How Hard Is It to Learn Guitar? – Electric or Acoustic

Are you thinking of taking guitar lessons? Or could it be that you are planning to teach yourself how to play this instrument? If so, you are probably thinking how hard it is to learn electric or acoustic guitar.

Learning to play the guitar can be hard in the beginning. The good news is that it will get easier the longer you stick with it. The more often you practice, the easier it will feel to play the guitar. Most people who quit learning to play the instrument do so initially. They mistakenly think that maybe, guitar playing is not for them.

Read on to learn how hard it is to learn guitar and how you can somewhat make it easier.

How Hard Is It to Learn Guitar

How Hard Is It to Learn Guitar

Factors That Affect How Hard for People to Learn Guitar

Is it that hard to learn to play the guitar? This is the most common question that people interested in the guitar ask. Of course, the answer will be subjective, depending on who you ask. How much time can you set aside for practice every day?

What resources do you have at your disposal? These and many other factors will affect how efficiently you will learn to play the guitar.

Your personal goals will also affect the difficulty of learning to play the instrument. Do you want to be the next Angus Young, Carlos Santana, and other great guitar players? If yes, you will need to practice hard for at least several hours every day. On the other hand, if you want to play your favorite songs, the learning process will be more straightforward.

Beginners Will Find It Hard to Learn Guitar

Like with every other musical instrument, it is hard to initially learn how to play the guitar. However, compared to other musical instruments such as the violin and piano, the entire process of learning guitar-playing is easier.

The reason is that it does not require knowledge of music theory. There is also an almost endless number of resources you can use due to the popularity of this instrument.

Factors Affecting How Hard It Is to Learn Guitar

how hard is it to learn guitar by yourself
Eric Clapton

For some people, learning to play the guitar might be the hardest thing ever. However, for others, it will come almost effortlessly. To determine how difficult it will be before you can start playing the guitar skillfully, here are some of the factors to consider:

1. Goals as a Guitar Player

As mentioned earlier, your specific goals will affect your learning curve. Are you planning to be the next Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton? If you strive to become a guitar legend, know that you will have a tough road ahead of you.

There is also no telling how many years you need to practice. You may need to practice longer if you need to reach the level of excellence you set your eyes on.

On the other hand, not that many people want to play and the guitar gods. Most normies wish to learn how to play the most common chords to accompany their singing. Some want to learn to play popular songs to impress their friends. In that case, diligent practice every day will let you learn to play the guitar in a month or two. 

2. Learning Resources

How you go about learning how to play the guitar can contribute to your desired result. This factor impacts how difficult or easy your learning journey will be.

Online Resources

If you are going the self-taught route, you have a lot of online resources that you can consult. Most of these resources are free. Most people use YouTube videos to learn how to play. You can also access a lot of websites dedicated solely to guitar-playing tutorials. However, they are not created equal. 

For instance, learning the instrument using YouTube videos from unqualified and inexperienced people will leave you with bad playing habits. It can make learning a lot more difficult. Also, you might find that some YouTube guitar-playing tutorials do not have a coherent structure. This can make the lessons quite confusing.

Hire a Trained Guitar Instructor

If you can, hire a trained guitar instructor to provide you with proper lessons. A good instructor will be able to offer you tailored advice. They will also instill good guitar-playing habits that will make progress a whole lot easier in the long run.

A good instructor understands your goals and knows how you can reach them. They should also be entertaining and constantly inspire you to play and learn more. Most significantly, a good instructor will make the guitar learning experience enjoyable.

3. Frequency of Practice Sessions

Quality of Practice Sessions

Like any other skill, the more guitar practice you get, the better you will be. There is no other way that you can improve. However, the quality of your practice sessions will also play a huge role in your improvement.

Even if you practice for hours every day, that does not necessarily guarantee progress. You will need to have structured and efficient practice sessions to help your progress go faster.

Master the Basics

First, you must master the basics to proceed with the other lessons equipped with more skills and confidence. For starters, you should devote at least 20 minutes a day to learning the basics of guitar playing. 

Despite being busy, you can still free up at least 20 minutes and dedicate it to guitar practice. Some people set their alarms an hour early. This is so they can get some practice in before starting with their usual day.

It is much better to practice for 20 minutes each day of the week than spending 5 hours straight every Sunday. The main reason is that doing so will allow you to build more muscle memory that way. 

Practice a New Song Repeatedly

Learning a new song involves practicing the song as many times as possible. Do it until you develop consistency and muscle memory. Waiting an entire week between practice sessions, you will be spending more time relearning what you learned the week before.

4. Natural Talent

Yes, you will need to have a bit of musical aptitude to make learning the guitar much easier. Some people will not have any problem learning how to play. Others, on the other hand, might struggle quite a bit. 

Good Head Start

However, even though people might have different learning curves, anyone can play the guitar. Despite your age, musical background, and others, you can learn how to pluck and strum the strings properly in time. It is just that having natural talent can give you a good head start. 

Some Guitar Players Have a Natural Ear for Music

For instance, some guitar players have a natural ear for music. This specific skill allows them to learn how to play a song after just hearing it one time. Others will need to put in more time for practice to enjoy half of the intended results. Note that you should not compare your rate of progress to that of others. 

5. Type of Guitar

Electric Guitar

The type of guitar you should get will depend on what kind of guitar player you wish to be. For instance, you will need an electric guitar to listen to rock, metal, and maybe even blues. 

Acoustic Guitar

If you like folk music and “unplugged” versions of certain mainstream songs, you can get yourself an acoustic guitar. Another reason why you might also like the acoustic guitar is that it is more convenient for you to play. The reason is that you do not need to connect it to an amplifier.

Buying the Most Expensive Gear Is Not a Wise Investment

In addition, take note that buying the most expensive gear is not a wise investment. The reason is that you are just starting to learn how to play the guitar. This means that such an instrument will not magically turn you into a guitar expert overnight.

A skilled and experienced guitarist can make a toy guitar sound great. However, a beginner with a $2,000 guitar will never sound like a professional.

Cheap Guitars Often Get out of Tune

However, that also does not mean that you should get the cheapest guitar that you can find. With guitars, you are getting what you paid for. Also, note that it will sound cheap when you buy a cheap guitar. Another problem with extremely cheap guitars is that they often get out of tune. In other words, you will have to tune them constantly.

Get a Guitar That Is a Blend of Value and Quality

My advice is to get a guitar that is around $200 each. They usually provide a good blend of value and quality. Also, if you are getting an electric guitar, invest in a quality amplifier, too. Again, you do not need to splurge too much money. It is because there are plenty of good quality practice amplifiers that you can get for cheap.

Again, how hard is it to learn guitar? It is hard to learn guitar, especially in the beginning. However, with more practice, it’ll be easier to play songs. You have to stick with it until this difficult stage is over.

What Should You Learn First?

how hard is learning electric guitar

Now that you have scheduled daily practices, and purchased a passable guitar, decide what you should learn first. 

Learn the Basics

During the first month, I recommend learning about the basics, including how to hold a guitar properly. You also have to know the names of the six strings and how to hold and use a pick. These might seem like kiddie lessons, but that is where you need to start learning. Everything else you need to know will depend on your mastery of the basics.

Don’t Rush the Learning Process

You do not need to rush. Remember that you will not learn anything if you breeze through your lessons as fast as possible. You will need a lot of patience. Most of all, you have to be consistent with your practice.

Where Can You Learn How to Play the Guitar?

If you don’t have enough free time or room in your budget for a professional guitar instructor, use the internet. You can start by searching on YouTube for guitar tutorials. Yes, you will need to sort through the hundreds of thousands of videos and channel suggestions. However, doing so can find lots of free and informative content there.

Ideally, if you find a video tutorial that you liked, you should follow the channel that made it. The odds are that the other videos in the channel have the same quality.

Conclusion – How Hard Is It to Learn Guitar

It can be hard to learn how to play the guitar, especially when just starting. However, it does get easier the longer you practice and gain enough muscle memory. Most people who quit trying to learn did so in the beginning. It is usually out of frustration because they are not learning as fast as they wanted to. 

Regardless of their age, anyone can learn how to play the guitar. You will only need to invest a bit of your time. Hone your patience, too. Unless you are an absolute genius, you can’t learn to play the guitar in just a few days. Give yourself enough time, and you will eventually reach your guitar-playing goals.

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