc.
Price ranges here may be within $30-$60 for the hour, according to a brief study we conducted by reviewing guitar teachers from all over the U.S. on takelessons.com.
Teachers in this category will certainly require more experience and qualifications, as harder concepts hay be harder to explain. They may also feel they can charge more due to their more developed resumes (and they're right).
Guitarists in this category are probably specializing in one of several genres now, viewing more intricate themes of music theory and ever more complex techniques.
Naturally, prices for advanced guitarists may be within $50-$80, but this is where it can get much more higher depending on the teacher and the other factors we'll now look into.
This thread on reddit, for instance, provides some thoughtful insight on whether $80 for a one-hour lesson is reasonable. Most users agreed that it's too expensive if it's not from a very high level teacher.
But how is that defined? Let's take a look at another major factor that differentiates guitar teachers and see what the resume of a "high-level" guitar teacher might look like.
Blues, Country, Folk and Rock are somewhat of the standard genres where all the pricing provided above may be applicable.
When it comes to genres that are arguably more intricate and far more likely to demand an academic education in the teacher's resume (think Jazz, Fusion, Classical) you'd think prices would increase, but many of the same people teaching rock and blues are teaching jazz and classical as well.
Let's look at some examples...
Josh L. is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and has played professionally with people such as Norah Jones, Brian Wilson and Miley Cyrus. He teaches at all experience levels, all ages from 8 onward, and can provide lessons in classical, rock, country and bluegrass. Lessons with someone like Josh are priced at about $60 per half hour, online or at his studio in Brooklyn, NY.
Then, you can find someone like Matthew N., his fee is about $25 per half an hour. He has taught guitar and several other instruments out of his studio in Chicago for the last 10 years. He also has a Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Iowa. Matthew focuses specifically on acoustic guitar.
As you read those two profiles, you may see the factors that alter how both teachers price their lessons. Josh might see a lot of demand due to the big names he has worked with, and he also has to pay rent in New York City. Matthew on the other hand, is perhaps less constrained in that regard, as well as having to rely mostly on his reputation as a teacher and not as a professional musician, to get students.
Regardless, a look at any of those teachers' profiles will let you see that they got an impressive track of satisfied students who've left them very favorable reviews. That proves that in the end, it's all about finding a good match between what the teacher has to offer and what the student wants to learn.
Another factor that may dramatically alter price is the style of class being given. "Style", in this case, refers to when and how.For example...
This would certainly be more expensive, since the teacher either has to accommodate you (and pay for installations) or make it all the way to your home. Depending on the situation, those two things may be the cons of in-person lessons.
On the other hand, the main pro to consider is that the experience is obviously enhanced if you're looking at your teacher's hands in person, as well as listening to his/her playing in the same room, rather than through a monitor and a pair of speakers.
Prices will vary greatly depending on the teacher, but a simple Craigslist search might be enough to prove that in-person lessons, specially if they occur in your home, are the most expensive type of guitar instruction.
Skype or Video Lessons
With the advent of the internet, it is now fairly plausible to get lessons from anyone you want in the world without having to move an inch from your house.
That's the main thing with, shall we say, remote lessons. If you got your eye on a very specific teacher, these might work well. They can also be a relatively cheap way of getting lessons from that particular person, since there are no transport/rent costs at all.
The teacher examples we discussed above may give you a good idea regarding prices of online lessons.
This can be a video, a text, an audio example, or all of these combined. These can be great complimentary lessons, but lack the personalization that a teacher can give to classes, even if students can interact with teachers via email and forums.
The price and available offers make it a set of resources you'd definitely be wise to check out at some point.
Just imagine having a near-infinite number of guitar teachers and experts at your disposal, for multiple genres and style, 24 hours a day.
In case you'd like to look into that, We've put together a carefully curated selection of the best guitar lessons we've found online.
Finally, you may have been startled by that comment made at the beginning of this article, about group lessons not being recommended.
At first, playing guitar is a very individual thing. The best way to begin properly and with enough encouragement is by having the focused attention of a professional, who will be teaching you the right technique and monitoring your progress.
All that is somewhat diluted when you're in a group setting. For some reason, people sometimes put together groups of students that include anyone from the intermediate player to the person that has never held a guitar before.
Needless to say, this results in the teacher trying to show different things to everyone, and thus the more experienced players have to wait around on the newbies, and the newbies feel either pressured, or even neglected and demotivated.
Group classes might work on the advanced level, when it's possible to get together a group of students who are somewhat in the same level.
When this happens, it's even helpful since the questions a peer asks might help you, or you might learn from your classmates when the teacher is focusing on someone else.
But at the beginning, it can be more of an impairment. Considering that a half-an hour class for beginners is not expensive at all, we truly recommend searching out private lessons to start off.
That's about everything you need to know if you're seeking guitar lessons. Each musician's journey is unique, so don't hold yourself back at all if you find that more than one class type and style of teacher might be compatible with you.
A combination of several of these types of classes might be the best for what you're trying to learn and do on guitar, as well as an easier burden on your pocket, so be sure to try out everything that's available and might have sparked your curiosity.
Last but not least, remember that the ultimate teacher throughout all of your guitar-learning journey, is your own self.
A rather cryptic way to end a cost-analysis on guitar lessons, but it's true. Happy jamming!
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