Are Guitar Lessons Worth The Money? (+Alternatives)


Should you pay for guitar lessons or teach yourself? This is a situation many beginners face when learning the guitar. 

With my years of playing guitar, this post answers whether it’s worth getting guitar lessons as a beginner or simply just teach yourself.

Alternatively, I will discuss using services such as online guitar lessons and YouTube?

There’s a lot to get through here so let’s dive in!

Are guitar lessons worth it? Guitar lessons are worth it if you are a complete beginner. They help grasp guitar fundamentals such as basic chords, simple riffs, finger placement, reading tablature, and correct technique. The costs can seem high, but the skill, knowledge, and face-to-face learning and feedback is of great value.

Why It’s Worth Taking Guitar Lessons

As a complete beginner, learning guitar basics in a systematic and structured approach helps from getting stuck in a rut. And will help you progress faster in the annoying and frustrating ‘beginner phase.’

This is why lessons are so beneficial as they directly display a beginner the rights and wrong in order to maximize their early progression.

As well as face-to-face sessions where you’ll be able to get quick feedback on what you’re doing right or wrong.

A good teacher should include the following basics when it comes to learning the guitar…

What Beginner Guitar Lessons Include 

  • Guitar fundamentals
  • How to play basic chords
  • How to play simple songs and chord progression
  • How to play single-note riffs
  • How to strum properly
  • How to hold the guitar properly
  • How to read guitar tabs 
  • How to tune your guitar 
  • Learn basic playing techniques
  • How to hold the plectrum correctly  
  • Basic guitar theory

When it comes to the very basics that beginners should go through, having guitar lessons in-person comes with a lot of advantages. 

First off, you’ll be able to ask questions directly about anything that you’re interested in or that you didn’t understand at first.

While you can learn about the music that you love, there are many things that you might not be interested in at first but which are crucial for your progress.

Having personal guidance from an experienced teacher will ultimately help you progress faster in the frustrating beginner phase.  

Additionally, having a teacher also includes a lot of homework, studying, and practicing outside of these lessons.

Of course, you’ll also need continuity and a lot of patience for this. But the best results are achieved with lessons and a very thorough approach.

Where you learn all aspects of basics, techniques, and music theory while also getting first-hand feedback from your teacher. 

Taking Private Guitar Lessons

Pros
  • You get first-hand feedback and corrections
  • You enroll through a very defined program from an experienced teacher
  • A teacher prevents you from getting stuck and frustrated
  • Going out and learning directly is fun and keeps you focused lesson to lesson
  • Keeps you motivated to continue progressing
  • A teacher can help you progress at learning guitar faster
Cons
  • You might go through some stuff that you’re not interested in
  • It can take time to find the right kind of teacher for your particular needs
  • Learning guitar by yourself can be rewarding
  • Getting continuous lessons can get expensive

Teaching Yourself

Pros
  • You have more freedom in choosing the right path for you
  • You can go with a pace that works better for you
  • Can be rewarding to teach yourself
  • It is cheaper to avoid lessons
Cons
  • It can take more time to progress
  • No guidance or feedback
  • It can get frustrating if you get stuck
  • Harder to stay motivated
  • You need a good learning platform from a book, ebook, video course, or online guitar lessons
  • You may miss or skip vital basics

Where to Find Local Guitar Lessons

Finding the right teacher, or any guitar teacher at all might seem like a complicated task.

For this, you’ll need to either look through ads or look for a guitar teacher directly via a google search in your local area. You can also look at your local or nearest music store.

The same rule goes for any local clubs or venues where guitar-oriented music is played. You can also get a good recommendation from other experienced guitar players that you meet. 

Additionally, there are plenty of ways to find a guitar teacher through social media. Many of them promote either through Facebook and Instagram pages and often have their own YouTube channels.

With enough patience, you can always find someone whose style of playing and teaching seems like the most appropriate one.  

Cost of Guitar Lessons

This depends on many factors, including where you live. In most cases, face-to-face lessons cost anywhere between $40 and $60 per hour.

In some cases, the prices can go up to $100. As for online lessons through Skype or other video-streaming platforms, the price usually gets lower and can even be around $30. 

I would suggest doing plenty of reaserch before taking the plunge with lessons. Ensure the teacher has a good track record and reputation before purchasing guitar lessons.

Can I Teach Myself Guitar Without a Teacher?

To be fair, you don’t really need a teacher if you want to learn how to play an instrument these days.

But although not impossible, things can get much more complicated than you might expect at first.

As a complete beginner, I believe you need some form of lessons to get you on your way either face-to-face, online or some form of program through a book or Ebook  

This will help you from hitting a brick wall and getting frustrated and ultimately quitting after a few weeks.

Having a guitar teacher to say 10 lessons will certainly be vital for you to learn the basics so you can then go out and learn yourself.

Teach Yourself vs Private Lessons Explained (Watch Below)

Nonetheless, we have plenty of self-taught players these days, and even some of the famous guitar heroes have learned to play all by themselves. 

This, however, doesn’t mean that conventional guitar lessons are obsolete these days.

But in case you’re, for any reason, looking for ways to learn how to play the guitar all by yourself, there are still some great ways to do so.

Firstly, plenty of books and courses are available online, some of which are even free of charge.

Additionally, many other social media and streaming platforms have people sharing lessons, tricks, tips, and even entire teaching programs online. It will get you to a certain level, which can be enough to get you started.

Is it Hard to Learn Guitar by Yourself?

If you need a simple answer – yes, learning any instrument by yourself, even guitar, is hard. The main problem here is the lack of feedback and direction. 

While you can definitely see and hear how some particular music pieces are performed, you usually won’t be able to quickly figure out what exactly is the problem.

And this is something that every self-taught musician has faced.

How To Teach Yourself Guitar (Video Below)

Yes, you can have everything explained in a book or this particular instructional video, but it won’t be that easy to figure it all out.

Things get especially tricky when you’re trying to learn music theory.

Some pretty complicated concepts take time to understand and even longer to implement in practice, no matter whether or not you’re taking conventional guitar lessons.

However, despite these difficulties, learning how to play guitar all by yourself is far from an impossible task.

Sure, the whole process can be frustrating, but if you find a method or a program that suits your needs, then things can get easier. 

At the same time, learning stuff by yourself can feel very rewarding. This way, you can get a significant motivational boost to keep playing compared to taking guitar lessons. 

Guitar Lessons vs Teaching Yourself (Beginners)

This particular discussion about taking lessons and doing it all by yourself is pretty common among beginners. 

The whole issue comes down to the choice between having to pay more and going through challenges and frustrations of learning the instrument all by yourself. 

There are some main differences between these two paths that we should get into, as well as some pros and cons. 

First off, guitar lessons are widely considered to be the best method, just like with any other instrument.

You’ll not only get the first-hand feedback but will also go through a “safe-proof” program that will teach you all the necessary basics. 

Then, you’ll even be experienced enough to learn more stuff on your own. Additionally, a teacher can correct you right there on the spot.

There are two downsides to this approach – it might take some time to find a teacher that suits your needs and you’ll have to go through stuff that you don’t want to. 

As for the auto-didact path, it gives you all the freedom in this world to learn what you really want.

What’s more, you’ll be able to go with the pace that you’re more comfortable with. However, both of these issues can be a “trap” and you might get stuck in some ways that will make your progress more difficult. 

Are Online Guitar Lessons Worth It?

In this day and age, becoming an autodidact has never been easier. Thanks to the wonders of the internet.

We have so many resources that can help us learn how to play any instrument, including guitar.

Another method is to go with online guitar lessons. These days, when we have video chat platforms like Skype, Zoom, or any other at our disposal, it gets easier to set it all up. 

But we also have some services and platforms that are specially designed for guitar lessons and offer video content, book, and even interactive content that will help you learn songs, techniques, and music theory concepts. 

Truth About Online Lessons Video

One of these services is Guitar Tricks which offers some guitar basics through popular pop and rock songs.

It then gives you an option to branch out on country, blues, or rock music. Additionally, you get professional instructors to assist you along the way. 

You can also use simple services and apps like Ultimate Guitar or Yousician.

These mostly guitar-focused services will provide you with interactive guitar tabs and sometimes even clear instructions on how to play these songs. 

Fender also came into this game with their Fender Play service. It’s not expensive and it’s based on a monthly subscription.

You get the chance to choose your preferred style and go through a set of lessons that will teach you some basic concepts. It’s very user-friendly and is becoming increasingly popular.

At the end of the day, online lessons and other similar guitar-oriented services are definitely worth it.

You just need to bear in mind that this still falls mostly into the category of learning the instrument by yourself since you won’t get the feedback and correction that you’d have with actual lessons. 

Can I Learn Guitar on YouTube?

Over the past decade or so, learning guitar through YouTube has become increasingly popular.

These days, you have channels and individual creators who are offering more than just simple tips and tricks. 

You can find entire programs and lessons for complete beginners and even more advanced players.

This also includes various musical styles, playing techniques, and even complex music theory concepts, all of which you can implement in practice.

Although it might be a more difficult way since you don’t get first-hand feedback, these lessons are still very good and the best part is that they’re all free of charge.

Additionally, some of these individual YouTubers offer one-on-one lessons through video streaming platforms. 

By all means, you can teach yourself anything on Youtube these days and guitar is no question. It’s up to you whether you want to get personal guitar lessons or learn using books or online resources.  

Best YouTube Channels For Learning Guitar

Most of these creators started their channels out of pure fun where they shared covers or their original music. 

After their channels grew subscribers and views, they began giving lessons to wider audiences. And the better they explained all the basic or advanced concepts, the more audience they got. 

After all, the market will always be the best judge, and the most followed and respected channels are usually the easiest way to go. 

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s up to you to choose which model works best for your needs or your desired budget. There isn’t such a thing as “the best” way to go about it. Although it’s usually more effective to take regular one-on-one guitar lessons than to learn it all by yourself at the beginning. However, the most important thing that you can do is take action whatever route you decide to take. Happy playing!   

Adam

Adam is the founder and author of Tone Topics and dedicated to providing the best guitar content for like-minded gear nerds. Please enjoy all the content on the site and support us by sharing these posts with other people. It would really help us out!

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