What is the best and fastest way to learn guitar?

I am getting a guitar for Christmas this year and I am really excited. I am 20 and have always been interested in playing but could never afford the instrument.

I know for sure my parents are getting me an acoustic guitar this year. I was wondering if anyone knows how long it will take me to learn how to play the guitar? Will I be able to learn it on my own or will i definitely need lessons?

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50 Responses to “What is the best and fastest way to learn guitar?”

  1. jerry said:

    you can definitely learn on your own.
    you can get a songbook with chords and then you can start strumming your first chord.

  2. Thekunt2 said:

    Lessons are a good thing of coarse but sometimes teachers will drag thing out a bit .
    Teaching your self is more fun but like everything the more you want it the faster you will see results.

  3. Earl D said:

    get a book of songs you like that have guitar chords on top and learn to play along.

    Take a few lessons to learn proper ways to hold and form your chords.

    Then play and play and play.

    If you want to go into lead work after you master chords play scales and riffs.

    Then find a better teacher to show you tricks.

    I knew this 15 year old who had been playing 6 months and he was great and his teacher was Joe Pass.

    He was, of course, paying $100 a lesson in 1973 which would be like $300-$400 today.

    Another friend of mine who was very accomplished was taking advanced lessons from Jimmy Stewart also at about $150 a lesson in 1981.

  4. rhamm618 said:

    I am sure, as a beginner you can get lessons at your local music store.
    Mine even post ads on the bulletin board – if another more advanced musician wishes to contact you they will, and work out a thing where he gives you lessons for an agreed amount.
    Often you can get an old dog that had been with a band for many years and can teach you many tricks. Other times you get just the basic stuff, but that too is good if that is your expectations. Again, you discuss what you expect to learn, and negotiate a price.

    Check with local music stores – you really should take a few lessons to kick-start you, then you can go on your own with books and all.

  5. FifthSonata said:

    You can learn on your own, but I would recommend lessons so you know where to begin.
    Learning and mastering an instrument takes a lifetime. Learning the instrument depends on your dedication and willingness to work, mastering takes a lifetime.
    Can you read music and guitar tabs? Can you read rhythms and other music vocabulary?

    I recommend lessons because you have the guidance and direction of a professional. They can give you help with good method books and make sure you don’t teach yourself incorrectly. There is no quick way to learn an instrument, so take your time and welcome to the world of music!

  6. Veronica V said:

    well some say that gutair lessons dont work. but you can try on your own. i know my brother got his cousin to help him learn how to play. or try a video

  7. Mista Ricksta said:

    In my case, it worked out that YEARS ago my guitar instructor would ask me to bring in recordings of songs for which there was an interest on my part to learn to play. This happened on cassette – before CDs EVER appeared on the market. It was just a matter of watching him learn the bass lines to the songs, and then figuring out the chords from the base lines and the fingering from the chords.

    After a while of watching HIM do it over-and-over again for a year or so, it dawned on me that it was easier for me to learn the songs on my own! My parents would pay the the guy ten or 15 dollars for a half-hour lesson. Just keep your wrist as low as possible, and you will be fine!

    My suggestion would be to take the lessons for a month, see if you are getting better at playing the thing as the month progesses. Then set a goal for three months. Then set another goal of six months. Learning on an accoustic is MUCH more difficult than learning on an electric, but it is the better option because you will ALWAYS be able to play the electric if you LEARN on the acoustic. Learning on the acoustic keeps you honest! *grin*

    Oh! The LAST song my fingers learned to play on the guitar was this song by Everlast – the name eludes me, but it was sort of a bluzy song. It worked off a D-minor, Dsus4, Fmaj7, and C. The rest of the chord progression eludes me now, but if you were to put a guitar in my hands, my fingers would remember the song in an instant.

    Oh! Someone else mentioned tuning! Want to know an EASY way to tune your axe? Use the FIRST note to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell! That is the TRUEST A-note in rock-n-roll!

    Tune your fifth string to THAT note, my tiny brain can still hear the note even though it has been years since my ears have heard the song. If you learn to do this, you will be able to play ANY guitar you find because that note will resonate in your head to the point where you can use its resonance to tune ANY guitar.

    BTW, you tune the balance of the strings off the A-string.

    My plan THIS week is to learn Mark Antoine’s Madrid which is a GREAT guitar song. It sounds like it has TWO guitars in it – maybe three. My plan will be to start working on it Monday morning. It is such a sweet song – an instrumental too.

    Actually, since you provided us with TWO solutions, your question should read, “Which is the better and faster way to learn guitar: with an instructor or on my own?”

    The answer to the question really boils down to how much time you are going to invest in learning to play the beast. You going to give up once your knuckles and fingertips are screaming at you to stop, or are you going to ignore their pleas and just keep playing? After about month-six, you can start practicing your Townsend-like windmills, if you want. Start slowly, or your right hand will be screaming in pain too as the strings open up some skin as you start whaling on the axe! Walk before you run, always, Grasshopper.

  8. yogi b said:

    Here are a couple of good starting sites!!
    http://www.get-tuned.com/old_guitar_tuner.php

  9. Zachy V said:

    i started playing at 16. my friend played and i got hooked on simple songs like Smoke on the Water and Seven Nation Army. I bought my own electric and a simple ‘how to’ book. i learned the chords and then just played along with songs and got better and better.

  10. Shon said:

    Simply take lessons. Why spend money on books and going to sites not fully and properly learn the guitar. Why not make it easier on yourself to learn from a professional one on one in person.

  11. someone 13 said:

    u can’t learn the guitar just like dat!
    it takes time and practice…………..oh and patience it takes a while to get the hang of it. And u can’t learn it fast. plus playin da guitar is awsome if u play it ur awsome duh!!!!!
    srry…………ok well u can probably take lessons i guess and get some guitar learnin books.

  12. Pardue said:

    Well to start off, everyone learns at their own pace, so it may take weeks or it may take months.

    You can deffinetly learn the guitar on your own. If you’d be more comfortable teaching yourself then go to the nearest instrument store and buy a beginners lesson book and start from there.
    If you would rather take lessons that is up to you.

    There is no fast way to learn guitar but there are some things that can speed it up a little bit.

    First of all get the basics down. Learn the first few chords.
    Then you can go online, and look up tabs. Tabs are songs you can play written down in tablature which are numbers which represent what notes you would play on the guitar.

    There are also instructional DVD’s that can teach you the basics for playing guitar.

    Let’s step into the technology world.

    You may be familiar with the guitar hero series.
    A company has developed a guitar that has frets that light up, and shows you how to play your favorite songs from guitar hero on a real guitar. It’ll cost you around 400 bucks though.

    Mind you these are simple choices you could take to get your musical career started up.

    I taught myself how to play bass guitar and it was difficult at first but I picked it up pretty quick. Any way you try to start off is going to be difficult for you. So it’s your choice on what you want to do.

  13. Bullet said:

    guitar for dummies.

  14. Lisa said:

    guitar hero!!

  15. Peter said:

    Pick songs from bands or artists that you like and practice the chords and notes. Do this slowly and then work on speed gradually. I learned how to play the guitar proficiently in about 6 months. The thing is that everyone knows how to play the guitar, just not well!

  16. photomontart@sbcglobal.net said:

    First tune your guitar and know how to to tune it get “E” tuning fork or a electronic tuner that makes the sound of each string E-A-D-G-B-E OK theses are the strings you will be tuning and playing get a guitar chord book with super-tab notations and it will show you the pattern of finger placement’s on the neck and get a music book with easy lessons and that has a strumming and finger picking and pick playing exercising techniques and next go to a school and take lessons to put your self in front of a professional to sharpen your skills ! and get to know someone who plays !

  17. Big"B" said:

    i have only been playing for 3 months and i can play sweet chid o mine (including solo) and i learned all of my stuff from this site
    http://justinguitar.com/html/beginners.html

  18. musicblue99 said:

    Get Alfred’s Guitar Method. Its the fastest way to learn the basics. There are several levels of these books, be sure to start with Book 1. Some of the songs may be corny but they are just meant to teach you something. If you finish his system you will definitely be in the intermediate class.

    good luck

  19. Zorobabel G said:

    I have think that the best plan to learn the guitar is to ask in the specialist of the guitar…

  20. Jes said:

    You’ll have to play around with deciding whether you want to teach yourself or not. A big deciding factor is if you already know how to read music or if you are a total beginner.

    If you decide to go for lessons though, a cheap way to do it is to hit your local college or university and post a few fliers around the music department and student unions. I can guarantee you will have poor college students competing to teach you asap.

  21. emokid said:

    Yes, you can learn it on your own, buy song books and a chord book so you can start.
    Then do the basics..
    Then be creative..
    Then start kicking ass!

    You’ll be fine as long as you’re focused to learn it.
    “Love your calling with your passion; it is the meaning of your life”

  22. brishti said:

    by observing the person who is playing and trying to get as much information as possible from that person

  23. Sara J said:

    TAKE LESSONS
    that what i did cause i play the guitar

  24. James H said:

    Well, you’ll probably find learning chords is not too
    difficult. With guitars the more difficult problem
    is usually finding two people can play the
    same chords.

  25. ces angel said:

    theres no other way to learn or to master such skill if you will not undergone the burden or sacrifices….there’s no other option but to feel the pain but throgh that you will earn points and improve…okay???estamating to time to learn 1 year…but if you are couragous enough you may learn it 2 to 3 months…just be patient until you learn how to strum a guitar okay……hope you’ll make it coz it takes for me to learn strumming the guitar for 4 months…..goodluck!!!!

  26. scottpark7 said:

    Get a teacher. As complex as the guitar is, you can spend years reinventing the wheel without one. Yes, many players learn on their own, but a good teacher, weekly lessons, and regular practice of your lessons will knock years off the time it takes to get where you want to go.

  27. Debbie said:

    Listen, there are tons of people who learn how to play the guitar on their own. I personally believe, that it’s so much better to take lessons. Otherwise you could go off doing and believing a lot of wrong things. It’s especially important to take lessons when you know no theory. Lessons arent as important for someone who already has a basic understanding of music, but since it doesnt look like you do you should really get lessons. Most guitar shops do give lessons. Take a few and see if you like it and remember you might just get a bad teacher, so don’t let that change your mind about taking lessons. You can always find a great teacher somewhere. It’s also important to draw from as many sources as you can. Try going to tab websites and learning some easy songs as you take lessons from your teacher. Use books if you’d like or even take some youtube lessons. The most imporant thing to do is practice!!!! You have to practice a lot (I’d suggest every day) if you want any sorta of progress. Good luck!

  28. Dzogchen said:

    The best way….pick it up and just keep strumming. All your free time should be with your guiatar and you must love it, all of it ..the mistakes…the blisters…the cramp fingers…and the magic moment when someone says Hey that sounded pretty good! I can only speak from experience but it will take a while to learn unless your gifted.Just have patience,it’s worth it in the long run!You can find free every thing on web.Just learn your scale and practice it till you can do it without thinking and your on your way!!!GOOD LUCK and GREAT PLAYING!!

  29. supertripp-fan said:

    You can’t learn to be a race-car driver in an old station-wagon! …don’t have to spend a fortune on an acoustic ~($200) but make sure your guitar has had a “setup” before you try to learn on it, otherwise you can tune it AND make the chords correctly but it will just feel uncomfortable & not sound “good”. Your fingers will always be sensitive when u start, but there’s no-reason your guitar-strings should be high-enough to cut-down a Redwood! A setup has to do w/ adjusting the guitar’s intonation & string heights (the store’s guitar-tech can explain it). Can’t do too-much to an acoustic but I got one (used) for $75 that plays like a dream after a $45 setup! Beyond that, every Eagles song is a guitar-lesson in itself. Pick 2 songs like “Take it Easy” & “Lyin’ Eyes”…have the teacher teach you the basic chords…if you stay w/ it, you can learn (later) why a “C” chord is a “C” & so-on…then u can make-up your own fingerings & chords. *NOTE: u can tune & chord PERFECTLY on an electric-guitar & still sound like crap! Electric-guitars involve spending time learning about TONE, switching b/w volumes & efx while keeping UNITY-GAIN! Get the basics down on the acoustic & develop your ear for a while! Good luck : – )

  30. ballplayer956 said:

    just go to school and you will learn the right way and fast too by the time you know it you will be the next generation k
    take care

  31. hi said:

    I would teach yourself grab a cord book and start teaching yourself!

  32. refusedtapout said:

    time, time, time, practice, practice, practice. it’s one of the most intricate instrument out there. there is NO ‘fast’ or ‘easy’ or anything way to learn to play the guitar. to play good, it will take years and years and years of dedication throughout your life, not just an hour or two here and there.

  33. toom l said:

    THE FASTEST WAY IS TO CONCENTRATE AND KEEP ON PRACTISING .

  34. Grim Jack said:

    Find a good teacher and practice (a lot).

    Nothing beats time in the wood shed.

  35. jrocker said:

    dude u will learn fast if u put your heart into it…practice everyday and you’ll be good

  36. ariane c said:

    Practice…….it depends

  37. [Ben}Mr. Senior said:

    Lessons.

  38. shazaamazam said:

    Take guitar lessions.

  39. Nathan B said:

    gutiar tabs.com

  40. Freddy Finger said:

    A good teacher is hard to find. You can definitely learn on your own but it takes a certain level of dedication and commitment. You don’t have the weight of showing what you practiced to a teacher so sometimes it is easy to slack off. And of course with self education you are going to have holes in your knowledge. I took lessons from a number of teachers for a while and also learned a lot on my own. As far as how long, that depends on your commitment and how much you practice. Remember practice makes perfect. That’s not just a corny saying, its the truth. Don’t just listen to music passively. Try and pick out the chords and notes they are playing. Get some chord books. technique books scale books and start learning. Workshoplive.com offers online lessons but I can’t say anything about how effective they are.

  41. Someone said:

    Get a teacher. Its much easier than learning on your own

  42. Melissa R said:

    LESSONS

  43. dragonite3294 said:

    you mess around with it a bit
    play random stuff
    then try putting it together
    you can definately learn from reading books too
    when you learn how to read tablatures you can use the website http://www.ultimate-guitar.com

  44. thom_thom@sbcglobal.net said:

    go to http://www.ultimate-guitar.com has tabs for bass an guitar.

  45. rawwr its ashleyy said:

    You can by guitar books to tell you what to do
    or you could get a teacher
    thats what i have

  46. theguy4u2nv said:

    guitar hero

  47. Ricky H said:

    I think you can go either way as far as taking lessons or learning on your own. But with lessons, it is good to have someone with experience to help you out.
    I think the fastest way to learn is to have a true, never give up passion to learn the instrument and always make time every day to practice.
    Passion, drive, and persistence can really make dreams come true.
    Enjoy your guitar.

  48. Servant of One said:

    I would say take lessons to learn the mechanics first off. I have played guitar since I was sixteen and now I am 25 and when I started to get into hair metal type music I noticed I had some problems like I would tire out and my picking was bad. I started taking lessons with a guy from a guitar school in LA and took lessons as a starter to build up my mechanics. For 9 years I was playing my guitar wrong because I didn’t take lessons and now its very hard to play the guitar right. There is a right way and a wrong way to play the guitar. Just take a few lessons to learn the proper positions and picking techniques. Its always good to have a very critical instructor. If your too poor for that then you can go on myspace or youtube and get beginner lessons for free. But get the picking techniques down first and foremost and make sure it is right. Practice is good when you practice the right things but if your practicing the wrong technique you can end up having trouble in the long run. Take it easy and take your time on it. Aim for quality not quanity.

  49. lol kk whateva said:

    it depends how good you want to be if u just want to play with your friends you can probably do it on ur own

    but if you want to learn it for like school or a band or something i recommend lessons once a week

    and heaps of practice

  50. ozzy4president51 or sean said:

    It depends what you want to be able to do. For example i just learned through guitar tabs online (they show how tom play a song by telling the notes by fret and on which string) and i can play good. However, if you want to actually be able to name the chords you are playing or things like that i would recommend lessons. You can learn that also online… http://www.ultimate-guitar.com is helpfull for lessons and tabs, but if you want to be taught directly i would suggest lessons.




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