We’ve all asked ourselves this question before committing ourselves to something.
How hard would it be? Would it require much time to get good? Why does the French national anthem only consist of the word “Baguette”?
*Just a little joke for the Frenchies out there.
Today I’ll be addressing all of these questions, and whether learning electric or acoustic guitar is super hard or just plain easy.
So let’s roll.
A Short and Simple Answer
Alright, prepare yourself for a life-changing moment. I have never shared this answer with anyone, so here goes…
Yes, guitar is slightly hard to begin with, but then isn’t hard, and then is hard again.
Phew, there I said it. But loads of you are probably scratching your head in puzzlement trying to figure out what that actually means.
Basically, learning electric and acoustic guitar has a certain skill curve.
It’ll feel quite slow progress for the first month or so as you gradually get used to the instrument and get control of your fingers.
But then once you’ve got those original chord shapes down and some power chords too, you’ll be able to play loadsss of stuff.
It’ll feel like the whole world is opening up before your very eyes…
Meh, maybe not. But it’s still an epic feeling being able to play your favourite song, especially after only starting a month or two ago.
And when I say that guitar gets hard again, it’s because that’s when most people want to learn solos.
Learning to play cool solos will feel more difficult as you learn different techniques and practice playing faster. It requires a different skill-set to playing riffs and chords, so will take a bit longer to get there.
But playing guitar solos is just sooo cool that it’s definitely worth it.
Plus, it gives you bragging rights over all your friends because you’re better than they are, and saying you can play guitar solos is an awesome pick-up line!
And if that’s not enough to convince you, then I don’t know what will.
What Specifically Makes Guitar Difficult?
Alright, so we’ve established that guitar has a certain learning curve, and you definitely want to learn to solo…
But what specifically makes learning electric and acoustic guitar hard in the first place?
Well, in the beginning you’ll have literally no control over your fingers.
They’ll feel like leaves getting hit by a leaf blower – flying all over the place and having absolutely zero urge to co-operate, no matter how many pop-tarts you promise them.
And that ain’t a nice feeling. But whilst you’re at it, you’ll also have the problem of your fingertips shredding to contend with too.
Those strings will feel pretty sharp on your feeble, un-calloused fingertips to begin with, and so you’ll find yourself taking regular breaks because your fingers hurt.
Oh, and you’ll also have to force your fingers into playing chord shapes and practice switching between them too.
What fun! But in all seriousness, all of these problems will sort themselves out without much effort within a month or two of casual playing.
You’ll gradually tame your fingers, your fingertips will thicken up, and those chord shapes will be in your muscle memory before you can say, I wish I learnt something else, god dammit!
How to Make Guitar Easier for Yourself
So by now, you know the hard parts of learning electric and acoustic guitar that you’ll have to tackle in the early stages. But what can you do to combat these teething difficulties?
The first way to get out of this starting stage fast is to practice little and often.
When you get a sudden urge to play guitar, just do it. Whether you are sat on the sofa, brushing your teeth, or even taking a dump, go pick it up and play.
This approach will help train your finger control quickly, and prevent your fingertips getting too sore. Plus, it’ll be fun because you play whenever the frick you want.
Another way to speed up the learning process is to have an easy song in mind that you want to play.
That way, you’ll have a project to work on. You can learn the chords to this song and feel like there is a point to learning them.
And you know that every time you pick up the guitar and play, you get closer and closer to being able to play this song.
It’ll motivate you to play, and that’s especially important in the beginning. Setting goals and learning your favourite songs are just key to that.
Wrapping It Up
Guitar is kinda hard, then not hard, then hard again. That’s basically what I’m trying to say here.
And if you’re on the fence about whether to learn guitar or not, then let me make the decision for you…
Yes! You absolutely should.
But Sam, you’re a guitar teacher. Of course, you’d say that.
What? Noooo. I am the most
biased unbiased person here. Just learn guitar, it’s the coolest instrument…
Strumming along with your favourite songs or chugging with your favourite riffs is an epic feeling that pianists – ha! – just don’t ever get.
I’ve been Sam Olverson,
Have fun playin’ guitar!