Best Way to Learn Guitar Quickly

Last Updated On:
January 17, 2022
Best Way to Learn Guitar Quickly
Best Way to Learn Guitar Quickly

6 Second Summary


You’re eager to learn guitar — I get it! Know that you’ve got some magic pixie dust in your fingertips; that weird gnawing ache to be able to dance your fingers upon the fretboard like Soviet synchronized swimmers is your dependable fuel which will send you on your guitar playing way!

To maximize your learning speed, I’d recommend these 21 things..

1. Hire an in-person teacher

There's nothing quite like immediate, real-time feedback from a great player, especially as you're just starting out and can use that 1-on-1 attention! Also, it's really inspiring to sit across from a guitar player who sounds awesome. It helps to give a vivid vision of the direction you'd like to go.

2. Hang-out with musically minded-friends

Magnetize towards friends who play guitar, discuss music

3. Explore the world of music

Immerse yourself into music documentaries, albums, video footage

4. Try things with a new perspective

Potentially open your mind with weed, if you’re over 18 and it’s legal in your country, and do the above^ steps

5. Jam to your favorite recordings

Play along to your favorite recordings (ask your guitar teacher how to do that.. hint: you can use d: (a) chords for accompaniment and (b) scales for soloing)

6. Jam with friends

Jam with your friends who play instruments (as you become an intermediate player)

7. Start playing guitar in listening view of others

Be proud of your playing, and share it with your friends and family in social moments

8. Practice consistently

Practice the physical fundamentals of the guitar on a daily basis. Repetition breeds mastery! Flood obstacles on the guitar (like if you can’t get a technique to work) with “trust”; trust that your consistent practice & diligence will be like a flood that storms that stubborn wall.

9. Heed what the greats had to say about the instrument

Get the opinions of as many badass guitar players as you can find (on Youtube, in-person, reading books, watching movies), and apply the most-often mentioned principles you hear them talk about (ie. playing with feel, not always playing everything you can play.. having restraint, being diligent and consistent with your practice, etc)

10. Toss yourself into the deep-end

Go to public jam sessions, where you don’t know everyone, and you’re really forced outside your comfort zone. Failing in public is like getting rejected! Get used to getting rejected, and - based on the numbers game - you’ll start to score eventually! This can be transformative.. in fact, going to public jams can be masochistic, but when you fail - by god it’s like fire burning under you, driving your to practice like mad! In an awesome way!

11. Commit to the guitar over a long span of time

Keep playing through the ebbs and flows of life, over the span of the 5, 10 year cycles coming up. The longer you can maintain a single vector, tracing your progression on the guitar, the better. Try not to accidentally let yourself have too many “1st years” of playing guitar! As Miles Davis said, all you have to do is at least touch your instrument once every day.

12. Record yourself and listen back to the recording

Record yourself playing, and listen to it — trying to hear how you can improve. Don’t worry about screwing up, because (also as Miles Davis said) you can always make a wrong note “right” by what you play next. Recording also forces you to put together a “final” take, so it’s a handy practicing tactic to make sure you’ve practiced for a playing situation

13. Be your own coach

Even if you hire a teacher all your life, you’ve still got to be your own motivator. Only you can put in the work, no matter if you’ve got Jimi Hendrix as a full-time trainer! At least, for now, they haven’t invented a chip that can install all the motor abilities and musical ideas to play guitar!

14. Integrate the guitar into your daily life

Make daily practice of things you’d do, even if you could never stop doing them. If guitar isn’t one of those things for you, then maybe keep looking for something that is. If guitar is one of those things for you, then know you can dive into it full-throttle, since you’ll be able to enjoy playing guitar for a long, long time; in other words, it’s worth it!

15. Focus on your fingers & mind

Try not to get distracted by guitar gear. Simply know this: as an absolute beginner, don’t spend more than $300 on a guitar package (the ones that come with a tuner, strap, etc). Around the time you can freely strum chords, you could graduate to something under $600. And once you’re starting to really get into it and jam with friends, then you can splurge and start to creep into the $1,000+ range. But gear on its own doesn’t make you sound good. It’s all in your hands — it’s an old saying among guitar players, and it still rings just as true today and likely will for the years to come.

16. Start with an acoustic guitar

Start your guitar learning with an acoustic guitar — not an electric guitar. Learning with an acoustic guitar, it’s: (1) cheaper, since there’s less gear involved, (2) more portable, since you don’t need an amp, you can bring it around to the cabin, etc, (3) the strings are thicker, so it’ll force you to build finger strength, (4) you’re forced to create your own sound, so you’ve got to go through that “right of passage”, rather than relying on an amp and missing out on that important guitar milestone

17. Expect the unexpected

Have big ears. Be open-minded, be open to new sounds. 

18. Try to keep the feel happening

Try and keep a steady beat in mind. The amazing Dizzy Gillespie said, “some people think of a note, then think of its rhythm; I start with the rhythm, then think of the note.” 

19. Play soft and loud

Experiment with volume dynamics, and playing different feelings, such as: (1) quiet but intense, (2) loud and intense, (3) loud and relaxed, (4) quiet and relaxed

20. Take chances and be brave

Be proud about making mistakes; make mistakes as loudly as you possibly can! It’s a great moment, because you know what you’ve got to work on!

21. Try using a practice journal

Keep a regular written record of your practice. Writing things down helps you learn faster, since you can remember what you learned and more efficiently use your practice to start from where you left off. And also writing stuff down is proven to help you achieve real-world things!

Final words

And there you have it! A list (in no particular order) of 21 ways you can pull yourself up (or in some cases launch yourself) to new heights of guitar playing!

If you liked this lesson, then you might like the rest of this beginner guitar course, which is just $4 per year!

Warmest regards,