What is the best and fastest way to learn guitar?

I am getting a guitar for Christmas this year and I am really excited. I am 20 and have always been interested in playing but could never afford the instrument.

I know for sure my parents are getting me an acoustic guitar this year. I was wondering if anyone knows how long it will take me to learn how to play the guitar? Will I be able to learn it on my own or will i definitely need lessons?

344 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In my case, it worked out that YEARS ago my guitar instructor would ask me to bring in recordings of songs for which there was an interest on my part to learn to play. This happened on cassette - before CDs EVER appeared on the market. It was just a matter of watching him learn the bass lines to the songs, and then figuring out the chords from the base lines and the fingering from the chords.

    After a while of watching HIM do it over-and-over again for a year or so, it dawned on me that it was easier for me to learn the songs on my own! My parents would pay the the guy ten or 15 dollars for a half-hour lesson. Just keep your wrist as low as possible, and you will be fine!

    My suggestion would be to take the lessons for a month, see if you are getting better at playing the thing as the month progesses. Then set a goal for three months. Then set another goal of six months. Learning on an accoustic is MUCH more difficult than learning on an electric, but it is the better option because you will ALWAYS be able to play the electric if you LEARN on the acoustic. Learning on the acoustic keeps you honest! *grin*

    Oh! The LAST song my fingers learned to play on the guitar was this song by Everlast - the name eludes me, but it was sort of a bluzy song. It worked off a D-minor, Dsus4, Fmaj7, and C. The rest of the chord progression eludes me now, but if you were to put a guitar in my hands, my fingers would remember the song in an instant.

    Oh! Someone else mentioned tuning! Want to know an EASY way to tune your axe? Use the FIRST note to AC/DC's Highway to Hell! That is the TRUEST A-note in rock-n-roll!

    Tune your fifth string to THAT note, my tiny brain can still hear the note even though it has been years since my ears have heard the song. If you learn to do this, you will be able to play ANY guitar you find because that note will resonate in your head to the point where you can use its resonance to tune ANY guitar.

    BTW, you tune the balance of the strings off the A-string.

    My plan THIS week is to learn Mark Antoine's Madrid which is a GREAT guitar song. It sounds like it has TWO guitars in it - maybe three. My plan will be to start working on it Monday morning. It is such a sweet song - an instrumental too.

    Actually, since you provided us with TWO solutions, your question should read, "Which is the better and faster way to learn guitar: with an instructor or on my own?"

    The answer to the question really boils down to how much time you are going to invest in learning to play the beast. You going to give up once your knuckles and fingertips are screaming at you to stop, or are you going to ignore their pleas and just keep playing? After about month-six, you can start practicing your Townsend-like windmills, if you want. Start slowly, or your right hand will be screaming in pain too as the strings open up some skin as you start whaling on the axe! Walk before you run, always, Grasshopper.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are a few different ways to learn how to play guitar. You could do it the old fashioned way and get lessons, you could by a book and teach yourself that you can find at any music store or Bourders books, you could go to a book store and get playing guitar for dummies or somthing along those lines and another way is tabs. I learned how to play guitar in August of 2006 and by December i played in the holiday show in my junior year of highscool. So if you want Immediate results you should learn how to play your favorite songs through tabs. You can find tabs online at several websites including(Ultimate-guitar.com). If you are like myself and dont want to play other peoples songs then you could purchase or find online a chord chart and just play the chords you feel are easy enough for you right now. Than when you start getting a little better try some of the harder chords make sure that you realize that a chord chart isw to help you and the has never been and will never be a limit to the amout of chords there are. Any combanation of three or more notes is a chord so practice and experiment. So to answer your questions i think if you put a lot of dedication into playing guitar than you could learn just as fast as i did. But i feel the only way to learn is to practice and to experiment. See how all the strings sound and listen to what a tuned guitar sounds like, you will get fimiliar with the sound and it will be easiar to learn. Guitar changed my life and lives of many. I know that sound stupid but it is the truth and i will stand by that. Have fun dont get discoureged keep with it and you will at some point get the results you want if this does not work out for you then you can deffinatly fall back on the lesson idea they are around 20 dollars an hour once a week.

    Source(s): Al Trombetti Music Warwick rhode Island
  • 5 years ago

    I play the acoustic guitar. It has been a few years now. I stopped playing after a year of practice, once every week. Long story short: teachers drag it out so much. They give you a song or two to work on, and by the time you've learned those notes, you're ready for more. But they say, "No, no, patience." I don't want lessons anymore. It took me 6 months... 24 lessons to learn the six strings and be able to sight read. I could have done that in half the time if I wasn't taking lessons. Which is why I stopped playing. I started again recently and it's only been a few lessons and I'm back where I was at. So yeah, lessons help for the first string or two, but by the time you master that, all you need to do is follow this course at the following website ---> tr.im/learnguitar <--- (Best/fastest way to learn guitar)

    Chords are pretty simple except when you just pick up the guitar they kill your fingers. Really, all you can do is to train your fingers to move to the right string and fret when you read the notes. I like playing, but I hate practicing. I'm only playing the acoustic guitar because my parents say I need to master it before I move on to electric guitar. Good luck.

    (Now, I'm not saying it will take 3 months to learn the guitar. Much, much more time, probably. It is kind of difficult in the beginning. Just know it gets much easier. It will also help if you can already read notes.)

  • Pancho
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    As a self-taught drummer myself, i can tell you that there really is no 'fast" way to learn an instrument. It takes a lot of patience, practice, discipline, and hard work. Now that being said, some people do learn quicker than others so it all depends on the person. I have two cousins that both play guitar and both are self-taught. My one cousin Terry practiced just about every day and picked it up quicker than my cousin Dave, who didn't practice nearly as much. Terry became pretty darn good in about 8 months. It all boils down to how determined you are, how much you practice, and how quickly you pick things up.

    My advice would be to get an instructional book or DVD and learn a few chords. If you do it on your own you will save a lot of money and you can go at your own pace. Guitar lessons are not cheap these days, unless you know someone. Just give it a shot on your own for a month or 2 and see how you progress. Then if you feel you need lessons to get better, then find a good teacher that won't be too expensive. But the key is to practice....practice.....practice! Good Luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hey man,

    Good for you. I started playing when I was 17 (35 now). There is no fast way to the top in my opinion. You are either going to have the "bug" or you won't. It doesn't matter if you think it's cool, want to impress, etc., if you don't just "click" with it, mainly from YOU making the sounds happen and having that resonate with YOU, it will be tough. I was lucky, when I was finally able to strum a G chord it sounded like the biggest sound i'd ever heard and it just stuck since then, for some people it is different.

    You don't have to get lessons right away for a continued period of time unless you think you will need these to keep motivated (which again probably won't help). You SHOULD sit down with a trained acoustic player at least one or two times so you can at least learn the proper way to hold the instrument, finger the notes, etc. A lot of amateur guitar players build up years of bad habits because they are in a rush to begin with and never learn proper technique. Google "Principles for the Correct Practice of the Guitar" or the author, Jamey Andreas, and get the DVD. This will give you a good foundation.

    It is a lot of hard work at first, but once your hands get used to it (and you get your callouses on your fingers, hurts until you have these), it gets really fun.

    REMEMBER: The #1 mistake people make is in how "hard" they are pressing down on the strings, etc. Extra tension or stiffness in your hands for both fingering the notes and strumming is the ENEMY. Play it lightly, don't worry, when the time comes and you're good enough, volume is what amplifiers are for.

    Also, treat the instrument and the time you spend with it with a sense of being "present". In other words, pretend like it's the last time you'll get to play it every time and you'll get more out of it.

    Practice for shorter periods and often. You will be using new muscles and your muscle memory will need time to develop, so don't be afraid to take breaks, but practice frequently.

    If you practice for say three or four sessions of 20 mins. a day, you'll be switching chords within a few months. You can find all the info on chord voicings, how to play songs, etc. on the web- the main thing is MAKE SURE TO USE PROPER TECHNIQUE so you don't develop bad habits with the actual playing technique.

    Good luck, be patient, and don't give up. If you truly want it bad enough, you'll get there with time.

  • 1 decade ago

    I learned on my own and I've been playing for twelve years and have never looked back. It's one of the most gratifying things you'll ever do. There's nothing quite like writing your own riff and hearing it come to life. About how long should it take, well it's a continuous learning process. I'm still learning. I've heard it said the guitar is the easiest instrument ot learn but the hardest to master and I agree wholeheartedly. Lessons are good, but if you don't want to be playing twinkle twinkle little star or some crap like that, just buy a chord book. Learn all the major and a few minor chords, get comfortable changing them (that will take about 4 to 6 months depending on how dedicated you are, maybe even less.) The major thing is to never get content with your playing. I had been playing for 8 years and I was content being a rhythm guitarist. I couldn't play much lead. Then I said to myself, "What if I get in a band and can't find a good lead guitarist?" That's when I started learning lead and I fell in love with the instrument all over again. That is what will make people say you are an awesome guitarist, when you kick in a solo and you blow them away, and what they don't know is that it's just some small, simple lick that someone with two fingers can play. I've said enough, I hope it helps.

    Source(s): Guitarist of 12 years
  • 1 decade ago

    do NOT take lessons until you have gotten a chord book, learned how to make the chords (which will make your hand move in what seems to be unnatural ways) and have gotten blisters and then callouses on the tips of your fingers. Otherwise, you will be paying for someone to teach you how to do something you can read in a book.

    Then, you can take lessons, which will be MUCH more productive if you come in already knowing how to make chords.

    You may talk to people who say "I learned and never took a lesson." And a smart or good guitar player will think, just imagine how much better you would be if you took lessons.

    Beethoven and Bach had teachers. Tiger Woods still has a coach.

    As far as the fastest way - the more you practice, the faster you will learn. There are no shortcuts, though I doubt that was the answer you were hoping for. ;) I would imagine that most people will hate to be in the same room with you for at least the first 3 months, but eventually you will have people requesting songs from you. Get one of these too: a clip on guitar tuner. Will help you keep your guitar in tune which is really, really important.

    Practice, practice, practice and good luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would say take lessons to learn the mechanics first off. I have played guitar since I was sixteen and now I am 25 and when I started to get into hair metal type music I noticed I had some problems like I would tire out and my picking was bad. I started taking lessons with a guy from a guitar school in LA and took lessons as a starter to build up my mechanics. For 9 years I was playing my guitar wrong because I didn't take lessons and now its very hard to play the guitar right. There is a right way and a wrong way to play the guitar. Just take a few lessons to learn the proper positions and picking techniques. Its always good to have a very critical instructor. If your too poor for that then you can go on myspace or youtube and get beginner lessons for free. But get the picking techniques down first and foremost and make sure it is right. Practice is good when you practice the right things but if your practicing the wrong technique you can end up having trouble in the long run. Take it easy and take your time on it. Aim for quality not quanity.

  • 7 years ago

    There are definitely many ways to learn the guitar. Some are slow (like learning on your own) while some are fast but the bottom line is you will learn how to play the guitar if you put in effort and time.

    As for the fastest and best way to learn the guitar i would suggest you try online guitar lessons. They are affordable (less than $20/month) and you get access to thousands of video lessons, professional tutors as well as a forum where you can ask questions and get answers.

    As for the best guitar lessons online i would recommend either Jamplay or Guitartricks. These two are by far the best video lessons on the internet.

    Check out www.guitartricksvsjamplay.com and you will get to know the difference and similarities between these two online lessons site and which the best one for you is.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


  • 1 decade ago

    www.ultimate-guitar.com for all your answers to guitar.

    I started in August and play like 3 times a month due to my busy schedule. That's barely enough to master an instrument. Only recently I have had a bit more time on my hands and play about 30min - 1hr each day. My first instrument was a piano.

    Anyway, how I started was I took lessons for a month - 3 classes to get me started. I got a simple book that had a few chords and taught some basic skills. Basically, the only thing I learned in those 3 classes was how to rest my strumming arm on the guitar, how to pick properly, and how to position my thumb and spiders.

    I suggest you take lessons for maybe a month or two so you are not completely lost, but after that I learned by myself. Its december and I can already play sweet child o' mine, and I don't even play that much. You need the desire to learn it, that's the most important.

    Also, you must realize you're not going to be pro or a rockstar in a few weeks. I didn't realize that at first and wasted a lot of my time. Make sure to do a few spiders everyday, learn chords, and maybe learn a simple song along the way.

    You'll also find that your hand won't stretch as much as you want it to. In that case, put the neck of the guitar between two fingers (so it stretches them) and hold it for 10 fingers. You'll find that you can stretch a bit further afterwards. Anyway, good luck.

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