Los Angeles is one of the biggest hubs in the entertainment industry in the world. If you want to perform live on stage or in front of the camera, The City of Angels is the place to be. Thousands of aspiring artists, musicians, and actors move to Los Angeles to live out their Holywood dreams. Maybe you want to see your name on the Holywood Walk of Fame or you just wanna find a relaxing creative outlet, whatever your aspiration is for playing the guitar, booking a lesson is a good place to start.

Playing the guitar allows students to dive into the world of music. It opens their eyes to a variety of music styles such as rock, jazz, or classical music. It can also be an opportunity for a guitarist to meet fellow guitar enthusiasts in West California. Playing the guitar or the piano can open doors for live performance opportunities in LA, for students of all ages.

Keep reading to see how you can find a guitar teacher in Los Angeles, how to pick between acoustic and electric guitars and tips on strumming techniques.

If you are a guitar student that wants to take lessons on the East Coast and not the West Coast, check out our blogs on guitar teachers in Boston and NYC. These cities also offer a variety of class options alongside tutors with years of experience guiding students of all ages. 

How To Find Guitar Teachers In Los Angeles

Music teachers are abundant in Los Angeles. If you look online you will see hundreds of options for guitar lessons from private instructors, group classes at a musical school, and a ton of profiles for virtual guitar teachers. There are a variety of learning opportunities for every student. 

Some guitar teachers in LA specialize in teaching kids to play electric guitars so they can join a rock band and some focus on teaching a class to older students for relaxation.

Start by defining what you want to narrow down your choices.

  • Private Lessons vs Group Classes -  If you want a more private experience you can rule out music tutors that only teach at a music school or academy.
  • In-person vs Online - With the online lessons, you are not limited to guitar teachers in your area you can choose someone from another city, like Philly. However, if you prefer to have an instructor physically there, you can choose an instructor in your area.
  • Technical vs Hobby - Technical theory-based classes are best if your goal is to grow as a musician. For these types of classes, you should enroll in a beginner's program at a local music school. If you want to learn the guitar simply as a hobby or so you can join a band, having an instructor not limited by a curriculum will be more fun.
guitar classes online
Now and days there are multiple options to join a virtual guitar class. (Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash)

Other factors that you would need to reflect on include the style of music that you would like to learn. You can choose teachers that are specialized in teaching rock music, classical music, and even jazz.

Additionally, the age of a student plays a huge role in selecting a teacher. The type of songs, techniques, and theories taught in classes for kids versus more advanced students are very different. Your best choice is to pick a teacher that has multiple years of experience teaching lessons to guitarists of your age group.

Choosing a music teacher should be an informed decision, after all, you are going to be paying for a musical service. The same guidelines can be used when choosing a piano teacher or any other musical performance teacher in California.

Click here, to find you what a guitarist should expect during their first lesson.

Difference Between Acoustic and Electronic Guitars

If you want to play the guitar you might ask your self “Well which one do I choose?”

The guitar you choose is going to be based more on what you wish to accomplish with that guitar rather than the instrument itself. You can also change guitar types over the years.

Sound Production

Sound production is the aspect in which these guitars differ the most. Classical and acoustic guitars have a sound hole in the body of the guitar. When a musician strums or picks the strings, they create a vibration that causes the soundhole to resonate and project that frequency of musical sound.

Electric guitars are solid and do not have a soundhole, the string’s vibrations are converted to sound with the use of an amplifier. As the string vibrates, the pickups transform the magnetic energy to an electrical signal which can be heard through the amp. If you are thinking of getting an electric guitar and want to hear it live, don't forget the amp.

acoustic vs electric guitars
Electric guitars and acoustic guitars have different ways of producing sounds. (Photo by David Fanning on Unsplash)

Genres of Music

Another defining difference between the two main types of guitars is the genres of songs in which they are used.

The sound of an electric guitar can be changed to fit genres like:

  • jazz
  • pop
  • country
  • metal
  • soul
  • funk
  • blues

The acoustic guitar is used in contemporary forms of music.

Your choice between playing acoustic and electric guitar will depend heavily on the kind of music you will like to learn to play as a beginner.

Cost

Due to their versatility, electronic guitars are going to more expensive in general. Electric guitars also need additional accessories, like an amp, which also raises the price. Local music stores like the International House of Music have a variety of guitars that students can test and check out in-store.

Make sure that the studio or program you want to take lessons at has teachers that teach your preferred type of guitar.

Kids and a beginner guitarist usually start with a classical guitar as it is better for that age group.

Parts of the Guitar

The guitar and similar string instruments, like the bass, are very intricate. The two main areas of our guitar are the body and the neck.

The neck of the guitar is the top part of the guitar and the body of the guitar is the bottom half.

neck of a guitar
The narrow section of the neck holds the machine heads, nut, fretboard, and frets. (Photo by Ahmed Rizkhaan on Unsplash)

The neck of the guitar also includes the following:

  • headstock
  • tuners
  • tuning pegs
  • the nut
  • frets

The body of the guitar is where the instrument’s sound is generated and it contains the following:

  • heel
  • bottom deck
  • soundhole
  • body sides
  • saddle
  • bridge
  • soundboard

Electric guitars most of the above parts in addition to a couple of other bits. Electric guitars will also have pickups, potentiometers, pickup selector switch, and input jack. The pickups gather the string vibrations and convert them to sounds, much like the sound hole does in an acoustic guitar, but this one does it electronically.

Find out what other accessories you need to compliment your guitar, on our blog on Guitar Lessons In Chicago.

How To Strum A Guitar?

Before you can play along with one of your favorite songs, you first need to learn how to strum a few chords. Strumming patterns are used by musicians to create rhythmic vibrations that are turned into sound by the guitar.

Strumming patterns are detailed instructions of when you should strum up and down, as well as what strings you should touch along the way.

strumming guitar strings
A general rule in strumming is to alternate hitting the lower and higher stings every other beat. (Photo by Adrià Tormo on Unsplash)

The following are a few tips to help you get the hang of some basic strumming techniques.

Tip #1 - Say it out loud - Don't go straight into the hand motion, think through the strumming pattern first. Say it out loud and visualize how you are going to make the movements. Humming, tapping, beatboxing, are also other ways to hear the rhythm. Once they get the rhythm down, students are ready to pick up their guitar. The same technique can be used when learning piano or bass patterns.

Tip #2 - Loosen your wrist -  avoiding a locked wrist is of number one importance in strumming. Keeping a loose and relaxed wrist makes it exponentially easier to strum. Instructors suggest that your wrist should guide the movements.

Tip #3 - Don't stop moving - Constant movement helps with the muscle memory in your hand and prevents you from consciously thinking about when to move your hand, it is going to help the rhythm of songs come more naturally.

Tip #4 - Touching all 6 stings when strumming isn’t necessary. You can simply hit 3 or 4 stings at a time.

If you need help with your strumming, a teacher at a local Los Angeles music academy can show you more detailed techniques as well as the theory behind each strumming style.

If you are looking to guitar lessons outside of Los Angeles, California, click on our blog on Guitar Teachers Across The US.

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Maria