Can Anyone Learn to Play The Guitar?


man sitting on chair while playing guitar

Many beginner guitarists or those wondering if they should ever start playing often ask themselves: Can Anyone Learn to Play The Guitar?

Yes. With enough practice, anyone can learn to play the guitar competently. Whilst there will always be outliers who possess incredible gifts, picking up a guitar is something that everyone can learn how to do.

With enough patience, time, and commitment – playing the guitar will become second-nature. Like all hobbies, however, your ability to play the guitar will depend largely on how good you want to be. Of course, there are other factors at play, too, such as the quality of your training and how good the guitar you’re using is. But overall, learning the guitar largely depends on you. 

How Often Should I Practice Learning the Guitar?

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As much as you can.

Whilst the amount of practicing you should do isn’t set in stone – you should aim to at least get in a little bit of practice every day. This will help your fingers to adjust to the strings, and will also reinforce the neurological connections in your brain so that you remember notes, chords, and scales without looking. 

That being said, don’t overdo it on the practice. Studies have shown that the human being really only has around 3-4 hours of focused, productive work in them before our minds start to burn out with fatigue. There’s no need to practice for hours on end, however, if you feel yourself getting lost in the immersion of music then by all means, keep it going. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself to master the instrument straight off the bat. 

How Should I Practice Learning Guitar?

How exactly you should go about learning the guitar is often overlooked. However, it’s an important question.

We’re told all the time to practice but never told what kind of practice we should be doing. Whilst it may be tempting and familiar to practice the same songs, chord progressions, and scales we already know how to do, real progress is made when we step out of our comfort zones and practice elements that challenge us. This is known as deliberate practice and is the technique that is really going to push your skills and take them to the next level. It’s not glamourous or fun, but you’ll see your skills skyrocket if you end every practice session armed with a technique you didn’t have before. 

Aim to take your playing to the next level by practicing skills that you find the hardest – your future self will thank you. 

Can I Learn the Guitar By Myself?

Of course, you can. It’s just going to take a lot longer than using the services of a teacher.

Being self-taught has its ups and downs. On the one hand, you can dictate how long you practice for and what kind of material you practice. You can become your own boss, in a manner of speaking, and build your guitar-playing around your schedule. It’s practical, flexible, and you don’t have to pay someone to help teach you. 

On the other hand, you won’t have anyone to guide your progress and pick up on all of the mistakes you’re doing in regards to your technique. You also won’t have anyone to provide feedback on the quality of your practice sessions and the efficiency of your time. You’ll also have to research and learn music theory and chord progressions all by yourself – turning guitar-playing into a hybrid of practical and theoretical research. Although the Internet has made information widely accessible, you still have to learn a lot of stuff and put in the man-hours to get your guitar playing to a decent level. If you can afford a teacher, it’s definitely recommended. 

Why Are Some People Better Than Others At Playing Guitar?

Can anyone learn to play guitar? Yes. However, only a few can really shine on it. 

This is all due to natural talents or environmental advantages. Coming from a musical family is an advantage, as you’ll be surrounded by music early on and will probably learn an instrument in your formative years. This means by the time you’re in your teens and early twenties, you have at least a decade of experience on the guitar when everybody around you is just starting. This is an environmental factor, however, those who are the most musically gifted almost always have a deep-rooted background in music.

This is just the way it is – some people will always find playing music easier and have it come to them more naturally. Remember, your aim when you start playing the guitar shouldn’t be to become the best in the world rather becoming as good as you can be. Music isn’t a competition, it’s a hobby that should be enjoyed and celebrated by all, regardless of their skill level. 

To sum up: Can anyone learn to play guitar?

  • Yes, if they have the motivation.
  • Yes, if they practice properly
  • Yes, if they understand music isn’t a competition. 

Can anyone master the guitar? No, some people are always going to be better than others. However, everybody can reach a competent level if they put their minds to it. 

Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?

Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out a few of my favorite resources below:

The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings – A unique polymer coating makes these guitar strings last for months or even years at a time, making for an exceptional value. They provide the perfect mix of boom, range, twang, and brightness that acoustic music is known for. — CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

The Best Acoustic Guitar – Beloved by everyone from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot, the Martin D-18 is one of Martin’s most legendary guitars ever… It’s an excellent, premier quality acoustic guitar for bluegrass, country, folk, rock and more. This is also what I play myself — CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Chords, Tabs & Video Lessons for 100 Epic Songs – This free guide that I created for fellow guitarists gives you chords, tabs, and video lessons for the 100 best songs to learn on guitar… I spent many hours putting this guide together to help you get better at guitar, faster. — CLICK HERE TO GET IT FREE

Fingerpicking vs Flatpicking Guitar – Learn which picking style is right for YOU by exploring examples, history, and popular players of each style. Discover essential techniques and pros and cons of each approach. — CLICK HERE TO GET IT FREE

Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

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