How Much Does a Guitar Teacher Make?


If you see yourself being a guitar teacher as your career, the number one question that you ask is how much does a guitar teacher make. There are different options for making a living being a guitar teacher. You can teach in schools, guitar stores, or even online. Whatever you may choose, you can make a decent living as a guitar teacher.

Guitar teachers make about $44,053 annually, but the average salary ranges between $34,4211 to $67,859 a year. The salary depends on different factors such as certifications, years you’ve taught, and any additional skills you may have.

Being a guitar teacher can be rewarding, knowing that you can pass your knowledge to your students. This article will talk about the income of a guitar teacher and the qualifications you may need to land a job. Lastly, this article will also provide some tips and tricks you should keep in mind to become a guitar teacher.

Know All About the Income of a Guitar Teacher

Income is one of the most important factors to know when you want to make a career as a guitar teacher. Plenty of factors, such as the country you live in and the local economy, are taken into consideration when determining your salary as a guitar teacher.

Guitar teacher teaching young boy to play guitar

Having said this, it is easy to become a guitar teacher in big cities rather than in isolated villages. You will have more prospects when it comes to students. Aside from that, the salary is usually bigger in cities rather than in rural areas.

The hourly rate of a guitar teacher ranges from $40 to $80. Schedules for guitar lessons are usually during the evening. The salary per week would depend on the teaching hours you decide to follow.

A good example is if you plan to take four hours of back-to-back classes during the night, it will give you about 20 hours per week. This means that you will have a salary range of $800 to $1,600, depending on how much you charge per hour.

With these computations, you can make a pretty decent living as a guitar teacher.

Qualifications You Need as a Guitar Teacher

The first thing that a student looks for and asks about is the guitar teacher’s qualifications. Plenty of people worry that potential students may not push through with the lessons when the teachers don’t have the right qualifications.

Now, when it comes to becoming a guitar instructor, you don’t need formal qualifications. Most students won’t care about formal qualifications. As long as they will get the lessons they need to learn how to play the guitar, they are good to go.

Qualifications won’t play a role when you are teaching your students. It would only matter when you want to apply as a school teacher. Getting the right qualifications when teaching in schools will help you provide exams and curriculums for your students.

Teacher Giving Music Lessons at School

Guitar Teacher License: Is it Needed?

Another thing to consider when becoming a guitar teacher is if you need a license. Keep in mind that every state has its own regulations. You may be unlikely to need a license as a guitar instructor. However, it is still best to check with your state authorities and local council.

If you plan to teach privately or at home, best to check your local business laws. Plenty of places would need police checks or even a ‘working with children’ card to teach. Having this under your bucket will help protect yourself.

Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always make sure you check your state laws when it comes to teaching.

Music Theory: Is it a Must for Being a Guitar Teacher?

Music theory is a highly debated topic, and plenty of teachers agree to disagree on whether they need to include this in their teachings or not. Don’t get me wrong, but this is also an important part of learning music.

However, some think it can get in the way of the student’s creativity. There are no rules on how you decide to teach your students. There are different ways to teach guitar. It is best to determine your student’s goals and find what style is best for each of your students.

Doing this will ensure that you are teaching them effectively. When you feel you are not comfortable with music theory, then don’t teach it. Focus on your strengths as a teacher as well as your student’s strengths.

Get students who want to learn the topic that you specialize in so that you as a teacher and your student can enjoy what you are doing.

Types of Students: Know What You Can Teach

There are different types of students that you will encounter. When teaching your students, determine what style you can play and what you think you can teach them. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of people are interested in the music style you know and can play?
  • Do you think you can teach this to students?
  • Do you have the capability of explaining this to your students?

For you to be an effective instructor, teach what you already know and what style you are good at. When your specialty is songwriting, and you have written a couple of songs, choose this path to teach.

Make a list of everything that you need and then determine which student is willing to learn these topics as well as skills.

Becoming a Guitar Teacher: Tips and Tricks You Should Know

Self-Teaching: Provides an Idea on How to Give Lessons

You can help become more knowledgeable in providing guitar lessons to your students when you are teaching yourself. It will give you an idea of how your lessons should go. It is best to work with an experienced teacher when you are teaching yourself.

Teaching is different from learning on your own. You would need concentration and discipline. You need to focus on what your student is doing and how they are doing the lessons. Make sure you correct any bad techniques your students are used to.

Use Guitar Method Books for Studying

In your career as a guitar teacher, you will teach your students with books at one point or another. Some teachers prefer this option in teaching since they find this more effective. There are also some locations where you might be required to use books. So it is best that you get a head start.

Whatever it may be, it is still best to spend some time studying using guitar method books. Remember that you will be unable to teach what you don’t know to your student. Make sure you cover all your bases when learning how to become a guitar teacher.

With books, you can learn the basics as well as go beyond them. You can get great value with guitar music and music theory-related books.

Take Guitar Courses and learn Different Musical Styles

If you decide to go to a music school to learn guitar or music, it can lead to higher pay. The school will also equip you with the tools you need to teach your students in the future effectively. Aside from going to school, you can also take online guitar lessons.

Online lessons are more affordable than going to school, and Udemy is one of the best courses that you can complete. For you to attain a diploma or degree, you would need about 250 online courses.

When you take classes, you can broaden your knowledge of the guitar. You can also learn different musical styles, leading to becoming a better teacher. Your students will have different styles, so you must ensure that the lessons are as fun as possible.

If your lessons are not fun, your students may have a hard time paying attention in class. They will also lose interest which will lead to teaching themselves or choosing another instructor. Always know what styles your students are interested in.

Another benefit of learning different styles through method books is it can open to more job opportunities. You can also have a bigger chance for a wider group of students leading to high income.

Create Your Own Curriculum as a Guitar Teacher

It is best to customize your curriculum for every student as a teacher. Every skilled instructor should know this technique in teaching. Be sure that your students are always engaged and motivated during your classes.

Teaching Guitar

Try and create your own skeleton framework since it will help you know the progress of each lesson that you want to teach your students. Always keep in mind that every student you teach has a different pace of learning. Make sure that you inspire your students so that they will stay with you.

Always plan for lessons and don’t be spontaneous. Here is an example of a basic curriculum that you can follow for your students:

  • Anatomy of Guitar
  • Finger exercises
  • One string scale exercises
  • Double stops
  • Triads
  • How to play power chords
  • Playing four strings
  • E minor pentatonic scale
  • Open chords
  • Playing songs using open chords
  • Barre chords
  • Memorize notes on the fretboard

You can modify this to your liking and how your students learn. Determine what is best for them and how they can effectively learn during your lessons.


If you have your mindset to become a guitar teacher, go for it! You can make a pretty decent living as a guitar instructor with a salary of $44,053 annually. To be an effective teacher, you must know different styles and make sure that you adjust accordingly to your student’s learning curve. Have fun teaching!

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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