The sunny Gold Coast, situated in the south-east corner of Queensland, Australia, is a prime holiday destination for regional and international travellers alike. Stretching along 57 kilometres of coastline, the city is called home by over half a million people and while many of them are there for the beach life, the Gold Coast is not only about the surf and sand.
Music plays a big part in the lives of locals with an array of performances, and playing opportunities, available to anyone and everyone. Hand in hand with this passion for music, you'll find a wide range of teachers and lessons for any instrument you want to learn how to play.
In recent years, the ukulele has become the instrument of choice to learn, particularly in schools. However, along with the piano, the guitar—in its various guises, from acoustic to electric and everything in between—has for decades consistently hovered in the top five most commonly sought lessons.
What about on the beach-loving, surfing-mad Gold Coast? Are guitar lessons easy to find?
Stay with us while we introduce you to guitar lessons Gold Coast style!
First of All, What Do You Need to Start Learning Guitar?
You might think the most obvious answer is a guitar—but before you rush out to buy one, remember that many teachers and studios will have a guitar you can borrow to play during your lesson. Some places may even offer a free loan service until you purchase your own guitar.
Hiring or borrowing a guitar could be a good idea so that when you're ready to invest, you know exactly what size and style of guitar suits you. You may even wish to compare electric with acoustic.
Once you have a guitar, however, you will want to get a few other bits and pieces as well. Some of the necessities are:
- tuner (although these can be downloaded as an app these days)
- spare strings (yes, they do break, usually when you're in the middle of playing for someone)
- books and a folder to hold your sheet music and songs
Other equipment, not essential but nice to have, includes:
- metronome (to help you develop your rhythm)
- music stand
- guitar case
Above all, though, the most important thing you need is patience. You won't learn to play like Jimi Hendrix overnight, but if you practise regularly ... maybe, one day.
Learn to Play Guitar at a Music Academy or School
Every time you turn the corner on the Gold Coast, there seems to be another 'school' or 'academy' offering music lessons. This is fantastic, as it offers students lost of choice.
A professional music school will offer private and group classes, usually at all levels and covering different styles (classical, acoustic, electric and rock, bass, blues, jazz and so on.) Teachers and tutors in these schools are usually required to have teaching and/or music qualifications and experience. Many also offer music theory classes or a theory component as well.
Before you enrol in classes, make sure they offer exactly what you want. Think about group sizes, music style, lesson length, location and, of course, cost. Enquire about whether they offer free trial classes too.
Here's a handful of Gold Coast locations to get you started:
- Miami Sound (also a one-stop specialty guitar shop!)
- Burleigh Academy of Music
- Intuitive Grooves
- Vocal Adrenaline Performing Arts (guitar, piano, drama and singing for kids and adults)
- Gold Coast Arts Academy
Private Guitar Lessons
If learning a preset curriculum or with other students in a group is not what you want, perhaps you might be better suited to a private teacher.
Guitar teachers who work face-to-face with individual students will often be able to tailor each lesson to have you play the songs you love, or the music you are into. They are better able to focus on your personal strengths and weaknesses as well.
Superprof Guitar Tutors in or Near the Gold Coast
There are dozens of tutors on the Superprof platform offering private lessons, either in person at your home, or online via webcam.
Spend some time looking through tutor profiles where you'll find all the information you need about the levels they teach, whether they specialise in acoustic or electric styles, their teaching methodology, and their experience and qualifications.
Make sure you also look at testimonials from students, prices and whether or not they offer the first tutorial for free. (You'll find that most do.)
Can't find a guitar tutor nearby on the Gold Coast?
Don't worry—broaden your search to include tutors who teach guitar remotely, and then it doesn't matter if they're over the other side of Australia.
Apart from looking up a platform like Gumtree or Music Teachers Online, or scanning the community noticeboard at your local shopping centre, a quick way to find private lessons is to search the internet for guitar lessons Gold Coast.
In under a minute, we found:
- Gold Coast School of Guitar (a songs based approach)
- Guitar Tuition by Tim Shaw (beginners to advanced, acoustic, electric and bass)
- Lord of the Strings (lessons via Skype)
Learning Without a Teacher—is it Possible?
What if you really want to learn guitar, but don't have the money for music lessons, let alone a private teacher? Can you teach yourself?
Unsurprisingly, in this day and age, you don't need to look far to find 'do it yourself' classes and apps on the internet. YouTube alone is an absolute gold mine when it comes to independent learning. The great thing is, it is easy to find exactly the lesson you want on the internet for free.
As with all online learning, though, make your choice carefully—anyone can put anything up on the internet.
A few free phone apps you may want to check out to help you learn guitar include:
- Justin Guitar
If you're serious about progressing beyond the basics, however, at some point you will probably want to consider lessons with qualified or experienced teachers.
Playing with a Community Music Group
If you've been learning guitar for a while, sometimes the best way to improve your skills and confidence is by playing in a group.
Often, these groups are free to join or, like the Binary Music Guitar Club (which has branches at the Gold Coast as well as Brisbane Qld), have a nominal membership fee.
Some groups are more structured, often featuring a guest speaker or a special lesson. Others may just consist of a group of mates who like to play and jam together.
Check out your community noticeboards at shopping centres, schools and libraries or alternatively, check a platform like Meetup to find a group near you.
Performance Opportunities and Busking
Many musicians simply want to share their music with others.
If you get a kick out of performing in public, putting your name forward to be on the list of some of the Gold Coast's live venues is a definite must. You may start with a half-hour slot at lunchtime of weekdays, and build to longer sessions in the evenings or on weekends.
If you don't want to go quite that far, busking might be just what you need.
If you want to busk in the Gold Coast, you will need to obtain a permit. This is a relatively simple process, with a small fee, and can be done quite quickly online. With a permit, buskers are welcome to play in a range of Gold Coast locations, and the financial rewards for good buskers can be lucrative.
Becoming a good guitar player, with the confidence and skill to perform for others, won't happen overnight but if you are committed to practising and get yourself a great teacher, like the tutors on Superprof, you are sure to achieve your dreams.
In the words of one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jimi Hendrix:
Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.