Just like most things in life, getting good at the guitar doesn’t happen overnight. But here’s the thing – you don’t want it to.
While being able to shred, solo, and impress your friends with cool guitar techniques is great, learning them is the most fun and satisfying part of the process!
So with that in mind, what’s the best way to learn the guitar?
Here are 11 simple methods you can employ to make learning the guitar a fun and rewarding journey!
1. Set Clear Goals
People often ask me, “Is it easy to learn the guitar?” And my answer is generally always the same: as long as you set yourself some clear measurable goals to do so.
Setting goals is the best way to track your progress, keep you motivated, and tailor your practice sessions.
A common pitfall that many fall into is learning guitar aimlessly, which usually leads to a lack of motivation and direction.
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2. Create a Cozy Environment
One of the key tricks to learning the guitar is ensuring you’re in an environment where you feel comfortable learning and experimenting.
If you’re going to spend so much time practicing guitar, make sure you do so in an inspiring and calming place.
This could mean dedicating a certain room in your house to your guitar playing, sitting on your porch on a sunny day, or surrounding yourself with plants.
Of course, this is very subjective, but by transforming your space into one that makes you feel at ease, you’ll be more inclined to play guitar and enjoy the process more when you do.
3. Learn the Basics
Building a strong foundation is crucial for any skill, and guitar playing is no exception. Focus on mastering basic chords, scales, intervals, and key signatures.
These fundamentals form the building blocks of playing the guitar and shine a light on the key guitar theory that you’ll need to know.
It’s hard to progress in guitar if you don’t have a good handle on the essential theory, so don’t skip this one!
4. Play Every Day (Even if It’s Only 10 Minutes)
I know you’ve probably heard this countless times, but consistency is key when learning the guitar.
I’m a big fan of little but often when it comes to practice. Set aside a short period of practice time each day – even if it’s just 10 minutes.
Regular practice reinforces muscle memory, refines your skills, and enhances your overall playing ability.
Remember, you’ll get more benefits from playing every day for small chunks of time than if you only played for three hours once a week.
5. Hone Your Technique
Developing proper technique early on is essential to avoid bad habits. Pay attention to hand positioning, finger placement, posture, and how you hold the guitar.
Correcting technique when you’re further into your guitar learning journey is often a bit more difficult and might require more time, so it’s important to nip it in the bud while you’re still at the beginning of your journey.
For more information about this, check out this article on guitar techniques for beginners.
6. Watch YouTube Videos
For those days you’re lacking motivation, watch some YouTube videos to reignite your passion for guitar!
While you shouldn’t only resort to YouTube to get all of your guitar instruction, there are many great things you can learn from it. From checking out the technique of your favorite players to ear training to free breakdowns of popular songs – there’s a lot you can take away from the platform.
And it’s enjoyable too! So if you’re having an off day and struggling to get inspired, cue up a couple of videos and take some notes instead!
7. Diversify Your Repertoire
While it’s tempting to stick to your favorite songs, artists, or genres, exploring new ones exposes you to different playing styles and techniques.
Discover new genres, experiment with fingerpicking, and challenge yourself with different rhythms to broaden your musical horizons.
8. Record Yourself
While recording yourself might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the best ways to learn guitar, think again!
Recording your practice sessions allows you to listen critically and identify areas for improvement.
It’s also the best way to track your progress over time. You’ll essentially build a catalog of videos spanning the most pivotal months of your guitar learning journey that you can dip back into and see how far you’ve come.
9. Jam With Friends
While developing technical prowess is good, it’s important to remember that your guitar journey is about having fun too! So if grinding endless scales with a metronome is killing your soul, call up a buddy and run through some Beatles or Rolling Stones instead!
You don’t have to overthink this. If you know someone who plays drums, violin, flute, rhythm guitar, or any other instrument, you’ve got a buddy to make music with!
Jamming sharpens your listening skills, improves your ability to play in sync with others, and allows you to learn different musical perspectives.
And most importantly it’s fun!
If you don’t currently have anyone to jam with or you’re looking for an engaged community of like-minded music geeks, then check out the TAC community! You’ll find a supportive community of people learning the acoustic guitar together, and having fun while doing so!
10. Be Patient
Progress may sometimes seem slow, but every small improvement is a step forward.
Stay patient, celebrate your achievements, and most importantly, enjoy the process of creating music with this incredible instrument.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Hendrix didn’t immediately start ripping solos with his teeth – remember, good things take time!
11. Find an Online Progam You Enjoy
While learning guitar by yourself is possible, it’s tough to keep improving without some structure and guidance. But that doesn’t mean you should grind through hours of dry lessons and boring drills before you get to the fun part.
If you need a bit of direction, then check out my online guitar workshop – Tony’s Acoustic Challenge. I designed it specifically to help guitar players of all levels see consistent, meaningful progress and have fun at the same time.
It will help you learn new techniques swiftly and effectively, making music (not practice drills) each time you sit down to play.
Watch the FREE guitar class to learn the three things that will help build a life of consistent guitar playing in just 10 minutes a day.
Is it easy to learn the guitar?
The guitar is easy to learn if you play consistently. You won’t master it overnight, but you will notice incremental progress if you keep at it. You can yourself measurable goals when learning the guitar so you can track your progress. But these shouldn’t be boring, academic yardsticks of progress – the most important thing is that you enjoy the process. It’s a beautiful thing, so keep at it!
What is the best method to learn guitar?
There’s no one way to learn the guitar. Methods and results vary from person to person. Choose a method that best suits your goals for guitar and your style of learning and playing. A key element to all methods is to practice regularly, and to have fun while you do it!
Can I teach myself to play guitar?
Yes! With countless resources online these days, it is possible to teach yourself to play guitar. However, learning the guitar is most optimally accomplished with either private tutoring or classes.
How long does it realistically take to learn guitar?
There’s no set amount of time to learn the guitar. There are lots of factors that can influence how long it takes you such as your goals, the amount of time you set aside to practice, your previous musical experience, your natural aptitude for learning music, and, of course, how much fun you have during the whole process.