According to a Fender poll, 90% of guitar students abandon their studies after the first year. That’s a staggeringly high percentage, demonstrating that learning the guitar isn’t easy. Patience, self-discipline, time, and, most importantly, frequent practice are all that are required.
I can attest to this because I’ve been learning guitar solely online for the past six months using Justin Guitar’s Beginner Course, which I recently completed. The frequency with which you practice is closely tied to your ability to complete the course and enjoy playing the guitar. As the saying goes, you get out what you put in.
So, how often should a beginner guitar practice? A beginner should practice for at least 15 minutes each day and up to an hour per day. Every day, practice on the guitar will help you create muscle memory, form a habit, and lessen frustration from delayed development.
I can do that in 15 minutes a day! There’s a lot more to it than that, but what should you practice first? When do you plan to increase your practice time? What happens if I don’t learn for a few days? And how long do you think it will take you to learn to play the guitar? All of this and more is covered in the sections below.
Why and how often should you practice guitar?
It might be an unsettling experience when you first begin learning to play the guitar. Steel strings and the shapes you must construct in order to play notes and chords are foreign to your fingers.
It wasn’t until about week three that I was able to appreciate the experience of playing the guitar without my fingertips hurting. If you’re experiencing or suspect you’re experiencing discomfort in your fingers, I recommend reading my post, 21 Tips for Guitar Finger Pain. In this video, I show you how to play your guitar without hurting yourself or having to think too much about how to do it.
During that time of learning, I started out playing for 15 minutes a day and gradually extended it to 15 to 20 minutes, half an hour, and then an hour by the beginning of week four.
By the end of the first month, I had learnt enough to make a song out of it.
Are these the typical outcomes? Are they beneficial or harmful? Will your outcomes be the same? What’s more, how do they relate to how frequently I should practice?
Please bear with me for a bit. Before I began this adventure, I wrote an article about how long it would take me to learn the guitar as a complete beginner with no prior musical experience, which you can read here.
I did a lot of research, and as a result, I was able to break down the process of learning to play the guitar into six stages.
To summarize, the first stage, dubbed “The Basics,” consists of learning everything from holding a guitar for the first time to being able to play a few handfuls of songs all the way through, and it takes between 150 and 300 hours to complete.
I estimated that I learned this level in about 130 hours, but if you include the time I spent away from the guitar researching and watching videos during my lunch break at work, as well as when I had 5 minutes alone away from my young family, it was probably closer to 150 hours over the course of 5 months.
The result of those 150 hours of practice, in song form, is shown below (with a maximum of two days off in between picking up the guitar).
Hopefully, you’ll see some improvement! And if you enjoyed the video, please subscribe. Many of my subscribers are advanced beginners, and we all share our ups and downs as we study guitar.
So, while my progress was faster than those timeframes required to acquire “the essentials,” I employed a systematic style of learning for all elements of my study from start to finish, not simply watching YouTube videos. Did this imply that I advanced swiftly and in a variety of areas? I believe so, and I believe this is the point I’m trying to make.
We all want to have a good time learning to play the guitar, to learn music that we like, and to improve quickly. This might give you a sense of success, which I believe is why, as a beginner, you might wonder, “How often should I practice?”
If I were you, I’d use an organized learning program, practice 5 to 7 days a week, and practice for more than 15 minutes each time you play, ideally for half an hour to an hour, so that you can get better faster.
Time spent playing is crucial, but so is what you practice and how well you practice, which I’ll discuss next.
How To Effectively Practice Guitar As A Beginner
Learning how to efficiently practice guitar can be a skill in and of itself. One of the most important things to remember is that you should practice in your weak areas. What do you do when you’re starting out and you’re bad at everything?
Well, I had the same question and spent some time researching the various options. We all learn in different ways; some of us are strong visual learners, while others like to read and study, and many of us fall somewhere in the middle.
It all comes down to time and money, and I think everyone can relax about that.
Luke is a busy father who is learning to play the guitar.
Because I have a young family and work full-time, I only have time to do the things I desire in the evenings. I didn’t want to drive anywhere to learn how to play the guitar, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money because I didn’t know where this passion would take me.
So, I want to learn the guitar online, but where should you start? There are hundreds of guitar teachers on YouTube, and there are many outstanding videos, as well as a lot of terrible ones. The problem is that there isn’t a clear structure or path to follow in order to lay the groundwork. Where should you begin, and what should you learn next, for example? There isn’t any sort of logical progression here.
Yes, you could hop from song to song, method to technique, and so on, and if you’re committed, this could work for you. However, this will most likely grow increasingly frustrating, and you will be more likely to give up. That is precisely what we are attempting to avoid.
My recommendation is to take the Justin Guitar Beginner’s Course; it is a systematic method of learning that allows you to cover a lot of ground while also building a solid foundation in guitar playing.
The course is divided into stages, each with its own set of components. When you reach the end of the stage, you must work on and finish a practice routine before moving on to the next step.
This is a fantastic way to improve your guitar skills. The methods are given to you, you try them out, and then you practice until you can meet the stage’s requirements. I felt a sense of success and growth, which is precisely what you need to keep yourself motivated and help you improve your confidence and skills.
The course is completely free, although you can purchase his books (I purchased two) or other things, but you are not required to do so in order to use his course. The majority of people end up buying bits from him because he has provided so much value for free, and it just feels right.
Justin guides you from “zero” to “hero,” essentially holding your hand the entire time. The course is quite simple to use, and you can save your progress so that you may return to it whenever you have a spare moment.
His course is the only one I’ve used to study guitar, and it’s been quite helpful, in my opinion. You can see my progress in the videos above, and after completing his course, I felt confident enough to tackle things on my own for a bit.
I think it’s a great idea, and you can also sign up for the Justin Guitar Beginner Course.
It also offers a large amount of free content. On this map of his lessons, you can see that he covers beginner, intermediate, and advanced modules. So, if you’re a beginner or intermediate, go there for more instruction.
But what if you don’t want to play Justin Guitar at all?
There are several paid lessons available online as well, but the only one that truly competes and is worth paying for, in my opinion, is Guitar Tricks, which is not surprising given that they were founded in 1998.
Their beginner course takes you step-by-step through the process and includes a variety of instructors to choose from, over 11,000 guitar lessons, and over 1,000 music videos, all of which are in 4k.
It has a polished, professional approach with content that is well explained by polite, easy-going instruction, and what I particularly appreciate about it are the “modules” that are part of its fundamental learning method. The first two lessons will explain the fundamentals of playing the guitar, and then you will be able to choose a path to follow.
You get to learn the skills of the guitar style you want to play faster than if you took Justin’s course. The course also includes songs in styles other than Justin’s, so you’ll be able to learn songs in the following genres:
Styles of Songs
Funk & Soul
There’s also a risk-free 60-day trial period when you sign up, during which you can quit at any moment, which is ideal for deciding for yourself.
I urge that you think about your options, and if you’re serious about studying guitar, go to Guitar Tricks and see what they have to offer.
How long does it take to learn how to play the guitar?
This is a topic discussed in 6 Stages of Learning Guitar and you’re encourage to reading this since you’ll go over the six stages of learning.
It turns out that the first level, referred to as “The Basics” in the essay, is fairly accurate. I estimated that you’d need between 150 and 300 hours of practice to get through a couple of handfuls of songs. As a result, it’s well worth reading because it covers everything from “The Fundamentals” to “Master,” as well as all intermediate stages.