How long does it take to learn how to play the guitar?

Probably the most common question I am asked by prospective guitar students is “how long does it take to learn how to play the guitar?” or “what is the easiest way to learn guitar?” These are tough questions for any guitar teacher to answer as everyone has different goals. Some people just want to learn a few chords or to impress friends with a couple of songs at a party.  Others may be more ambitious and learn to play some Jimi Hendrix style solos. Learning guitar is similar to learning any new skill, such as a new language – if you want to get good you need to practice! Whatever your guitar playing goals are, it will take at least a few months up to a few years of regular practice for you to be able to say that you can play the guitar.

Check out Perth Guitar Lessons – Fingerstyle and Classical Guitar Studio to find out the easiest way to learn guitar.

First thing first…

What is your guitar playing ambition?

Why do you want to learn the guitar?


If your guitar playing ambition is to become the next Jimi Hendrix, you need a lot of practice to master the guitar! It is important that you don’t get discouraged if progress is slow, guitar playing is not just about pure talent… deliberate practice is vital.

What is a realistic time frame and schedule to make progress?

You need to keep in mind that everybody makes progress at a different rate, and has differing levels of free time to dedicate to practicing. If we assume that you have time for a few hours of practice a week the easiest way to learn guitar is to follow a learning plan put together with your guitar teacher. You will be able to track your progress and estimate what level you will achieve over the months. I find the key to motivating my students to be successful is making practice fun. You should be playing the music that you enjoy! When the student is enjoying the lessons, there is more motivation to practice! If you are excited about practicing and getting better, it will keep you going through the hard times when you need to keep repeating sections in order to get them right. After eighteen months to two years of study and practice, you will have progressed to a good standard and will have mastered playing barre chords. This is a big challenge, but once you have mastered that, everything opens up for you! You will be able to play any chord, learn new songs easily, and even create your own music.

The good news is that this is possible to achieve in six short months depending on how much time you can find to dedicate to practice every week.


Final Thoughts

How long does it take to learn how to play the guitar? We have seen that the time frame depends on what your desired level of playing is and how much time you can dedicate to practicing. It is vital to create an atmosphere that you enjoy when you practice, and to always have fun when you play your guitar! There are sequences of chords that you will need to repeat over and over until you get it right, but always remember that there is always another day and you will learn it in the end. Somewhere in the region of between six months and two years, depending on the time you have to practice, is a realistic goal to become proficient at playing the guitar to a decent standard.


Happy practicing!

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