Guitar Lessons - Frequently Asked Questions
+ Kids: What is the best age to start learning guitar?
For children, generally speaking, 7 years (or older) tends to be the best age to start. The guitar requires strength and dexterity in the left hand, and strong coordination between the left and right hands, that small children can find challenging. While some kids under 7 can manage this, many struggle, and often give up before they even had a chance! We've found the best results, and the best chance of guitar becoming a lifelong, enjoyable hobby, come from starting 7 and up.
+ Adults: Am I too old to start lessons?
Never! We've had adult students in their forties, fifties, sixties and even seventies commence lessons comfortably, enjoy themselves, and improve dramatically. Guitar can be a rewarding hobby everyone can enjoy in their lives, no matter their age.
+ How often should I practice?
You'll get the best results if you can practice daily, even if only short amounts. Daily, 5-10 minute practice sessions will get you much better results than a 30-40 minute session done once a week!
We recommend the following amounts of practice:
7-10 years old: 5-10 minutes a day
10-13 years old: 15-20 minutes a day.
13 and up: 30 minutes a day.
Advanced Students: 1 hour a day. This category includes those undertaking higher level AMEB guitar exams, ANZCA guitar exams or VCE music performance.
For adult students, this can be tricky with work and family! Do whatever you can and just remember, a little practice is better than none. If you can only do a quick 5 minute practice most days, that will still help!
+ Should I learn classical guitar first?
That depends what style of music you enjoy and want to learn! If you want to learn modern guitar, begin with that. If classical is what you enjoy, start there! Our teachers are experienced in giving beginner students a strong foundation on the guitar no matter what style or genre they enjoy.
+ Should I sit guitar exams?
This really depends on the student. Guitar exams really help some students to thrive on the instrument, and they definitely improve a students technical ability and mastery. However, some people prefer a more relaxed approach as they just enjoy guitar as a hobby. Both approaches are just fine! Our teachers are experienced in catering your lessons to your individual needs as a guitarist.
Buying a guitar
+ Do I need to my own guitar to have lessons?
We generally allow students to borrow a guitar (but only at the school, during their lesson). If students decide to continue lessons after two weeks, getting their own instrument is highly recommended. Practicing at home in between lessons is really important, and practicing without actually owning a guitar is tricky!
+ What type of guitar should I buy? Electric, acoustic steel string, or nylon string?
Kids: Most young beginners (under 12) tend to find 3/4 size nylon string guitars a good place to start. Generally, an electric guitar is too large for children and a steel string requires more strength from them. The nylon tends to be little bit easier to play for a child's hands.
Teenagers and adults: Which type of guitar to start with depends on the style of guitar lessons. For classical guitar lessons, a nylon string is required, however for modern guitar styles, a steel string acoustic guitar or electric guitar. Generally speaking, beginners will find electric guitars easier to play than an acoustic guitar, which require greater finger strength.
+ What brand/price/colour should I buy?
If you're just starting out, generally an entry level guitar is just fine. If you can afford it, try to spend a little bit more (but not too much, just above entry level), as generally the really cheap instruments are more difficult to play. The best advice when shopping is always try lots of different models and makes, and focus on how it feels, not how it looks! Is it the right size? How does my hand feel when i push on the strings?
Focus on buying an instrument that feels good and isn't too expensive as your first guitar. Once you've been taking lessons for a while, you'll start to understand what makes a nice guitar, and then you can look at buying something fancier!
+ Do I need any other equipment to get started?
Depending on your play style, buying some guitar picks (also known as plectrums) would be useful. A guitar tuner is also a worthy investment.
If you buy an electric guitar, keep in mind you'll also need an amplifier and a cable to plug your guitar in!
General Guitar FAQ
+ Does playing guitar hurt your fingers?
No, not really! If you're using the right guitar, with the right techniques, with the right teacher, you shouldn't have any soreness. Sometimes, your hand may tire out a little bit as you work the muscles and improve your strength, but tiredness is a good thing, whereas soreness shouldn't happen. If you're experiencing sore fingers while playing, you're playing the wrong guitar, squeezing too hard, or both!
+ What's a power chord?
A power chord is a 2 or 3 string chord shape that can be moved anywhere around the guitar to change its pitch. Common in rock songs.
+ What's a barre chord?
A barre chord is a technique where the guitar player flattens their index finger across 5 or 6 strings to create a 'barre'. It is a more advanced technique that requires lots of patience, practice, and hand strength. With help from a good teacher, it should be no problem!
+ Should I learn to read music?
It will make you a better guitarist, but it will take dedicated study and practice. This depends on the player though, some people just want to play for fun! If you are just playing the guitar as a hobby, and want to strum a few songs, it might not be for you. If you want to excel at your instrument, reading music is a crucial part of achieving that.