Learning to play the guitar is a significant challenge, which leaves every guitar player wondering how long it takes to learn the instrument. The truth is that learning to play the guitar takes a different amount of time for everyone, and the amount of time that is spent practicing determines the progress that a guitar player can make.
|Practice Per Day
|Length Of Time
|20 – 30 minutes
|1 – 3 Months
|30 – 60 minutes
|1 – 4 Hours
|1 – 6 Hours
Developing beginner-level skills requires less time and practice than developing expert-level skills. The amount of time that a guitarist spends practicing, how they practice, and how dedicated they are determines how long it takes to learn the instrument. Let’s explore the concept on a deeper level to discover how long it takes the average guitarist to reach beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert skill levels.
How Long Does It Take To Learn The Guitar?
Learning to play the guitar is among the most challenging of all instruments. String instruments are difficult to learn in general, but the complexity and versatility of the guitar make it very challenging to master.
With that being said, there are different levels of guitar playing. Learning to master the instrument can take a lifetime, but learning to play basic chords and strumming some songs does not take very long at all, depending on how much your practice.
Everyone learns at different paces, all guitar players have different amounts of practice time available, and every guitarist has different levels of dedication.
There are several significant factors that contribute to how much time it takes to progress on the instrument, but before we examine the specific contributing factors, let’s explore the time and effort required to reach the various guitar-playing skill levels.
Beginner Skill Level
Learning to play the guitar to a beginner skill level requires the least amount of time and practice of all. Anyone can learn to play guitar at this level, and the beginner level is not as basic as it may sound.
The beginner levels of playing the guitar are full of songs, melodies, chord progressions, and strumming patterns. This skill level requires only about a month or two of consistent practice to achieve, especially if the guitarist has a teacher to help them along the way.
A new guitar player who dedicates 20 – 30 minutes of practice at least five days per week will progress to a beginner skill level within a few months. If a guitarist practices well and learns the basic skills well, they will be able to learn beginner-level songs on their own in no time at all.
Learning the guitar to this level is fun and highly enjoyable, and everyone can learn to play this guitar at this level.
Intermediate Skill Level
The intermediate skill level is more challenging to reach. Getting to an intermediate level requires roughly 30 – 60 minutes of practice as many days per week as possible for roughly a year. After a year of practicing consistently at this level, a guitar player will be able to play many of the songs that they set out to learn when they began, they will learn to use scales and keys well, and they will begin to understand the fundamentals of music.
Intermediate guitar players begin delving into the basic theory and basic chord construction, and they begin learning more advanced playing techniques. This is the level where guitar players discover their own voice on the instrument and develop their own preferences and stylistic avenues.
This skill level requires significant dedication and a lot of practice, but the time and effort are worthwhile.
Advanced Skill Level
Developing an advanced skill set on the guitar is far more challenging than intermediate or beginner skills. Advanced guitar players are those who have been playing the instrument for multiple years and those who practice well and practice consistently.
Developing an advanced guitar skill level requires roughly 1 – 4 hours of practice every day for about five years.
Five years of practice to achieve this level of skill seems like many years, but the truth is that the guitar is so intricate, complex, and versatile that it does require hours of daily practice for several years to learn the instrument well.
When guitar players reach an advanced skill level, they have developed very advanced playing techniques, they have begun to use advanced theory, they can learn songs quickly, they can play well with other musicians, they can read sheet music to a certain level, and they have a deep understanding of music and musical concepts, and they can easily learn any piece of music that they set out to.
The truth is that learning to play the guitar at an advanced level like this requires significant effort, practice, and time. Not many guitarists reach this level, and some take much longer than five years to do so, but those who do become very accomplished on the instrument.
Expert Skill Level
Learning to play at an expert skill level is something that very few guitar players accomplish. This skill requires many dedicated years of intense practice and experience, as well as a deep love for music and playing the guitar.
The guitarists who reach an expert level practice a very broad range of musical styles and guitar techniques, they become masters of genres and playing styles, they develop a very broad set of skills at a very advanced level, and they grasp music as a concept and on a theoretical level very well.
Developing expert guitar-playing skills requires many years of many hours per day playing the instrument. Many say that this level requires 10 000 hours of practice, but the reality is that most guitarists must play for around 6 hours every day for around ten years to reach this level.
These extreme figures are simply due to the fact that the guitar is a very complex instrument to master. There is so much guitar material to learn, there are many musical genres to learn, and there are several musical skills that every expert must learn, along with a deep understanding of musical theory.
Only those players who dedicate their lives to their instrument ever achieve this true level of expertise, and reaching this skill level is a remarkable achievement.
Factors That Contribute To Guitar Progress
We have learned that there are several different levels to playing the guitar, and each level requires significantly more work and practice, but there are some broad factors that every guitar player must understand in order to make good progress on the instrument.
There are several contributing factors that determine how well. Guitar player progresses, and by understanding them, the player will make progress far more quickly than otherwise.
There are good ways to practice the guitar, and there are bad ways to practice the instrument. Not all practice is good practice, so let’s determine and identify the factors that every guitarist must look out for if they want to learn the instrument in less time.
Frequency Of Practice
Among the biggest factors in guitar progress is the frequency of practice. A guitar player who practices often will progress much more quickly than a player who only picks up the instrument once a week.
It is far better to practice for shorter daily sessions than to practice for one long session every few days. Practicing the guitar requires very frequent practice to progress well.
Quality Of Practice
Not all practice is good practice. If a guitarist spends their practice sessions focusing on unimportant things, they will not progress quickly. A guitarist who prioritizes the most important skills, develops them well, and learns to understand the instrument entirely will make quick progress.
Never spend your practice sessions noodling when there are real skills that you need to learn to progress. There is always time to have fun with the instrument, but practice sessions should be well-focused and intentional.
Finding good resources for learning the guitar is critical for progressing well. Not all guitar learning material on the internet is worthwhile spending time on, so discerning what is good material and what is not is very important.
It is always best to sign up for some form of structured content rather than searching for anything you can find online to learn guitar. Taking the right steps toward measured goes is the fastest way to get good at playing the guitar.
There are several different ways to learn the guitar, and there are many different skill levels to achieve. Every guitar player must decide for themselves how far they want to go, and this will determine how hard they need to work at the instrument to meet their goals.
Every guitarist is different, and it takes a lot of work and practice to achieve great guitar skills. Take your time when learning the instrument; never rush into anything you do not understand, and always push yourself to new levels along the way.