What is the best and fastest way to learn guitar?

I am getting a guitar for Christmas this year and I am really excited. I am 20 and have always been interested in playing but could never afford the instrument.

I know for sure my parents are getting me an acoustic guitar this year. I was wondering if anyone knows how long it will take me to learn how to play the guitar? Will I be able to learn it on my own or will i definitely need lessons?

Chosen Answer:

In my case, it worked out that YEARS ago my guitar instructor would ask me to bring in recordings of songs for which there was an interest on my part to learn to play. This happened on cassette – before CDs EVER appeared on the market. It was just a matter of watching him learn the bass lines to the songs, and then figuring out the chords from the base lines and the fingering from the chords.

After a while of watching HIM do it over-and-over again for a year or so, it dawned on me that it was easier for me to learn the songs on my own! My parents would pay the the guy ten or 15 dollars for a half-hour lesson. Just keep your wrist as low as possible, and you will be fine!

My suggestion would be to take the lessons for a month, see if you are getting better at playing the thing as the month progesses. Then set a goal for three months. Then set another goal of six months. Learning on an accoustic is MUCH more difficult than learning on an electric, but it is the better option because you will ALWAYS be able to play the electric if you LEARN on the acoustic. Learning on the acoustic keeps you honest! *grin*

Oh! The LAST song my fingers learned to play on the guitar was this song by Everlast – the name eludes me, but it was sort of a bluzy song. It worked off a D-minor, Dsus4, Fmaj7, and C. The rest of the chord progression eludes me now, but if you were to put a guitar in my hands, my fingers would remember the song in an instant.

Oh! Someone else mentioned tuning! Want to know an EASY way to tune your axe? Use the FIRST note to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell! That is the TRUEST A-note in rock-n-roll!

Tune your fifth string to THAT note, my tiny brain can still hear the note even though it has been years since my ears have heard the song. If you learn to do this, you will be able to play ANY guitar you find because that note will resonate in your head to the point where you can use its resonance to tune ANY guitar.

BTW, you tune the balance of the strings off the A-string.

My plan THIS week is to learn Mark Antoine’s Madrid which is a GREAT guitar song. It sounds like it has TWO guitars in it – maybe three. My plan will be to start working on it Monday morning. It is such a sweet song – an instrumental too.

Actually, since you provided us with TWO solutions, your question should read, “Which is the better and faster way to learn guitar: with an instructor or on my own?”

The answer to the question really boils down to how much time you are going to invest in learning to play the beast. You going to give up once your knuckles and fingertips are screaming at you to stop, or are you going to ignore their pleas and just keep playing? After about month-six, you can start practicing your Townsend-like windmills, if you want. Start slowly, or your right hand will be screaming in pain too as the strings open up some skin as you start whaling on the axe! Walk before you run, always, Grasshopper.
on: 19th December 07

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