Do You Need to Take Lessons to Learn Guitar?

Playing guitar. Such a beautiful hobby. 

But what am I saying? More than a mere hobby, it is a way of living. 

A guitar is the only thing you need after a hard day of working. 

It’s a companion when you are alone, and even a source of income for many. 

After all, a lot of people make their living by teaching how to play guitar. 

It’s a lovely profession and a very important one. 

If it weren’t for them, there would be hundreds of young learners struggling to even play a chord. 

But how true is this statement? Do you really need to take lessons to learn the instrument?

Guitar lessons are always encouraged. Although many great guitarists are self-taught, there is room for improvement everywhere. A teacher can guide and prevent you from committing common mistakes or acquiring bad habits. Private lessons, then, are a good investment.

Either one way or the other, I encourage you to keep reading this article. 

You’ll find a lot of useful information that will serve you in the long run. 

Can you learn guitar without taking lessons?

Learning guitar from scratch on your own is possible. 

There’s a good amount of professional guitarists who have never taken a single lesson. 

Their approach to the instrument is different. They take theory and digest it based solely on what they hear. 

Some even have sharp sight and learn from watching others play as well. 

Truth is, it is possible to learn without a teacher because taking lessons is not the only way. 

In fact, we have an entire article where we discuss 7 different ways to learn guitar without classes. Here’s the link, check it out! 

However, it is also fair to mention that learning on your own is not a possibility for everyone. 

After all, without a guide, you are prone to find yourself struggling with plenty of common problems, not knowing how to solve them. 

It could take extra time and hours of dedication. 

If you still believe you’ve got what it’s needed to learn on your own, then grab your guitar and go with all your might. 

Why it is a good idea to get a guitar teacher

Teachers. 

Why are they so beloved? 

Well, first of all, they spent years of their life thoroughly studying their instrument. They are the gatekeepers to a room full of knowledge. 

They learned the how’s and the what’s. They honed their skills for decades so they can transmit their experience to someone else in a couple of hours. 

Therefore, taking lessons with a teacher is neither a waste of money nor time. 

It is probably the best approach that you could take towards an instrument. 

Teachers can provide personalized classes based on your interests, experiences, and abilities. 

They even can alter the progress trajectory to fit your necessities. 

For example, if a teacher notices you are great at playing chords but you still need to learn the notes of such chords, he or she will focus on that part before moving on to the next one. 

What is more, teachers help not only to learn what to do but also what NOT to do. 

This means that your instructor will indicate certain habits or common beginner errors and help you to avoid them. 

After all, it is rather simple to pick up the wrong method and make an easy task more complicated. 

How much do guitar lessons cost?

Prices vary depending on the number of classes taken and the proficiency of the teacher. 

It is a fact that some teachers know more than others, so their classes could be more expensive. 

One way or the other, we can still find the average price of a guitar lesson. 

In general, guitar lessons costs between $25 and $35 half an hour. The hour, then, is between $30 and $60. 

An hour a week for an entire month would cost you around $120 and $240. 

Online lessons, on the other hand, are between $15 and $20 per month, approximately. 

Why are they cheaper? Because, for the most part, online lessons are recorded tutorials. 

Although it is also true that many teachers provide real-time virtual lessons through Skype or any other platform.    

So, same logic here. An hour of online lessons every week for an entire month costs between $60 and $80. 

How often should you take guitar lessons?

The number of lessons one should take varies a lot. 

Some people are fine taking a lesson a week. Others just cannot wait that long and need two or even three lessons a week. 

Regarding how often one ought to practice, that again depends on plenty of factors. 

Simply consider your goals. 

Do you want to be an expert? A master of the guitar? 

Do you want to learn all the techniques that a guitar can provide? Or are you just okay with learning the basics and playing open chords? 

Consistency and dedication are a must in any case. However, those who want to achieve a professional level have to practice every day with no exceptions. 

For more detailed information on this topic, I encourage you to read the following article. 

The link is here. 

Advantages of learning guitar by yourself

Are there any benefits of learning guitar on your own? After all, wouldn’t taking private lessons be a wiser decision? 

Of course, it would! But learning on your own also provides advantages. 

For example, you can learn at your own pace

Follow your inner rhythm. Do not let anyone rush you. 

Sure, you cannot play whenever you want if you are aiming towards expertise level. If that’s the case, you must play every day for plenty of time. 

Now, the final decision is yours. If you prefer practicing whenever you feel like it, then that’s not a bad decision. 

Additionally, by learning on your own you get to play the songs you like

While many teachers adapt their lessons based on the student’s interests, they indeed have some inflexible exercises as well. 

This means that some lessons require learning specific songs that present specific techniques or resources. 

The result? You might not enjoy that song but have to play it anyway to learn what you need to learn. 

It is also true that some teachers base their lessons on their interests. 

If you love reggae but your teacher specializes in classical music, then you might encounter some friction. 

Self-teaching allows you to freely choose the songs you want to learn. 

Drawbacks from teaching yourself how to play guitar

There are always two sides to a coin. 

Self-teaching allows for a lot of freedom, but it also has lots of drawbacks. 

In my opinion, the hardest thing to deal with is the lack of guidance

In any field, it is important to have someone above your level so he or she can guide you throughout the process. 

Whenever you are stuck or cannot find a solution to an issue, a teacher will path the way for you. Teachers show the “easiest” (and sometimes the only) form to tackle a problem. 

Without their experience, you are bound to trip on the same stone over and over again. 

You’ll be unable to continue unless you figure out the solution on your own. 

Another setback most likely to occur is trying to play things above your level

This is to say that, in order to reach a “higher ground”, first you have to tackle certain problems. 

You cannot play fast if you still need to learn how to strum a chord properly, for example. 

Furthermore, learning on your own could be a slower process indeed. 

There’s usually a lot of trial and error, which makes successful learning more time-consuming than regular lessons. 

It is safe to mention how information overload could discourage you. 

It is no surprise that there is a lot to learn. And when I say a lot, I mean it. 

Where should you begin with? What’s the next step? 

It feels as if you were in the middle of the ocean, with no compass to mark the north. 

Needless to say, a teacher is that compass. 

It will eliminate all the distractions and focus solely on what needs to be done first.  

Lastly, be aware that developing bad habits is a common occurrence when learning on your own. 

After all, there is no one else next to you to stop you. 

Bad habits can always be changed, but it is way much easier to avoid them beforehand. 

Self-taught guitar players

I get it. You yearn to learn on your own. 

You want to be like an explorer, figuring it out by yourself. 

Great. Then I hope this list of famous self-taught guitarists serves you as fuel to the fire of your desires. 

Have them as a source of inspiration: 

  • Jimi Hendrix 
  • Eric Clapton 
  • Prince 
  • Dave Grohl 
  • Jack White 
  • Eddie Van Halen 
  • Alex Turner 

Even if you are self-taught it’s a great idea to take lessons down the line

There’s something beautiful about learning, and that is that it takes place everywhere. 

Think about it. 

Some people learn more rehearsing with friends or a band than they would do with a private teacher. 

Some others take a book and learn chords from there. 

In the end, it seems like there are no real self-taught musicians. Only people who take anything that comes their way. 

Going back to guitar lessons, there’s an important point that must be mentioned. 

Taking a lesson is not something that merely beginners do. 

Many experienced guitarists eventually go to guitar classes to learn even more! 

There is always something new that could be grasped or a skill that could be improved. 

Never forget that humility is an important step towards betterment. 

After all, you cannot learn what you think you already know.  

Conclusion

We have discussed a lot in this article. 

I think we should summarize it in one sentence. Actually, I believe we can summarize it in only one word. 

Should you take guitar lessons? Yes! 

However, not being able to afford lessons shouldn’t be an excuse. 

What I’m trying to say is that if you have a guitar, take it. 

Play with it. Toy with it. 

Figure out how it works, how it sounds, how it feels. 

Accomplish whatever you can with your abilities. 

Try, fail, then try again. Do it with passion, respect, and unbreakable willingness to learn. 

Ask friends or the internet for advice. Research forums, or read articles like the one you just read so you can understand a bit more about the world of music. 

Don’t focus on obstacles, but instead, focus on possibilities. 

In the end, both self-taught and private lessons lead to the same achievement: creating music. 

Thank you for reading and good luck!