Music lessons come in a wide variety of forms. From the music room of the public school, or the elective course in a college music department, to a private instructor making a weekly visit to their student charge. In terms of the guitar, there are several options available when it comes to getting music lessons: lessons for learning guitar techniques, music theory lessons that focus on the guitar’s history, musical genre study featuring the guitar, or music compositional lessons focused on producing sheet music for the guitar.
The most common form of music lesson is for learning guitar techniques. Beginning guitarists and advanced alike will need to seek out a source for being exposed to new techniques and information on guitar playing if they want to ultimately become the best musician possible. For a beginner, it’s standard to learn the guitar using lessons that focus on reading basic sheet music, learning the chromatic scale, daily drills of fingering guitar scales, and memorizing basic guitar chords. The nature of learning a guitar make it rare for most public schools to offer an equivalent of a music lesson for the guitar, as opposed to single-note instruments (that cannot play in chords) such as the saxophone, flute, or trumpet.
Beginning guitar players are thus typically self-taught, usually with the aid of a lesson book or online course, until they have the skills to either join a school jazz band, or seek advanced musical lessons from professional/college-based sources.
In most music theory lessons, understanding the underlying relationship between the rhythm and the musical tones deliberately used within a given song of various genres compliments the guitar’s ability to play both chords and single-note sounds alike.
A flute, comparatively, is only capable of playing chromatic, major and minor scales, yet a guitar (and other string instruments) can take this a step further by exploring genre-defining chords (the C Jazz/Blues diminished 7th chord, for instance) and the specific chord progressions used in a variety of song types. Music theory lessons will aid a guitar player that also wishes to become a composer or performer, or those who may have a vocal talent to go along with their guitar playing in understanding how music composition works.
While music theory lessons aren’t required for learning composition, it certainly aids a new musician that has the creation of music as a goal. Composition for guitar-based songs has recently seen a huge boost in popularity—it is quite normal to find the guitar chords used in a recently released rock or alternative pop song in the form of transcribed sheet music.
For the most part, a guitarist that is interested in creating songs usually finds themselves a few short steps away from creating and heading a new band. While music composition lessons can not exactly teach one how to create great songs, it can’t be overstressed how much of an advantage one can find within music lessons when attempting to be successful in the music industry.