That is probably one of the most popular questions I’ve been getting over the past two decades. And as usual there really is no cookie cutter answer, because – well, you guessed it – it really depends on a number of different factors. So before we can actually further explore the question as to how to learn the guitar fast, we in a first step need to make an assessment of your current situation, your plan and your ultimate expectations or goals. After that, I share with you a couple of seemingly trivial, nonetheless effective tips that will speed up the learning process.
So let’s start talking about what you actually mean by “learn the guitar”, because you and I might have a completely different understanding of that term. Do you just want to learn a few guitar chords to strum a bunch of songs in your bedroom or at a bonfire? Or do you want to play like one of your favorite guitarists? Is your goal to perform regularly in front of an audience or do you just want to pick up your guitar every now and then for an hour or so? All these scenarios are fundamentally different and will absolutely impact on what I’m going to answer in response to the initial question. With that being said, of course your goals may change as you go along. Maybe initially you just wanted to start playing for the fun of it, but as you progress and broaden your playing skills, you might decide to pursue a career as a professional guitarist.
If your goal is to just learn a few guitar chords really fast, then you have plenty of resources right at your fingertips. There are tons of guitar chord tutorials out there and with a little bit of practice and commitment you can certainly learn a few basics within a matter of weeks or a couple months. That can get you to a level where you can play a whole list of easy guitar songs. So in other words, you can learn all that relatively fast. However, it does require you to practice. No matter what your goals are when it comes to playing guitar, a minimum of practice will always be demanded of you.
Okay, then of course we have individuals who are very serious about the instrument and their objective is to become an advanced guitar player. “Advanced” can mean many things, admittedly, but in this context I’m talking about a person who wants more than just learning a few basic guitar chords. He wants to play scales, solos, different techniques, certain styles, etc. This is completely different and I think it is fair to say that this usually can’t be achieved within weeks or months. Now we are talking years. I know, there are people out that who disagree with me and claim that you can absolutely become an advanced guitarist within a matter of months. Go over to youtube and you will find whole armies of guitar prodigies who claim they only picked up the instrument a couple of months ago, yet play highly advanced finger-twisters. Most of them are braggers and I wouldn’t take their statements to seriously. While there might be a far and few in between who are super talented and managed to acquire a remarkable skill set in an exceptionally short amount of time, for the vast majority of all mortals, it simply takes years to get there.
How to learn the guitar fast – a few practical tips:
1.) Practice on a regular basis, 20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week
2.) Practice in an environment that is conducive to the task; no background noises, sit comfortably, etc.
3.) When you practice or play, be and stay focused. Watching TV, updating Twitter or texting your friends while you play guitar will slow don’t the learning process
4.) Ask if you get stuck. Don’t get discouraged, just ask if you need help