If you have ever wanted to join a rock band or perform with a jazz group, starting with some guitar lessons might be your ticket in. The guitar is one of the most well-known instruments around the globe, as well as one of the most versatile. You can hear the sounds of guitars in classical, rock, pop, jazz, and metal music.

There is an array of experienced tutors ready to teach you how to strum some chords in all areas of New York, everywhere from Long Island City to the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Group guitar lessons are available in New York through music schools and local community centers. Individual guitar lessons are also accessible for those New Yorkers looking for a more personalized lesson.

Whether you are in central NYC or Brooklyn, you will get a hold of a music instructor no matter your performance level. The city offers an array of music teachers with years of experience teaching students of all ages.

Beginner students can take a crack at an acoustic or electric guitar. They can also choose to play from a whole range of styles and techniques. Music schools and private teachers offer students the opportunity to join the world of music, regardless of their years of experience.

music lessons in NYC
Guitar lessons in NYC can help you reach your musical goals. (Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash)

If you are looking for guitar lessons outside of New York, you can view different options in our blog on Guitar Teachers Across The US.

Why Learn to Play the Guitar?

There are many reasons why one might want to learn to play the guitar. Maybe you want to rock out in a band like Jimi Hendrix or maybe play the blues like John Mayer. Either way, playing the guitar has a couple of other pretty good side effects.

Here are a couple of reasons why you should pick up your guitar.
  • It is good for your mental health. Playing and taking guitar lessons can help relieve everyday stress and helps reset the mind. Dedicating even a small amount of time to playing music can improve your mental health, it provides a moment to narrow your focus to a creative outlet.
  • Ups your creativity. Whether you are playing your tunes or covering your favorite band, playing your guitar undoubtedly gets the creative juices flowing. Strumming along can help you develop creative ideas even outside of the music realm.
  • Increases brain grey matter, helping protect from a mental decline in the future. Grey matter in your brain is responsible for processing and passing information between neurons. By increasing the amount of grey matter in your brain, it becomes easier to process information.
connection of neurons
Playing guitar, or any other instrument creates these new pathways in your brain and helps fortify others. (Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash)
  • Creates friendships. When you join a band or a music class, you enter into a whole new community of guitar enthusiasts just like yourself. These music companions can become life long friends and may even give you the boost that comes with hanging around like-minded people. You can connect with people that experience the same love for the guitar that you do.
  • Building confidence. Playing your guitar in front of friends, family or even an audience might seem daunting at first but eventually, you’ll round up the confidence and courage to do so. A student that can complete a musical performance in front of a group will likely get a boost in their self-esteem

Enrolling in a music school as a guitar student in NYC can help you start collecting on some of these benefits.

Most music schools in the city offer lessons for electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. They offer to teach students of all ages and levels. Kids with little experience with instruments will start with some basic technique while a more experienced student could go into a more advanced program.

Once you have chosen your preferred form of lessons, either in a musical studio or online at home,  it is time to pick out your instrument.

Choosing The Right Guitar Teacher

When choosing an instructor, especially a music instructor, you must look over a couple of different factors. You are going to find a lot of teachers willing to teach you how to play the guitar, even just here on Superprof we have hundreds of available tutors, however, you have to choose the teacher that fits you the best. To do so, try and keep the following factors in mind:

  • certification and experience level
  • reviews of their courses online
  • a fair price
  • their teaching methods
  • a positive and kind attitude
  • patience and understanding of your skill level
electric guitar lessons
Make sure that your guitar teacher is willing to teach your preferred genre of music. (Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash)

Some of these factors, you will be able to determine by looking at the tutor’s profile or webpage. If you still feel unsure about a profile, feel free to email New York-based teachers or program coordinators and ask any questions you might still have about their services.

Click here to find out what questions to ask the guitar teachers before you book a class.

Most music teachers also offer a free first class, this is your chance to find out if their teaching method works for you and if they can help you reach your music goals. 

In NYC and Brooklyn, you can choose between enrolling in a music school or taking private lessons. Some of the benefits of group music lessons are that they can introduce you to a new set of friends and provide multiple performance opportunities. A studio will also offer voice, piano, or bass lessons that you can take alongside your classical guitar class.

On the other hand, a private guitar lesson can be more accommodating to a busy schedule or different levels of technique.

Learn more about the pros and cons of group vs private classes on our blog about Guitar Lessons In Chicago.

Ideal Practice Routine For Your Guitar Skills

"Practice makes perfect”

It doesn't matter if you are an electric, classical, or bass guitar player, you can only reach perfection if you are constantly practicing and working on improving your performance technique.

So here is a simple routine to follow during your daily practice.

10 Minutes of Scales

Scales are the foundation of playing any musical instrument including the piano and even your voice. Working on your scales can help with memorization and dexterity. Additionally, by doing them at the beginning of your practice session, they also double as a warm-up. Students learn about scales during early classes.

30 Minutes of a Project

After the warm-up, you can focus on your project at the moment. As a guitarist, you are going to be working on constantly learning new songs. During these 30 minutes, focus on just working on the song you are being taught during your lesson. View this time as an opportunity to work on the specific details and skills needed for you to correctly play the song a couple of times through without mistakes. Students should focus on correcting each of their mistakes as they move through the song.

1 hour guitar practice
Make sure to keep an eye on the clock when practicing your guitar. (Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash)

5 Minutes of Chords

Since playing the guitar is a combination of strumming a series of chords, continuous knowledge of new chords is very important to your progress. Each time you practice try to learn a couple of new chords. Either way, memorizing new chords can greatly improve your guitar skills. You can look online for new chords to learn.

5 Minutes of Music Theory

Understanding the theory behind the guitar skills gives insight into your progress and can build a strong foundation for your future learning. Years of theory can help you better understand different styles such as jazz and classical music.

Some music theory you can look into includes chord structure, scale formulas, and the circle of fifths and fourths. If you are a beginner, we suggest looking at an introduction to scales. Learning about scales can help you rock out a solo in no time.

10 Minutes of Ear Training

You can work on ear training by transcribing melodies. Knowing how to identify chords, progressions, intervals, and notes heard on other pieces will help you sharpen your ear and make it easier to learn in the future. If you have a piano, you can use it as a tool for ear training.

Make sure to adapt this routine to fit your needs. For example, if your teacher has asked for more focus on your scale skills, then modify the time as needed.

Try your best to practice at least a little each day, to build a routine. A Brooklyn based music studio recommends that younger kids should at least practice 30 minutes a day to establish a habit and be able to perfect the lessons taught in music school classes.

If you aren't looking for classes or a music school in New York but rather in Boston or Los Angeles, you can check out our blogs on that too.

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Maria