The Truth About Learning Guitar: Is Learning Guitar Worth It?

Discover the pros and cons of learning guitar and decide if it's the right hobby for you. Learn about the benefits, challenges, costs, and realities of playing guitar and get tips for getting started.


Jace Snel

5/7/20235 min read

person playing electric guitar
person playing electric guitar

Benefits of Learning Guitar

Learning the guitar can have numerous benefits, both for your mental health and cognitive function, as well as your social and professional life. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy:

Improved Mental Health and Cognitive Function: Playing the guitar can be a therapeutic and meditative experience. Studies have shown that music can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, playing an instrument requires concentration and focus, which can improve your cognitive function and help sharpen your memory and problem-solving skills.

Increased Creativity: Playing the guitar can be a great way to tap into your creative side. Whether you're writing your own songs or learning covers, you'll be honing your creativity and expressing yourself in new ways.

Social Connection and Opportunities for Collaboration: Playing the guitar can also be a social activity. You can join a band, attend jam sessions, or simply play with friends. This can help you meet new people and develop new social connections. Plus, if you're interested in pursuing a career in music, collaboration is an essential part of the process.

Potential for Career Advancement in the Music Industry: If you're interested in pursuing a career in music, learning the guitar can be a great place to start. There are a variety of career paths available in the music industry, from sound engineering and music production to teaching, live performance, and recording artists. By learning the guitar, you'll be laying the foundation for a potential career in music.

Challenges of Learning Guitar

While learning the guitar can be a rewarding experience, it's important to acknowledge the challenges that come with it:

Sore Fingers and Difficulty for Young Children: At first, your fingers may get sore from pressing down on the guitar strings, and not just kids. However, with practice, your fingers will get stronger, the tips will callus and the pain will go away. Additionally, learning the guitar can be difficult for young children, as it requires hand strength and dexterity that may not be fully developed yet.

Time and Financial Commitment: Learning the guitar requires both time and financial commitment. You'll need to invest in a guitar and potentially other equipment like an amp or pedals. Additionally, you may need to pay for lessons or instructional materials, and there's a time commitment required to learn and maintain your skills, travel commitment, and scheduled lessons (usually) weekly.

Frustration and Potential for Discouragement: Learning any new skill can be frustrating at times, and the guitar is no exception. It's important to stay motivated and not get discouraged when you hit a plateau or encounter difficulties in your learning process.

Costs of Learning Guitar

When it comes to the costs of learning guitar, there are a few things to consider:

Cost of Equipment: You'll need to invest in a guitar and potentially other equipment like an amp or pedals. The cost of this equipment can vary widely depending on your preferences and budget.

Cost of Lessons and Instructional Materials: If you're interested in taking lessons or using instructional materials to learn the guitar, you'll need to factor in the cost of these resources. Additionally, there's a time commitment required to attend lessons or practice using instructional materials.

Cost of Repairs and Maintenance: While the cost of repairs and maintenance can vary depending on how well you take care of your guitar, it's important to factor in these costs as well. Regular maintenance like string changes and tune-ups can help keep your guitar in good condition.

Realities of Learning Guitar

While learning guitar can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, it's important to have a realistic view of what it takes to become proficient. Here are some realities to keep in mind:

  1. Practice, practice, practice: To become a skilled guitarist, you'll need to put in consistent practice time. This means setting aside dedicated time each day or week to work on your playing, whether that's practicing scales, learning new songs, or working on technique.

  2. Plateaus and setbacks are normal: It's common to hit a plateau in your playing, where progress seems to slow down or even stop. This can be frustrating, but it's important to recognize that it's a normal part of the learning process. Setbacks and mistakes are also inevitable, but it's important to learn from them and keep pushing forward.

  3. The journey is just as important as the destination: While it's natural to have goals and aspirations for your guitar playing, it's important to find joy in the journey itself. Enjoy the process of learning new things, experimenting with different techniques, and playing with others.

  4. Learning to read music: There are a lot of ways to learn songs these days and you can get away without knowing how to read any form of music for a short time, but you will have to learn tablature at some stage, music theory if you want to go deep but it is not necessary. Here's a quick guide to get you started.

  5. Support is key: Having a supportive community around you can make all the difference in your guitar-playing journey. This can be a teacher, a bandmate, or simply a group of friends who enjoy playing music together. Seek out opportunities to collaborate and learn from others.

a group of people playing instruments in a room
a group of people playing instruments in a room

Tips for Learning Guitar

If you're interested in learning guitar, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Invest in a quality instrument: A good quality guitar will not only sound better, but it will also be easier and more enjoyable to play. Take the time to research different types of guitars and find one that feels comfortable for you.

  2. Find a good teacher or instructional program: While it's possible to teach yourself guitar, having a teacher or instructional program can help you progress more quickly and avoid bad habits. Look for someone who is experienced and passionate about teaching.

  3. Start with the basics: It can be tempting to jump right into learning your favorite songs, but it's important to start with the basics first. Focus on learning proper technique and building a strong foundation, and the rest will come more easily.

  4. Set realistic goals and track your progress: It's important to have goals for your guitar playing, but make sure they're realistic and achievable. Set small goals along the way and track your progress, so you can see how far you've come.

  5. Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to improving your guitar playing. Set aside dedicated time each day or week to work on your playing, and stick to it as much as possible.

  6. Check out online resources! Here is a guide talking about the best ways to learn Guitar or Ukulele. Other great ways are YouTube, ultimate guitar, and various other free resources. There are also many paid courses online that you could look into.

By following these tips and staying motivated, you can enjoy the process of learning guitar and becoming a skilled player over time.