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How much do you pay for lessons?

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JetSolo
(@jetsolo)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 87
Topic starter  

I'm thinking about going to instrumental music for lessons. They charge 21$ per half hour (private 1 on 1). Is that too much?

I'm actually thinking about taking it on Monday and Friday. Would it be best to just do 1 whole hour or split it up?

Thanks,

Jet.


   
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stock28
(@stock28)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 109
 

I pay $15 for half an hour. I would split it up. Gives you more practice time in between. sometimes I get new things to work on and sometimes a week is a long time to wait if I have a question about something. On the otherhand a half hour goes by so fast at times it seems like we don't get much covered.


   
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olive
(@olive)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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I, personally, would recommend taking an hour long lesson if you can. A half hour flies by. I always felt rushed and we never seemed to have much time to really discuss the theory behind what I was learning. I take hour long lessons now and have really enjoyed them. We actually have enough time to go over new material in enough depth that I don't leave the lessons with more questions than answers.

As far as price...it will vary by location. Just make sure that you are actually benefiting from the lesson. If you're not learning anything than any amount of money is too much!

"My ex-boyfriend can't tell me I've sold out, because he's in a cult, and he's not allowed to talk to me." --Dar Williams


   
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JetSolo
(@jetsolo)
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Topic starter  

A half hour really does seem short. I'm going to probably do 1 hour a week...and (if need be)...add in a half hour (1 lesson) at the end of the week.

I think I will be given enough material to take home and practice for the rest of the week though.

Do they pass out like print outs of scales etc..where you practice?


   
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david M1
(@david-m1)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Good luck with your lessons I just started mine a month ago.
I take one thirty minute lesson a week, and pay 15 dolloars a half hour, but many teachers in this area charge 20 for half an hour so i think the price your talking about is fair and about the going rate.

Thirty minutes does go by pretty fast, but so far it's been okay, it usually takes me the entire week between lessons to learn what we've covered in the thirty minute lesson. After taking lessons for a month If I had a choice between two 30 minute or one hour long class a week, I would go with the the latter one hour long class. You can, and my teacher advises that you learn from as many different resources as possible, books, videos, etc.. I think my lessons will help me to make better use of even the self taught information available. I know you'll be happy you've decided to start lessons, even after only a month I can say I know more and my playing is improving, i'm learning fingerstyle, and some basic theory.

best of luck


   
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Slydog
(@slydog)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 243
 

My instructor charges $17 for a 1/2 hour, but I pay him $20 since he'll often go 45 minutes or longer on our lessons.

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down.


   
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JetSolo
(@jetsolo)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Topic starter  

Is it in like a small room that you practice in or in an open place?...Like the guitar place where they sell guitars.

I'm going to sign up in about a week - so the 8th on friday.


   
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Slydog
(@slydog)
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My instructor works out of his house, so that's probably why he's more flexible in the length of the lessons.

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down.


   
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david M1
(@david-m1)
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My instructor also works out of his house, he has one room dedicated to teaching.


   
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PappaJohn
(@pappajohn)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 533
 

My instructor also works out of his home, in a beautiful new studio he just added.

My teacher is a close friend, so my cost for lessons is not a good gauge.

-- John

"Hip woman walking on a moving floor, tripping on the escalator.
There's a man in the line and she's blowin' his mind, thinking that he's already made her."

'Coming into Los Angeles' - Arlo Guthrie


   
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R3d
 R3d
(@r3d)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 45
 

The first place I checked for lessons was $25/hr (30min sessions, they wanted me to pay monthly). Went to the shop just to look around and really wasn't impressed. Second person I got ahold of wants $16/hr (30min sessions), so I'm giving him a try starting tomorrow. It's a music store, but I'm hoping they don't do lessons out in the open. :oops:

Seems like most offer 30min sessions only. I'll see how tomorrow goes and might ask if we can make it one hour... 30min sounds really short to me considering the time to get settled in, etc.


   
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david M1
(@david-m1)
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I know there are a few teachers that come to this forum, I would like to hear there thoughts on 30 minutes vs one hour lessons,

R3d wrote:
" 30min sounds really short to me considering the time to get settled in, etc."

We dont spend much time setteling in, When you show up have your guitar in tune, be ready have a pick handy, and what ever you'll need. My teacher gets right to business not a lot of small talk he wants to see what Ive been working on the previous week, this takes just a minute or two, he may suggest something at this point or get right into the lesson. 30 minutes can go by very quick, but if I dont stop him with lots of questions, which he dosent mind, we can cover a lot of ground.

I feel so fortunte to finally be able to take lessons, after a year of playing on my own, with really no one to Jam with it's so nice to have a little guidance, and finally see a litlle progress. I suggest anyone who has the means to take lessons at least a few. If lessons arent possible try and find someone you can Jam with, playing with another person, is so important!! in my humble opinion, I honestly dont know how far a person could go all on your own, although I'm sure it's different for everyone.


   
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NoteBoat
(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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A lesson should be long enough to give sufficient material for the week, and short enough not to overwhelm. In my experience, 30 minutes is fine for most students - as a student progresses, there are a whole bunch of hurdles to be overcome... things I can show you in minutes, but they'll take at least a week (sometimes much longer) to master. For example:

Open chords - if you haven't played before, getting them to sound right takes a while. If you know 30 chords, but you can't play any of them cleanly, you're not ready to move on.

Coordinating the hands - as strum patterns are introduced, it takes a lot of effort to get the strokes to fall in the right places in relation to the fretting hand

Barre chords - this also takes a lot of work to incorporate.

Scales - these take a good long time to learn well. I could easily demonstrate five scale patterns in less than five minutes, but I haven't found a student yet who could master more than four or five in a week - most will handle just one or two.

Beginning improvisation - this takes a lot of work to get over the fear of 'wrong' notes, and developing a feel for the changes. Get beyond that, to the point of actually thinking about the changes while you solo is yet another hurdle.

Sight reading - nothing will speed this up but practice. Complex rhythm patterns, position shifts, using open notes to speed position changes - all stuff that takes seconds to demonstrate, and hours to practice.

Most techniques - slides, bends, harmonics, double stops, vibrato - easy to show, tough to learn.

Picking techniques - demonstrating and explaining something like economy picking or cross picking is simple. Watching for problems and making suggestions on how to cope with them isn't.

There are also some situations where a half hour will be too short:

Advanced soloing - if you're in 4/4, playing a 32 measure progression at 80 bpm means you'll get through it once in 1:36. If you're working on shaping melodic lines, or transitioning to other scales during a progression, and you factor in analysis/discussion/suggestion between the attempts, playing through something just 5 times or so in a lesson might not be enough.

Chord substitutions - although this is usually incorporated with other things, if that's all you're focusing on the same thing applies - it's repetition, playing through the same changes a number of times to different effect.

Performance preparation - if you're preparing a recital piece, or otherwise seriously studying one piece of music, there's a lot of attention to be paid to phrasing and technique that can demand a bigger block of time.

Many students feel they need longer lessons, particularly as they approach the intermediate level... I see it a little differently - they need longer practice sessions. It's impatience (80+% of the time) to learn 'more' that drives this feeling, but you can't effectively build on techniques you don't have down yet. That can be a challenge for teachers!

There are also some teachers who prefer to teach songs rather than technique. I can see how learning just a couple songs in a week might make lessons seem too short, but you should really be learning how to interpret and play anything, not just a specific tune. Sure, I'll teach a song if a student requests it, and I'll encourage them to bring in a list of songs they'd like to learn... but it's more of a guide to me for how to develop their skills in line with their interests, and I'll try to incorporate fragments of those songs as we work on the techniques that are needed. Unless teaching a specific song is really the only thing a student wants, I think spending more than about 1/3 of the lesson on a song might be a sign of a lazy teacher.

I've seen hundreds of students over the years, and the ones who would actually benefit from an hour instead of a half hour... well, it might be one out of fifty. Maybe you're the exceptionally focused one, but it's really pretty rare.

One other thing - the students who are really ready for an hour's study often know exactly what's entailed. I have one advanced student who takes one long lesson when she feels ready for it - we'll spend an hour (or even more) on her one focused goal, and she'll call me when she has it down... sometimes it's four weeks between lessons! She's been playing more than 20 years, knows exactly what she wants, and knows the hard part is up to her.

Oh, and as to price - teachers in my market run between $24 and $135 per hour. The closest store to me prices at $40 per hour. I've taught from both my home and from a store - I had to charge more when I owned a store because of higher overhead - even though I charge less from my home, I actually keep more per hour. I also charge a considerably higher rate if I teach at a student's home - my transportation costs and time have to be covered, you know?

The teachers at the extreme high end of the rate range around here aren't 250% better teachers than the midrange (in fact, they might be worse teachers than the average!); they offer one or both of two things that have added value: they're either 'name' musicians with a number of albums out, who can justify the high price because you can brag about who you take lessons with... or they're studio pros who can provide valuable working connections to students who are ready for it.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Comfortbly_Numb
(@comfortbly_numb)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Noteboat - Thank you for your very insightful response to this post. I have been playing about 4 years and was taking lessons up until 6 months ago or so. I really enjoyed my teacher as a person but after all those years all I know is bits and pieces of 1000 songs. I can actually play some of the solo parts of songs but have no idea what the chorus is. There are huge gaps in my knowledge. Anyway, thanks for providing a perspective on how to approach lessons. I wish I was closer to Chicago. I would definately look you up. Thanks again...


   
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Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

I take 30min lessons, for E14/$17 each. Usually those 30 minutes are enough to introduce something new, explain why I should learn it, and show me how to practice it. The rest I do at home, and when I go to the next lesson we first check if I have properly learned the stuff from last week. If it all worked out well, we move on, if not, he'll have me play and he tries to find the reason it hasn't worked out yet.

To me, being a student with a traditional lack of money, it is really expensive. And I have only started a few weeks ago, so I'll just keep on doing this for the next few months before evaluating whether or not it is worth it.


   
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