Finding a Guitar Tutor for You as an Adult

While you can learn how to play the guitar on your own (and many people have done this successfully), there’s no shame in admitting that you might need the help of a professional tutor. In fact, there are also a lot of people who have given up on learning how to play the guitar because they felt frustrated during the learning process.

However, if you’re trying to learn the guitar for the first time as an adult, it is a different process from learning the guitar as a kid. You already have different needs, concerns, and even learning styles from a child. Thus, it’s not as easy as typing in “guitar teacher” on Google and contacting whoever comes up first.

Here are some helpful tips that you can use in locating the right guitar tutor for you as an adult:

Ask Your Friends

The easiest way to find a good guitar tutor who has worked with adults before is to ask around. Most online guitar tutors and schools teach children so you might not find the right teacher for you there. However, when you ask for referrals specifically from other adults who have already used a particular tutor’s services, you know that they are comfortable, able, and experienced when it comes to teaching guitar playing to adults.

Keep Your Schedule in Mind

Most adults who want to learn how to play the guitar often have to work around their personal and professional responsibilities, so you need a teacher who will be able to adjust to your needs. If your schedule doesn’t allow an hour out of the week for guitar lessons (which is the standard lesson period for younger students), you and your guitar tutor must be able to work together to create a suitable alternative schedule that will still allow you to learn properly. Even if you have a sporadic and hectic schedule, an experienced guitar tutor for adults will still be able to create a good working schedule for you.

Be Upfront with your Limitations

Most guitar tutors will have expectations when it comes to your learning schedule and progress. However, as an adult with responsibilities, you might find it difficult to stick rigidly to these expectations. Be upfront about how your limitations can affect these expectations, especially if you travel a lot and expect to miss practice regularly. If a potential tutor is unable to work around these limitations or is trying to pressure you to accept their expectations, it is a sign that your relationship will not work out.

Discuss Your Personal Health Issues

Learning the guitar requires that you sit in a certain position for extended periods of time. However if you have chronic back pain, shoulder pain, or joint pain, this can be difficult and painful.

Ask your potential tutor how they handle students who find it difficult to learn how to play the guitar due to personal health issues. Do they have knowledge of ergonomics or techniques that can help ease the pain, or can they suggest exercises or tools that can help you learn easier?

Set Specific Goals

One of the biggest differences in learning how to play the guitar as an adult as opposed to learning as a child is the goal. For children, guitar lessons are usually standard lessons on finger placement, how to play the chords, and other general guitar knowledge. However, as an adult, you might already have a certain musical style that you want to learn or specific pieces that you want to play.

Be upfront about what your goals are in learning the guitar. A good tutor will listen and indicate how they will help you achieve these goals in specific steps. However, if a particular candidate is inflexible and is pressuring you to “learn their method first”, it will only create tension and end up badly.

Be Honest about their Teaching Method

Each guitar tutor will have their own method when it comes to teaching students how to play, and for adults, these methods can seem too childish, outdated, or simply does not fit their own style of learning. You might not have the time or patience to learn the guitar in the same way that a child learns. In fact, you might benefit more from a tutor who teaches in a clear, direct, and professional manner. Tutors who teach children lean more towards coddling and praising their students, and the “good job, here’s a gold sticker” method might seem too immature for you.