Chicago, The Windy City, has always been the music hub for the Mid West. It is where the distinctive sounds of blues first emerged and where house music developed into what we hear today.

The Great Migration, brought the sounds of the South to industrial cities in the north, like Chicago. Artists like Muddy Watters and Nat King Cole developed Chicago Blues and "Chicago-style" Dixie-land jazz, blending the Southern jazz and blues with Midwestern vibes. Since then Chicago has been recognized as one of the heartlands of jazz and the blues.

These sounds would eventually come together to influence one of today's most popular styles of music, rock-and-roll.

With roots in the creation of such monumental styles of music, it is of no surprise that so many people in Chicago are interested in researching more about music, especially how to play the guitar. Bass, acoustic, and electric guitars are some of the staple instruments in creating the particular sounds of jazz and blues.

If you are an admirer of either of these iconic styles of music, playing the guitar is a great place to start growing your passion for both the blues and jazz.

Keep reading to find out the prime age to learn the guitar, whether private or group guitar lessons are best, and what instrument accessories you might need to purchase.

If you are looking for guitar lessons in neighboring cities, check out our blogs on guitar lessons for both kids and adults in NYC and Boston.

Is It Too Late To Start Guitar Lessons?

“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asses you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it”

There is no age limit on learning music. One of the most important factors to being successful at playing an instrument is not your age but rather how much desire you have to learn.

As we get older the brain's ability to change in response to experience decreases over time. We usually have our minds quite trained. To make changes in our very trained minds, we have to put in more effort. This doesn’t mean that an adult can’t learn to play the guitar but simply that it might take a little more endeavor and determination in their later years.

adult guitar lessons
Activating musical skills helps older adults stay healthy. (Photo by Oz Seyrek on Unsplash)

Playing instruments like the guitar, piano, and the violin at a later age can be fun and even enhance neurological connections. Strengthening your brain with gaining a new skill such as the guitar will keep your brain from fogging up in later stages in mind.

Music schools offer beginner adult lessons. This is a great way to get your guitar journey started. You can learn the basics of the guitar, all while meeting new people that are on a similar path.

If you want a more personalized approach, there are plenty of guitar teachers in Chicago with years of experience teaching adult students. Ask your potential instructor what their experience is with students of your age. Also, make sure to ask them what styles of music they teach. When booking a lesson, define if you are interested in classical, jazz, or rock songs.

Remember that the techniques used to teach a child and an adult are different, so it is important to find a music teacher that can accommodate your learning capabilities and performance level.

Also, keep in mind that you need to ask your future guitar teacher about their credentials. No one organization accredits guitar teachers so finding out what their background and years of experience are can help you narrow down your search and is key in selfing the right music teacher for you.

Here at Superprof, we have a great selection of tutors that specialize in working with adult learners, a lot of them even offer a free trial class. You can view a tutor's profile and book an online class right on this site.

If you would like to learn more about what to ask potential teachers, check out our blog on Music Teachers in Philidelphia.

Private Guitar Lessons At Home

Learning guitar can take a couple of different forms. A lot of the best know guitar players are self-taught, which means you can be one too. There are a ton of resources online for those looking to learn by themselves.

On the other hand, if you want to learn guitar in a more supportive environment you might be better off taking a couple of classes with a guiding tutor. The right teacher can help a student reach their full performance potential as well as teach them how to read sheet music and show them the skills needed to play in a band.

Guitar instructors teach individual and group guitar classes across the US.

private and group guitar classes
Both private and group classes have their pros and cons. (Photo by Krys Amon on Unsplash)

One of the obvious advantages of taking private lessons is the individualized course work and the one on one attention from the instructor. Private guitar programs are more expensive but they offer more flexibility than group classes at a music school. With your instructor, you are free to choose the class schedule, the setting, and the pace. It is easier for a personal instructor to mold their teaching style to your needs if you are the only one in the lesson.

Additionally, with a private tutor, you will be able to learn a variety of musical genres like your favorite classical, rock, or country songs.

You can find view reviews and profiles for private guitar tutors right here on Superprof.

Group Guitar Classes At A Music School

Guitar group classes found at community centers or your local music school can also come with advantages. A music school might also offer group programs such as kids' piano sessions, violin lessons, and the opportunity to join a band.

You might not get as much individual attention but they do come at a lower cost and allow you to connect with fellow guitar enthusiasts, which can be a lot of fun. A more generalized learning approach is taken by instructors of group classes. Some group classes are taught using a method book so that everyone is on the same track.

different guitar music genres
Music schools can cater to specific genres of music or skill levels, make sure you choose one that fits your full spectrum of goals. (Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)

You can also choose to do a mix of individual and group lessons, getting the best of the two worlds. During your private lesson, you can ask your guitar teacher to help out with skills you didn't pick up during a group program. This mix of individual attention and group learning will assure that you don’t fall behind the group’s skill level.

You can also find a guitar program in cities like LA.

What Do You Need To Learn To Play The Guitar?

You have decided to learn to play the guitar, so what’s the next step?

Every student needs a guitar! Guitars come in all types of shapes and sizes so make sure to do your research to find out what fits you best. You can start by choosing if you would like to learn to play an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar?

The next most important step is deciding what kind of instruction fits your training style. If you are an independent and disciplined student, you might be interested in self-learning, using free tools found online.

Instructor-led learning is also a choice and one which you have a ton of options for. You can choose private lessons or group learning. It is all dependent on what you are trying to achieve and what your current skill level is.

guitar essentials
Picks are essential accessories for all guitarists. (Photo by Rombo on Unsplash)

Once you have the basics down, you can start looking over some of the other essential equipment.

Picks - Picks come in different shapes and sizes, each variation used for a different playing style, however as a beginner, a standard pick is perfect. A Fender Celluloid pick of medium thickness is the perfect starting point.

Strap - to keep your guitar stabilized and in place. Comfort should be the driving force when choosing out a strap, pick one out that feels comfortable and you wouldn't mind wearing during your practice time. Straps help prevent pain in your shoulders and neck. Read through some reviews to make sure you are picking the right one.

Tuner - Since your guitar’s structure expands and contracts slightly with changes in temperature, your guitar strings will move slightly, making them come out of tune. To adjust them back to their right note, you have to tune your guitar before you start to fiddle with it.

As you get further into your guitar journey you might want to view additional guitar essentials, which we noted on our blog about Guitar Lessons in Houston.

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