November 14, 2023

About the Author: Cameron Hayes

Cameron Hayes is a guitar educator at the London Guitar Institute, teaching a wide range of styles such as rock, metal, blues, jazz, folk, RnB, acoustic, and many more! He teaches a large volume of students on a weekly basis and always looks to provide outstanding value in each and every lesson!

Why should I pay for guitar lessons when I can get them online for free? Is it worth it to pay for guitar lessons? The short answer is YES, it is most definitely worth it, and there are many reasons why that you may not have yet considered

YouTube lessons can only take you so far

A way that many of us start learning the guitar is through sites such as YouTube (or even TikTok nowadays!), and although this can be a great way to get started, this method can only take you so far. Once you’ve learned a bit of the basics of the guitar via YouTube videos such as the open string names, how to strum the strings, and a few basic chords, you will start to learn songs. It will be hard for a beginner guitarist to gauge what songs are an appropriate difficulty level for them and also which techniques, in particular, they will need to work on in order to play that song. Or even worse, a beginner guitarist may even skip all of the fundamentals such as the string names and strumming/ fretting technique in an attempt to go straight into learning their favourite song! Although there are many great YouTube channels for guitar lessons (Marty Music, Justin Guitar, Andy Guitar) there are many, many, MANY more channels that are not quality and will in some cases spread incorrect information on how to play correctly or show incorrect ways to play the songs that you are trying to learn. Keep this in mind when you are starting your guitar journey – are you looking to make this a lifelong hobby and want to do it the right way, or do you want to start off by building bad habits that will make life more difficult for you later down the track when trying to undo?

Musician showing right hand position to student

Feedback from a teacher

So, it’s no secret that actually going to a guitar teacher will be better for your playing than learning off of YouTube, but why exactly? Well, a qualified teacher will be able to give you quality advice in real time that is specific to you. If they see that your fretting technique is incorrect, they can tell you this straight away. Or if they notice that you’re playing an A major chord instead of an A minor in the song that you are learning, they can tell you. Even the simplest of things could hold you back for months (or years!) when trying to teach yourself, which could actually be a pretty simple fix when going to a good tutor. Not only will their advice and expertise be of value to you, but a great teacher will also take the time to get to know you as a person and how you learn. I always take a slightly different approach with all of my students even when teaching them the same topic or song, as they will all digest the information slightly differently. Some students like to tackle many different tasks in one lesson to take home and comb over in more detail themselves, where as others prefer to spend the whole lesson focusing on the one particular topic. You yourself may not even understand how you best work when learning the guitar just yet, so a good teacher will help you to unlock this.

Would you pay for…

A plumber, a mechanic, or a dentist? Of course, you would! You’re not going to try and pull your own tooth out with a pair of pliers, are you?! Actually, I believe my own father has suggested this to me in the past, but never mind. When you have a job that needs to be done, you hire a professional. The trouble is that because there are so many free resources available to us for learning the guitar on the internet that we see these of equal value to the guitar teacher or music school that charges $X per lesson, when in fact that is not the case at all. In any other circumstance would you believe the product or service that is free to be of equal value to the product or service that costs money?

Musician practicing the guitar

Boosts your practice

Continuing on from this talk of free vs. paid goods, do you think that you would be more or less likely to put effort into something that you got for free, or that you had to pay for? I personally would believe the latter, and in fact I would also say that the more money you spend on guitar lessons would mean the more likely you would be to put in effort into practicing in order to get the most out of your purchase. There’s no secrets here, you have to practice guitar away from your lessons in order to progress, so a lot of responsibility to improve falls on the student. So instead of looking for the cheapest guitar lessons in your area (which are also likely to not be the best), why not look at spending a little bit more which will not only get you a better quality learning experience, but will also make you more motivated to practice! Having regular lessons will also give you a goal and a timeline to work towards, which is also a great way of motivating yourself to practice. If you have a weekly lesson on a Tuesday night for example, you’ll know by the time it hits the weekend that if you haven’t picked up your guitar since your last lesson then you better get practising over the weekend! I always notice that students with weekly lessons always improve at a faster rate than those who have fortnightly lessons, as the more frequent contact keeps them motivated for longer and keeps them accountable on holding up their end of the deal with practicing the tasks set by their tutor.

Guitar lesson in the music room

Do a trial lesson!

For some of us, spending a lot of money on a guitar lesson may not be an option at the moment. Whether you’re studying, in-between jobs or have other expenses, there is still the option of booking a once-off trial lesson with a tutor in your area, which can be a great way to boost your motivation in the short term. Perhaps book a longer lesson (1 hour) with a tutor that you think would match your needs and ask them to set you a bunch of tasks that you can chip away at over the next month. Make it your mission to master these tasks over the next month so that you can look at booking in another lesson once your situation has improved or you’ve had some time to save up for your next lesson.

To find out what we can offer at LGI, contact us now to book your trial lesson with us! (You can study with us in both the City and Fitzrovia!)

Tags: Guitar advice, guitar lessons worth it, is it worth it to pay for guitar lessons, Learning guitar FAQ

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Tags: Guitar advice, guitar lessons worth it, is it worth it to pay for guitar lessons, Learning guitar FAQ