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How long will it take to learn guitar?

I am an accomplished pianist (playing and taking lessons for 12 years). I’ve taught myself cello but haven’t gotten over the beginner level for the last six years. I sing a lot, especially while I play piano. I know my notes and piano chords and advanced music theory.

I don’t have a lot of time on my hands but I’m wondering if I could learn how to play and sing one song in four months.

Also, can I start on a half-size toy guitar?

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5 Responses to “How long will it take to learn guitar?”

  1. Chris M said :

    One song, just chords I’m assuming, four months sounds like an ample amount of time even for a beginner just transcribe the chords (or look em up) and work primarily on fingering and chord changes. Unless you plan on transcribing Mozart you should be fine. The music is all the same no matter what you play so just get accustomed to the instrument, practice as much as possible.

  2. RachelS165 said :

    Could you learn to play and sing one song in 4 months? Possibly. Depends on the difficulty of the song and on your own musical aptitude, manual dexterity, and willingness to work at it.

    You say you’ve taught yourself cello, but “haven’t gotten over the beginner level for the last six years”, that doesn’t bode well for your ability to teach yourself guitar quickly, however, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to practice.

    Can you start on a half-size toy guitar? If that’s all you’ve got, I guess you can. It will undoubtedly sound like crap and probably be impossible to get or keep in tune, but if you don’t care about that I guess you can manage. I know guys with big beefy hands who play mandolin and fiddle beautifully — if they can get around on those itty-bitty little fingerboards with speed and accuracy with their thick fingers, you should be able to manage the fretboard on a half-size guitar.

  3. batmanandrobinson said :

    It really depends on how good you want to get. For someone as experienced in music as you you would be able to understand guitar very well very quickly but there is no way you can overcome the physical requirements faster than a normal person. For you i would recommend learning on a full sized guitar and focus on chord changes and finger exercises and only after you have somewhat of a mastery of those then should you learn or write songs. My cousin started playing guitar less than a year ago and is already very good but he practices a lot. Again, it depends on how good you want to get. I have been playing guitar for a little less than a year also (However i played bass guitar for years before so i was already familiar with finger movement) and i have a good understanding of the guitar and can play a handful of songs and write a song when necessary. I don’t practice an outrageous amount but its good. Its definitely worth trying

  4. Reyn said :

    If you can sing, then you’re set. I could teach you a song in half an hour. You sound like an experienced musician so you’ll be fine. Was that bit about the toy guitar a serious question? If you want something small, learn to play an ukulele.

  5. Stephen said :

    This answer to this question depends on quite a few things. When you learn something new, your brain produces something called mylen, which insulates the neurons in the brain so you can perform a task, like playing guitar quickly.

    The good news with mylen is that you’re never too old or young to produce it. Your brain produces it constantly as you perform tasks. Now that you have a little encouragement, it’s time to look at the 2 biggest factors for you as you learn.

    1. your passion
    2. the information you use to fuel it.

    They both need to work together. You could definitely learn how to play many songs in that amount of time, but singing is up in the air. Guitar comes fist, and singing comes second. I’ve written more info on this very topic that you can check out:

    Also, I would advise against a toy guitar. Go ahead and get a cheap beginner guitar that’s full size. t will feel, play, and sound better.



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