Countless times I’ve been asked the same old question from novices of the guitar, does it take long to play guitar like a pro? This question doesn’t really have an answer. The learning process of mastering an instrument has no end; we continue to learn new things everyday. The teacher also is a student of the guitar so how can we define something that’s limitless when learning to master the guitar or any instrument. What levels are we talking about or want to achieve? These are questions we can ask ourselves before searching for an answer.
The modern electric guitar has become very popular since it’s conception in 1938 not only for playing rock and roll but also for playing any type of music. Because of its popularity and enchanting qualities the guitar is one of the most cherished and much-loved instrument that many people all over the world would love to learn. It has become the instrument of the century inspiring and fashioning those who would desire to play it to become famous and hopefully very popular. The electric and acoustic guitars seem to have become the universal instrument of yesterday and today’s generation. Due to its vast recognition it has become an icon of modern transformation, a very adaptable and portable type of instrument that can be played anywhere anytime. In general, most people learn guitar mainly to play for their own personal pleasure or maybe to impress friends, family, schoolmates, etc. Then there are those few people who are really serious about a career in music, wanting to become real guitarists and rock stars, but learning to play guitar for the sake of other’s often fails and they find themselves giving up very soon, simply because they could not find an experienced guitar teacher or a good practical guitar method with the right foundation and structure needed to be a successful guitarist and a complete musician.
What is your view of the guitar? Just because you own one and it’s sitting in your living room waiting to be played does not make you a guitarist. Is that what you really want! Or do you want to learn to express your thoughts; feelings and creativity, through your guitar or whatever instruments you choose to play. Imagine creating your own original compositions as a musician and guitarist expressing your own unique talent and hopeful in becoming the next sensation. The decision is yours to make if you want to learn the guitar.
When it comes to practice, 20 or 30 minutes a day is simply not enough time spent to really learn much. In this case one should ask, how long would it take to really learn to play guitar? This is the question I get asked all the time. Maybe you just want attention from friends, relatives, family or whoever. Well, maybe you just want to own a guitar, all you need is enough money to go out and buy one, this way all you have is another gadget or toy to play with.
Becoming a real guitarist is a very serious matter. If you want to be a guitar player you need to be taken very seriously, and spend hours learning the basics of the guitar. So you may have to give up your friends for a while, but they will be back to watch you play one day. I know that after spending a few years learning to play guitar my friends would travel 200 to 300 hundred miles by car to watch me perform, so don’t give up, your friends will be there for you when the time is right.
I’m expressing music because my focus is in the ability to concentrate on my playing. When one is at this level, we already can understand the full range of our music. As a good musician, and seasoned guitarist you don’t just play guitar well but also reasonably understand music. Being a student and a teacher of the guitar, I will always try to find and learn different styles and types of music; this also is one of the reasons why playing the guitar is a life long process and a lifetime commitment.
Some of my students will ask about J. Hendrix, I tell them he became a legend because he was not just a guitar player but a complete guitarist and musician, he spent a lot of time in the studio experimenting with his music even after the band members had left him. That is the difference between a real musician who is in it for life than one who just plays for the fun of it, and just being another average guitar player. When the student is motivated by a love and inspiration of the instrument know for sure these factors will inspire one to become a true disciple of the guitar and not only by the external influences as some would indicate. When influences are mostly external there is no real discipline involved and realizing it leads to hard work, more study and a lot more effort, they will eventually give up and move on to the next other thing. But if you have an internal motivation to learning guitar, you will learn, regardless of what it takes.
Learning the guitar is equally important to enjoying the process, as it has its ups and downs. Ultimately you will reap great benefits from it, “for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap”. Mastery of the guitar will take time, patience and perseverance but does it take long to play guitar like a pro? How long is long? That will simply depend on you!