Written by Bobby
Parent article: Guitar Lessons 101
It's true that you have a wide variety of guitar lesson formats to consider in our day. Some people prefer the more classic form of a tutor while many are opting for the introvert-friendly online method. Either way, one of the biggest considerations for someone in this situation is how much it's going to cost them.
The cost of a guitar lesson will depend on many factors including: Length of the lesson, experience of the teacher, medium of administration (studio, home, office, etc.), part of the country, and competing rates in the area.
In-Person Lessons: Around $25-$35 per 30-Minute Session
In short, the average price for a 30-minute guitar lesson in-person is typically between $25 and $35. Those numbers were taken from the average bi-hourly rate of teaching companies, lesson studios, and local guitar teachers who offer one-on-one guitar lessons, both in-person and over the internet. Here's the data we pulled together:
Price Per 30 MIN
Music Tree School
ILM Guitar School
Bravo Music Academy
Port City Music
Steele Music Studios
Guitar Center Lessons
Guitar Center Store Locations
School of Rock
School of Rock Locations
Queen City Music Studios
Average per 30-minute session: $29.42
There are, however, major differences in pricing between in-person guitar lessons and online guitar lessons. Online guitar lessons are typically priced by a monthly or yearly membership, giving you access to video courses and numerous instructors. This method of learning is becoming more common now that the internet is so fast and widespread.
Online Lessons: Around $15-$20 per Month of Membership
Here are a few examples of popular online guitar lesson programs and how much they cost per month:
Price Per Month
What is a typical hourly rate?
While $40 to $75 is a common hourly rate for a private guitar tutor, you can see lower prices in the $20 range and higher prices that will flirt with $100 for some of the better teachers available. Still, it's a generally safe bet to assume around $1.00 per minute if you're planning to go this route.
How much do guitar lessons cost for beginners?
Is there a discount for beginners who want to take guitar lessons? In most case, the price will not change just because you're a beginner. Part of that is because that term can mean different things to different people. Plus, it's usually beginners that want to pursue guitar lessons in the first place. Aside from a free trial or a couple free lesson sessions, beginners will need to pay full price.
Do private guitar lessons cost the same?
Generally, when you hear the term "private" guitar lessons, it just means a one-on-one tutoring scenario where you're being taught in an office, studio, or living room. In most cases, these lessons will be in the same $40 to $75 per hour range.
The Online Tutor or Skype Guitar Lessons Cost
What about if your tutor is only and you're paying them to teach you privately, but over the internet. In general, I don't recommend Skype guitar lessons, yet for those that pursue this arrangement, you should expect a discount that gets you into the $20 - $40 per hour range and no higher.
Why are online guitar lessons so much cheaper?
Online guitar lessons are cheaper because of redundancy, meaning they can serve videos instead of paying instructors an hourly rate. In other words, they pay an instructor to record a lesson, then serve that lesson up to all members of the website on repeat. Clearly, this allows the site owners (Guitar Tricks, JamPlay, etc) to charge far less for access to their lessons and content.
However, this does not mean that online guitar lessons are always a better option. Choosing between online and in-person guitar lessons involves some analysis about how you absorb information and what your learning style is.
The issue of the price difference doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of material.
Factors that Can Impact Cost
There are a few important factors that can determine the cost of your guitar lessons.
Teacher Experience and Expertise
It stands to reason that the better and more experienced the teacher, the more they're going to charge for an individual time slot. Even Joe Satriani and Steve Vai have given lessons in the past. Skillet's guitar player - Seth Morrison - also offers lessons over his Skype account.
Understandably, these guys will likely charge more than your average hometown guitar teacher. It'll also make a difference if the teacher is part of a larger organization, like a school or arts council.
In that situation people will sometimes charge less because they're already being paid by the group they work for.
Length of the Lesson
As we've already noted, pricing can often be broken up by 30 and 60 minute intervals. Though lessons longer or shorter than that are uncommon, any addition or subtraction of time will have some level of impact on what you pay.
Where You Live (if local lessons)
For those looking at local guitar lesson options, your location will help determine what you pay. Generally speaking, people in more heavily populated areas will pay more, while people in rural areas will pay less.
Of course, this can change dramatically depending on the other factors we've mentioned here as well.
Which Online Program You Use
If you go with an online guitar lesson option, their pricing structure is very different and usual goes by a monthly membership fee.
Here is a pricing chart that helps you visualize the monthly cost of all the major guitar lesson websites. Note that lower and further to the right is better:
Professional Lesson Organizations
Though there are only a few companies that offer lessons at multiple locations, their pricing is often similar to the private tutoring rates, if not slightly more expensive in some cases.
We've addressed specific organizations in the following articles:
Typically you're looking at a rate of about $0.80 to $1.00 per minute, though this can also vary by location. Sweetwater and Long & McQuade also offer lessons based on comparable pricing structures.
Your actual guitar lesson cost will depend on the variables we've mentioned here, primarily whether you're looking to do an online membership or get an in-person teacher. Both methods have valid pros and cons and very different pricing models. Figure out what type of learner you are and which method you would prefer, then go through the pricing to find your best fit.
If you're a guitar teacher, you can also use these numbers to price your own 30-minute or hourly lesson rates.
Good luck guitar lesson shopping.