9 January 2009

Can't Afford Guitar Lessons?

This follow up to the Guitar Learning Challenges survey addresses the challenge "Can't afford lessons" reported by a third of readers who responded. The bad news is I don't have a solution to make anyone rich quickly, the good news is that I'm sharing some ways to get guitar lessons for less money than you might think.

In this post I'll discuss cheaper ways to get lessons with a teacher, next week I'll follow up with some alternative tuition methods that can reduce the cost even more.

Private guitar teachers charge about $25 for a half hour lesson in my neck of the woods. If you plan on taking weekly lessons then that's a cost of around $100 per month. But using one of the two methods described below you can reduce that amount by up to a quarter.

Group Lessons

One simple way to reduce the cost of guitar lessons is to share the cost with several other people. If a teacher charges $50 for an hour of lessons you can divide the cost by sharing that hour with other guitar players.

Ask your local guitar teachers if they offer this kind of lesson arrangement. They might organize slots with several students for you. If not you could find other guitar learners who are interested in this idea yourself.

To find learners to share with try advertising in a local music shop or ask around your friends, at school, at work. You could also try advertising in other public places like your local library or corner shop.

On the Internet sites such as Virtual Rock Band could help you find musicians in your area. Maybe they'll be interested in sharing a guitar teacher with you?

Music School

An obvious place to look for group tuition is a music school of some kind. My local town has a community centre where music lessons are organized. Weekly guitar lessons in groups of four cost less than $300 for a year.

Space Your Lessons

Another way to reduce the cost of a guitar teacher is to space your lessons out. There's no law that states you must take lessons every week. A half hour guitar lesson can give you many hours of practice. I took lessons once every two weeks a couple of years ago. Not only did it halve the monthly cost it also left me enough time to work on the new material before my next lesson.

If you space out your lessons with a guitar teacher you might want to combine this approach with a video or book course. You can work your way through a method or a song book and use your sessions with the teacher to address your problems and questions. With this approach you might well find that one lesson a month is sufficient.

There you have two ways you can get lessons with a guitar teacher for less money than you might think. Even if you don't visit a teacher every week you can still learn a lot through some regular contact to get help and advice with your problems. You will also find that sharing a teacher not only gives you the benefit of cheaper lessons but also provides you with other musicians to share your learning with.

Next week I'll be sharing some cheaper ways to get guitar lessons. Be sure to sign up for updates by email or to your RSS reader if you don't want to miss it.

If you enjoyed this post you might want to catch up on other responses to the survey:

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