How much do guitar lessons cost?

How much do guitar lessons cost? Traditional private guitar lessons vary in cost based on factors like the length of the lesson and the city in which the lesson takes place. The teacher’s level of expertise also factors into the cost of the lessons. Highly skilled and experienced instructors who can take you beyond the beginner level of guitar will usually charge more for in-person lessons. 


Generally speaking, you can expect a 30-minute lesson to cost anywhere from $30 to $50. Hour-long lessons will of course cost more. 

Another factor to consider when weighing out the cost of guitar lessons is transportation. For in-person lessons, you may have to travel to your instructor’s home or studio, and potentially pay for parking depending on where they are located. Some instructors are able to come to you, however, that convenience may be included in the cost of the lesson. 

Depending on your musical aptitude and how much time you can devote to practicing, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to a year to become proficient in guitar. If you want to learn advanced guitar techniques including improvising solos, it might take longer. 

Lessons in major cities will cost more than in small towns. Here’s a breakdown of the average costs of lessons in some large cities:


Los Angeles: $40 to $90/hour 

Chicago: $70/hour 

NYC (Queens): $35 to $60/hour 

Boston: $38/hour 

Dallas: $40 to $90/hour 

Orlando: $27/hour

Online lessons can be more cost-effective than in-person lessons, and cut out the cost of traveling. 

Recently, some cities began offering free guitar lessons online through their local libraries. Library streaming service hoopla is now offering free Fret Zealot lessons. You can choose from thousands of lessons from top-rated instructors, from guitar basics to song lessons, to player study courses. 


See if your city offers free online guitar lessons by checking out this map. 

Why should you play guitar along with the radio?

February 13 is World Radio Day. 

Many successful musicians say that they learned to play guitar by playing along with what they heard on the radio, including Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. 

Check out this interview with guitarists Tom Harrison and Sean Bishop of U.K. based band Tigress, talking about how playing along with a track helps with guitar skills! 

Here are some reasons why you should play along with songs on the radio (or a streaming service) while learning guitar: 


It helps develop your ear 

While learning music theory is important to learning guitar, it’s also important to develop your ear and listening skills. Playing along to a track will help you learn to replicate what you hear quicker. 

Learning to play guitar online. Senior woman studying at home, getting online courses, self-development. Caucasian woman using modern devices for education, spending time for new job or hobby.

It’s the closest thing to playing with other people 

Playing guitar along to a song will help you hear where the other instruments come in in a composition. You’ll get a better understanding of the rhythm and feeling for the song by listening to where the guitar fits in among the drums, bass, and vocals. 


It will help your rhythm skills

Learning the guitar part itself will teach you where the notes fall, but learning it with the track  will help you better understand the rhythm. It’s helpful to learn strumming patterns by strumming along with a track on the radio. 

Want to learn how to play guitar like Freddie King?

Want to learn how to play guitar like blues innovator Freddie King? Check out this Freddie King Player Study, which will teach you his signature style, including his unique picking style and lead playing.


Freddie King was born in Gilmer, Texas in 1934. He first picked up a guitar at the age of six, and his mother and uncle both taught him how to play. In 1949, King’s family moved to Chicago, where he stuck into nightclubs to take in blues performances by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Wolf began mentoring the 16-year-old King after hearing him sit in with a band. 

Over the next couple of years, King worked in a steel mill by day and played blues by night. He  formed his first band, the Every Hour Blues Boys, and worked as a sideman for several Chicago blues contemporaries. In 1956, he put out his first record as a band leader under El-Bee Records.He was rejected from Chess Records – the premier blues label which was at the time home to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf – they thought King’s singing style was too similar to B.B. King’s. 

Freddie King got his big break in 1960 when King Records opened a Chicago office, and upon learning that Chess Records had turned him down, they quickly signed him.  King’s first recording session with King Records resulted in his version of “Hide Away”, which became a signature song for King. “Hide Away” hit number 29 on the Pop Charts, which hadn’t happened for a blues instrumental before. He turned out a series of other blues instrumentals which also became standards – including “San-Ho-Zay,” “The Stumble,” and “I’m Tore Down”. 

King was an inspiration to blues and rock guitarists throughout the 1960s, especially Eric Clapton, who added “Hide Away” to his showcase in 1965. Clapton would eventually perform alongside King and produced on King’s record “Burglar”. Following that release, King toured America, Europe, and Australia. In 1975, he released his second RSO album, Larger Than Life.

Sadly, King died in 1976 of stomach ulcers and pancreatitis at only 42 years old, often attributed to his brutal touring schedule. 


Both Texas and Chicago blues styles are reflected in King’s virtuosic playing style – from Texas, the open string style, and from Chicago, the bellowing tones he used.  He incorporated both thumb and fingerpicking in his style. A singer who often recorded instrumental tracks, King’s playing often included vocal nuances, as if the guitar was doing the singing. 

His attack style and explosive onstage presence – plus his 6’5” frame – earned King the nickname “Texas Cannonball”. 



During his short but prolific career, King created many classic blues songs. He provided inspiration for generations of blues and rock guitarists, including Mick Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lonnie Mack. He was one of the first blues artists to employ a racially integrated group onstage with him. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. 


Learn these ABBA songs on guitar with Fret Zealot

Swedish pop group ABBA has churned out massive, international  hits over the years, infusing irresistibly catchy melodies with surprisingly melancholy lyrics, making their music stand the test of time. Many of their songs evolved or changed during the writing process – especially when being translated into English from their original Swedish. 


Here are some ABBA songs you can learn with Fret Zealot. 



The English version of ABBA’s “Fernando” is about two veterans of the Mexican revolution. Björn Ulvaeus composed the English version after sitting out under the stars one summer night, according to a 2019 interview. The original Swedish lyrics are about an entirely different situation, and were written by ABBA’s manager, Stig Anderson.


Dancing Queen 

“Dancing Queen” became a worldwide hit for ABBA, and they wanted it to be the follow-up single to “Mamma Mia” – but their manager insisted that the more mellow “Fernando” should be next instead. 

Mamma Mia

ABBA’s music inspired a hit jukebox musical that took its name from this song – but it wasn’t originally intended to be a single for the group. In fact, ABBA offered “Mamma Mia” to British pop group Brotherhood of Man, which they declined! The song ended up being a huge hit.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

The band released this track in 1979 to promote their upcoming tour – but they almost released another single, “Rubber Ball Man”, instead. The band felt that the disco feel of “Gimme” would be a better fit, so “Rubber Ball Man” stayed a demo. 

Money, Money, Money

This song, the second single off of ABBA’s fourth album, Arrival, was originally called “Been And Gone And Done It”, according to a 2002 interview with The Guardian. 


Want to learn how to play guitar like Noel Gallagher of Oasis and High-Flying Birds?

Check out this Noel Gallagher Player Study course – it’s so much more than “Wonderwall”. 


Noel Gallagher was born in Manchester, England, to Irish parents in 1967. As a teen, he hung around several Manchester-area hooligan firms, during which time he got six months of probation for robbing a corner shop, according to the VH1 Behind the Music episode on Oasis. During the probation, he began to teach himself guitar, playing along with the radio. He was inspired by The Smiths after seeing them on Top of the Pops

While working a construction job, Gallagher sustained a work-related foot injury and was given a less physically taxing position after recovering. This new job gave him more time to practice guitar and write songs – Gallagher has said that a few of the songs on Oasis’s debut album, Definitely, Maybe were written in the warehouse where he worked. 

Gallagher befriended a band called Inspiral Carpets in the late 1980s and became part of the band’s touring crew. In 1991, he returned home from a tour to find that his younger brother, Liam, had joined a band. Gallagher was initially unimpressed with the band’s performance. He agreed to an offer to join the band, with the condition that he would become the group’s sole songwriter. 


Gallagher is left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed. When it comes to his style, Gallagher is a master of melody – both in choosing chords that are rich and full-sounding and playing solos that complement the melody of the song. He often uses slides to change chord positions. 


High Flying Birds 

Gallagher is best known for his time in Oasis, as well as his tumultuous relationship with Liam. Oasis disbanded in 2009. Gallagher formed his solo project, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in 2010. The project has released four albums and a compilation album. 


Famous guitarists who are guitar collectors

As any guitar enthusiast knows, nice guitars are not inexpensive – but it’s very tempting to add new additions to your collection. Several famous guitarists, unsurprisingly, are avid guitar collectors. Here’s a list of some of them: 


Joe Bonamassa

Blues-rock superstar Joe Bonamassa has over 500 vintage guitars in his collection – which he keeps in his L.A, home, he told Guitar World in 2023. That’s not counting other gear, like amplifiers – he estimates he has about 1,000 to 1,200 pieces total. “The sheer magnitude of it all, would overwhelm even the most jaded collector,” Bonamassa told GW. “The difference is, I live there! So I wake up, I get my coffee and there’s hundreds of guitar amps around [me].” 


Guns ‘N Roses guitarist and top hat enthusiast Slash has accumulated over 400 instruments, according to an over-300 page coffee table book that details the collection. Slash is best known for his signature Les Paul, but his collection includes vintage pieces, prototype Gibson signature models, and guitars made by B.C. Rich, Guild, and boutique acoustic luthiers. 

David Gilmour

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour amassed quite a guitar collection over the years. In 2019, he auctioned 120 of his guitars for the environmental charity, ClientEarth. The auction raised $21 million for the charity. The collection included his Black Strat, Gilmour used the guitar when he joined Pink Floyd and for every Pink Floyd album between 1970 and 1983. The Black Strat auctioned for $3.9 million, one of the most expensive guitars ever sold at auction. 


Rick Nielsen

Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen’s guitar collection numbers in the hundreds and includes Rush guitarist Geddy Lee’s 1959 Les Paul and two 1958 Gibson Explorers – the later of which only 19 were made in the initial run. 

Why should guitarists learn music theory?

If you play guitar, do you need to know music theory?

Guitarists learn in a variety of ways – from classic music lessons to training themselves to play by ear. However, if you want to get the most out of your instrument, you should consider learning music theory. 

Here are some reasons why: 


  • Having a grasp of music theory will help you be a better improviser 


If you have a good grasp of the pentatonic scale, it’s much easier to improvise solos, especially for blues and rock music. It also makes you much less likely to hit a wrong note while improvising if you’re basing the solo on theory, rather than playing by ear. 


  • Music theory can help you write your own music 


When you know scales and how to build chords, your musical world opens up. Having an understanding of the fundamentals of music will make it easier for you to write your own riffs and chord progressions, as well as make it easier for you to solo over a song. 


  • Reading music is more useful than just reading tabs 


Tablature is a useful tool for guitarists to learn riffs and solos quickly. However, the tabs only show you which notes to play – whereas sheet music shows you the timing and breaks, allowing you to play the piece as it’s meant to be played. Being able to read and write sheet music is also important if you want to write or transcribe music. 


  • Music theory will help you play better with other musicians 

It’s quicker and easier to learn music when you have a musical theory background rather than playing it by ear. Knowing musical theory also makes it easier to communicate musical ideas with other people. 

Check out this Music Theory 101 course to get started today!



Five songs you can learn on guitar this weekend

Got a little bit of free time this weekend? Here are five fairly easy songs that you can easily learn between now and Sunday evening! 


“You Belong with Me” – Taylor Swift

You’ll need a capo on the fourth fret to play this “Fearless” hit. It involves some fingerpicking to nail the distinctive riff, but it’s easier than it sounds!

“Moves Like Jagger” – Maroon 5

The funky, disco-esque rhythm is the most important part of this dance floor anthem – but with only a few chords, it’s pretty easy to learn.

“Wake Me Up” – Avicii

You only need four chords to play this popular song – it’s very easy to accompany yourself singing. 

“Creep” – Radiohead 

Ready to practice those barre chords? This song only has four chords total, and is another great one to sing along to.

“Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers

This 1971 hit is an absolute classic. Learn this simple version, or you can try the slightly more challenging fingerstyle version.

How weather and environmental conditions affect your guitar

High or low temperatures, high or low humidity – all weather conditions can have an effect on your guitar! Here’s what to watch out for, and how to protect your instrument. 

Guitars are made mostly of wood. Like the wood in your home, the wood in your guitar absorbs moisture and swells during hot and humid weather and shrinks during cold and dry weather. When the wood in your guitar shifts, it can change the shape and more importantly, the sound of the instrument.

Ideally, guitars should be kept in 66-77 °F (19-25 °C) and 40 to 50 percent humidity. Guitar owners should avoid exposing their guitars to rapid changes in temperature. A good way to do this is leaving the guitar in its case after it’s been outside (in cold or hot weather) allowing it to reacclimate to room temperature before taking it out. If you can get to a gig a little bit early to allow your guitar to “settle” in its case before playing it, do that! 

Here are some other ways to protect your instrument from the elements: 


  • Keep your guitar in its case when you’re not playing it

A case is your guitar’s “best case” scenario against environmental damage. By keeping it in a case at home, you protect it from air conditioning or heating, as well as allowing the humidity level to remain consistent. 


  • Keep your guitar away from windows 


As great as the view out of your window is, it’s not a good spot to keep your guitar. Less insulation means that the temperature and humidity levels near windows fluctuate more. 


  • Get a hygrometer

These devices monitor humidity and temperature changes throughout the day, to ensure that the area you’re storing your guitar is a good spot for it. 


  • Don’t leave your guitar in the trunk overnight 


Even if you get home late from that gig, bring your instrument in! Your guitar will thank you. 

Learn these Lynyrd Skynyrd songs with Fret Zealot

Lynyrd Skynyrd songs are a valuable asset in any guitar player’s repertoire. The Southern rock band has spawned many classic hits over their decades long career, including “Sweet Home Alabama” and the often-requested “Free Bird”.

Sweet Home Alabama

Three chords make up the vast majority of this 1974 hit. 

Free Bird 

The first line for “Free Bird” came from Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins’s girlfriend, Kathy, who asked Collins “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?” The question became the first line of the band’s signature song and the band performed it for the first time during the reception at Collins and Kathy’s wedding. 

Simple Man


“Simple Man” was inspired by the passing of vocalist Ronnie Van Zant’s grandmother.

Saturday Night Special

The term “Saturday Night Special” refers to cheap handguns, and the lyrics of this 1975 track associate them with impulsive violence. Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant said in the documentary If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd (2018) that the band knew a person who shot another friend over a game of poker. 

Gimme Three Steps 

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington told VH1’s Behind the Music that the story behind “Gimme Three Steps” actually happened at a bar the band was hanging out at, when a woman asked Von Zant to dance and he later encountered her angry boyfriend, who threatened to shoot him. 

That Smell 

The lyrics of “That Smell”, off of the 1977 album “Street Survivors” are morbid, containing lines like  “tomorrow might not be here for you”, and that “the smell of death surrounds you”. Three days after the album was released, a plane crash killed several members of the band, including Van Zant. 

Tuesday’s Gone

What’s the unusual piano sound on the chorus of this song? It’s courtesy of a Mellotron, an instrument played by pressing keys that cause magnetic tape to be pulled against a playback head.