Capital city of the Sunshine State (Queensland), Brisbane has plenty to offer both locals and tourists when it comes to dining, entertainment, relaxation and education. The city's music scene has been described as a 'hotbed of live music', so it should be no surprise to find an array of local, national and international musicians lining up to play in one of the many venues.
A number of well-known guitar players, including Andrew Stockdale (Wolfmother), Darren Middleton and Ian Haug (both Powderfinger), and Anthony Field (The Wiggles), spent their early years in Brisbane, which is also home to up-and-coming guitarist, Dylan Reavey, winner of the 2019 Guitarist of the Year international award for his guitar composition, King Aura. It goes without saying that learning guitar is popular and, if you're lucky enough to live in this vibrant city, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a teacher or music school to indulge your passion for playing acoustic, bass, electric or even slide guitar.
The question is, what do you need to know about finding guitar lessons in Brisbane?
Choose Your Genre
You may already have a clear idea of the music genre you want to learn. However, if you're a beginner, you might like to try out a few different music styles before you settle on one and start your guitar lessons. The best way to ensure you're motivated to practise and learn, whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, is by playing music you enjoy.
Lessons need to be fun. In the past, many students had to struggle through each lesson, learning the theory and the pieces their teacher gave them. These days, with the versatility of the guitar, you can play almost any style, including:
- rock (everything from the 50s to today)
- blues (anything from rural to modern electric)
Now you've chosen the music genre you want to learn, it's time to start looking for guitar lessons in Brisbane with teachers who offer your preferred style of learning.
Enrol in a Brisbane Music Academy or School
The biggest advantage to enrolling in a formal music academy, school or studio is that the teachers are likely to be qualified and experienced. Other advantages include set lesson times, a dedicated space suited to musical instruction, and a structured lesson sequence—although students who prefer a more flexible teaching style may disagree.
If your preference is for more formal lessons, here is a list of just a few of the guitar lessons Brisbane has available through their academies and schools:
- Australian Guitar Academy
- Sunnybank Studios
- Independent Music (who also offer social nights and jam sessions for their students)
- Brisbane Music Studio
- Virtuosi School of Music
- The Guitar Gym
Most academies offer tuition in a range of styles using electric, bass or acoustic guitar, as well as extension lessons in areas including practical theory, technique, songwriting, demoing, and reading tabs or notation. Despite the perceived formality, your tutor will also put their own spin on your class and tailor it to suit your preferences. They want you to have fun.
Usually, academies provide lessons for children of all years of age, through to adults, and levels anywhere from basic beginners through to advanced players preparing for an audition or performance. Many also cater to both private students and pair or group classes, and some also have ensembles.
It is always a good idea to contact individual institutions to check what their class structures are and whether they offer a trial tuition session for free or have other discounts.
Look for a Teacher Who Offers Private Tuition
Not all guitar teachers work in music academies. Many choose to work privately as freelance instructors and will come to your home, or meet you at another location. Levels of qualification and experience vary so always ask for recommendations and student testimonials, although you should also bear in mind that a teacher with no formal qualifications may have had years of teaching and playing experience.
In Brisbane, you can access over 40 private guitar tutors through the Superprof platform. Superprof tutors each have their own profile, and you can check to see their prior experience, qualifications, the level, genre and type of guitar they teach, and where they conduct their lesson. Many tutors on our platform will offer the first hour of tuition for free.
Private tutors also advertise for students on various platforms, including Music Teachers Online Brisbane and Gumtree, as well as on community noticeboards. Many private guitar teachers who have their own websites and a quick internet search will bring up names like Andrew Scrivens, Russell Neville, Harvey Blues and Andrea Vocaturo among many others.
Learn Guitar Online
Learning the guitar online may seem difficult but there are several benefits:
- no need to travel
- learn in the comfort of your own home
- easier rescheduling
- lessons can be recorded
- tuition should be cheaper
Many private tutors, including those on the Superprof platform, are happy to offer tutorials via webcam. This can certainly make it easier if you live outside of Brisbane, in the country areas of Queensland or further afield, and are unable to find a tutor who is teaching guitar close to your home.
The other alternative with online learning is video tutorials, like the ones you can find on YouTube. These lessons are usually free but at some stage, depending on your goals, you may find you need to supplement them with private lessons or group classes.
Social Classes and Guitar Clubs
If you've been playing for a while, or just want to challenge yourself and learn how to play along with other music enthusiasts, a guitar club or informal ensemble group might be just what you need.
For a small membership fee, you can join the Binary Music Guitar Club in Brisbane if you play acoustic guitar. The group meets once a month to play together and socialise, and they usually have a guest presenter and an optional 'open mic' session.
You may also find information about social groups and clubs at your local community centre. Try logging on to Meetup where there are often informal social groups. Go along to a few groups and try them out—you'll soon find one that suits your musical tastes. Playing with a group of like-minded people is a great way to make new friends, have fun and build your confidence.
One of the best aspects of social music groups is the opportunity to perform together—whether in public or just for your friends and family.
Many guitar clubs and social music groups enjoy the opportunity to put on a performance every so often. This may just be an informal gig for families, a charity performance or a public event.
If you enjoy performing you might also want to try busking, either by yourself or with a friend. In Brisbane, you may busk wherever you wish, except the Queen Street Mall and Southbank where you must have a busking licence. Busking can be a fun way to practice and meet new people and, who knows, you may earn a little pocket money on the side.
Guitar Lessons Brisbane: Tuition Fees
Music instruction fees vary widely depending on a number of factors:
- student level
- teacher experience and qualifications
- location (online, face-to-face, academy)
- room and equipment hire costs
- size and frequency of class
Private guitar tutors, who work in their own business or freelance, may charge anywhere from $70 an hour for a one-on-one lesson, or $30 per person for small group workshops.
As a rough guide, Superprof tutors charge anywhere from $15 an hour up to $60 an hour or more, depending on their level of experience and the level they are teaching.
Group lessons with private instructors and online tutorials will usually be cheaper as the costs are either shared (in the case of groups) or do not need to include travel or studio hire.
Session fees charged by music schools can also vary widely, with some schools offering hour-long lessons for $45, while others will charge $85 for the same time.
While schools usually have scope to provide greater variety in session types, and can offer shorter lessons for children, jam sessions for adults or opportunities to play and learn as part of a small band or ensemble, a dedicated group of guitar players or a private teacher can also make this happen.
Whatever music style or teaching method you prefer, you can guarantee you'll find it in Brisbane. Why not pick up a guitar and see where it takes you.
The guitar has a kind of grit and excitement possessed by nothing else.
~ Brian May ~