Learning how to play the guitar is a skill that can provide countless hours of enjoyment for the rest of your life. Before you master the six strings, however, you'll have to find a teacher who can help you with not only the fundamentals of playing, but also teach the intricacies that separate the average players from those who are great. Enrolling with a guitar teacher isn't simply a matter of calling the first number you see advertised; for you to really maximize the experience, there are several factors that can play a positive impact. When you're shopping around, here are three areas to explore.
Their Experience as a Performer
Not every guitar teacher has experience playing in a band or as a solo act, but those who have taken the stage with some degree of regularity often have better "real-world" skills than someone who hasn't. Knowing the theory of playing guitar is one thing, but getting out and performing is another thing altogether, and playing in front of people allows a guitar player to improve his or her skills and delivery. Ask the teacher about his or her experience performing; if the teacher still performs consistently, consider going to a show before you sign up for lessons.
Their Teaching Style
It's always important to ask your prospective guitar teacher about his or her teaching style to ensure it's consistent with the way you like to learn. If the teacher favors long discussions of musical theory when you're the type who learns by doing, the relationship might not run smoothly.
Think about how you like to learn and then talk to the teacher to gauge whether you'd likely work well together. The teacher's personality style also falls under the teaching style umbrella; it's ideal to have someone who suits your personality. Many students opt for teachers who have an easygoing side but are also adept at pushing their students.
Their Musical Style
Skilled guitar teachers should be adept at playing and teaching a variety of musical styles. It never hurts, however, to talk to the teacher about not only your favorite genres of guitar music, but to also list some of the players you hope to be able to emulate. See how the teacher reacts to these genres and names; you want him or her to have some familiarity so that the lessons are seamless. There's no point in signing up with a teacher who can only perform '80s metal when you're anxious to learn jazz.
Start comparing your options by contacting resources like Pimentel & Sons Guitars.