The short answer for us is that it takes an average person 8-10 years to learn to play a guitar. And that includes all the lessons, practice, and practice. This guide assumes you understand the basics like chord changes, and the theory behind that change…but that’s just a guide to start with! If you are interested in learning the more advanced concepts, take a look at our in-depth lessons and tutorials.
So what should you do for the first 3 years or so? You should practice! This includes learning to play in a group, learning to read music, learning scales, and learning to play a few songs at the piano. You also need to learn to pick up a fret or two at some point…maybe in grade school or maybe even at a summer camp. At least you will learn how to sit in a position that puts the strings on the string you use!
Once you’re comfortable playing along with an ukulele, you need to look at other instruments. The guitar is great when you want to play a whole concerto or symphony set, but you need to put in the hours to get that down to the minute. The bass is a great choice for you, especially if you have a knack for writing songs. If you’re more of a rocker who likes to jam, the piano might be for you. Even if you don’t pick up the guitar at first, the violin is a great way to spend a lot of time learning to play.
After all the learning is complete, then you go right into practicing and learning some more.
How long do I need to practice to be good?
Just like with learning to play a piano, you need to go on an active learning schedule for a very long time. Here’s a chart from the website of the Musicians’ Guild of America demonstrating the time required to become a teacher in the United States. We are talking years! It takes a lifetime to become good at anything!
The chart also shows that there is a significant cut-off. If you can play music for 2 hours a week, it takes two years more to learn the guitar!
What should I do if I have the opportunity to teach?
So you don’t have the opportunity to teach, but have some interest in learning some more music? You could always work on your guitar skills and go out and learn to play something…but that’s a very lengthy lesson. The more you learn, the better