So how long does it really take to learn guitar?
Ultimately, your guitar skills are up to each individual person’s determination, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you’re dedicated to practicing every day, then you can expect to see progress fairly quickly.
However, if you only practice occasionally or are starting from scratch with no prior musical experience, then it will probably take longer to learn the basics of guitar playing.
And even if you’re a gifted musician with perfect pitch and years of piano lessons under your belt (congratulations by the way!), learning guitar may still present some challenges at first… especially if you’ve never played a string instrument with frets before.
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How Long Does It Take to Learn Guitar?
This is a question that I get a lot, and there is no easy answer. Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skills. But here it really depends on how much time you’re willing to devote to practice.
If you want to be a casual player, then a few months of regular practice should suffice to be past the newbie level and onto beginner level. However, if your guitar goal is to become the next Jimi Hendrix, then expect years of dedicated study.
In either case, having a good music teacher can make the learning process much quicker and more enjoyable, as we talk about below. But it’s also a lot of fun, so don’t get discouraged!
General Timeline for Learning the Guitar
Although each guitar journey is unique, there is a general timeline that most guitarists follow when learning the instrument. Here’s just a brief overview of what you can expect as you start learning guitar.
During the first few weeks, you’ll likely spend most of your time getting comfortable with the instrument. This means learning how to hold it propertly, how to read tabs, and how to play your first notes.
After a month or two of consistent practice, you should start to see some real progress (yay!). You’ll be able to play a few songs, and switching between chords will become easier. Don’t wory, it’s tricky for everyone at the start.
At this point, you might also start to learn some more advanced techniques, such as finger-picking, hammer ons, pull offs, and more.
After six months to a year of regular practice, you should be able to play most songs that you want to learn and maybe even tackle bar chords. Your skills will continue to improve the longer you play, and you might even start to write your own songs.
Tips to Help You Learn Guitar Faster
Many people interested in learning guitar feel like they don’t have enough time. There is a learning curve for sure… but with a little bit of consistency and dedication, you can learn to play guitar faster than you might think.
Here are a few tips to help you learn guitar faster:
1. Find a Good Teacher.
Having a skilled professional who can show you the ropes and help you when you get stuck is invaluable. A good guitar teacher will also be able to give you feedback on your playing and help keep you motivated along the way. They can also introduce you to new musical techniques and concepts that will help you progress faster and reach new heights.
2. Don’t Try to Do Too Much at Once.
When first starting out with guitar playing, it’s important to focus on mastering the basics and not try to tackle too many new skills at once. Trying to learn everything at once will only lead to frustration and will make your personal progress slower in the long run.
3. Be Consistent With Your Practice.
It goes without saying that the more you practice, the faster your progress will be. Consistency is key here. Set aside some time each day or week for practicing, and stick with it! And have a dedicated practice space, even if it’s only your couch or kitchen table.
4. Barre Chords Can Wait
Many guitar students try to tackle barre chords too soon. You need to give your fingers time to get stronger in order to press down on all those strings at once. And the best way to increase your hand strength is to play.
5. Don’t Skip Music Theory
In your guitar playing, you probably focus a lot on chord shapes and favorite songs you want to play. Don’t forget about learning music theory as part of your guitar journey. It will help you set the foundation for more advanced music and greater enjoyment as well.
6. Picking the Right Guitar Can Make a Big Difference
If you pick a guitar that is comfortable for you to hold and play, and that has the right string action for your style of playing, it will be easier to learn and progress faster. That goes for acoustic and electric guitars.
The Best Way to Practice for Fast Results
Let’s talk more about practicing since no one wants to waste time. So, how can you make the most of your practice sessions and learn guitar as quickly as possible?
1. Set Realistic Goals.
If you want to learn quickly, it’s important to set realistic guitar goals. (Sorry, you won’t be a rock star overnight.) As we’ve seen, trying to learn too much at once will only overwhelm you and make it harder to retain information. So stick with that one song a bit longer until you’ve got it down rather than jumping into 5 different songs or musical genres.
Start by setting small goals that you can accomplish in a short amount of time, like mastering a chord progression from a song you’re learning. Then, as you start to see progress, you can gradually increase the difficulty of your goals.
2. Make a Practice Schedule.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re practicing regularly is to make a practice schedule. Decide how many days a week you want to practice, and then block out a specific time for practice on your calendar.
Make sure to stick to your schedule as much as possible. If you miss a practice session, try to make up for it by practicing for a longer period of time the next day.
3. Find a Practice Partner.
If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to practice, find a friend to be your practice buddy. Playing with someone else will make the time fly by and you’ll be more likely to stick to your practice schedule.
Plus, you’ll be able to get feedback from your practice partner, which can help you improve more quickly. And it’s fun to play together!
4. Vary Up Your Practice Sessions.
Don’t just go through the motions when you practice. Mix things up and keep your brain engaged by varying your practice routine from time to time.
Try different exercises, learn new songs, and experiment with different techniques – throw in some hammer ons, arpeggios, or fingerpicking for fun. The more variety you can add to your practice, the more likely you are to retain information and make progress.
5. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks.
It’s important to practice regularly, but you also need to take some breaks. If you practice for too long, you’ll start to feel overwhelmed and your brain will shut down. Plus those fingers will hurt!
So, make sure to take a few minutes to rest and relax every once in a while. Get up and walk around, grab a snack, or just take a few deep breaths.
Then, when you’re feeling refreshed, you can jump back into your practice session. Learning guitar takes time and effort, but if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll be playing your favorite songs in no time.
Just remember to set realistic goals, make a practice schedule, and vary your practice routine. And most importantly, don’t forget to take breaks!
How quickly can you learn guitar?
It takes about 3-6 months to learn guitar if you practice regularly. But the great thing is that guitar is a journey with no end – there’s always something new to learn.
Is it hard to learn the guitar?
It takes time and effort to learn the guitar, but it is not necessarily difficult. Depending on how much time you are willing to put into practicing, you could potentially learn the basics of the guitar within a few weeks.
However, becoming proficient at playing the guitar can take months or even years of practice. How far you go on your guitar journey is up to you.
Can anyone learn guitar?
There aren’t certain people with “the gift” of playing guitar. Whether you’re 8 or 88 years old, you can learn guitar.
Some people learn faster than others. But, generally speaking, it takes most people about 3-6 months to learn the basics of guitar.
Of course, there’s always more to learn, no matter how long you’ve been playing. But, the basics are the foundation that everything else is built on.
So, if you’re just starting out, don’t get discouraged if it takes you a few months to get the hang of things. Everyone learns at their own pace.
In conclusion, there is no one answer to the question of how long it takes to learn guitar. It depends on your individual circumstances and dedication to practice.
However, with a bit of effort and perseverance, you can be playing your favorite songs in no time!