Witnessing your favorite musicians noodle on their guitars leaves you in awe. You want to learn to shred and play just like them, but you don’t even know how to strum basic chords. You’re looking into your guitar lesson options, and one that’s caught your attention is learning at Guitar Center. How much would your lessons cost?
Guitar Center guitar lesson pricing differs depending on the package you choose. Standard Lessons get you four sessions, 60 minutes each, for $219. Express Lessons, which include four 30-minute sessions, cost $109. You’ll also pay $30 extra no matter the package for a one-time registration fee.
If you need more information before deciding whether to pursue guitar lessons at Guitar Center, this is the article for you. In it, I’ll talk about what you can expect when learning guitar at Guitar Center, including more about where that pricing comes from. I’ll even share some less costly alternative lesson resources you might be interested in.
Let’s get started!
Factors That Determine Guitar Center Lessons Cost
The above prices are not necessarily reflective of the costs you’ll encounter at every single Guitar Center. Here are a few factors that could drive up the prices of your guitar lessons even more.
The Type of Instrument
Guitar Center, as the name implies, specializes in guitars both electric and acoustic. If you want to learn that instrument, then you can expect prices akin to the ones from the intro. Should you be more interested in picking up another type of instrument, especially less common ones, don’t be surprised if the Guitar Center staff charges you more.
The Package You Choose
If you only need a few lessons, then you can skate by and pay a little more than $100 to learn guitar. However, for the true novices who need more time and attention, the prices do add up. You’ll need at least the Standard Lessons package, which gets you four hours of training spread across four sessions.
Your Local Market
How expensive is it to live in your neighborhood? You can expect prices for guitar lessons in your neck of the woods will be equally costly.
Sometimes though, living in a populous city or town is to your advantage. If you have five Guitar Centers in a 50-mile radius, for example, then you can afford to shop around. Maybe one will offer a slightly better deal, so that’s the one you go with.
However, if your neighborhood has one Guitar Center and that’s it, then you have no other options. That store knows it, so they can afford to drive up costs just because of scarcity.
Online Lessons vs. In-Person
The last factor that can influence Guitar Center lesson pricing is how you receive your lessons. If you come into the store and need one-on-one guidance, this may be more expensive than online lessons.
Convenience also matters here. Online lessons can be done anywhere you can plug in an amp. Since they’re catered to beginners, these lessons may be less personalized than getting individualized attention at a Guitar Center store.
Which Instruments Does Guitar Center Offer Lessons For?
Earlier, I mentioned that the instrument you decide to learn through Guitar Center can play a role in your lesson cost. That has you curious then.
Besides guitar, what other kinds of instruments are the Guitar Center staff able to teach?
The mandolin is an instrument that almost looks like a guitar. Its name is an Italian term, mandolino, which translates to “small mandola.” As part of the lute family, you play the mandolin with a plectrum, which you use to pluck the strings.
Most mandolins have eight metal strings, but some have as many as 10 or 12 strings. The arrangement of the strings is called a course, so an eight-string mandolin has four courses, a 10-string mandolin has five courses, and a 12-string mandolin boasts six courses. To tune the courses, you use perfect fifth succession.
Countless mandolin styles abound, but the flat-backed, carved-top, and round-backed mandolin have the most acclaim. A flat-backed mandolin is the closest to a guitar in terms of shape. The wooden carved-top mandolin is shallow due to the carvings in the top and back. The round-back, sometimes also called the Neapolitan, is deeper at the bottom with its bowl-like shape.
From one stringed instrument to another, you can also learn the banjo at Guitar Center. This instrument may have four to six strings. The strings sit over a membrane that covers the banjo’s entire frame. This allows the sound to resonate beautifully when you pluck the strings. These days, the membrane is commonly plastic, although animal hides were once the preferable material.
Don’t just think the banjo is limited to country and folk music. Far from it! Some rock bands have innovated and added the distinct sound of the banjo to their songs. You can indeed be a rock ‘n’ roll banjo player ala the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, or the Eagles.
Your voice is certainly an instrument. You can learn to finesse the power of your voice through Guitar Center’s vocal lessons.
Moving away from stringed instruments once more, you can also practice your keyboard through Guitar Center. Keyboards have a rich history, existing since at least the 18th century. They were harpsichords back then, with more than 60 keys and five octaves.
Keyboards have become mostly electronic these days. This version of the instrument is portable and regarded as simpler to use. Electronic keyboards tend to come outfitted with 88 keys, as many as a piano. You can easily transition from a keyboard to a full-sized piano then. In that regard, it’s like learning two instruments in one!
Do you want to master the drum kit? You can at Guitar Center. A standard drum kit includes nine pieces: a China cymbal, splash cymbal, ride cymbal, crash cymbal, hi-hat, tom-tom drum, snare drum, floor tom, and bass drum.
You hit the cymbals with your drumsticks, as well as the hi-hats. You can also control the hi-hats with your foot pedal. You may use your sticks to strike the snare drum and the toms as well, but some drummers prefer to a brush for the latter. To use the bass drum, put your foot on another pedal, this one that you hit on the right side.
The bass guitar is a must in any band for its low, rumbling sound. It’s a lot like a guitar; of all the instruments I’ve discussed, the bass is undoubtedly the closest. The length of the scales and the neck of the bass is longer than a guitar’s, which is one key difference. Another is how you play the bass. Guitarists can play the strings with their fingers or with a pick, but bassists almost always use their hands, plucking along to the beat.
Most basses have four strings, but some include six strings. If you play a four-string bass, you’d tune it so the pitches are at least a whole octave under the G, D, A, and E guitar chords, which are already the lowest strings.
Besides the above instrument lessons, Guitar Center allows its enrollees to participate in a slew of fun, educational opportunities with their instrument of choice. These include Rockshow, Jam Night, clinics, and workshops. Rockshow lets you play with fellow musicians in a band setting. You’ll learn at least three songs and then do a private performance for your loved ones.
Jam Nights connect you with other musicians still learning their instruments so you can maybe play together. The clinics and workshops are available at no extra cost to you.
Does Guitar Center Offer Online Guitar Lessons?
What if you can’t make it to a Rockshow or Jam Night? Perhaps the Guitar Center in your city or town is a little far, so you try to limit how often you go. Maybe you work crazy hours and can only commit to lessons on a limited scale.
Is it possible for you to learn guitar or another instrument online through Guitar Center?
Indeed, you can! Guitar Center does, in fact, offer online guitar lessons.
This page on Guitar Center’s website lays out everything about their online lessons. Here’s what you need to know.
- Online lessons are nonrefundable: Once you put the money down for lesson credits, you can’t get it back. Make sure you do your best to attend the lessons, then!
- Lesson credits don’t last forever: Another reason to plan your lessons ASAP is that the credits are only good for 90 days upon the date of purchase.
- You can reschedule: Need to postpone your lesson? Make sure you reach out to your Guitar Center point of contact within 24 hours or you could be charged for skipping.
- Lessons are recorded: All lessons get recorded, encrypted, and then kept on Guitar Center servers.
- You have to use Zoom: Zoom, a video chat app, is Guitar Center’s platform of choice for hosting your online lessons.
- All instruments are available for online lessons: You can still learn any instrument with the online lessons through Guitar Center. These include vocals, piano, drums, bass, and guitar. Some instructors can even teach woodwind and brass instruments online.
- Pricing is about the same: The costs for Guitar Center lessons don’t seem to change for online vs. in-person lessons.
If you’re ready to get started with your online lessons, you’d click this Guitar Center link here. First, select whether you’re a former or new student as well as the instrument you want to learn. Check off the online lessons option, add your lesson plan to your Guitar Center cart, and go through the terms and conditions.
When you accept those terms, you check out like you would if you were buying an instrument or accessory on Guitar Center’s website. You’ll receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to get started with your online lessons after you check out.
Remember, since you bought credits, you can start the lessons right away or on another date. Just make sure you don’t let 90 days (three months) pass from the time you bought your lessons. The credits can expire, so you don’t want to waste $100 to $200 on nothing.
Where to Find the Price of Guitar Center Lessons
As previously mentioned, the price of guitar lessons at Guitar Center will vary based on your local market. Every Guitar Center will charge differently for their lessons.
If you’d like to ascertain the price of Guitar Center’s lessons near you, I’d recommend you start with their website. You can also give your local Guitar Center a call or check their social media profiles, such as Facebook. If you have time and it’s convenient, you can also pop into the store and ask!
Guitar Center Lesson Alternatives (That Cost Less)
You just laid down some pretty significant money on a guitar so you can actually take lessons. You’re a little disappointed to see Guitar Center’s lessons are so costly, even for online instruction. Are you forced to rely on free YouTube tutorials that might be too hard for beginners to grasp?
Not at all! Guitar Center is far from the only one of its kind that offers guitar lessons (and those for other instruments). Let me recommend three more resources you might want to consider. Each is more affordable than Guitar Center.
Your first option is Guitar Tricks. One of the first to popularize Internet-based guitar learning way back in 1998,
Guitar Tricks uses a Core Learning System, which includes a series of videos for beginners. You’ll learn the basics, like guitar fundamentals, before moving on to different genre styles as you gain more experience.
The songs available are those you want to learn, like “It’s the End of the World” by R.E.M, “All of Me,” by John Legend, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Imagine” by John Lennon, and “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes.
You can sign up for a free trial on Guitar Tricks to get a feel for how the lessons work. If you like it, the paid plan is monthly or annual. Per month, you’d pay $19.95. The annual fee is $179.99.
You might also be interested in JamPlay. Their online guitar lessons include a mobile app so you can take your courses anywhere. Learn to play 950,000 chords and counting. If you’re struggling with a hard chord, you can loop a video or rewind it and slow it down to as much as 100 percent of its original speed.
The guitar teachers are JamPlay’s strongest area. You can learn with real, professional musicians, such as Collective Soul’s Joel Kosche, The Runaways’ Lita Ford, Chimaira’s Emil Werstler, and many more. Over 100 guitar teachers are available, so yes, it’s possible you could learn how to play guitar from your favorite musician.
Every day, new lessons are added to JamPlay. You also get homework so you take your lessons further. A progress report will show how well you’re learning and where you may need to improve.
JamPlay offers five programs:
- For Beginners: This beginner-friendly course has 654 lessons over more than 20 courses.
- Styles & Genres: If you’re a more experienced player who wants to focus on genres like R&B, metal, funk, gospel, and rock, this is the program for you. You can access 3,174 lessons and 128 courses.
- Skill Builders: Continue advancing with Skill Builders. You’ll soon grasp music theory, ear training, and lead improv through 1,035 lessons and 54 courses.
- Learn Songs: This program is rather self-explanatory. You can comb through nearly 500 songs, which means your favorite tune is likely in there somewhere.
- Master Classes: For the most advanced guitar player looking to become a master, sign up for the Master Classes program. You’ll learn expert advice from real rockers through 915 lessons and 49 courses.
To join JamPlay, you can pay $19.95 per month, $49.95 per quarter, or $159.95 for a year. It seems the above five programs would cost extra.
I also want to point you in the direction of Justin Guitar. Founded by namesake Justin Sandercoe, this online guitar-learning resource includes 18,852 minutes of video, 591 free songs, and 1,091 free lessons. Nearly 290,000 people have signed up as of this writing.
Justin Guitar is intended for beginners, intermediates, and even experts who want to take their playing to the next level. Despite that the site is called Justin Guitar, you can even learn to play ukulele.
So which songs can you learn on this site? Your options are nearly endless, such as Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Eric Clapton’s “Layla,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication,” and Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” The full song list is here for you to check out.
You can use portions of the site without ever paying a cent. If you do opt for a paid subscription, it costs $9.99 for full site access over six months.
Are Guitar Lessons Worth the Price?
The prices of the above guitar resources sit with you better than Guitar Center’s. Still, you can’t help but wonder, with so much available online for free, is it worth it to pay for guitar lessons?
I’d say without a shadow of a doubt that yes, it is. Your money is going towards expertise and quality. Although online lessons aren’t always personalized, you can choose a course based on your experience level.
Sure, you could search “beginner guitar lessons” on YouTube, but these may not be as high-quality. You certainly couldn’t learn your favorite songs on YouTube the same way you can with instructional lessons like Guitar Center’s, Justin Guitar, JamPlay, or
Also, the celebrity endorsements and lessons you’ll find on JamPlay are exclusives. The same goes for progress reports because that’s not what YouTube is for.
You’ve decided you want to play guitar because you’re passionate about it. More than likely, you want to become the best guitar player you can be. Why shortchange yourself by using anything but the best? Even if money is an issue, a site like Justin Guitar offers plenty of free resources.
Guitar Center may be your go-to resource for buying instruments and accessories, but did you know you can take guitar lessons there too? Whether online or in-person, you can get better at the guitar as well as an array of other instruments through these lessons.
With the information in this article, you can find the best resource for learning guitar for you. Whether you stick with Guitar Center or try an alternative like Guitar Tricks, you can’t go wrong. Have fun and good luck!