Should you get a guitar teacher or learn on your own?

By Janus Buch

As a professional guitar teacher I make a living helping people learn to play the guitar. So when it comes to the question of whether or not you should get a guitar teacher I might be a little bias, but having confessed this from the beginning I still think that this article could help you decide whether or not a teacher could be right for you.

Developing bad habits

In my day to day work I meet player in all stages of guitar development and I see certain patterns among certain kind of students, and one thing is absolutely clear. Every single student that I’ve met encounters frustration and develops bad habits when trying to learn on their own. And bad habits is in my opinion the number one guitar progress killer. True, this can also happen with a teacher, but if the teacher is any good, the likelihood of this happening goes way down. Also, the time between learning a bad habit an correcting it is also very important. Practising a bad habit for 10 years will make it a lot harder to unlearn, than practicing it for a week having it get caught and corrected by your teacher. But this is something only an outsider looking and analysing your playing can do. If you were able to do it yourself, you would not be practising the bad habit in the first place.

In short, the longer you struggle by yourselve, the longer it will take you to get good at guitar. Now this is an estimate, based on my general experience with teaching people from the complete beginner stage and teaching people who have been at it on their own for years. On average it takes about 4 times longer to correct a bad guitar habit, than simple learning everything correct from the start. This means, that if you have spend a weeks practising a specific item (a bad habit) for 5 minutes a day, it may take you 4 weeks of 5 minutes a day to reprogram your hand and correcting that habit. If you’ve been practising the bad habit for 4 weeks on the other hand, it might take you 12 weeks. Now this does have an upper limit, but the general trend is clear. The earlier bad habit is caught and corrected, the better it is for your playing. And this brings me to my next point.

What is your time worth to you?

Time is the only resource in this world, that we cannot renew. Once an hour is gone, its gone forever and you will never get it back. Because of this, your time should be extremely precious to you, but most students don’t even think about time in this way. A good teacher will pay for his own tuition by saving you lot’s of time, that you can then use to do productive things, practise guitar or even work more knowing, that you will still develop the guitar skill you want. And this is the main point, why I believe everybody should have a teacher.

About the author: Janus Buch is the the founder of Bredballe Guitarskole, where her is offering Guitar undervisning I Vejle for both advanced and intermediate players as well as total beginners. The only thing that is important is that you harve the drive and willingness to do the work, then he will guide you through the often difficult and frustrating process of learning to play the guitar. You don’t have to be stuck in your guitar playing progress, you CAN actually achieve your dream of playing guitar the way you’ve always wanted. All it takes is the right attitude and the guidance.