Is Electric Guitar Hard to Learn? (Getting Started)

Learning a new instrument can be a big decision. Electric guitar is definitely one of the coolest looking instruments to play, but you’re probably wondering how hard it is to learn?

Guitar is easy to get started learning on. Even though it is hard in the first days to get some chords sounding right, it happens quickly and you will find the electric guitar easier to learn than you thought.

It’s really rewarding to learn electric guitar, and with a little bit of practice and patience you will be able to play some songs on this instrument in no time.

I’m going to answer a few questions you might have about learning the electric guitar, and also help you decide if learning on acoustic guitar would suit you better.

Teenager learning to play electric guitar from online lessons

How Hard Is Learning Electric Guitar?

No matter what your level of experience is, learning to play the electric guitar better can be a challenge. Fortunately just a few minutes a day of practice can make you a better player very quickly.

When you watch famous performers on stage playing guitar it can look like what they are playing is impossible for mere mortals. The truth is they started out the same as you, and just learned a small amount each day for a long time until they were amazing players.

Learning electric guitar each day is not hard, you only need to learn the smallest new thing and you are instantly a better player – and it’s loads of fun too!

Learning Guitar Basics

It can be quite easy to learn the basics of electric guitar. The difficulty level increases as you move on to more advanced techniques, but with a little practice, even the most difficult techniques can be mastered.

If you are a complete beginner, I recommend starting with some simple exercises to get comfortable with the instrument. You can find plenty of instructional online videos and websites that will walk you through the basics step by step. 

Once you have a good understanding of the basics, you can begin learning some easy songs. As you become more proficient, you can move on to more challenging songs and even start writing your own music.

Is Electric Guitar Easier to Learn Than Acoustic Guitar?

Electric guitar is easier AND harder than acoustic guitar. Ok, that sounds a bit dumb – but let me explain why!

1. Electric vs Acoustic Guitar Strings

Electric guitars have thinner strings than acoustic guitars, which makes them easier on your fingers when you first start. You don’t need to hold the strings down as hard, which is easier on your fingertips, and your fingers don’t need as much strength.

The funny thing is that beginners tend to press electric guitar strings down too hard at first, which can make the notes sound out of tune. So it can be harder for beginners to make an electric guitar sound good than to make an acoustic guitar sound good.

2. Getting a Good Sound

Acoustic guitar can be easier to learn because you just hear the natural sound of the guitar, and don’t have to also learn how to get a good sound out of an amplifier.

Many people first learning electric guitar are surprised to find it doesn’t sound like it does on their favorite songs. This is because you need a good sounding amplifier, and some effects pedals to modify the guitar’s natural sound.

Even with the right equipment it is hard for a beginner to get the electric guitar sound they want, and it can get frustrating trying to learn guitar and setting up sound effects at the same time.

3. Holding and Playing the Guitar

Some beginners can find a large acoustic guitar a little hard to get their arms around, and solid-body electric guitars can be easier to hold since they are very slim.

The neck on an electric guitar is thinner than an acoustic guitar, which can make it easier to get your fingers across all the strings when playing chords.

If you want to play standing up, some electric guitars can be quite heavy. For smaller people, or those with sore backs an acoustic guitar may be easier to hold.

Is Electric Guitar Hard to Learn by Yourself?

Yes, you can learn electric guitar by yourself. Fortunately for you this is the best time in history for learning guitar on your own, with a huge amount of lessons available online.

The other great thing is that many of these resources are completely free! So even if you have no money you can still easily get started by teaching yourself to play guitar.

Learning guitar by yourself is easy to get started with, and is easier than most other instruments! There are many free online video lessons to teach you the basics, and it only takes a few weeks before you can play some chords and your first few songs.

You will find that if you spend just 10 minutes each day learning, after a couple of weeks those few chords will sound fine, and what seemed hard at first will now be much easier.

Getting started on electric guitar will be easier on your fingers than an acoustic guitar, so if you are enjoying it you can practice longer each day and improve very quickly.

Just make sure to follow some online lessons where the teacher is playing an electric guitar also. Your best option is to find a series of beginner guitar lessons from one teacher.

Is It Hard to Get Good at Electric Guitar?

To answer this question, first you need to decide what ‘good at electric guitar’ really means to you.

The hardest part of becoming a good electric guitar player is being consistent – which means playing regularly and following a learning plan that keeps you moving forward.

If you are the type of person who just dabbles in a little of everything, then it’s unlikely you will become a great guitarist. But even with such a low level of commitment, you can still become a reasonable player over enough time.

How Long it Takes to Learn Guitar

If you want to play some easy songs with friends in a garage band, then you could be up and running in just a few weeks to a few months. If you wanna rock out or shred like a famous guitar legend, get prepared to practice for many years.

Here’s a rough guide based on the average person:

Average time to learn guitar:

  • It normally takes a beginner guitarist 1 – 2 years to become intermediate.
  • Another 2 – 3 years to become advanced.
  • Another 2 – 4 years to move toward being an expert.

Learning Electric Guitar Can be Made Easy

If you find some good lessons, a friend to guide you, or even a professional guitar teacher – then learning electric guitar doesn’t have to be difficult.

If you are just starting out, it is important to find a comfortable position for your hands and body to play the guitar. You will also need to learn how to hold a pick and how to make basic chords. 

Learning new guitar techniques may seem difficult at first, but with practice they will become second nature.

Once you have the basics down, you can start learning more complex techniques. There are endless possibilities when it comes to playing electric guitar, so take your time and explore what interests you most.

With enough practice, you’ll be playing like a pro in no time!