Beginning Guitar Lessons: “How Long Until I’m Good?”

November 17th, 2009

Note: This is a guest post by Ian, from

The question that is on a lot of beginners minds is “How long will it be before I’m a good guitar player”. Now I know the term good is different for each individual but for most beginners it’s how long before I can play the songs I hear on the radio, jam with friends and maybe play for others at a party or camp fire.

Before we can answer this question I think we first need to take a look at the benefits of self study or private lessons and the variety of different products available to teach yourself to play guitar. So let’s get started.

Private Lessons Vs. Self Study Programs

There isn’t too much question that the potential to become a great guitar player learning directly from someone else who is a great player is very high. Of course how much you practice and progress has a lot to do with it but you’re setup for success when taking private lessons.

The biggest downside to taking private lessons is that often you learn new techniques at a very slow pace which can cause you to lose interest. Contrast this with learning guitar from a guitar lesson dvd course like Learn and Master guitar and you’re in complete control of how quickly or slowly you learn.

If you choose to learn on your own be sure you spend the money on a good self study program like Learn and Master Guitar or a similar video program. This will ensure you learn all the basics and build a good foundation for future learning.

What About Learn Guitar Fast Programs?

There are some ebooks and digital guitar courses that suggest you can learn guitar in one week or even one weekend. Personally, as someone who’s played guitar for several years I cannot see how you could “master” an instrument in one weekend, but I do suppose it’s possible to learn a chord or two and some basic strumming patterns.

My personal opinion is that programs like these offer a big promise they cannot deliver on. If you’re really interested in becoming a great guitar player then don’t waste your time on a product that claims you can learn in one weekend. Spend your money and time wisely on a serious beginner guitar lessons product.

So How Long Until You’re Good?

So back to our original question. I believe it will take a complete beginner 6 months of steady practicing to become comfortable with basic chord shapes and barre chords. You’ll also begin to learn basic scales in that time.

After about 1 year you should have mastered all the major and minor chords, know your most common scales and each of their shapes and positions on the neck and have settled into a particular playing style. At this point you could call yourself a good guitar player.

Of course you’ll be playing songs you enjoy well before that 1 year mark, but don’t make the mistake of stopping your learning at that point. Keep pushing through to learn new skills and techniques so you can become a great guitar player!

4 Responses to “Beginning Guitar Lessons: “How Long Until I’m Good?””

  1. bullham says:

    an inspirational answer. Thanks mate

  2. Anthony says:

    Good advice. I made the mistake of trying to learn on my own wtih no beginner material. youtube helped me learn some song segments and some chords but i think its important to have a good cirriculum. think of climbing a ladder with some of the steps missing inbetween. My oppinion one weekend is impossible to have a good understanding of music theory.

  3. trey says:

    cool guitar article, I have a blog for beginner guitar players that I think is great for anyone starting out to learn the best and fastest way possible, it has a 90pg ebook you can download and some videos along w/ the posts, hope it’s ok to show here.

    thanks everyone

  4. Guitar Joe says:

    Good Points you’ve mentioned in your post. Nobody can learn guitar in one week!
    About The question “How long will it be before I’m a good guitar player” the answer is you are already a good guitar player. You just have to get better and better.
    I want to add two different aspects on learning and it’s good for every subject you want to learn:
    1. you can’t learn new things if you think you know everything. Be humble and open your
    mind for new ideas.
    2. Never compare your progress with others.
    The only compare you can make is to your own progress. Try to remember what your level of knowledge was one two or three months ago.
    God bless, and be a good person.

    If you love guitars, you’ll love that video “Guitar – No More Questions”

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