It does not come as a surprise that one of the most common questions that comes to anyone with an interest in playing guitar is how long it takes to learn it. It can be great fun to play your favorite songs, to jam with friends, to write your music, or to even play simple chords on guitar. Given that everybody has varying ideas about what it means to learn the guitar, the question of how long it takes is a tough question because it has many responses that vary from one person to another. Unfortunately, to get to the stage where you can play those things on a guitar takes some time and effort.
A brief answer to how long it may take to learn guitar would be:
It can take you anywhere from a few months to a few years to learn the guitar. How long it takes to learn guitar depends on what you want to play on the guitar, how long you practice, and the consistency of your practice sessions. Getting good at something, whether it is learning to play the guitar, learning a foreign language, or learning something else, takes a lot of practice.
How Many Hours a Day Should You Practice Guitar?
To get to the basic level of experience, where you are able to play simple music, you would need to take about 150 hours of practice time, which means 1-3 hours a day depending on how fast and the guitar skill level you want to achieve. This can take a matter of months if you are committed. It could require thousands of hours of preparation time to achieve a professional/ advanced guitar level.
There are several guitar skill levels. To be able to hit a few chords on a guitar and to be able to play Hendrix solos or heavy metals on a guitar are two very different propositions. There are several factors as well as the time it would take to learn and achieve various guitar ability levels.
Beginner Level: Learning to mastering the fundamentals of the guitar, including easy-to-open chords, 4th, and 8th strumming, and straightforward compositions.
Improver Level: Learning to become competent with difficult guitar chords and learn to play entire songs without getting exhausted. It includes bar chords and bar chord cheats, power chords, more intricate strumming, and playing entire music.
Intermediate Level: Learning to acquire a full base of all the basic guitar skills required to perform the most common pop and rock songs. It includes 16th strumming, caged shapes, and arpeggios, enhanced technique, fundamental music theory and understanding of diatonic chords and keys, experience playing a range of styles and genres (ideally together with the original recordings), and learning how to improvise a simple lead guitar.
Advance Level: Learning to attaining mastery of the guitar in your desired genres and for your specific disciplines. It involves fantastic lead guitar competency and perhaps mastery, knowledge of advanced harmony, brilliant technique and phrasing, a more complete fretboard, and music theory knowledge. This can be helped initially by knowledge and application of; 5 pentatonic scale positions and major scale all over the neck and applying this to chord shapes, improvising, and advanced harmony.
At the advanced level, you can even become a guitar teacher to the beginner’s by teaching them what you have learnt so far.
For most people, who are just starting to learn guitar, being able to play the guitar and sound nice will be a desirable level to achieve. Even though you might be at the guitar beginner’s level, this can be achieved through learning. However, your first goal should aim towards reaching the Intermediate guitar level.
This is achievable, even if you are still at the beginner learning guitar level. Nevertheless, the skill level you should set your eyes on is the Intermediate guitar level. The experience you get on the way to the intermediate level sets the right foundation for you as a guitarist. Being at the intermediate guitar stage puts you in a very good place to continually learn the guitar and start creating your style.
Is It Hard to Learn Guitar?
At first, while beginning, learning guitar can be hard, but with time it gets easier. The more practice you put into it, the easier it becomes when playing. This is the reason why a majority of the people who quit do so at the very beginning as they misguidedly think they are not as good. However, if they were to keep the learning and practice going, they would undoubtedly overcome this challenging guitar stage.
Therefore, it would be best to remember that it is only at the beginning that guitar learning is hard. The more you practice you put in playing and learning guitar, the easier it becomes.
Can I Learn Guitar in 2 Months?
Yes, learning the guitar in 2 months is quite possible, but it depends on both the practice and time you put into it. To play the guitar within this time means learning new finger and hand movements. This will require you to strengthen your hand muscles as well as learn particular, coordinated finger movements. The best way to master these gestures, develop your hand muscle memory, and make real improvements in playing the guitar is to practice daily.
Here is a timeframe of the stages and how long it takes to reach certain guitar skill levels if you practice regularly:
1-2 months: In this long, you can be able to play some simple songs on the guitar.
3-6 months: In this long, you can be able to play a bit more complicated songs on the guitar that need more technical features. For instance, songs involving simpler hammer-ons, pull-outs, and other easier guitar playing techniques.
1 year: In this long, you can be able to play mid-level/intermediate music, like some popular guitar songs, riffs, and blues among others. You are going to start getting a more definitive feel for guitar bar chords around this time.
2 years: In this long, you can be able to play most songs with the guitar in 2 years if you practice enough. You are going to have to practice them before you can play them, but learning a song at this point is easy because you are already mastering much of the guitar technical elements.
2-3 years: In this long, you can be able to play if you have studied guitar theory on your guitar journey, you will be able to improvise on the guitar as well.
5-6 years: In this long, you can be able to play and can call yourself an advanced guitarist, you can play anything you want.
10 years: In this long, you can be able to play you are starting to remember how much you do not know yet because you want to understand more about the guitar. Your guitar collection would have an average of 12 instruments each year.
20+ years: In this long, and with this much experience, you will be playing and entertaining people with a guitar.
The bottom line is that learning to play the guitar is a long process that never ends, but getting to a suitable guitar level where you are going to start loving your music (and not driving people crazy) can be achieved after 6 months of daily guitar practice.
A lot of beginners pick up their guitar for a few days, then pause for a week, pick it up again then give it some rest, and so on. Typically, this is caused by the fact that learning the guitar is not going to happen or take place immediately, it may take long or take weeks of practice before you can begin to get a hang of how to change the guitar chords. It is all part of the long learning process, but sadly, after a very short period, many beginners lose their guitar passion.
Is It Too Late to Learn Guitar?
No, it is never too late, neither are you too late to learn guitar. The truth of the matter is that no matter the age, or how long it may take you, you can always learn guitar. Although younger people are likely to learn or take on lessons faster, you can still learn guitar whether you are 30, 50, or even 70 years old.
In conclusion, the question of how long does it take to learn guitar does not have an exact answer. However, you may be where you want to be in a couple of months or it may even take 5+ years, as stated in the guitar timeframe above. All this depends on whether you want to be able to perform a few of your favorite songs with or for your friends or become a skilled guitar player. However, one thing that is guaranteed learning guitar is that preparation taken with supportive and educational tools will help improve your guitar learning abilities tremendously and help you get on track to where you want to go, in regards to your guitar skill level, even quicker.