I like to talk to people about how much I love guitars. They sometimes get interested and ask me questions, and I answer them without thinking twice because I have a lot of experience in the field. I feel like a genius while answering questions, then they hit me with the question I hate the most: “How long does it take to learn the guitar?“.
I’ve never been able to give people a satisfying answer when it comes to that question because it all depends on how much you want to learn.
Compare it with questions like:
- How long does it take to learn to draw?
- How long does it take to learn to drive?
- How long does it take to get abs?
There’s no definite answer to any of those. It’s all dependent on how much effort you are willing to put in. You can have the best acoustic guitar ever, but if you don’t put in work and time into it, you will never be able to learn to play it properly.
I’ve heard people say that you can become a professional with the guitar in less than a year. I strongly disagree with that statement, because I personally think that this is impossible unless you practice for 24 hours a day for a year straight. Even if you do that, there will still be room to improve.
Learning to play the Acoustic guitar is a slow process, which takes time and effort. When people say that you can learn to play it in less than a year, they usually mean that you can play some simple songs such as Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”.
Let’s break it down.
- In 2 Months – You will be able to play simple song intro’s that are consisted of a few simple notes.
- In 6 Months – You will be able to play some harder songs that need proper fingerpicking and more movement through the fretboard.
- In a year – You will be able to play songs like “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica from start to end. Keep in mind that this can be done only with easy songs that do not require a lot of movement on the fretboard.
- In 2 years – You will start to understand how everything works, and you will probably be able to play most of the songs you like.
- In 5 years – At this point, you can be considered as a professional because you will be able to play songs from the top of your head, without looking at notes or chords.
- In 10 years – You will develop your own style of playing the guitar. At this point, you should be able to play a song even if you hear it for the first time. You will know which notes are played through a song you hear on the radio etc.
I hope that made it easier for you. Keep in mind that this also depends on how much work you put in and how dedicated you are to learning to play the guitar. If you REALLY want to do it fast, you can practice more often.
Here are some tips to learn to play it efficiently:
- Play the guitar in the morning & before you go to sleep – The best way to learn ANYTHING is to practice as soon as you wake up, and before you go to bed. When you wake up in the morning, your brain is clear from thoughts, and it has enough space to store new things you learn. Playing it before you go to sleep can also help you because if you go to sleep after you practice, your brain will have time to process the things you learned.
- Do not rush – I’ve seen most beginners do this, and i think that this is one of the biggest mistakes they make. When people first buy an acoustic guitar, they want to immediately start to play their favorite songs. Doing that is a waste of time. After trying hard for a month straight, you might be able to learn to play the song you want, but you won’t be able to play anything else because everything you learned was without knowing the chords, the notes or anything else.
- Find your own playing style – Not everyone’s playing style is the same. By trying to copy someone you will feel uncomfortable and you won’t be able to get the outcome you want. That’s why, take your time on developing your own style.
If you’ve read this far, you probably have an idea of how long it takes to learn to play it. Remember, it all depends on how much you want it, how hard you will work for it and how many hours you put in. Try to learn efficiently, not quickly.