Learning to play any musical instrument can be an intimidating prospect. However, it’s never been easier. These days there is a wide variety of platforms available to help you achieve your goal.

Do you also want to learn to play the guitar?

Maybe you have limited time or prefer to study at home. Perhaps you would like to develop a human connection with a real teacher. If you’re willing to put in the work, there’s a method for you to improve your skills.

With this in mind, let’s look at the five fastest ways to learn how to play the guitar.

Looking to learn another instrument? Check out all our other music lesson details. 

1. YouTube

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The best thing about YouTube is that it’s free. If you have access to the internet and a guitar, you can start learning.

There are also thousands of guitar channels where instructors take different approaches. You may prefer a more fun style of presentation. Others might prefer detailed and serious. Let’s look at a couple of popular examples.

Andy Guitar

Video instructors must create an immersive experience. With almost 1.3 million subscribers, it’s safe to say that Andy Crowley is doing something right.


His fans appreciate his clear communication and emphasis on gradual progression. The lessons spend a significant amount of time teaching the basics. This is a great channel for beginners.

Marty Music

Marty Schwartz is another great YouTube teacher. He has a very upbeat approach and collaborates with other musicians. Schwartz explains everything he does in an enthusiastic and enjoyable manner.

Beginner Acoustic Lesson 1 - Your Very First Guitar Lesson (E Minor + Asus2)

The Shins Simple Song Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Meanwhile, he provides a lot of resources online for his viewers suitable for different budgets. However, his regular YouTube content is free.

2. Online Lessons

Another excellent way to learn is to subscribe to an online program.

These offer a more focused approach to learning with video tutorials, downloadable resources, and a wide mix of guitar-based content. Some of them may allow you access to other instruments too.

The problem with YouTube is that we take it for granted because it’s free. But when you sign up for online lessons, you’re making a financial commitment. Now let’s examine a couple of great options.

You can also learn quite a bit just browsing music blogs. For example, on music mayor we have dozens of posts from songs to play to music theory.

Here are a few guides where you can learn common guitar scales:
Gb Major Songs
C Major Scale
F sharp major scale
E flat major scale


Fender is one of the best guitar manufacturers in the world. It makes sense that they also provide amazing online lessons.

They are perfect for total beginners, with lesson plans and lots of learning material. FenderPlay is an immersive and accessible program that incentivizes its users. A yearly subscription costs $89.99

Guitar Tricks

Another phenomenal online resource, Guitar Tricks, offers over 11,000 lessons.

It provides extensive core studies, as well as lessons for all stages of development. It even has individual song tutorials and covers 12 genres.

Guitar Tricks has several plans with one year costing $179.99.

3. Music Books

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Not everybody wants to spend most of their learning time watching videos. Music books offer a different kind of experience. Some people will find it boring, so it won’t suit everybody. However, others enjoy studying and taking notes.

You could also try a  fake book, if learning music theory or notes isn’t a priority.

The disadvantage of books is that you can’t learn to play an instrument just by reading about it. However, the best books, like Mark Phillips and John Chappell’s Guitar for Dummies 4th Edition (2016), supplement their reading material.

Guitar for Dummies offers online access to 85 videos and 95 audio tracks.

This provides for a more balanced mode of learning. It’s a useful point of reference because it deals with different genres and is very accessible.


Another famous book is Hal Leonard Guitar Method by Will Schmid and Greg Koch. It provides a more theory-based approach and a lot of sheet music. There are also three supplemental CDs to bring everything you have read to life.

4. In-Person Lessons

Everything is going online these days, but it doesn’t work for everybody.

Many people still find in-person lessons with a physical instructor the best way to learn. The teacher can provide a plan tailored to your specific needs.

Ideally, you’ll develop a positive dynamic with your teacher. They should be invested in giving you the best learning experience and helping you to achieve your goals. Online software simply doesn’t have the human factor.

Another great aspect of in-person lessons is that your instructor can give you instant feedback. It could be something as simple as showing you the correct way to hold the instrument. But this can be a game-changer. It also provides a more focused approach to learning because it will become a set part of your schedule.

Most guitar lessons will last for 30 to 60 minutes. They can cost anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on the length of the lesson and the instructor’s reputation.

5. Practice

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You can spend all your money on lessons and textbooks but if you don’t practice it will be for nothing. Practice comes in many forms.

If you need a little inspiration check out our top 11 practice routines.

It could be as simple as sitting in your bedroom and revising what you’ve learned that day. Or you could go even further and jam with friends.

Playing with other people is a great way to advance your skills. It helps you develop an ear for music and improve your timing. While you may feel self-conscious at first, it may motivate you to put even more work in.

Another great idea is to take a video of yourself playing guitar. Nobody likes watching themselves on camera, but you’ll be able to identify bad habits and clean up basic errors.

Final Thoughts

There is no right or wrong way to learn if it works for you.

If you stay motivated and consistent, your guitar skills will improve. This may be a gradual process, or it could happen very quickly. Whatever you do, keep playing and practicing.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match between learning methods. You might study music theory from a textbook while taking online methods. Everybody is different, so this is perfectly fine. This is also important to remember as you progress between stages of development.

Remember to look after your instrument, and it will look after you!