As the UK’s second city, you would expect Birmingham to be rife with opportunities for learning. And you won’t be surprised to hear that such an expectation would not be wrong. Birmingham is a fabulously diverse city offering a huge range of options in terms of education, experience, and culture.
You’ll find that this is also true for those looking to learn how to play the guitar in the city. Whether you want to learn to strum your favourite songs, nail the world’s most hardcore solos, or develop the technique to play classical guitar, Birmingham will give you some great options for learning – regardless of whether you’d prefer to be practicing in a guitar class or one-to-one with your guitar teacher.
We have compiled the best options in Birmingham here, from the outskirts to the city centre, from blues and jazz rock to folk, metal, or pop. So, pick up your guitar, tune up, and get playing!
Your Guitar Academy is a music education company working across the UK. They are a hugely professional outfit, offering guitar tuition – electric, acoustic, and classical – from professional and experienced tutors and musicians in their home studios.
The company offers a number of different courses and teaching styles, from ensemble classes to personalised individual lessons. The ensemble groups work in four courses – from foundation, through beginner and intermediate, up to advanced – and change depending upon the genre or styles you want to play.
Location-wise, YGA is quite convenient too, with tutors in Sparkhill and the Jewellery Quarter. So, no matter where you are, they are a great option!
Zaid Crowe is a guitar instructor offering lessons also in ukulele and bass guitar, and he is available either in his home studio or over Skype. Conveniently, he lets you borrow a spare instrument of his, so you don’t have to lug yours across town!
His guitar classes cover everything you would need to know about the instrument, from the array of guitar techniques to improvisation, music theory, and guitar grades. With twenty-five years as a professional musician, Zaid really knows his stuff. You’ll notice from his blog, which is crammed full of useful tips, advice, and updates.
The lessons are super affordable too – so, Zaid is well worth a look!
The Progress Music Academy is a dedicated music school in the heart of Birmingham offering singing lessons, piano lessons, and sessions in drums, bass, and music theory. This is all besides teaching guitar, of course. They also have a recording studio, so you can learn about recording techniques and have a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry too!
Progress is the only examination centre for the Trinity Rock and Pop music exams, so they are very comfortable with teaching towards academic qualifications – but they are not limited to this! If you just want to learn how to jam with your mates or develop your ear training or sight reading, Progress will be able to help you there too.
Learn with one of the best guitar instructors in Birmingham.
As an online platform hosting tutors in over a thousand subjects, Superprof might just be the best place to find private lessons in guitar. If there are over five million tutors across the world who use the site, Birmingham hosts twenty-one guitar tutors, each with a different strength, teaching style, and focus.
The benefit of Superprof is precisely this: every guitarist – and guitar student – has a different way of doing things, and the best way to become a rockstar guitar player is to find the teacher that best suits you. There’s no better way to do that than with Superprof.
Steve Layton Guitar is run by the man himself, an incredibly experienced musician, performer, and guitar tutor. He’s played everything from Latin music to bluegrass, so you can be pretty sure he knows what he is doing.
His studio is based in the West Heath Community Centre to the south-west of the city, and it is fully equipped with amplifiers and the computer programmes you might need both to enhance your playing and to get the most fun out of it!
The classes are a very reasonable £13 for half an hour, or £23.50 for an hour – with ample discounts for block-booking and for students.
Rockstar Guitar Tuition is based in Halesowen, a quick bus ride outside of Birmingham city centre. It is run by a guitar education specialist who has written books on playing the guitar for beginners and who updates a popular blog for guitarists.
The peak time slots at Rockstar are a little pricey – which you should take as a sign of a teacher in demand – but during the morning and the evening they are more reasonable. They also have an innovative teaching structure in which they pair up two guitarists of a similar level to teach them together – a strategy which helps students learn from each other and push each other to excel.
Learn heavy metal and rock music with Birmingham’s guitar tuition.
The Birmingham Adult Education Service is a network of centres across the city that run classes in professional development, academic qualifications for mature learners, and recreational classes for adults. Their guitar classes might be a great opportunity for adults to learn in the company of like-minded people.
They only offer classes in the acoustic guitar, however, at beginner and intermediate levels – and the courses last for up to twenty-four weeks, depending on how many people attend. You’ll record yourself playing, you’ll play in groups and in pairs, and you’ll even produce your own workbook to properly cement that knowledge – of chords, strumming, and reading music.
Shades Music is a music school based in Moseley, which, alongside its instrument repairs shop, offers classes in every instrument from the clarinet to the violin. They also handily sell musical accessories, from picks to reeds.
Whether it is grades you are after or just casual study, Shades offers a comprehensive service with lots of guitar teachers – who offer banjo, mandolin, and bass lessons too!
The Birmingham Music School has been around for over a decade now, and they offer classes in guitar and bass, keyboard and piano, drums, and vocals. They are sponsored by Yamaha – the musical instrument brand – so their teaching studios are fully equipped with quality Yamaha amps, guitars, and accessories.
Whilst the teachers encourage you to direct your learning towards musical grades, you will also be playing along to different songs, and practising how to read, write, and improvise music.
Classes are in groups of five to eight people, and generally last an hour.
The Strings Club is an organisation running music lessons for children between the ages of four and eleven. Originally based in London, they came to Birmingham in 2013 to bring musical holiday camps – and guitar, ukulele, and violin lessons – to England’s second city.
The holiday camps are based in Harborne Academy, at which, during school holidays, you can drop off your kids whilst you are at work. They will come out thrilled – having spent the day making noise with their mates under the supervision of experienced and qualified teachers.
If you want to take your guitar playing to the next level, you might want to consider taking a degree or further education qualification in the instrument. Birmingham’s Academy of Contemporary Music is just the place to do this, offering diplomas and BAs in musicianship, song-writing, and music technology.
The Academy works in partnership with Middlesex University, London, and has collected – since 2017, when it opened – some brilliant tutors and industry professionals.
For guitarists, you can either take a two- or a three-year course, and you will receive a degree in Music Industry Practice.
With proper tuition, why not become a professional guitarist?
Whilst Flamenco Birmingham primarily offers classes in flamenco dance, after many requests from students they have started to do flamenco guitar workshops and masterclasses too.
The organisation provides classes with musicians and performers that tour across the UK, and they have a network of local teachers who are qualified to teach the flamenco repertoire. What’s fantastic about Flamenco Birmingham is that once you are at the right ability, you can go right ahead and perform with the dancers too!