How Long Does It Take to Learn Guitar?

Written By Alla Levin
March 29, 2020

How Long Does It Take to Learn Guitar?

If you talk to pretty much anyone, they would love to know how to play the guitar. You would always hear, “I would love to play guitar,” and it’s also a very common new year’s resolution.

I remember in college, it was so cool seeing someone break out the guitar and have an alcohol-fueled sing-song at an after-party. I remember wishing I was able to play. Having everyone around you singing along and having a great time.

Knowing how to play guitar is a great skill that will last you a lifetime. However, it’s not exactly easy to learn. It takes time, persistence, and, more importantly, dedication to learn.

You need to be in it for the long haul. It might take you more than 6 months to even play the easy cliché songs like Oasis Wonderwall, but to get to a professional level or play for a living can take years of hard work and dedication.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Guitar?s how long it takes to learn guitar and get to a certain skill level

So how does it really take to learn guitar? Well, there are so many factors that come into play; but the main one being is how much time you can dedicate.

If someone practices 1 hour a week for 1 year and another person does 10 hours a week for 1 year; well you can be sure the person doing 10 hours a week will be a lot further on their way to learning guitar.

The guys over at Instrumental Global have a perfect Infographic that illustrates how long it takes to learn guitar and get to a certain skill level. I will warn you, they don’t precisely sugarcoat it and say that you can pick up a guitar today and be playing like Ed Sheeran next week.

They are pretty upfront and honest and say it as it is. With regular practicing every week; it should take you anywhere from 6-18 months to learn guitar. By learning guitar, they mean being able to play some songs; not being a musician in a band.

But their whole theory mainly revolves around how much time you put into it. You get what you put in. The more you practice the quicker you will learn.

Getting Started

Ok, so how do we get started? Well, the main two things you need to do are:

  • Get A Guitar;
  • Get Guitar Lessons.

Getting the best guitar is quite easy. You can simply Google ‘Guitar Stores Near Me’, and you will get a list of guitar stores in your area. Walk into them and talk to a member of their staff. They will be able to make some recommendations for you based on what you need. Don’t worry, they should know the right questions to ask and guide you from there. If you already know what type of guitar you want, then you can look online.

All the major guitar retailers are selling online, and you probably have access to more options this way. However, if you are just starting out, it might be best to go into a store or at least ask a friend or family member who does play guitar to see what they might recommend.

If you are lucky, they might have an old one you can use. Next up, you need guitar lessons. You can do the same thing for finding guitar lessons as finding a guitar. Do a quick google search for ‘Guitar Lessons’ near me and you should find some guitar teachers in your area.

If you plan on getting guitar lessons; your guitar teacher could maybe recommend a guitar to buy that’s perfect for beginners. If you are getting lessons, you should try and get at least one guitar lesson a week and set aside your own practice time to learn quickly and shorten the time it takes to learn.

Instrumental Global has an interesting article where that recommends learning to play guitar at home that you can find HERE. Interestingly they recommend learning guitar at home using online lessons.

They explain it in much more detail in their post, but basically, they say using online guitar lessons is more convenient, cheaper, and will have you learning guitar more quicker. You are not restricted to one-to-one weekly guitar lessons; you can learn the guitar as quickly as you like in your home.

Rather than 1 hour of lessons in a week, you can do 10 hours or more instead if you like. It puts you in control of how quickly you learn. You can learn at your own pace. By using online lessons and devoting enough time, you should learn to play the guitar quite quickly.

While guitar lessons are undeniably useful, you can even pursue guitar music degrees if you want to begin or master the instrument. A good college program can provide you with a structured curriculum and guide you through the learning process in a way that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. This can be especially helpful if you are just starting out on the guitar, as it can be overwhelming to try to learn on your own.

Guitar lessons or a college degree can also provide you with access to specialized knowledge and resources, such as music theory, technical skills, and performance techniques. Additionally, working with a teacher or participating in a college program can help to keep you motivated and accountable, which can be key to making progress on the guitar. Overall, guitar lessons or a college degree can provide you with the tools and support you need to become a proficient and skilled guitar player.

What Else Do You Need?

I will say right now that if you want to learn guitar from scratch; you need to have patience, persistence, and determination. The hardest part is the beginning. It will be frustrating; you will sound terrible, and your fingers will get sore.

But this will pass. You will get better and better each day. Once you get to beginner level, you will find it easier to improve and advance to intermediate and advanced levels; the only thing in your way there is time.


The time it takes to learn the guitar is entirely up to you. We mentioned above how the way you learn has some effect, but the main thing that affects how long it takes is determined by how much time you put into learning. If you refer back to Instrumental Global’s Infographic, it can take you over 150 hours of practice to learn just the basic skills and 300 hours to get to a beginner level. I hope this helps!

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