I’ve been asked this question quite a lot of times. Mostly by excited newbies who are determined to make their mark. And I am finally ready to give you the shortest possible answer, “It’s going to take forever.”
There, I said it!
Don’t get me wrong. I am only saying that because you never stop learning how to play the guitar. It is one of the bravest and most beautiful things you will ever do in your life. And if done right, your quest for perfection as a guitarist will take over your life. But despite all your hard work and practice, I am sure there will never come a time in your life, when you’ll say that, “That’s it. I am done. I’ve learned it all!”
That’s the beauty of learning how to play the guitar.
Okay but still, how long does it take to learn acoustic guitar?
Well. Have you been practicing? Once again, the answer depends on how often you pick up that guitar and strum the songs you want to learn. If you practice 4-5 times a week, you could end up learning how to play in six months but that doesn’t mean you’ve learned it all.
Here’s how you start: learn a few beginner chords, and that take that first step to become a guitarist. This is the gateway to learning all the songs in the world. If you practice regularly, you should be able to learn a new song every week. Yea sure, the first few times you’ll be a little rough around the edges, but you should be able to improve little by little every day. Just don’t stop or burn out. Slow and steady is going to win this race!
Start gently by learning a simple song, one with just a couple of chords or simple tabs. Also, try useful guitar software to help you listen to and envision how the tune should be played. There’ll always be a new genre or a new song to master. Sounds romantic, I know. But it’s hard work. That’s why I’ve narrowed down my top tips for learning how to play an Acoustic guitar like a pro.
Easy Tips to Improve Your Acoustic Guitar Playing
Now, these tips work for everyone. Whether you’ve just had your first guitar lesson, or you’ve played professionally with a band, you’ll find that these tips are just right for you. So prepare to practice these and develop better playing habits to become a pro at playing acoustic guitar. Let’s begin!
1. Start Slow & Don’t Forget To Use a Metronome
I’ve observed that new guitarists try to learn too much too soon. They attempt new scales and chord progressions without first creating a solid foundation of the basics. Learning a guitar has to be an excruciatingly slow process at least for the first month or so. Built a mastery of the basics, using a metronome to enhance your sense of rhythm and fingering precision. Work your way up to faster tempos. You won’t regret it.
2. Grow Your Chord Vocabulary
If you want to learn acoustic guitar quickly, understand and practice as many chords as you possibly can. A chord is a group of musical notes that are played together, concurrently. Learning new chords and practicing them religiously is a fantastic way to progress as a player. This is primarily an excellent skill for songwriters. Once you are done learning chords, move onto playing individual notes. Try playing chords with your fingertips vs. your fingerprints. You will see which one’s best!
3. Explore Your Guitar Play with Dynamics
The acoustic guitar is a beautiful instrument that is dynamic, like no other musical instrument out there. Play with it, explore it, and use this information to learn more about your guitar. Instead of just passively strumming along with a favorite tune, experiment using your guitar. Go louder or softer, change the approach for the chorus, the verse or the bridge – see what feels right to you and how you can make a song your own with only your guitar to help you. These dynamics will help you create a sound that’s uniquely yours.
4. Explore Alternate Tunings
In standard tuning, the strings from low to high, i.e., E A D G B E. This setup has been done to death by guitarists looking for new riffs, chords, and licks, etc. However, I was surprised to find out that some of the most beloved rock guitarists of all times – Keith Richards and Jimmy Page, etc. – tuned their guitars differently. Each had a trademark style but loved to experiment with alternate tunings. You should experiment too. This is an excellent way of finding different chords.
Remember… Practice Makes Perfect!
The more you practice, the faster you’ll learn, and the better you will be at playing guitar. Remember, playing the guitar is no walk in the park. You will find out that you have to hold it a certain way, sit in a calm manner, and memorize new finger movements to play guitar. The only way to learn these hand movements and body posture are if you practice them at least 15 minutes a day.
If you are a beginner, let me repeat it for you: practice every day.
Do this one thing, and I promise you will see a marked improved in your acoustic guitar playing skills within two weeks. But at the same time, don’t spend more than 15 to 30 minutes on the guitar every day or you run the risk of burnout. Remember, your fingers will get sore, and you may end up deserting the whole idea of learning to play the guitar. That pain’s a killer… that I know! So practice a little every day until you begin to build calluses on your fingertips.
Learning to play an acoustic guitar takes some solid dedication and a love for music. There is no definitive answer to the question. However, with persistence, perseverance, and an untiring attitude, you may be able to hold your own in front of other professional guitar players in three to five years.
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