What Should You Look For In A Guitar Teacher?
A lot of people want to start playing guitar and take the great decision of finding a guitar teacher. However, very often, they are not sure how to choose a guitar teacher. This often leads people into making a decision based on convenience factors, such as price and location.
Unfortunately, these are the two WORST ways to choose a guitar teacher.
So how should you choose a teacher?
Ask them how long their students stay for
If their average student stays for 4 weeks, then we know one of two things:
- The teacher is totally rubbish as a teacher, or,
- They are incredibly unlikeable as a person
If students are not staying with a teacher, the above are the only two possible casuses. A rubbish or/and unlikeable teacher will:
- Get frustrated with their students
- Blame the student rather than their teaching method for a student not making progress
- Have no real system for teaching
- Allow the student to guide the lesson (if you are going to guide the lesson, why bother having a teacher in the first place?)
- Suggest the student quits playing guitar – this sounds ridiculous but I have heard of it!
- Spend the lesson ranting about how miserable their life is for 30 minutes – again, my students have told me previous teachers did this!
Avoid teachers who cannot keep students – there is a reason why!!
Ask them how they do their lessons
You want to know how the lessons are done. Does the student turn up, the teacher ask what they want to do, the student gives them a song title, the teacher works it out and shows the student some chords? If that is the case… the teacher is no good. You can get that from a book or from google.
Is the teacher going to guide you, step by step, helping you, showing you things you didn’t realise that you need to know, to gain not only the mechanical ability to play guitar great, but also help you conceptually understand what you are doing, how music works and how it all fits together?
Jackpot. That is what you want.
Ask them how they will help you when you don’t understand or get stuck learning guitar
This is vital. This is what separates a great teacher from a mediocre one. This is what you are looking for...
Does your potential new teacher have an answer? Bad teachers will be gobsmacked or give you a snarky response… or even suggest that if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. Mediocre teachers will tell you to practice more.
A great teacher will tell you that they have plans, strategies, tactics that they have used with other students that had trouble understanding a concept / learning an idea, and that they can break the idea down into a small, easy to understand concept that you can get, and then build you up from there to understanding the full idea. Bad / mediocre teachers blame you, great teachers take responsibility for your progression with the instrument.
If you live in Ickenham, West London and want to learn how to play guitar, then you can learn to play guitar with guitar lessons in Ickenham