Finding a Guitar Teacher
Finding a guitar teacher is easy. Finding a classical guitar teacher is more complicated. Very few guitarists pursue and teach classical guitar. As Lee F. Ryan Says in The Natural Classical Guitar, “Of course the guitarist should leap at any chance to study directly with a fine player. There is nothing like being in the presense, of a master guitarist who can show you a living, inspiring example how to play well.”
There are some sites out there with guitar teacher directories:
Guitar Foundation of America (GFA)
Look for a Local Guitar Society to Find a Teacher
There are great teachers everywhere simply waiting to be found by dedicated students, however. Many are not listed on the various web directories. A good first step would to be search for your local guitar society. Some larger cities will have guitar societies while some will not – it’s very hit and miss. Some societies will have teacher directories right on their page. As an example the New York City Classical Guitar Society has a teacher directory. If there’s nothing online, don’t be afraid to email the society or the society director asking about local guitar teachers.
Find a Guitar Teacher in a Local Music Store
If you don’t have any luck with the online directories or guitar societies, the next step is to check your local music store. Ask specifically for a classical guitar teacher and accept no less. Understand that music stores exists to make money from their customers and they will try to sell you lessons.
Local Colleges Often Have Guitar Teachers
Next, check your local colleges or universities. Do they have a guitar program? If yes, contact the teacher at the school and ask if he/she teaches privately. If the answer is no, ask if they have any students who teach.
I recently gave the bit of advice about looking at local universities to a member at the Delcamp Guitar Forum. This member contacted his local college (UMKC) and ended up starting lessons with Douglas Neidt. Talk about studying with a master!
Things to look for in a classical guitar teacher can include education, but just because the teacher doesn’t have a music degree don’t count them out. Look, first and foremost, for a good player. As a student it’s important to look out for your best interests. These should include studying with the best teacher possible, and if a teacher doesn’t work out don’t be afraid to fire them.
I think beginners are especially vulnerable to getting “sold” lessons that don’t teach classical guitar technique. I think you’re better off making do with YouTube and Fred Noad.
There’s no replacement for a good teacher who can help you troubleshoot issues and problems. Suggesting that the same can be done by copying great players and using a method is ridiculous.
But I do agree that a lot of people do get sold lessons. Unfortunately many parents don’t know what to look for in a teacher — nor does the average adult beginner.