Not all teachers are created equal. Selecting a guitar teacher based solely on price and location may wind up costing you in the long run. Handing an unqualified teacher $15 an hour only to find out a year later that you haven’t gotten any better DOESN’T save you any money.
The Approach: Make sure your teacher understands your learning style and can adapt for you! I can tell you from experience that all “serious” guitar teachers in the area say that they write custom lesson plans for you. I advise that you ask him/her how this is actually done.
The Fun: You as the guitar student must understand that in order to play the things you enjoy listening to, you must work on your skills. Make sure your teacher has methods that keep you engaged!
The Goal: Are YOU the only one setting the goals? If so, ask yourself “Am I really the one qualified to do this?” Make sure your teacher is taking your long term goals in mind when (s)he is creating your lesson plans.
Example: While it’s fantastic that you want to play the latest Animals as Leaders album from start-to-finish, is this appropriate for your overall goals? Is spending the next 3 months on 1 song congruent with your stated goal of playing in a classical rock cover band?
The Experience Paradox: Believe it or not, teaching beginners PROPERLY requires a tremendously skilled and patient guitar teacher. Only an experienced guitar instructor can show you how to perform a technique correctly the first time. Don’t let an inexperienced teacher teach you bad habits!
The Right Attitude: Does your teacher appear invested in your success, or is this simply a job for them? Do they give your their full attention during the lesson, or are they distracted? Just because guitar is fun does not mean that your instruction should be informal or unprofessional.
In conclusion, it is important that students have a clear idea what makes a good guitar teacher before they make a decision. Making the wrong choice could change your guitar trajectory for the worse. Choosing the RIGHT guitar teacher for you is the most important musical decision you can make.