Guitar lessons could make the difference between giving up and viewing your instrument as a source of lifelong enjoyment. Guitar instructors not only motivate but also help you break bad habits and learn better ones, thereby helping you make continual progress. Keep reading to learn easy and effective ways of connecting with a terrific guitar teacher.

1. Ask Experienced Players

If you have friends who have been playing guitar for a while, ask if they have any suggestions of people in the area or online who can help you become more tight-knit you play guitar. Generally speaking, local communities of musicians are very tight knit, so chances are some of your peers will have good leads about people who could give guitar lessons.

2. Do Research Online

Many guitar instructors maintain websites that describe things such as their playing styles, rates, and schedules. Even better, they often include videos so you can hear and see the results they get as they play guitar. Check out TrueFire’s faculty of online guitar instructors, for instance.

Hearing those audio samples is especially useful if you want to develop your skills to mimic a certain famous player. Maybe you’ve always loved the smooth, jam band-inspired riffs from Dave Matthews or admired the rock-based sounds of Jack White. Free samples from TrueFire educators’ courses, for example, could let you determine whether a given teacher is a good choice for helping you develop a specific sound.

3. Visit Local Music Shops

Maybe you don’t know anyone who also plays guitar, so you’re not sure where to begin your search for a great teacher. In that case, a music shop in the area is probably a solid resource. Usually, music shops have bulletin boards where teachers post advertisements about the guitar lessons they offer.

Alternatively, if there is a college with a music education program nearby, check for similar bulletin boards there and see if music students would be willing to teach you in exchange for payment. Because college students are still learning foundational teaching skills, they probably won’t charge as much as fully qualified teachers.

4. Take a Trial Lesson

Instructors often offer free or discounted trial lessons to potential students (TrueFire offers a 30-day free trial of All Access!). If you have the opportunity to take one, give it a go and see if the instructor seems like a good fit. Prior to the lesson, write down a few questions to ask the teacher, and be prepared to talk about your aspirations, preferred genres and songs you’d like to learn.

Preparing in that way allows you to thoroughly learn about the teacher and discover how he or she might help you progress towards your guitar goals. It’ll also give you first-hand experience about the instructor’s teaching style, so you can figure out if it matches the way you learn best. The trial lesson also provides a good time to learn details such as how much lessons cost, and whether you can receive a discount for getting regular instruction.

Finding a fantastic guitar teacher isn’t always easy, and it can sometimes take a while to get a good match. No matter what, don’t give up. Your instructor could help you turn your guitar goals into realities that make you feel proud of your accomplishments.