Deciding to learn a new instrument is a big undertaking, as it requires putting in a lot of time and effort. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding and you shouldn’t let the hours spent learning an instrument put you off. It can be a lot of fun!
Below, I’ll answer the question of how hard it is to learn the guitar as well as answer some other questions you may have… or you may not have even thought of!
The truth is, the guitar is hard to learn at first but it will get easier the more you practice. Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, so many people quit guitar at the very beginning because it feels so difficult.
This initial difficulty makes people think they’re not good enough, but this isn’t true. The only way to overcome that difficult beginning is to keep practicing.
If you want to learn guitar, keep in mind that it will be hard at first, and remind yourself of that when you get frustrated or you feel like you’re not good enough. After the first six months, you will definitely notice it becoming easier.
Can I teach myself how to play guitar?
Yes, you can! While it is more difficult to learn without a guitar teacher, there are plenty of great online resources out there you can use to teach yourself. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to teach yourself how to play guitar:
It’s hard to find reputable online resources: While there are a lot of websites and YouTube channels dedicated to teaching you how to play guitar, they definitely vary in quality.
Some sites and videos are invaluable and will teach you different skills and topics. However, some are of poor quality and will leave you with a lack of understanding on certain topics and may teach you bad habits.
It takes a lot of self-discipline: A part of a guitar teacher’s job is to motivate and guide you. While teaching yourself the guitar means you can pick your guitar up whenever you want, it does also require a lot of discipline to practice regularly.
You may find yourself getting bored or frustrated, but if you really want to learn guitar you will need to push through it.
It takes longer: Learning guitar by yourself definitely takes a lot longer than being taught by a teacher. A guitar teacher can suggest what you should practice, and create a plan to help you reach your goals.
When you’re teaching yourself, you need to figure it all out on your own which means a longer learning process. If you want to learn quickly, I recommend having some guitar lessons with a teacher first, at least initially.
Acoustic Guitar vs Electric Guitars: What should I learn first?
This all depends on what type of music you want to play. If you want to play music that is meant for an electric guitar, you should learn on an electric guitar. Meanwhile, if you want to play acoustic music you should learn on an acoustic guitar.
After all, if you want to rip into some heavy metal with a cranked amp, then what’s the point of learning on a classical guitar?
What is the first thing to learn when playing guitar?
The first thing to learn is how to hold the guitar correctly and play single notes. Learning single notes is a great foundation for all the other skills.
Before you try to learn chords or riffs, you should definitely work on playing a single note. After all, you can’t play a chord until you play one note. When you first start learning guitar, focus on playing single notes as cleanly as possible before you move on. Start with easy finger exercises and use them to practice single notes.
Guitar vs Piano: What’s harder to learn?
These are two completely different instruments, so it’s hard to compare them. If you’re trying to decide between learning guitar and piano, then comparing their difficulty is the wrong way to look at it. Instead, consider which one you’re really interested in learning.
Work on the basis that both of them will be equally hard to learn and both will require the same amount of time and effort to practice, then decide what instrument you’re willing to put the time and effort into.
You’ll unlikely get anywhere trying to pick between two instruments based on how difficult they are, but you will get somewhere if you pick the instrument that interests you the most.
The benefits of learning guitar
If you ask the guitar players you know, I’m sure they’ll each have their own unique list of benefits that playing guitar has given them. But below, I’ll take a look at a few common ones.
Improves coordination: Unfortunately, nobody is born a natural guitar player. But with practice, you’ll develop very strong coordination between your hands that is useful in other areas of your life.
Improves concentration: You need to concentrate when playing guitar, and your concentration will improve each time you practice. In fact, it’s been thought that schoolchildren who learn guitar also improve in other subjects, because learning guitar has improved their ability to concentrate.
It’s a fun hobby: There are few things more enjoyable than just being able to pick up a musical instrument and play it, and playing guitar is no different. After a long, hard day, picking up your guitar and playing music can have great mental health benefits.
Writing your own music is also fun and rewarding, as is performing in front of a crowd. Plus, jamming with your friends is super fun too!
It gives you a deeper appreciation of music: If you’re someone who already enjoys listening to music, then playing an instrument such as guitar can enhance that enjoyment and appreciation. You’ll start to notice details in your favorite music that you may have never noticed before.
With all those amazing benefits in mind, it’s not hard to see why people play guitar for years!