I got a guitar teacher! What should I prioritize? What should I ask for?

Hey everyone!

I recently contacted a guitar teacher in my area and yesterday I had my trial class, I’m going to give it a try.

My question to you is, what should I prioritize in these in person lessons? Technique, theory, improvisation, a bit of everything…

Mi intention was to learn as much theory and harmony, since what I’m really interested is in writing songs, and practice other stuff by myself but maybe that’s a bit too chaotic.

What do you guys think? Cheers!


Well, a guitar teacher should be able to give you a good idea on what you should be focusing on and how to do it, shouldn’t they? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: That’s what you’re paying them for after all, and it should be pretty focused given that they will be able to see and hear you play.

But if they’re really leaving it up to you then I would choose technique. Theory you can learn online at your own pace, and improv is something you can practice on your own. Therefore, I think having an experienced player there to teach and critique your technique face-to-face would be far more worth the fee.


+1 on the technique focus. Maybe approach this in phases: establish a baseline of technique over the course of a few months and then pivot to something else (maybe songwriting/composition if your teacher has experience doing that)?

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Song writing is a whole other skill so don’t be disappointed if your music teacher can’t help you with that.
Justin’s Practical Music Theory would cover any theory you will ever need.
As for what the teacher can teach you will depend on what skills the teacher has. Do they have a teaching degree from a credible music school or are they self taught.
What did you talk about in the trial class?


I don’t have a guitar teacher but I’d be another voice for technique. Picking, grips, etc etc. Stuff that’s really hard to get feedback on as a self learner.

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Thanks everyone for stopping by.

@Goffik @jsgreen @stitch @jkahn What you guys are saying makes a lot of sense, having a professional to analyze your playing seems like the best idea.

We basically talked a bit about music, I played around some riffs/solos that I know and he asked me to play some stuff from some sheets (TABS).

So I will get into this with patience but also high expectations. I haven’t been very consistent with my practicing but maybe having someone to push me will force me to be more methodic about it.

And if not, I’ll always have my acoustic covers :sweat_smile:

Cheers! This is the guy BTW

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I would go for what I do with my students: checking the foundations and fortify where needed

The 6 fields Justin says you should practice are:

  • technique
  • knowledge
  • repertoire
  • ear training
  • timing
  • improv

For the students I coach that translates more into

  • good strumming techique and chord grips
  • Some basic knowledge on how a chord is formed
  • Work on some songs with focus on 1 particular to train something in there that needs work (F chords; barre transitions, solid up-down strums etc.)
  • Usually there isn’t too much ear training in the form ob transcribing but I incorporate it on that level by making them record themselves and working with that. They learn from hearing themselves when not playing because then they can allocate 100% brainpower to listening.

Make sure you check your strumming technique and fluent style with your teacher; it is a foundation often neglected. The more fluent your strumming is, the less brainpower it needs and that can be used for other things like chord changes, singing, remembering lyrics etc :stuck_out_tongue:

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