Want to know how long it takes to get good at guitar?
Unfortunately there’s no set answer and this post explains exactly why.
When starting out playing the guitar, you are probably quickly ready to move on from being a beginner to being a pro. A common question from students and others just starting out is “when will I be good at guitar?” Sadly, there is no definitive answer.
Although some things may be out of your control, the good news is how long it takes you to get good at guitar is closely related to how much time and effort you are willing to put into the pursuit.
What is Your Goal?
Being “good” at guitar is too vague of a goal. You need to decide exactly what you are trying to accomplish and at what level you will be satisfied with your ability to play. That being said, you should always be striving to get even better.
Do you want to be able to play simple songs at parties to wow the guests? Are you wanting to be able to hit that epic solo from your favorite heavy metal song? Do you want to be able to improvise a solo whenever the mood strikes? Having clearly defined goals help you have something to work towards. Maybe you define being “good’ as being able to play a variety of musical styles, or maybe your definition involves knowing a certain number of songs by heart. Decide what you are working toward early on.
How Much Will You Practice?
It’s fairly well known that practice makes perfect. How long it will take you to get good at guitar will depend greatly on how much time you devote to it. Are you taking an hour-long lesson once a week and that’s it? It will probably take you quite a while to get good. Are you picking up your guitar every single spare second you have? Then you are looking at achieving your goals quicker.
The amount of time practicing needs to be combined with practicing efficiently. A mistake many people make is mastering a song and then playing it over and over. While that may be a great boost to your confidence, it is not really stretching your skills. It is important to be constantly challenging yourself. This will make the time you spend more effective and help you get better, faster.
Ultimately, if your goal is to become one of the best guitar players to ever live, you are going to need to be prepared to practice. A lot. It can take practicing 15-20 hours every week for years and years to reach that level of proficiency.
How Will You Learn Guitar?
Different people have different learning styles. Some things are going to be more effective for some people than others. However you learn, it is important to have access to quality materials. If you decide to take lessons, be sure to look around for the best guitar teacher in your area. Read online reviews. Ask any potential teacher about their methods and expectations.
If you are not able to spend the money on professional lessons, the internet is full of instructional videos. This is a great, free way to learn the guitar. That being said, it will likely take you longer than the professional lessons. This is because you will need to spend time finding the right videos and figuring out the order to learn them in.
There are also apps and sites that will teach you to play the guitar for a price. These are a good compromise for some people because they cost let but they give you a guided path towards learning the instrument. This method would still likely take longer than in-person lessons but is worth considering. If you have the time and ability to use these services for 20 hours a week, however, the argument could be made that you’d learn faster than if you were taking one 1-hour class per week.
At the end of the day, there are some things that are out of your control. Some people seem to have a natural knack for tone and reading music, while others will struggle to learn these concepts. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, however, almost anyone can become a good guitar player. Just make sure you have clear goals in mind and realistic expectations when it comes to how much work it will take to get there.