7 Common Beginner Guitar Player Questions

I think there are three types of people when it comes to starting a new hobby; those that jump in head first working things out as they go, those that take it slow, read all the blogs, watch all the videos taking their time and lastly those who never even get started for one reason or another.
In this article I am going to answer seven of the most common questions I get asked by beginner guitar players to make sure you are starting off your new hobby on the right foot. 

So those that dive straight in can save themselves time by not making the common mistakes, those that like to do endless research can get all their answers in one place and the ones that never start don’t have any more excuses!
I will also be posting videos every week answering even more common questions on our YouTube channel so make sure you head over to beginnerguitaracademy.tv and subscribe to get all your questions answered. 

On that note if you do have any questions about learning to play guitar shoot them over to [email protected] and keep an eye on YouTube for my answer. Now, on to the first question.

1: Am I too old to learn guitar?

No, you are never too old to learn a new skill. That being said as you age you may find it will take you longer to pick things up and an ageing body can take its toll but all you need to do is have realistic expectations about how long it will take.
The oldest student I ever taught was 80 and even though he had bad eye sight and quite bad arthritis he still made progress every week and continued to improve. 
So please do not let your age get in the way of what you want to achieve. 

2: Should I begin learning on an acoustic guitar first?

I don’t know why but there is a common held belief that you should start learning guitar on an acoustic guitar first, then after a while you can progress onto electric, well I’m calling B.S on that! My first guitar was electric as well as many other guitarists I know. 

The main thing to consider when deciding between electric and acoustic guitar is what type of music you want to ultimately play. If you are a fan of Ed Sheeran then acoustic is the way to go but if you like rocking out to AC/DC then electric would be your best bet.
Do keep in mind though that acoustic guitars are normally bigger than electric guitars and tend to have heavier strings. This will be harder to hold down but then on the plus side they are more portable and you need less gear when compared to an electric guitar, so there are definitely pros and cons to each. 

3: How much do I need to practice to learn guitar?

When it comes to practice little and often is the key, so 20 minutes every day will be far more beneficial than a 2 hour binge at the weekend. 
Firstly, be realistic with how much spare time you have and can devote to the guitar and then look at your schedule and book in your practice time. Literally schedule it into your calendar as an appointment, trust me you will never find time to practice, you have to make time.
Another important thing to consider is what you are practicing, because you will find if you are following a structured syllabus you will make quicker progress in less time as a pose to learning bits and pieces from different places on the internet.

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4: How long will it take me to learn to play my first song?

Here at Beginner Guitar Academy you will be learning your first song in the very first class and playing along with the music after the third.
By the time you finish Senior level 1 (the first level in our syllabus) you will be able to play 8 different songs but because we teach the 7 essential skills throughout our course you will have the skill set to play many many more.

5: Why do my fingers hurt so much?

Don’t worry this is perfectly normal and will last a few weeks until calluses form and the skin on your finger tips hardens. Every guitar player goes through it, just try not to over do it when it comes to practicing in the first few weeks. 

Ending a practice session with your fingers throbbing is not going to leave you wanting to pick up the guitar the next day.
One thing to watch out for and something’s  every guitarist is guilty of is pushing down too hard when holding down a string. This is obviously going to make fingers hurt a lot quicker. 

Practice adjusting the pressure you are using when holding down a string and try and find the right pressure you need to get a good sounding note without killing your fingers.

6: What will I need to buy when learning to play guitar?

Let’s start off with the super obvious, a guitar. Like I said earlier which type of guitar you get is dependent on the sort of music you ultimately want to play. If you start with an electric guitar you will need an amp and a lead to plug your guitar in to the amp, as well as some guitar picks to play it.

There are some great beginner package available that will have everything you need included at a good price. Once you have your instrument sorted you need lessons that follow a solid curriculum, have I mentioned Beginner Guitar Academy 😉


This covers the absolute basics but please take a look at this article for a more detailed look:

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8 simple tried and tested tips to help you make faster progress and hit your goals.

7: Can I learn to play guitar from YouTube?

Well the short answer is yes, you can, just like anything else you might want to learn you can learn it on YouTube. The problem is finding the good stuff, every minute 500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube which means it is getting harder and harder to find good videos. 
Something to also be aware of is that to be a guitar teacher on YouTube all you need is a webcam and a face and these are certainly not the qualifications of a good guitar teacher. So when looking for a teacher choose wisely. 
I often tell my students that YouTube is great once you have the basics down and want to learn specific techniques or songs but is not a great place for absolute beginners. Instead, look for a local teacher or an online guitar school that offers individual feedback.
Well there you have it the 7 most common questions beginner guitar players ask and my answers to them. Hopefully this article has helped and don’t forget to head over to YouTube and subscribe to keep up to date with my weekly question and answers videos.
If you have any questions just drop them below in the comments section or send an email to [email protected]
Thanks for reading!