The Fastest Way To Learn Guitar: A 1-Month Program For Rapid Progress

Keeping in time

When we strum chords we want the gaps between them to be the same. If you have gaps which are uneven it sounds bad and you sound ‘out of time’.

If the next chord arrives too late or too early this makes you sound out of time.

In most cases all pop or rock songs are in 4/4 time.

All this means is that there are 4 beats in a bar. So if you count along to your song, it would go 1..2..3..4.

Your aim is to change to the next chord ON the beat. Not before, not after, but ON the beat.

fastest way to learn guitar

You may find it useful to count along in your head, or use a metronome to make sure you are changing on the beat.

When you first start doing this it’s far more important to keep your strumming simple and change your chords at the right time, rather than doing a lot of strumming and missing the beat.

To practice chord changes build it up in stages.

  • Strum your chord once and hold it for four beats, then change to your next chord and do the same.

That would sound like this:

  • Strum your chord on beats 1 and 3, then change to your next chord and do the same.

That would sound like this:

  • Strum your chord on each beat, then change to your next chord.

That would sound like this:

Can you see how we’ve gradually introduced more strumming and less time to change between the chords, can you hear how much more musical you sound?

You can also strum your chord in between the beat as well as on. You still change the chord on the beat.

We’re just adding more strumming.

fastest way to learn guitar

That would sound like this:

Finally we can now double this!

fastest way to learn guitar

Can you see how we now have to fit four strums between each beat?

It would sound a little like this:

Top Tip: Make sure when you use the faster strumming techniques that you don’t stop. It’s important to KEEP GOING, even if your chord change is a little late. If you stop strumming the music stops. Don’t stop strumming.

It’s scientifically proven that learning that guitar is good for you. Check out this article from Guitar World which tells you 10 proven reasons you should play guitar!

National Guitar Academy

Step 4 – Learn A Song

Learning songs is the fastest way to learn guitar. It’s fun and it works.

I’m going to use “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley as a song example, but once you know how to learn a song you can apply this to anything.


If you have no idea what the song sounds like, how are you meant to play it?

Make sure you give it a few listens before attempting to play it. This will help your ears and you’ll become attuned to the track and embed its timing. This means your practice time will be much more productive.

Learn The Chords

The chords for “Three Little Birds” are:

  • A Major
  • D Major
  • E Major

Remember, you don’t have to play full versions of these chords! You can use simpler versions.

fastest way to learn guitar

Need inspiration? Check out our article: 10 Easy Songs On Guitar

Learning The Song’s Structure

A song structure is like a musical way of telling a story and most good stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.

With a song we have sections such as a Intro, Verse, Chorus and Outro.

Most of the time we usually just have a Verse and a Chorus.

It’s important to know what the different sections are as they often change chords.

So the chorus of “Three Little Birds” look like this:

fastest way to learn guitar

In each of these examples I have just played each chord on the first beat of each bar:

The Verse look like this:

fastest way to learn guitar

And the overall structure of the song is like this.

fastest way to learn guitar

Listen And Play Along

I can’t stress this enough, there is SO much you can learn from listening and playing along to songs. It may seem really difficult to start with but as soon as you play along you can clearly identify where you need to improve.

So if it feels too fast, you may need to go back and look over your chords, or if you get lost in the song you may need to have a look at the structure again.

There’s something really satisfying about being able to play along with a song you love!

It’s really important not to be scared if things go wrong when you try playing along, that’s all part of the learning curve.

You learn from your mistakes and become a better guitarist because of them.

fastest way to learn guitar

Step 5 – Create A Practice Routine

One of the main things which holds beginners back is that they don’t know what to practice.

Having a successful practice routine is a key part of the fastest way to learn guitar.

Pick Your Main Goal

This could be anything, but if you don’t know what you’re aiming for it’s going to be very hard to achieve it.

Here’s a few common examples:

  • I want to learn to play my favourite song.
  • I want to be able to play in front of others.
  • I want to understand basic guitar chords.

The main objective here is to pick a clear goal, something you can strive towards.

fastest way to learn guitar

Create Smaller Goals

Once you’ve created your main goal, you can create smaller goals to get you there.

So for example, if you want to play your favourite song, some of the smaller goals may be:

  • Learn the chords of the song.
  • Memorise the song’s structure.
  • Play in time.

You can create even smaller goals from this too, so for example if your goal is to learn all the chords in the song, one of your smaller goals could be to learn a D chord, and then an E Chord and so on.

Find Time To Practice

Everyone is busy. It might seem daunting to try and practice every day.

When trying to organise a practice routine, it’s essential to look through each day in your week and realistically look at how much you can practice each day.

If that’s an hour, 30 minutes or 5 minutes a day, that’s great. A little practice is still awesome.

But what’s important here is that you keep to what you can realistically do.

It’s pointless thinking you can practice for three hours a day, when most people don’t really have that time.

It’s far more productive to do 5 minutes a day for 7 days, rather than three hours for one day, then no practice for the next week.

Learning guitar is all about repetition, so the more you can get short bursts of practice in, the more effective it is.

fastest way to learn guitar

Organise What You’re Going To Practice

Once you know what your main goal is, and you’ve created smaller goals to help you get towards it, you can organise this into smaller chunks throughout the week.

So let’s say for example your main goal is “to play my favourite song” and you have a month to do it.

There’s roughly four weeks in a month, so you could set four smaller weekly goals to help you achieve your main goal.

So you could organise that like this:

  • Week 1: Learn the chords in the song.
  • Week 2: Memorise the structure of the song.
  • Week 3: To be able to play along to the song.
  • Week 4: To be able to play the song by myself.

If you want to, once you’ve done this you can organise each of your smaller goals into sub goals.

  • So for example in Week 1, you want to know all of the chords in the song. So you could practice a chord a day.
  • The important thing is here is that you break up your practice into smaller manageable chunks so you can achieve your goal

Check out this killer downloadable pack which will enhance your practice routine!

The 5 Fastest Ways To Learn Guitar In 1 Month Downloadable Powerpack

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

Join the world's best online guitar school 🌎

  • Get your own personalised guitar learning plan (customised just for YOU).
  • World-class online guitar courses. Learn at your own pace.
  • Community Campus & Learning Forum -  A friendly community! Connect with our team & students. 😊
  • Beginner Song library with chordsheets, tabs and tips. (Songs suitable for all levels!)
  • Regular live streams, seminars and Q&A sessions - Learn from world-class guitar educators. Get all your questions answered!

Click here to learn more about National Guitar Academy membership

Cool Guitar T-shirts 😎

Look cooler! Check out our merch: Click here to see our merch store

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 250,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about National Guitar Academy: About Us

Visit our YouTube channel for fun guitar videos.

Join us on Facebook for daily guitar tips.

Listen to our Learn Guitar Podcast for rapid guitar progress.

Check out our free chord lessons.

Get our best guitar tips & videos

Enter your email address to learn our best guitar tips and tricks today!