What To Look For In A Guitar Tutor

There are many keen guitarists out there who are looking for a guitar tutor. But what they should really be looking for is the right guitar tutor. Here are a few points to consider!


You really want to learn from someone who is enthusiastic and passionate. I’m not saying they have to teach in a hyped-up, ultra-energised mode. They just need to have the right level of enthusiasm that suits you. Some people will learn better from a hyperactive tutor with tonnes of visual aids and demonstrations, yet others may prefer simple explanations. There is no best – there is only what is best for you.


Find someone who motivates you to learn, practice and play the guitar. Being around your tutor shouldn’t be just about learning – it’s also about inspiration and guidance. There’s nothing like spending time with someone who just makes you want to pick up the guitar and start playing. I’ve heard that we are the sum of the 5 people closest to us. Is your tutor the kind of person that you would want to be part of that equation?


A skilled guitar tutor does more than just play guitar. They need to guide your learning in an enjoyable and fun way. I like to teach young students in a way so that they don’t even know that they’re learning – it’s particularly useful when they’re being behaviourally difficult. Any decent tutor should have some qualification under their belt alongside some mild teaching experience and training. Beware of tutors who aren’t qualified in any way. At UGA, we only hire teacher’s that are qualified and that we are happy to have as part of our brand.


Yes – this is a factor. I’m a big believer in paying what something is worth. Keep in mind that tutors are people too. They have bills to pay, people to feed, taxes to pay and even many business expenses (both seen and unseen). They will also most likely have to pay their own Super and will lose 10% of all money they are paid due to the GST. With this in mind, find a tutor that charges an amount you can afford and are comfortable paying. Many people opt for learning off a friend or non-professional who just teaches on the side. This is something I highly advise against (I’m currently finishing off an article called “Why You Need A Full Time Guitar Tutor”).


This one’s quite simple – can they teach what you want to learn? If not, then can they spend a week or so researching and then apply their knowledge and experience into designing some lessons on it for you? Personally, I’d be more concerned about my tutor’s ability to teach, rather than their current knowledge. If they’re a good teacher, then they can always learn more content. If they’re not a great teacher, then you may not benefit from any additional content they learn.


What do they teach? Do they use a curriculum? Is there any structure in what you will learn? To be honest, I’m really tired of guitarists knowing bits and pieces, with no real use for what they know. I distinctly remember seeing the heading “Lead Guitar Work” in a student’s folder from their previous guitar tutor. Now, this student was nowhere near ready for this type of work. To make it worse, the scales that were written down had very little relevance and weren’t a great approach for learning “Lead Guitar”. There was no minor pentatonic, no open major scale, no movable shape – it was just a few major scales around the 3rd and 5th frets. What a waste of time and effort. At UGA, we’ve had huge success with our Ultimate Guitar Method, especially with young students aged 3 to 12.

I sincerely hope that your tutor ranks highly in the above points. If they don’t, then consider UGA! Ok, maybe I’m a little over-zealous here!

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