How Much do Guitar Lessons Cost?
The Complete Guide to Guitar Lesson Pricing
Marc Levesque 12/29/20 updated 09/21/21 • 3 min read
The Average Guitar Lesson Cost:
Guitar lessons generally cost between $40-$120 per hour, but costs can vary widely depending on the level of the teacher, the location, and whether the lessons are in-person or online. Some teachers without a music degree will charge as little as $30 an hour, and professionally performing guitarists with huge amounts of professional experience might charge well over $200!
We surveyed over 100 qualified guitar teachers and found that the average price for a one-hour guitar lesson is $74, although there are some sites such as Lesson With You that offer consistently lower prices while still having excellent guitar teachers.
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What Determines Lesson Costs?
- Teacher Level
To determine how much to pay for guitar lessons, it is important to figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
The most basic question is if you want your teacher to have a music degree or not. Teachers without music degrees tend to charge between $30-$40 per hour but they do not offer professional level instruction.
Teachers who have a music degree that is not guitar related, such as ones with a Bachelor’s in violin who have some guitar skills, will often charge $30-$50 per hour. They generally have a solid understanding of music, but they do not have advanced guitar performing abilities and are very limited in giving practical instruction. This increases the risk that they will teach beginners bad habits that will be harmful over time.
Ideally, the teacher will have at least a Bachelor’s degree in guitar, and lessons with those teachers range from $40-$90 on average, with teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate in guitar typically charging $60-$90 per hour.
It might seem like these guitar teachers are only for advanced students, but it is best for beginners to learn to play guitar the correct way from the beginning, so it is important to have a teacher who knows how to take you smoothly from a beginning to an advanced level without building any bad habits. The sooner you have a professional teacher, the sooner you will make real progress that sets you up for future advancement.
- In-Person vs Online
Another factor in guitar lesson costs is whether the lessons are in-person or online. Online lessons are generally the most affordable, with an average increase of about $10 for in-person lessons at a teacher’s studio, and a small additional increase to have the teacher visit your home. In-person prices can vary widely though depending on the number of qualified teachers in your area. In order to find highly-qualified teachers at reasonable prices, online lessons will be your best bet.
- Recorded vs Live Lessons
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible guitar lessons, there is the option of pre-recorded lessons. These are typically video or app-based lessons that aim to teach you basic guitar abilities for a monthly fee.
Unfortunately, the lessons cannot compare to the quality of live one-on-one lessons where the teacher can customize the material for you, give you live feedback on your playing in real time, and help you become better at practicing and performing. Any student who is interested in becoming a capable guitar player is better off looking for live one-on-one lessons, such as the $30 half hour lessons offered through Lesson With You.
How to Find the Most Affordable Guitar Lessons
To find the price of guitar lessons, we surveyed over 100 teachers across our own site, Lesson With You, and two other major sites, Takelessons.com and Thumbtack.com, using a random zip code as the location. We specifically looked for teachers who have a degree in guitar and teach lessons online.
Lesson With You has a set price of $55 per hour and is a far better deal than the two alternatives mentioned, and indeed the value is better than any other site we have found. Each guitar teacher at Lesson With You has a Master’s or Doctorate in guitar, including from schools such as the University of Southern California, but the lessons are only $55 per hour, making the live online guitar lessons an incredible value.
Takelessons had the highest average price among qualified guitar teachers, at $90 per hour. Even finding a teacher who didn’t major in guitar, such as one with a violin or piano degree, did not do much to lower the price. Sorting through the options, it quickly became apparent that many of the top teachers did not have formal education in music, and even those who had a music degree often did not have it for guitar, despite charging high prices for music lessons.
Thumbtack has a lower average price, at $65 among the teachers we surveyed. But like Thumbtack, many of the guitar teachers listed either did not have a music degree or did not major in guitar. Takelessons and Thumbtack both have a very large number of teachers, so surely there are some good deals, but finding teachers who’s education and prices matched that of the teachers at Lesson With You is difficult and time consuming.
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