How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Guitar?

Those interested in learning how to play the guitar always ask if it’s easy to learn it. How long does it take to get good at guitar?

It takes two years to get good at playing the guitar. After two years of practicing regularly, you are expected to have already mastered most technical elements. By this time, you are already capable of learning a song real quick.

However, it’s also possible to get good at playing the guitar in less than two years. All it takes is 100% determination and perseverance to master guitar playing.

Read on to learn more about how long it will take you to get good at playing the guitar.

How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Guitar?

How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Guitar

It takes two years to master playing the guitar. After two years of practicing regularly, you are expected to have already learned most technical elements. By this time, you are also expected to learn a song real quick.

But it’s also possible to get good at playing the guitar in a shorter time. All it takes is your full determination and perseverance to master playing it.

Being interested in playing the guitar may mean that you have a good ear and already have the talent you want to enhance. But you must remember that learning how to play the guitar depends not only on how talented you are.

You have to have other skills such as perseverance, determination, and diligence. These skills will allow you to master guitar-playing, even in less than two years.

Guitar Progress Timeline Depending on Playing Level

PLAYING LEVEL2 HOURS OF PRACTICE PER DAY
NewbieThree weeks
BeginnerFive months
Intermediate2.1 years
Advanced6.8 years
Rockstar13.7 years

Guitar Player Skill Levels

If you seriously practice at least one hour a day, you can get good at guitar playing in two years. You are expected to be already an intermediate player who can quickly learn a song by this time.

There are several stages that you will go through before you can call yourself an expert. These stages include the following:

  1. Newbie Player
  2. Beginner Player
  3. Almost Intermediate Player
  4. Intermediate Player
  5. Advanced Intermediate Player
  6. Advanced Player
  7. Rockstar
  8. Guitar Guru

Let me briefly discuss these stages.

1. Newbie Player

As a newbie, you can learn the basics in one to two months. Within this time frame, you can learn to play easy guitar songs. You will learn how to strum the basic chords and shift from one chord to another. It is during this time, too, that you will learn single-string plucking songs.

2. Beginner Player

You become a beginner player from being a newbie player. You can master this stage within three to six months. By this time, you can already play slightly difficult songs, and you get to learn more technical elements.

As a beginner, you get to learn easy pull-offs and hammer-ons. You will learn all the easy lead guitar techniques.

Some popular songs that beginners play are “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, and “Love Hurts” by Nazareth. You may not yet be able to play these songs flawlessly, but they can help you advance to the intermediate level.

3. Almost Intermediate Player

After a year of regularly practicing, you get a bit closer to becoming an intermediate player. During this time, you can already play intermediate-level songs, which may already include the popular ones we typically hear on the radio, TV, or even in concerts.

The songs you can play include “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, and “Crash into Me” by the Dave Matthews Band.

It’s alright if you still can’t play those songs flawlessly. The key is to practice every day until you master it. But even if you still haven’t got playing the songs, you most likely have a more definitive feel for barre chords at this time.

4. Intermediate Player

If you have already practiced regularly and seriously for two years, you are now considered an intermediate player. By this time, you already know how to play a lot of popular songs. You can easily read chords and quickly learn to play songs. This is because you have already mastered most technical elements.

Also, by this time, you can confidently play intermediate guitar songs. It’s possible to smoothly finish playing the intro solo of “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.

Its intro solo involves several basic guitar techniques such as the following:

  • Bends,
  • Slides,
  • Pull-offs, and
  • Hammer-ons.

Playing this will enhance your skills in playing solos.

It’s also possible to master the classic song “Like a Hurricane” by Neil Young during this time. Learning to play this enhances your skills in perfectly integrating the melody of a song into your strumming.

One of the most popular songs by Sting is “Fields of Gold,” and intermediate guitarists typically practice it. It is great for practicing fingerstyle guitar playing.

5. Advanced Intermediate Player

Consider yourself an advanced intermediate player if you have started to learn improvising on the guitar. Becoming an advanced intermediate player typically takes two to three years of consistent practice. By this time, you are inching closer to becoming an expert.

Also, some advanced intermediate players start forming a band. It is one effective way of practicing if your goal is to become an expert in guitar playing eventually.

6. Advanced Player

Being an advanced player means that you can now play any song that you want to play. You can amazingly learn to play any song in no time. It usually takes a person five to six years to eventually reach this level.

Advanced players are capable of playing “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen, and “Belief” by John Mayer. As an advanced player, you can play songs impromptu, and you have probably memorized a hundred pieces or more already. 

Most professional players are advanced players. They perform in hotels, bars, and restaurants. They may not be as famous as Metallica, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton, but they also have gigs and play the guitar professionally to earn a living.

7. Rockstar

You are considered a rockstar if you perform like a beast, as they say. People admire you for your flawless performances, and you can play any song that anybody requests you to play. Typically, rockstars reach this level after ten years of consistent practice.

Most of the time, rockstars do jaw-dropping performances. They can play “Cacophony,” by the Speed Metal Symphony, “Tornado of Souls,” by Megadeth, “The Dance of Eternity,” by Dream Theater, “Cliffs of Dover,” by Eric Johnson, and “CAFO,” by Animals as Leaders.

Rockstars typically have 7 to 12 guitars at home. They don’t think twice about buying guitars because they know that they can maximize all of them.

8. Guitar Guru

A guitar guru can do everything and not just merely play the guitar. They can compose, arrange, improvise, and do everything else that other guitar players can’t do. Guitar gurus have distinct styles in playing the guitar, which makes them stand out from everyone else.

If typical rock stars have 12 guitars at home, guitar gurus most likely have 20 or more. And, in most cases, they have only bought three or four guitars out of those 20 because the rest are endorsements.

So, how long does it take to become a guitar guru? It takes 20 or more years of consistent and serious practice.

Tips on How to Quickly Learn to Play the Guitar

how long does it take to become good at guitar

Practice Consistently Regardless of Skill Level

If you’re a newbie, try to do at least two hours of practicing playing the guitar each day. This will surely advance you to the Beginner Level in three weeks.

Once you are a beginner, continue practicing for two hours each day. This way, you will surely notice your big improvement after five months of consistent practice.

If you are serious about mastering your guitar skills, continue playing for two hours a day. This should not be difficult for you if you are truly passionate about guitar playing.

Learn a New Song Each Week

Try to learn a new song each week. Once you have mastered a song, try a more difficult one this time. In two years, you have most likely improved and have moved to the advanced level.

As an advanced player, you’re most likely very serious about your craft. If you still consistently practice for two hours a day, you will surely reach the rockstar level after six years. Of course, consistent practice within your life will lead to your success as a guitarist. Who knows, with the right discipline, you can also be a guitar guru someday.

Again, how long does it take to get good at guitar? If you consistently learn to play the guitar, you will master the most technical elements after two years. Also, by this time, you can expect that you can learn to play a song quickly.

Can I Learn to Play the Guitar in a Shorter Time

how long does it take to be a master at guitar

Can you learn to play the guitar in a shorter time? The answer is yes, but only if you are also determined to learn it quickly. Nobody else can assure that, not even your guitar coach, but only you.

The time mentioned above is based on the years that an average player learns to play the guitar. It is also possible for people to learn longer than what is indicated in that time frame. 

In essence, what I am saying is that it still all boils down to the learner’s willingness. Ask yourself how serious you are in learning to play the guitar? What is your end goal? Why do you want to learn quickly?

Unfortunately, some students don’t learn fast despite spending at least two hours practicing each day. The reason? They don’t practice wholeheartedly.

Why do you think Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana have achieved success as guitarists? Because from the start, it was their goal to excel in playing the guitar. The guitar became a part of their lives. Playing the guitar became part of their lifestyle.

Do I Have to Practice Two Hours per Day to Learn Guitar

Maybe you are curious, “Do I have to practice two hours each day to learn guitar?”

The answer is yes and no.

No, you don’t have to practice for two hours each day to learn guitar, but at least practice for an hour. If you’re very engrossed in practicing, you might overlook the time and end up practicing for more than two hours.

Suffice to say that it’s not all about the hours you allot for practicing. But how much you have learned while practicing. You can learn so much in an hour, but if you’re not practicing wholeheartedly, it can take you weeks or even months to learn.

Also, we all have different learning capabilities. Some learn quickly while some don’t, and this is alright. The important thing is that you improve all the time.

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Guitar?

On average, it takes two years to master playing the guitar. After two years of practicing consistently, you are expected to have already learned most technical elements. By this time, you are also likely to learn a song real quick.

But it’s also possible to get good at playing the guitar in less than two years. All it takes is 100% determination, perseverance, and diligence to master guitar playing.

The bottom line is, never stop learning. Even world-renowned guitar masters don’t stop learning. Keep on playing; you will surely amaze yourself as you uncover new guitar skills.