How Hard is it to Learn Guitar?

how hard is it to learn guitar

Trying new things may sound interesting, but it is always hard at the beginning. Just like any other musical instrument, learning to play the guitar is hard in the beginning.

Beginners always ask “How hard is it to learn guitar?”

Well, let me tell you, it is no cakewalk. You have to learn each and every chord, fretboard, strumming patterns, and music theory.

It requires dedication, patience, and, most importantly, a love for the instrument, be it electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or bass guitar.  

Knowing the challenges beforehand will prepare you for them. It’s sort of a mind game. If you know what is going to hit you, you can make yourself ready for it.

So, brace yourself for the ride that ends in you becoming a “ROCKSTAR”.  

How Hard Is It To Learn Guitar?

Let me start by sharing a personal experience. I was very thrilled and excited the day I bought my first guitar. FYI, I was a complete beginner and I didn’t even know how to play or read the chord.

Upon coming back home, I thought I was now going to play the best gig of my life without knowing even a simple chord or riff.

Well, not to anyone’s surprise, I got a reality check. I never thought that I would have to face so many difficulties while playing. 

So, whenever someone asks me how hard is it to learn or play the guitar, I say harder than it seems. I am not telling this story to scare you off. Instead, I would like you to know the challenges you are going to face while playing the first chord of your life. 

And believe me, when you get through the hard things with dedication and hard work, you will be gifted with a musical life worth living. 

Let’s learn about the difficulties you are going to face while learning guitar.

1. You will cut your fingers

The most difficult thing is that learning to play the guitar, especially each chord individually, is painful. The first day is definitely the hardest. Your guitar teacher will give you hand practices and every single chord to make your hand easy and keep tab on the guitar. 

You will have to press your fingers hard on the strings for a long time. As you are new to it, your delicate fingertips are more likely to cut while working on chord.

2. You will develop calluses

Have you ever seen a guitarist’s hand? I must confess that beginners need to practice a lot. It doesn’t matter whether you practice all day long or a little less, your hands, specifically your fingers, will go through a lot.

Soon after a few days, while picking your hands, you will notice blisters on the tip of your fingers which will eventually cause calluses.

Although, this condition will not last more than two-three weeks. Once your fingers get used to the harshness of the strings and metallic frets, the calluses will automatically heal.

3. Muscle Memory 

Believe it or not, everybody who has just bought their first guitar for guitar lessons wants to play their favorite song right away. But guess what, it requires a lot of practice and dedication to build muscle memory especially if you are a beginner.

Until and unless you keep practicing the chords and notes regularly, you will not be able to play even the simplest songs. It will be difficult for a beginner guitarist to shift chords in between. 

I would suggest you memorize and keep practicing each and every chord individually and then try playing a song with the help of a metronome. It may seem difficult and frustrating at first, but it will get easier with practice. 

And guess what, the more you practice, the faster you will learn to play a song in real-time. Find a good guitar teacher to help you become a good guitarist.

Check out EnthuZiastic Guitar Classes for a personalized Guitar learning experience.

4. Skipping Strings  

You will simply get frustrated to strum the wrong chord or string repeatedly. It requires good hand and eye coordination to play the notes right. It is hard for a beginner to strum every right chord one after another, especially when they are not in order. 

The only solution to this is to keep practicing if you want to be a guitarist. I know it is boring and tedious to sit for practice everyday as a beginner, but there is no other way to do it. 

5. Taking Time out for Practice 

In the beginning, a beginner has a lot of enthusiasm towards the learning process. Unfortunately, it fades away with time. If you want to get better, you have to take out time for practicing. I know it is hard to take out time from your busy schedule to sit for practice. 

Pro Tip: You don’t need to take out a single stretch of time. Instead, aim for practicing whenever you get a little time. This way, you don’t have to change your schedule, and you also get time to sit for practicing.

6. Barre Chord and Chord Progression 

This is one of the hardest parts of learning to play the guitar. Barre chord is a tricky thing to do as a beginner guitarist. You have to block all the strings together, barring the melodic tune but also allowing it to buzz.

I would suggest you get help from your guitar teacher with this. They can help you improve the finger positions so that you can hold the guitar perfectly. Also, practicing open chord will help you improve your chord playing and picking hand as a beginner. 

Take it slow while learning chord progression. It will help you get the right note at the right time. Once you start doing better, increase the speed of chord progression practice.

7. Skipping Classes 

Usually, a beginner guitarist expect to learn playing their dream guitar solo right after buying one. However, the tedious and boring process is to learn from the beginning. I mean, where is the fun in learning notes and chord, right? 

Usually, a beginner often finds it hard to go through the initial phase of learning and it applies for any musical instrument. It is, however, crucial to learn the basics (chord, tab, open chords, strumming) properly. So, in order to become a good guitarist, you need to control the urge of skipping classes and keep practicing. Remember that patience and dedication is the key to success for a guitarist. 

When Should Someone Learn Guitar? 

As a beginner guitarist, this is the most important question you need to ask yourself before committing to guitar classes.

What is the purpose of learning and what type of music you are going to play?

Why do you want to play the guitar or any other musical instrument?

Do you really want it, or is this just a passing phase? 

These are the questions you need to answer yourself as a beginner before strumming your first chord. Before investing money and time, make sure that you really want to play the guitar, and it is not just a passing thought in your mind. 

If you are genuinely interested in learning, think of the commitment and determination you need to invest while learning. Once you have got the answers to your questions, you are ready to start your guitar classes. 

If you are really dedicated to learning chord, notes, and theory and ready to invest your time and money and willing to practice regularly, you will surely succeed as a professional guitarist.

I would suggest you find a good guitar teacher to guide you through the learning process.

How Should You Start Learning Guitar?

The process of learning a new musical instrument is so vast that most beginners get lost in the thought of where to start. Eventually, jumbled learning makes it harder for them to understand the instrument, and soon they lose interest. 

1. Know Your Instrument

After buying a guitar, the first thing you should do is spend time knowing the instrument. How will you even play music if you don’t know how the guitar works? 

So, before jumping into plucking the strings, observe each and every part of the guitar and try to understand its mechanism of it. Be it the fretboard, neck, bridge, or even the strings. 

It will draw a clear picture in your head and make you feel more connected to the instrument. 

2. Study the String Names and Notes

Start your learning process with strings and notes. The six strings on the guitar are low E, A, D, G, B, and high E (from 6th to 1st). All these names are derived from the notes of the same name. 

If you play the string in the open position, you will play these notes respectively. Also, learn the note patterns and how they repeat themselves on the fretboard. 

3. Basic Chords

There are numerous chords to play on the guitar. I would suggest you start by playing the basic easy chords, such as C Major, A Minor, F major, D Minor, E Major, E Minor, A Major, C Minor, etc.

Once you get along with the chords, you will be ready to move along with the complex chords and chord progressions. 

4. Read Music Theory

I know music theory doesn’t interest anybody. Although, music theory is absolutely necessary if you want to become a professional or even a good guitarist. 

Start by identifying the symbols and then try to understand how to read sheet music. Take help from your guitar teacher to learn music theory better. 

It will allow you to play complex compositions (imagine, you can play Pink Floyd solos) and also compose your music. 

5. Practice has no Alternative

Most beginners lack consistency. Research has shown that people who practice the guitar regularly, even for a few minutes, learn better and faster than irregular people. 

It shows the importance of practice, and honestly, the practice has no alternative. So, now that you have made up your mind start learning guitar and practice regularly. 

Why Should You Learn to Play the Guitar? 

Now that you have almost made up your mind to learn playing the guitar, let me introduce you to the amazing benefits of playing the guitar. Here it goes:

5 Reasons you should learn Guitar

  • Playing the guitar or any other musical instrument sharpens your mind. A guitarist has better memory and improved IQ than a non-musical person. Practicing regularly improves their listening and oratory skills too.
  • Playing the chord in guitar from an early age helps a child with their studies. Also, it helps them articulate their emotions better than others.
  • Learning to play the guitar gives you a very important life lesson of time management. As music is all about framing time, you will learn to value time. It builds dexterity in children.
  • Playing the acoustic guitar helps reduce stress, anxiety, and secretes dopamine which makes you calm and happy. Also, playing the guitar as a hobby helps to cure depression.
  • Even a beginner guitarist (who has at least memorized each and every chord) or any musician is less prone to get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and Dyslexia. 


1. How hard is it to learn bass guitar?

The bass guitar is one of the most underrated musical instruments in the world. However, it is hard to learn playing the bass guitar. Also, as a beginner guitarist, it is hard to find a good guitar teacher who will teach you how to play the bass guitar. I would suggest you master every chord first. 

2. How hard is it to learn electric guitar?

Learning a new instrument is always hard. However, according to some guitar teachers, learning to play electric guitar is easier than an acoustic guitar. You will be able to distinguish between the chords and notes prominently. Also, the gap between the fret and string is relatively lower. That’s why it is easy to play. 

3. How long does it really take to learn guitar?

As a beginner guitarist, it takes a lot of time to master guitar properly. However, you will be able to play the basics in just 2-3 months. If you regularly practice, you can even make it less. I would suggest you practice for at least 3 hours a day to learn faster. 

4. What is the hardest instrument to play?

The french horn, accordion, violin, oboe, and drums are the hardest instruments to play. Among all these, the French horn is the hardest because of its enormous weight and the difficult tab. Also, you need to be extremely healthy to play the instrument. 

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I hope that you haven’t gotten demotivated after reading all the difficulties you will face while learning to play the guitar.

If you love the instrument and want to become a guitarist someday, I am sure you will become a master of the musical instrument like the legendary guitarist Slash from a beginner.

You will find plenty of free lessons, online resources, and guitar playing video lessons on YouTube. Otherwise, you can also find the best guitar teacher online.

Be it acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or bass guitar, practice, practice, and practice as much as you can in your free time.

I wish you the best for the new road ahead. Keep playing!

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