It depends. There are those talented musicians who need decades, while others need only a few years. With diligence and practice, playing for 1-2 years allows you to master most guitar technicalities. However, with constant practice, 10+ years will make you a veteran and expert in what you do.
How Often Do You Need to Practice?
The length of time a newbie player needs to learn the basics of playing guitar depends on the frequency of practice. If you practice 1-2 hours a day, seven days a week, the more likely you’ll learn the basic chords, and even play a simple song in a month or two.
However, if you just practice when you feel like, then, even after a year, it’s still hard for you to play a simple song. When you have the mañana habit, it’s very hard for you to get results in a year.
For complete beginners, there is also a risk of over-practice. If you practice too much, you can feel pain at your fingertips. So, instead of daily practice, you’ll skip for a couple of days to make the pain go away. This might lead you to repeat what you’ve learned over and over again.
So, instead of asking yourself this question, you should set your schedule and really be faithful to it. Your progress doesn’t only depend on the number of hours you’ve played the guitar. Consistency is the key.
How Quickly Are You Able to Play Songs?
Once you learn a few chords, you’ll be able to play simple songs. If you have a daily practice, maybe in a month you’ll be able to play a song. Although the progression could be poor, you’re getting there. Maybe you’ll just have the strumming technique throughout the song, which is a good start.
Give yourself around two to six months to be able to fret chords better and to play songs better, as well. You might learn fingerpicking, string jumping, hammer-ons, and chord arpeggios.
Guitar Learning Timeline
Though learning varies from person to person, with guitar, you’ll be able to progress just like anybody else with constant practice. Below is a tabulated timeline that details what a guitar learner can achieve over a certain period of time. These hold true for most who have a consistent daily practice.
|Duration||Progress You Make|
|1-2 Months||Learn basic chords, play easy songs with simple strumming techniques.|
|3-6 Months||Play difficult songs with some more guitar techniques like hammer-on, pull-off, lead guitar styles.|
|1 Year||Play intermediate songs and you might be comfortable playing barre chords.|
|2 Years||You can learn to play songs very quickly, especially if you keep your constant practice habit.|
|3 Years||You will now learn to improvise, perhaps, make your own music or song.|
|5-6 Years||You’ll be able to play anything under the sun with your own playing styles and techniques.|
|10 Years||You’ll have a collection of guitars because you want to play more, maybe have a few electric guitars already.|
|20+ Years||The spotlight is yours and you’re now among the best recording artists in the world. You might be touring around the world, if that’s your goal.|
This is just a timeline for you to realize that become a professional guitarist didn’t happen overnight. It takes years and years of constant practice and discipline.
On the bright side, this also shows you that you can learn to play songs with a guitar in just a year or two of continued practice.
It varies from person to person, and from the time they allocate for practice. Some make it to stardom after several years, while others strive for decades. But, the good news is, everybody can learn to play the guitar. You just have to be diligent, have scheduled practice time and be faithful to it.
Your hard work will pay back in time.