Newbies - how long does it take to learn....

Guitar Tricks Forum > Open Discussion > Newbies - how long does it take to learn....

William MG

Full Access

Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 788

This is one of the most common questions that comes up on the forum.

Well, it can take me an extraordinarly long time to learn and to play in tempo. Keep practicing, it will come together with persistant effort.

How long will it take

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#1

This is one of the most common questions that comes up on the forum.

Well, it can take me an extraordinarly long time to learn and to play in tempo. Keep practicing, it will come together with persistant effort.

How long will it take

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

Guitar Tricks Admin

Full Access

Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 2674

Hi William MG

This is good advice! Thanks for sharing!

-Billy

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

Hi William MG

This is good advice! Thanks for sharing!

-Billy

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

theMolster

Full Access

Joined: 04/30/20

Posts: 33

Always good advice from Bill :)

#3

Always good advice from Bill :)

mjgodin

Full Access

Joined: 11/23/19

Posts: 102

I nominate Bill to be our "Motivational Leader"

Seriously though, I watched the clip and it got me thinking of my own journey. Learning an instrument is different than anything else. It's not like taking a physics class and then proving to the rest of the world you know physics by passing a test and getting a degree.

I've reached a point where I don't know if I've really learned something, be it a song or a melody. I've learned how to play a lot of songs, but I can't honestly say I've learned how to PLAY a lot of songs. Know what I mean?

Dust in the wind is a perfect example. I know all the chords, start to end including the solo with the violin, but putting it all together to any near original tempo without flubbing a lot of notes is next to impossible. Many of Lisa's fingerpicking songs I can play on my own, but as soon as I try to play along with her I am lost even if I slow it down. And like you, some days it's all there and others it's like I'm trying to play it for the first time. I know practice and repetition is what it's all about with this, but how much practice and repetition can one do? Especially at our age with work and other committments that get in the way.

It's been talked about in previous threads you can't bogg yourself down trying to master a certain song or technique. You need to change it up a bit, go in different directions and try some other stuff, but then that just leaves you with a lot of sporadic playing ability at various degrees to various songs in our repertoires.

It's left me to believe that there is no having "Learned" how to play the guitar, but instead the constant evolution of "Learning" to play the guitar that we are all in. There is no test waiting for us to take, nor a diploma waiting to be nailed on the wall. It's just constant practice, persistance and hoping someday we'll be able to make some noise out of these things when someone hears it and says " Hey how long did it take for you to "Learn" how to play the guitar.

We can then laugh and say "Learn", heck I'm still Learning. It's never ending so enjoy the journey everyone.

My 2 cents. Great Topic Bill.

Moe

#4

I nominate Bill to be our "Motivational Leader"

Seriously though, I watched the clip and it got me thinking of my own journey. Learning an instrument is different than anything else. It's not like taking a physics class and then proving to the rest of the world you know physics by passing a test and getting a degree.

I've reached a point where I don't know if I've really learned something, be it a song or a melody. I've learned how to play a lot of songs, but I can't honestly say I've learned how to PLAY a lot of songs. Know what I mean?

Dust in the wind is a perfect example. I know all the chords, start to end including the solo with the violin, but putting it all together to any near original tempo without flubbing a lot of notes is next to impossible. Many of Lisa's fingerpicking songs I can play on my own, but as soon as I try to play along with her I am lost even if I slow it down. And like you, some days it's all there and others it's like I'm trying to play it for the first time. I know practice and repetition is what it's all about with this, but how much practice and repetition can one do? Especially at our age with work and other committments that get in the way.

It's been talked about in previous threads you can't bogg yourself down trying to master a certain song or technique. You need to change it up a bit, go in different directions and try some other stuff, but then that just leaves you with a lot of sporadic playing ability at various degrees to various songs in our repertoires.

It's left me to believe that there is no having "Learned" how to play the guitar, but instead the constant evolution of "Learning" to play the guitar that we are all in. There is no test waiting for us to take, nor a diploma waiting to be nailed on the wall. It's just constant practice, persistance and hoping someday we'll be able to make some noise out of these things when someone hears it and says " Hey how long did it take for you to "Learn" how to play the guitar.

We can then laugh and say "Learn", heck I'm still Learning. It's never ending so enjoy the journey everyone.

My 2 cents. Great Topic Bill.

Moe

moosehockey18

Full Access

Joined: 02/01/20

Posts: 34

Good video Bill ! Everything that you and Moe said is spot on. I think we all work out our own regimens but repetition and persistence is the key. I always keep my guitar on it`s stand so it`s always available when I have some time. I`ve also found it helpful to set goals for each practice session, no matter how modest they may be . In the end, there`s no such thing as a wasted practice session, no matter how bad it might go. Every hour you spend playing gets you just a bit closer to your goals.

Rock on.

#5

Good video Bill ! Everything that you and Moe said is spot on. I think we all work out our own regimens but repetition and persistence is the key. I always keep my guitar on it`s stand so it`s always available when I have some time. I`ve also found it helpful to set goals for each practice session, no matter how modest they may be . In the end, there`s no such thing as a wasted practice session, no matter how bad it might go. Every hour you spend playing gets you just a bit closer to your goals.

Rock on.

William MG

Full Access

Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 788

Thanks guys.

Moe, I think I know what you are saying.

I am probably going to make another post that will (I hope) make all us older learners feel a lot better. Just have to figure out what to say and how to say it.

Edit:

For us old guys

the song

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#6

Thanks guys.

Moe, I think I know what you are saying.

I am probably going to make another post that will (I hope) make all us older learners feel a lot better. Just have to figure out what to say and how to say it.

Edit:

For us old guys

the song

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

mjgodin

Full Access

Joined: 11/23/19

Posts: 102

Hey Bill,

I must have caught your other reply with your finished song before you put this one in cause it seems to be gone now.

Thanks for your advice. Don't read too much into what I was trying to say. I get a little long winded sometimes. I was just trying to enforce the notion you had of the inconsistency of our learning development. Some days it sounds great and other days we can't put our fingers where we want them too even though we've done it previously a hundred times.

I understand at our age I'll probably never play as smoothly as a professional. I can accept that cause I'm still having a lot of fun just doing the stuff I do. I just want to make sure I'm not cutting corners thats all. My understanding of theory and layout of the fretboard is coming slowly, but that's because I don't have much interest in those areas. When things don't interest me I don't learn them well. I have come a long way in my playing and I have Guitar Tricks to thank for that.

Anyway hope that makes a little more sense. I listened to the finished product of your song and it sounds great. I think you really got something there.

Good Luck with it,

Moe

#7

Hey Bill,

I must have caught your other reply with your finished song before you put this one in cause it seems to be gone now.

Thanks for your advice. Don't read too much into what I was trying to say. I get a little long winded sometimes. I was just trying to enforce the notion you had of the inconsistency of our learning development. Some days it sounds great and other days we can't put our fingers where we want them too even though we've done it previously a hundred times.

I understand at our age I'll probably never play as smoothly as a professional. I can accept that cause I'm still having a lot of fun just doing the stuff I do. I just want to make sure I'm not cutting corners thats all. My understanding of theory and layout of the fretboard is coming slowly, but that's because I don't have much interest in those areas. When things don't interest me I don't learn them well. I have come a long way in my playing and I have Guitar Tricks to thank for that.

Anyway hope that makes a little more sense. I listened to the finished product of your song and it sounds great. I think you really got something there.

Good Luck with it,

Moe

William MG

Full Access

Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 788

Yes I took it down Moe because I thought it would be simpler to just talk.

Got you now on what you were saying.

And thanks for the song. Having those resources available makes it a whole lot easier.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#8

Yes I took it down Moe because I thought it would be simpler to just talk.

Got you now on what you were saying.

And thanks for the song. Having those resources available makes it a whole lot easier.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!