What is the first question that most people ask when they see someone playing the guitar or they consider learning themselves?
How long does it take to learn to play the guitar?
Unfortunately the short answer to that question is, “it depends…” not exactly what you want to hear when you’re hoping to hear a response of ‘a year’ or less…
This post will give you some factors to take into consideration for giving you a rough indication as to how long it will take you to learn to play the guitar.
How much time will you spend practicing?
This isn’t going to turn in a music teacher lecture or anything, don’t worry. The simple fact of the matter is, the more time you spend getting comfortable with the guitar and fiddling around with different chords and finger positions, the quicker you will start to feel more comfortable with learning patters and making quick switches with your fingers.
Think of it like getting a new phone. When you first start to mess with it, everything seems to be in the wrong place and you press a few wrong buttons. But very quickly, your brain starts to adapt to the new finger movements for swiping and typing and before you know it you can navigate your way around a new phone with your eyes closed.
The key to learning quickly is to play little and often. One thing you will learn in no time is how quickly your fingers get sore if you’ve never played a string instrument before. Picking the guitar up for short bursts is a good way to combat this, to give you fingers a chance to recover between each playing session!
It depends on how you choose to learn to play too. If you start a crash course, where everything is laid out for your in a step by step plan to follow then even a complete beginner will be able to piece together a song or two in a week. But the intensity that people have for learning varies, and many people will only have time and the energy to put in a short amount of time each day.
It also depends on what your goal is…
If your goal is the reach guitar legend status, you are probably looking at 1000’s of hours and years and years of practice and playing, week in, week out.
However, this is an unrealistic goal more post people, and if you simply want to be able to play a few chords, songs and impress you friends, you can probably achieve this in a month – even as a complete beginner.
Should you get guitar lessons or teach yourself to play?
Guitar lessons are fantastic if you have the money and the time to commit to it.
Many people enjoy the freedom of picking up the guitar whenever they feel like it and strumming away merrily.
There is a tonne of free to access material out there now and an Youtube tutorial on just about everything. With enough time and patience you will be able to learn a wide range of techniques and chords in a few months and start to put together pieces of music after a year or so.
So how long does it take to learn guitar?
Essentially, if you are a complete beginner and can put in around 10 minutes to an hour a few days a week, in a month, you will be able to play enough chords to strum away to basic songs..
If you are looking to play in a more technical way, playing more technically advanced songs, it will take you a few months to a year being self taught.
After a few months you should feel confident enough to try new things and to use guitar tab music to learn new music.
After a year, you will feel much for confident and will have grasped the basics, you will then be on your way to studying complex music and possibly learning new techniques to make what you can already play sound even more awesome!
This timescale is different if you have paid tuition or follow a guided programme of learning how to play the guitar. You will more than likely be confident in chords after a few weeks and have a better understanding of tone and the sound you are producing, because you will be playing to someone with a good musical ear.
The difference with a guitar playing crash course or tuition is that after a period of time, this programme will finish or you will stop taking the lessons because they are costing you money that you need for other things.
At this point you are on your own and have to then take what you have learned and apply it to what new material you can find to further progress your guitar playing skills.