How To Learn Guitar Fast

Wondering how to learn guitar fast? This is one of our most popular guides; it’s a whirlwind so hold tight and let’s dive in!

how to learn guitar fast

In this free guide you will learn…

If you want to discover how to learn guitar fast there’s 6 steps you need to follow and we’ll cover each one in turn:

  1. Get a guitar that is EASY to learn with – Some guitars are ideal for beginners and some make learning very difficult.
  2. Learn how to hold a guitar properly – This isn’t a sexy subject, but it’s vital that you have good guitar posture if you want to learn guitar fast.
  3. Learn basic chords – Chords are the building blocks of guitar music. We’ll tell you the ones you must learn and the order you should learn them in.
  4. Learn how to strum – This is where all rhythm and musicality comes from. We’ll show you how to do this quickly.
  5. Learn songs that you love – This is the best way to develop fast as a guitarist. Forget ‘guitar exercises’ and scales and theory. Just play music you personally adore. (We’ll explain more about why this is so important later on.)
  6. Move from beginner to intermediate – What to do after you have the basics down.

Ok, this is the framework for how to learn guitar fast, so now let’s jump into step 1.

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how to learn guitar fast

How to learn guitar fast | Step 1 – Get a guitar that is EASY to learn with

Over the years I (Mike) have seen students trying to learn with every type of guitar you can imagine; Rotten old guitars, shiny new guitars, Spanish guitars, ukeleles, Telecasters, bass guitars, you name it.

Here’s something I know is true: It is possible to learn guitar with any guitar. However, there are definitely some guitars that are easier to learn with than others.

If you want to learn how to play the guitar quickly then you’d better make sure that you are trying to learn with an instrument that is well-suited to a beginner.

To explain this to people I always use the analogy of learning to drive. If you had never set foot inside a car before and were learning how to drive for the very first time would you ideally like to learn by driving:

  1. An 18-wheel heavy goods truck
  2. A small and lightly-powered car
  3. A Formula 1 race car?

I hope you picked option 2! 🙂

Some vehicles are better-suited to beginners than others. And this principle is exactly the same for learning the guitar.

Just as certain vehicles are best for teaching people how to drive, there are certain types of guitar that are well suited to guitar beginners

If you want to know how to learn guitar fast you should heed this point!

You can learn a lot more about this by reading our article: How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

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how to learn guitar fast

How to learn guitar fast | Step 2 – Learn how to hold a guitar properly

There is nothing that will make a bigger difference to your chances of successfully learning how to play the guitar, than the way you hold the guitar.

This is the number one factor, the single most influential factor of all.

If there are errors in your posture you will never be able to play the guitar in the way that you would like. (If you want to know how to learn guitar fast, this is obviously very important.)

So what does great guitar posture look like? Watch this video to learn more:

How to learn guitar fast | Step 3 – Learn basic chords

Regardless of what type of guitar you choose to learn first, you should always start by learning chords.

  • Of course it’s important to learn notes, but that will come in time.
  • If you want to know how to learn guitar fast you should start with chords.

Understand the different types of chords: ‘open’ vs ‘barred’

Understanding how to learn guitar fast means you have to be focussed. Let’s get straight to it:

There are two types of guitar chords:

  • Open chords – This should be your focus
  • Barre chords – Forget about these for now

how to learn guitar fast

Open chords you should learn first

One of the best shortcuts that will help teach you how to learn guitar fast is understanding what you can exclude.

  • The best open chords to learn first are: Am, C, D, Em, G
  • The next batch of open chords you should learn are: A, E, F, Bm
  • The final beginner batch of open chords you should learn are: B, Dm, Fm

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how to learn guitar fast

The secret to learning chords and making music at lightning speed

The best way to learn chords quickly is to follow my steppingstone approach.

This is a proven method for quickly developing your finger dexterity and control while also allowing you to have fun and make music.

If you want to know how to learn guitar fast, this is a key point:

Our company motto is ‘make things easy & fun’ and the stepping-stone chord system is a fundamental part of our philosophy.

The premise is very simple: there is an easy version of every chord

As a beginner guitarist you should learn the easy version before you learn the harder standard version.

Let’s look at some examples:

how to learn guitar fast

As you can see the easier stepping-stone chord versions are simply different voicings of the original chords.

If you feel happy to tackle the standard versions then by all means begin with the standard versions, but most people find it much easier to use the stepping-stone version to get started having fun and making music. Then after a few weeks you can move on to the standard chord versions.

If you want to know how to learn guitar fast you should definitely follow this stepping-stone chord approach.

Download a free beginner chord guide and learn easy versions of every chord

 Say goodbye to frustration and twisted fingers. Say hello to MAKING MUSIC.

  Learn beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is one of our most popular guides and will improve your chord ability quickly. Click here to download the guide.

You can learn a lot more about steppingstone chords in our easy chords area.

How to learn guitar fast | Step 4 – Learn how to strum

If you want to know how to learn guitar, you must be able to strum chords rhythmically.

Rhythm is the most important element of music. If you want to know how to learn guitar fast you need to learn:

  1. How to strum correctly
  2. How to inject rhythm into your strumming.

From a guitar player’s perspective, good strumming looks like this:

You may need to watch this video a few times for it to make sense.

  • Note that the wrist is locked and runs parallel to the guitar body.
  • Also note the way the pick is being held.

To learn a lot more about to strum the guitar, check out this article How To Strum A Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide

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National Guitar Academy

How to learn guitar fast | Step 5 – Learn songs that you love

You came here today to discover how to learn guitar fast and this is a killer tip: Make sure that the songs that you learn to play are songs that you personally love.

If you follow this advice (and ignore guitar exercises and songs like Happy Birthday and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’!), You will find that you enjoy your practice time much more.

This will lead to practising more often, and it’s also much less likely that you will perceive your guitar practice time as a chore.

Don’t ignore this point! It’s a very practical point and one that I’ve personally seen make a difference for many guitarists.

Learning how to play the guitar is all about momentum. If you want to know how to learn guitar fast, then this is even more important!

Finding great songs that you like that are suitable for a beginner can be tricky. Check out our article 10 Easy Songs For Guitar Beginners to find some ideas and inspiration.

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how to learn guitar fast

How to learn guitar fast | Step 6 – Moving from beginner to intermediate

Once you have all of these steps down you will be able to consider yourself a solid beginner guitarist.

If you only ever wanted to know how to learn guitar fast then you may feel that you’ve cracked it. But the next step for you if you want to develop as a musician is to become an intermediate guitarist.

Here’s what the next part of the guitar journey looks like:

  • Learn how to play barre chords
  • Learn about the caged system
  • Learn the major scale
  • Learn the natural minor scale
  • Learn the major pentatonic scale
  • Learn the minor pentatonic scale
  • Learn the blues scale
  • Learn about keys

Chords vs single notes

You’ll notice there’s a lot of single-note melody and lead guitar work here. If you want to know how to learn guitar fast, a lot of this stuff can be skipped.

But if you want to understand the instrument properly (and I hope you do!), then you definitely need to know this stuff.

Here’s two articles that will help you out:

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

I made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. I hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

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

Join over 30,000 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.

NGAEM

Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

 


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Mike Kennedy - National Guitar Academy Director

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