If you want to learn how to play guitar, there are plenty of books, videos and online lessons to help you get started. Why should you bother signing up for classes with a music instructor when you have all of these other resources available to teach you?

There are 3 reasons why formal guitar lessons at a studio like Pimentel & Sons Guitars are necessary if you want to become a real player:

1) A guitar instructor helps minimize your pain.

While books and videos can show you techniques and finger positions, they can’t prepare you for the initial soreness you’ll encounter on the tips of your fingers. Until you develop callouses on them, your fingertips are going to be tender from pressing down on the strings. Many new guitar players quit because of this.

A good guitar teacher will show you how to hold your hands and how to finger the fretboard in ways that lessen the newbie pains. Your teacher will help you work past the hurt, and give you exercises and other tips that strengthen your playing hands.

2) You have a reason to practice.

Despite your musical dreams and your best intentions, it’s easy to stop practicing any instrument when there’s no one holding you accountable.

But, when you know you have a lesson this week, you will be far more likely to practice your assigned pieces. You don’t want to look like a jerk in front of your teacher, so you’re motivated to improve your playing.

Being inspired enough to continue practicing is the number one factor in becoming an expert guitar player. You don’t have to practice for 14 hours a day, as some famous guitarists have done, but an hour a day minimum should be enough to master most beginning practice pieces within a week.

3) You have an automatic “band.

Whether you’re learning lead guitar so you can one day play awesome solos, or you’re studying rhythm guitar so you can strum along to songs around a campfire, having another guitarist with whom to practice is like having your own little band.

Your guitar instructor can play a nice blues shuffle while you practice scales, or they can add some nice frills to your simple 3 chord song. Either way, they help you learn to play in time with other musicians and their accompaniment helps you to develop your musical ear.

When you make music with another person, it’s a thrilling experience, and it encourages you to keep working on your guitar skills.

It’s fine to use all of the resources out there, from videos to online lessons, in order to advance with your guitar. But a competent, professional guitar teacher will help you start out the correct way, laying the most secure foundation for a lifetime of guitar heroics.