Private guitar lessons typically cost from $30-$60 each, with most lessons ranging from 30 to 60 minutes. Online private guitar lessons are usually slightly less expensive than in-studio lessons, but this isn’t always the case.
Today’s guitar lessons come in a wide variety of formats. For instance, in addition to in-person and online private lessons, you can also find asynchronous and even group lessons.
In this post we’ll look at some typical baseline costs, factors that can affect pricing, and tips for saving money on your lessons.
Guitar lessons cost per hour
As a general rule, guitar lessons cost about a dollar a minute – that is, $60 per hour. The table below shows typical lesson lengths and baseline prices.
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Factors that affect lesson prices
The rates given above offer a baseline as to how much you can expect to pay for guitar lessons. In reality, you can expect to find a wide range in pricing. The following items may factor into how much you pay for your guitar lessons:
Most guitar lessons are 30, 45, or 60 minutes long. Because longer lessons can cost twice as much, it’s important to consider whether the additional time is worth the extra cost for your particular budget. For most beginners, 30 minutes per lesson is sufficient for the first few weeks or months of lessons.
Medium or format
Online private lessons are often, but not always, slightly less expensive than in-studio private lessons. Asynchronous online lessons, such as those offered by websites like Guitar Tricks and TrueFire, are the least expensive. These types of websites usually charge a fee of around $15-$25 per month for unlimited access to a library of interactive video-based lessons, working out to a fraction of the monthly cost of private lessons.
Group guitar lessons, whether online or in person, also tend to be more affordable than single-person lessons.
The cost of in-person lessons can vary depending on your city or region. For example, prices are usually higher in cities like NYC, where the cost of living is higher, and lower in rural areas. In most cases, you’ll be expected to travel to your guitar teacher’s home or studio, although some teachers will travel to your home for an additional fee.
Teacher experience and reputation
Not surprisingly, your guitar teacher’s credentials and reputation will factor into the cost of lessons. A newer guitar teacher who has been playing guitar for just a few years may charge less per hour than a teacher with many years of experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, guitar teachers with an established track record tend to be in high demand, driving up the cost of lessons. For instance, since the pandemic, many well-known touring music artists have begun teaching online lessons. These teachers may charge significantly more than $60 per hour for their expertise.
How much are guitar lessons for beginners?
Guitar lesson prices for beginners typically cost around $30 for 30 minutes. For most beginner guitarists, 30 minutes is an ideal lesson length because it gives them time to gradually build up their finger muscles and calluses and avoid too much initial discomfort.
Some instructors offer a free trial lesson and/or discounted lesson packages. This is especially common with online music schools. For example, Virtu.Academy offers a 50% discount for first-time students. They also offer discounted lesson packages that don’t expire so you can redeem your lesson credits whenever you need to.
How to save money on lessons
Although regular weekly lessons with a qualified private instructor are recommended for the fastest progress, everyone is on a different budget and schedule. Here are a few ways to stretch your budget while getting the most out of your guitar lessons:
Start with shorter sessions
Consider starting with 30-minute lessons rather than 45- or 60-minute lessons. Although longer lessons are ideal for more experienced players, budget permitting, 30-minute lessons are still more effective than no private lessons at all. Beginners in particular will benefit from shorter lessons while they develop the finger strength and calluses that are necessary to play guitar for longer sessions.
Space your lessons apart
Most guitar instructors recommend weekly lessons for the fastest improvement. However, the reality is that not everyone can afford regular private lessons. Fortunately, many guitar teachers, particularly online, offer flexible scheduling options, letting students book a lesson once every two weeks or even just a single lesson whenever it suits them.
For example, if you’re just starting to learn guitar through method books or apps, you might choose to book a few introductory lessons with an experienced teacher to get feedback on your technique and eliminate bad habits from the outset.
Consider taking lessons on Zoom
In addition to checking out instructors in your area, consider browsing instructors online and comparing rates. Zoom guitar lessons are often priced lower depending on the instructor’s location, and flexible scheduling options are usually available due to the convenience of the medium. Another benefit of online lessons is that, because there are so many options, you should be able to find an instructor who specializes in the style of music you want to play.
Purchase discounted packages
Some guitar teachers and music schools offer a discount when you purchase lessons in bulk. Online music school Virtu.Academy, for instance, offers discounted lesson packages that don’t expire so you can book a lesson whenever you need it.
It’s also common for online teachers to offer a free trial lesson to new students, so be sure to inquire about this when choosing an instructor.
Try subscription-based lessons
Many modern guitar training programs offer access to a huge library of interactive video courses and tutorials for a low monthly fee (usually ranging from around $15-$30 per month). These apps use artificial intelligence and other sophisticated features, such as gamification, to make learning the guitar addictive and fun.
Some of the most popular subscription-based online guitar lessons and interactive apps include:
- Guitar Tricks
What is the best age to start learning guitar?
Most music schools that offer guitar lessons for kids, such as School of Rock, recommend starting guitar lessons around age 7. This is because the guitar is a physically demanding instrument: It can be cumbersome to hold, especially for smaller children, and requires a certain degree of strength in the hands to press down the strings.
Additionally, learning to play the guitar takes a level of patience and discipline that many very young children have not yet acquired.
For the above reasons, starting guitar lessons at too young an age may discourage your child from playing the guitar (or any instrument) further down the road.
That said, every child is different, and a search on YouTube will yield plenty of very young “child prodigies.” Some guitar teachers adamantly claim that a precocious 3-year-old child is not too young to learn guitar if he or she demonstrates a keen interest. For instance, at Gentle Guitar, they teach children as young as 5 ½ to 6 years old. At Musika, they recommend starting around age 6, although they offer guitar lessons to children of all ages.
When considering whether to enroll your child in guitar lessons, keep in mind that some guitar teachers are more experienced working with very young children. The right guitar teacher can make a difference in whether or not your child becomes interested in the instrument and how quickly he or she picks it up.
How often should you take guitar lessons?
Most guitar teachers recommend taking guitar lessons weekly for optimal progress. Additionally, you should be willing to commit to at least 15-30 minutes of practice most days of the week. Ideally, you’ll gradually work your way up to 30-45 minutes of daily practice after you develop calluses and the initial finger pain subsides.
For a beginner guitarist, 30-minute lessons are ideal. If you’ve been playing for a few months, you may benefit from longer lessons, such as 45- or 60-minute lessons.
If you don’t have the budget for regular guitar lessons, taking a few introductory lessons can still be beneficial to laying the right foundation for progress. Many online music schools, such as Virtu.Academy, give you the option of purchasing lesson credits that you can use whenever it suits you.
How much are guitar lessons at Guitar Center?
Lesson prices at Guitar Center vary by location, ranging from around $54.50-$59.50 per hour. For example, in one upscale Seattle neighborhood the prices are as follows:
- Four-weeks of 30-min lessons: $119 ($59.50 per hour)
- Four-weeks of 60-min lessons: $238 ($59.50 per hour)
These rates are in the standard range for guitar lessons.
How much should I charge for guitar lessons?
If you’re just beginning to teach guitar lessons, charging a dollar a minute is a good baseline starting point. That said, other factors will affect how much you can charge for guitar lessons, including:
- The cost of living in your city
- Your level of experience
- What the competition in your area is charging
- Whether you’re teaching online or in person
While private guitar lessons are a wonderful thing if you can afford them, there’s still hope if your budget is feeling a bit tight. Low-cost alternatives to regular private lessons include:
- Private lessons on an occasional basis
- Guitar method books designed for self learners (such as these classical guitar methods)
- Interactive guitar training apps and video lessons
- Online group guitar lessons
- Free resources such as YouTube
In short, learning to play guitar has never been as accessible as it is today. No matter your budget, you can continue to improve your skills as a guitarist.