How Many Hours Does it Take to Get Decent at Guitar?

I have been playing guitar for years now. I know exactly what it feels like when you are so eager to get to the level you hoped to see yourself at. During this stage, hours can feel like centuries before you have fully figured out the guitar. I’m assuming that’s why you are here, you want to know if you are on pace to becoming a decent guitar player.

Anyway, based on my and many other people’s experiences, it should take around 6 months for you to be a decent/intermediate guitar player. This means being able to get a good sound when you are playing (no buzzing), being able to play the main chords, maybe some scales, not needing to look at the fretboard, etc.

This answer would fit for most guitar players with similar schedules, however; for some, it wouldn’t be fair to give an answer based on months, rather hours. It could be you spent 6 months playing but you still aren’t decent because of the number of hours each day you’ve played.

So, in this article we will go over the answer, other things that can make the process longer and tips to improve.

Anyway here is this answer in hours:

The Answer….. (in hours)

It should take around 100 hours of guitar learning and practice for you to be decent at guitar. Knowing this, here is how long it would take depending on how long you practice daily/weekly:

30 Mins/Week = Decent in 4 years

1 Hr / Week = Decent in 2 years

2 Hr / Week = Decent in 1 year

30 Mins/Day = Decent in 7 months

1 Hr /Day = Decent in 3.5 months

2 Hr /Day= Decent in 2 months

This is why it’s better to give the answer in terms of hours instead of months. We see for someone who practices 30 minutes a week will be decent in 4 years while someone who practices 2 hours a day will be decent in 2 months.

All of this is the answer for someone who just wants to be a decent/ intermediate/ hobby player. If you want to be something more it’s definitely gonna take some more time. Here are the 3 simple types of levels of playing: Hobby player, casual player, and professional player.

Hobby player: like we said before it’s someone who is an intermediate player who knows most of the basics. This player would be able to play chords, scales, and should be able to navigate easily around the fretboard without looking too much.

As we said this should take 100 hours.

Casual player: this is a player who is able to play their favorite songs and is even good enough to write their own music. This type of player is also capable of playing music full-time.

This should take around 1,000 hours.

Professional player: this is a player who plays professionally for an audience and definitely plays full-time. This is countless hours of work going into guitar since it’s not just a hobby to them, it’s their income. This should take around 10,000 hours.

Things that may hold you back

If you are not up to pace, DON’T PANIC. There could be other things potentially holding you back from becoming that decent guitar player you wanted to be.

1. Inconsistencies 

It could be that you have already spent 100 hours learning guitar but you’re still not decent since you might have missed practices or long gaps in between your practice times. Inconsistency is one of the main things that can stop you from being good. 

That’s why learning weekly isn’t the best since every time you pick up your guitar after a week of not touching your guitar, you’re gonna feel like you need to relearn what you learned the week before since it’s been a week since you practiced it. Learning guitar or anything for that matter is should be done consistently on a daily basis that way, what you learned the day before is fresh in your head and you are able to practice it again the next day.

Even when you do have a schedule where you are learning daily, you should be careful not to miss days for the same reason. If you miss a day here and there it’s okay, the world is not gonna end. However, if you miss on a constant basis then it can throw off your consistency tremendously. 

2. Bad learning quality

It could be you aren’t where you wanna be because of your learning quality. I feel the best way to learn is with a teacher as opposed to apps. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with apps, as a matter of fact, I started off with a guitar learning app, but I feel learning with a teacher is more beneficial since you can ask questions and they will notice when you are doing something wrong and help you fix it.

3. Lack of communication

If you are someone that likes to learn with a guitar learning app then you might be limited when it comes to your communication. I remember when I was learning with an app I didn’t have so many people to reach out to, ask questions and get help. It was quite frustrating. I wished I was able to talk to a pro and get help or ask him/her to fill me in on what I’m missing in a certain area.

These are the main reasons I think most beginners quit guitar. If these aren’t the things holding you back check out this article. It goes through other problems that may hold you back. If I haven’t hit the spot, this article should

Things to keep in mind

It can get very frustrating and scary to put so much time and effort into guitar and not get results. As a beginner, uncertainty can kill you. That’s why you must keep these things in mind as you go about your guitar journey. 

1. Don’t expect instant results

Before everyone starts learning guitar, they picture themselves playing like a pro. When you actually start playing, every minute you’re not that pro you pictured in your head can be excruciating. I know exactly how it feels to not be at the level you desired yet. This can cause a ton of people to quit early.

2. Don’t expect this to be easy

Some people think this whole guitar learning process is easy and that they will get to their desired level in seconds. Unfortunately, it’s not the case. 

Guitar learning is pretty hard, lots of time, work and effort needs to go into it if you want to reach your desired level. Even if you set a time every day to learn it will still frustrate you when you can’t play as smoothly yet or if you can’t remember the chord shape you practiced. That’s why you gotta expect it to be hard and prepare for the challenge.

Here’s a video that explains this point extremely well:

3. Set mini goals

It can be quite daunting to swallow huge tasks at a time. It can burn you out instantly if you can’t come through on the huge task you signed yourself up to. That’s why it’s crucial to chop up the tasks you make for yourself so its easier to swallow. Not only is it easier for you, but you also feel more accomplished for completing the mini-goals you set for yourself.

4. It gets easier as you go

The first 2 months are the scariest months for a beginner guitar player. It can feel like a bunch of facts and knowledge is being thrown at you and you have no clue what to do with it! This might not be the exact reason for all beginners but I think we can all agree that the first 2 months are the scariest months for whatever reason. 

After that, you start to understand what’s going on and what you need to do. You may still not be that guitar player you pictured in your head, but at least you are passed that stage of uncertainty. It might be hard to explain so you are gonna have to trust me on this one.

There are other things that can motivate you to play. Check out more info on this here.

Final thoughts

To recap, to get decent at guitar you are gonna need around 100 hours of guitar learning. If you are not up to pace don’t panic there can be other things stopping you other than time. For example learning quality, inconsistencies, and lack of communication. If you can tweak these things, guitar learning would be a much smoother ride.

Also, check out our tips so that you wouldn’t burn out of guitar learning!

Hope you enjoyed.

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