Are Guitar Lessons Worth It?
Yes, amateurs and professionals often agree that guitar lessons are worth it. That’s because guitar lessons keep you motivated, establish good form, and keep your skills from plateauing. It also helps build a foundation on which you can learn several songs and styles, where self-teaching can often lead to inefficient piecemeal song-by-song learning.
Are Guitar Lessons Worth it? Yes! And Here’s Why:
If you’re considering learning how to play the guitar, you may be wondering if guitar lessons are worth it. Guitar lessons can add up, not only in tuition costs but also in time. Is it worth it to sign up for guitar lessons, or should you just teach yourself?
Amateurs and professionals often agree that guitar lessons are worth it. That’s because guitar lessons keep you motivated, establish good form, and keep your skills from plateauing. It also helps build a foundation on which you can learn several songs and styles, where self-teaching can often lead to inefficient piecemeal song-by-song learning.
If you’re on the fence about teaching yourself guitar vs. learning from a professional, here’s why guitar lessons are usually worth it:
1 – Establish Good Form
One of the most important reasons that guitar lessons are almost always worth the cost and time investment is because they establish good playing form. “Form” is the term used to describe how you hold and play your guitar. It takes into consideration sitting position, hand placement, finger placement, and strumming technique.
Why is good form important? Without good form, you will hit a wall in your progress. Think about it like running. If you run with your shoulders tight, fists clenched, and legs bent too much (or too little), you won’t be able to run to your full speed or potential—and will likely injure yourself in the process.
The same holds true when playing guitar. Without the proper finger positioning, you’re speed and accuracy in fingerpicking will quickly plateau. Without the proper pressure on your fretting hand, your tone will not sound pure and true. And without the proper sitting position, you’re likely to get tired and lazy, causing you not to support your playing hands well.
2 – Maintains Momentum
Teaching yourself how to play guitar on your own takes a specific type of person—one who can keep to commitments, makes a schedule for him or herself, and can set incremental goals to maintain progress and momentum. Look back on your past experience. When you’ve decided to learn something on your own, do you have a good track record with sticking to your commitments to yourself and to achieving progressive learning?
If not, don’t worry! Most people don’t. In fact, that’s why most people decide guitar lessons are worth it over trying to teach themselves. For most people, having a regularly-scheduled weekly lesson with an instructor who keeps progress moving (instead of most people’s habit of playing the same 2-3 comfortable songs over and over) is one of the best (or only) ways of keeping your learning moving and progressing.
3 – ReducesExcuses
If you’re trying to teach yourself guitar, it’s can become easy to come up with excuses not to practice, to only practice the songs you’re comfortable with, or to stick with the same strum pattern when you know you should really mix it up. Especially after the initial fire of wanting to learn how to play has died down.
Having actual guitar lessons is worth it in these instances because they not only provide more unbiased benchmarks for practicing or learning new techniques, but there’s also more accountability since you have someone besides yourself to answer to. In almost all cases, this results in better progress than you could learn on your own.
4 – Teachers Know What to Look For
While everyone is a self-critic, those without extensive guitar knowledge aren’t expected to “know what you don’t know.” When you’re learning guitar, it’s about much more than just playing the right notes. A guitar teacher sees things that an untrained eye or ear wouldn’t notice. This means you’re less likely to adopt bad habits and more likely to perfect skills that make it easier to play now and in the future.
5 – Learn the Right Things at the Right Times
A final reason guitar lessons are worth it is that it ensures you learn the right things at the right times. If you’re teaching yourself guitar, it’s easy to leap into playing a single song that you really want to learn to fingerpick. This can often lead to frustration if the song is too difficult and poor form if you haven’t learned proper technique yet. It also typically means you’re not learning skills that can be applied to other songs in the future.
Learning from a professional guitar teacher means you’re learning a solid foundation from which you can learn to play not only your favorite songs but countless others as well. It takes the learning experience from one of piecemeal song-by-song learning to foundational learning that will translate into all future musical endeavors.
Caveat: Not all Guitar Teachers are Created Equal
If you do choose guitar lessons over teaching yourself how to play, remember that not all guitar teachers are created equally. Look for a teacher who has established, proven curriculum and relevant credentials. Some self-taught players later look to earn some extra cash by teaching beginning students. Your learning experience will almost always be exponentially more beneficial with a classically or professionally-trained guitar teacher with exceptional teaching experience and proven curriculum.
About Yamaha Music School
Yamaha Music School is a Yamaha partner music school located in Spanish Fork, Utah. With world-class curriculum and some of the best teachers in the area, Yamaha Music School helps students of all ages and abilities master instruments such as acoustic and electric guitar, drums, piano, keyboard, and more. Our professional teachers use the proven Yamaha curriculum to build a strong, long-lasting musical foundation on which to build technique, passion, and talent.