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Learning to Play Guitar; Getting Passed the Difficulties of Learning

Updated on May 1, 2012
Some Basic Chords
Some Basic Chords
Parts of Your Guitar
Parts of Your Guitar

The hardest part about learning how to play guitar is making it through the period of time where you are not very good. I taught myself how to play guitar, I didn't take any lessons, I can't even read music, but I'd like to say I can play guitar. It's not difficult but it's not easy and it definitely takes some getting used to. In this article I'm not gonna teach you how to play but how to deal with the struggles and frustrations you may deal with in the beginning. Here are some issues I dealt with and heard from beginning guitarists.

It hurts my fingers

A lot of people will say that it hurts their fingers; their fingertips or just from the natural stretching of your fingers across the fret board. A simple way to over come this is take a break. If your fingers hurt take a break! Give them a rest. Eventually, the more you play, your fingertips will get calluses and harden up so that it doesn't hurt to press on the frets. Eventually you will also get used to the stretching and that won't hurt anymore either. (My fingers never hurt when I play guitar anymore because my fingertips are always callused and my fingers are accustomed to the stretching.) Another way to overcome this is by getting a finger exerciser to strengthen your fingers. This will help make your fingers stronger for playing.

I can't learn to read music

Learning to read music is one of the most overrated aspects in learning guitar. A lot of guitarists in popular bands all around the world can't even read music. (Don't get me wrong its helpful and definitely good for furthering your abilities but not necessary.) I cannot read music. I learned all the songs I know from guitar tabs which can be found from a multitude of websites online. My personal favorite is which has thousands of tabs for all your favorite songs. Another thing you can do is get a guitar tab program like GuitarPro. Guitar Pro plays the tabs while also showing the frets needed to play in order to play the song. It has tempo tools to slow or speed the song in order to get better at the song.


Everyone sucks in the is inevitable. Very rarely can someone pickup the guitar and immediately play a symphony. It takes time, practice, and dedication. Most importantly you cannot get discouraged by your current abilities. Use them as motivation, set goals for yourself. Say you're struggling with learning a new song, set a goal for yourself to learn the chorus of that song by the end of the week. Make yourself be able to play it without a tab and by memory and do that for each part of the song. Guitar playing doesn't come fast it takes time, and the longer you play, naturally the better you get, eventually without even trying. I've been playing 7 years and I can say I've improved every single year.

I don't have time to play

You're busy with school, work, chores, and other things that just have to come first. It's okay, guitar playing is just a hobby you don't need to dedicate every second of the day. When you got some down time and you're watching TV, grab your guitar and play during the commercials. Practice some chords from a guitar chord book or from a tab of a song you've been learning. Practice strumming patterns, or strengthen your fingers with that exercising tool. Any practice or effort you put into getting better no matter how short the time is will pay off. Practicing a little is better than not practicing at all.

Most of all, just stay up beat. Don't get down on yourself. It's difficult and you will get it as you practice. Once you learn how to play, it's something you'll never forget and you will be so glad you learned. It's definitely something that sticks with you and you carry with you for your life. I love music and I love playing my guitar and I hope this helps you get over the difficulties of learning.


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    • Sam Magro profile image

      Sammy Magro 5 years ago from NJ

      Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Being a music teacher I know something about learning the guitar. I have to say, this hub is very well written.

      Informative and interesting. Appealing to the layman.

      Thanks and voting up useful and interesting. Consider me a fan!