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Questions & Answers with Neil Hogan #13

Q. A friend of mine offered to give me free guitar lessons. Should I take him up on it or would it probably be a big waste of time?

A. On one hand, free guitar lessons are probably worth about half that price. By that I mean that they can easily cost you big time and could help you regress rather than progress. On the other hand, there is a lot of information out there that is free, very high quality, and informative. As a student scouring the world and the web it can be a fun and exciting journey.

I have spent over 40 years giving guitar lessons and I definitely gave some of them away for free. I would like to think that the students that got free lessons got a lot of useful information. So, as with many things, you really have to consider the source, in this case, the experience and knowledge of your friend.

Chances are that if he is offering to teach at all, he probably has a reasonable amount of info he can share. The biggest thing I would watch out for is that many very accomplished guitar players have some very bad habits, mostly in the area of hand position but this could also include lots of little technical things.

My best advice would be to start with a competent teacher as well just to be sure you aren’t heading down any particularly dark paths. Once bad habits start to appear they can be very difficult to correct.

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