(NOTE: Wanna speed up your guitar progress? Then grab a free trial to GuitarTricks and make progress today!)
Are you new to guitar or starting back up after a long time off? I bet you have a lot of questions. And I bet one of those questions is: “How long does it take to learn guitar?” In this post, I’m going to attempt to answer that.
But first, I want you to understand that no one is ever really done learning guitar. It’s a life-long journey. And if you do it right, it’s super fun! But there are some pitfalls that really slow people down (I’ll get to those shortly).
Second, you must measure your progress in total hours invested. Not in months or years. I’ve known guitar players who’ve been playing for 10 years that sound the same as others who’ve only been playing for a year. How is that possible?
It’s simple: Amount of hours spent practicing.
You can practice 1 hour per day, 5 days per week and you’ll be much further ahead than someone who practices 2 hours on the weekends.
And we must not confuse practicing with playing. These are two completely different things. Yet most people think just playing guitar for 30 minutes is practicing. It’s not. For an in-depth explanation on guitar practice, go here.
Alright, does that make sense? (If not, leave me a comment!)
Let’s imagine that right now there are two paths in front of you. The path you take determines how fast you learn guitar.
What it looks like:
- You set a goal and systematically work towards that goal.
- You practice guitar consistently at least 5 days per week.
- You don’t waste time working on the wrong things.
- You accept feedback and guidance from those that have already learned guitar.
Practice Schedule: 15 minutes per day X 5 days per week X 6 months = 30 Hours of practice time.
Skill Level After 30 Hours (for most people):
- You will be able to play many rock/pop song rhythm parts with ease.
- You will be able to strum along to many songs with a strong sense of rhythm.
- You will be able to play the most used guitar chords.
- You will be able to switch chords in time with the music.
- You will be able to read tabs and play simple riffs like “Enter Sandman”, “Highway To Hell”, “Smoke on the Water”.
I’ve seen students reach this level of skill in just 2 months by practicing more than 15 minutes per day. The beautiful thing about practicing correctly is that the more you practice the better you get and the faster you progress.
That’s what is possible for anyone regardless of natural talent.
But unfortunately, most people aren’t aware of:
- The proper way to practice.
- What to learn and in what order.
- What to practice every day.
So they end up on the next path…
What it looks like:
- You don’t have a goal.
- You bounce around YouTube watching random lessons and learning bits and pieces of songs.
- You “practice” when you feel like it and that’s usually skipping all week and cramming on the weekend.
- You learn a new concept and then spend most of your “practice” time playing stuff you already know.
Practice Schedule: 2 hours on weekend X 4 weekends X 6 months = 48 Hours of practice time.
Skill Level After 48 Hours:
- Can play some open chords but can’t always switch quick enough. And don’t even think about playing barre chords, you won’t have the dexterity or calluses built up.
- Strumming will be stiff and awkward. You might be able to get through a few songs. Most people won’t be able to even play an entire song all the way through.
- You’ll understand tabs but you’ll spend too much time searching tab sites for songs. Then when you play them they never sound quite right.
- And did I mention your fingers will constantly hurt?
So “How Long Does It Take To Learn Guitar?”…
Hopefully you can see how the answer to your question really depends. It depends on how much time you put in. And how you practice!
(NOTE: Wanna get better at guitar? Then grab a free trial to GuitarTricks and make progress today!)