A question that many guitar students ask is how long it’ll take them to learn how to play acoustic guitar. Specifically, they’re interested in knowing how many years it’ll be before they play like a famous singer such as Taylor Swift. While it’s a great question, unfortunately, the answer usually is that it depends, and it depends on a lot of different factors.
It Takes Practice
How many years go by before you’re strumming along can depend heavily on how often you practice and the duration of those practice times. It may be obvious, however it’s true. Like many other instruments, you need to make the most of your time as you learn guitar and practice efficiently and deliberately. Practice the correct material, practice as much as you can, and you’ll learn quickly.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
Arguably what’s more essential than practice and your natural talent or skill is how much you want this. If ultimately your desire is to be a great guitar player, this will help you master things faster. However, you need to be realistic about it. For example, if you want to be like Rodrigo y Gabriela, you’ll have to practice for 10,000 hours–that’s 20 hours a week for ten years. But, if you want to play your favorite songs, impress your loved ones, and strum away, and do this all as best as you can, you’ll practice hard and achieve these goals much sooner, in about a couple of months.
Consider it this way: someone who has no guitar or music experience whatsoever and just wants to learn how to play and practices a half an hour four times a week, can easily play chords, pop/rock songs, small riffs, and learn new chords after six months. And, someone who played an instrument twenty years ago during high school but hasn’t touched an instrument since and would like to learn how to play their favorite songs, practices for five minutes here and there, will learn basic strumming patterns, about a half dozen first-position open chords, and some basic styles of fingerpicking. Both people will achieve their goal and can call themselves guitar players. If you’re more serious than this, you can make sure you have access to teaching materials to speed up the process.
Have Access to Quality Teaching Material
Decent material that teaches you how to play guitar, such as guitar lesson software, can help you learn how to play in a much faster way. Some software, such as videos on YouTube and chord charts and tabs from Ultimate-Guitar.com, are free and are excellent places to begin. If you’d like to cut out the research and find software that provides you great lessons and comes in a neat package, JamPlay is great software that is comprehensive and relatively cheap. You can cancel it anytime you need to. Using lesson software will speed up how fast you learn, and as long as you keep your goals in mind and practice hard, you can learn to play guitar in just a couple of months.