You are currently viewing From Awkward to Confident – How to Learn Guitar in 30 Days

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

Yes, you read that right. Learn guitar in 30 days (it’s even more miraculous after you discover how much this costs)…and reading this article takes 5-10 minutes.

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.

I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.

I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).

What you get here (I lay this here to make sure you won’t waste your time):

  • I save you the need to buy subscriptions for guitar learning resources. You DO NOT need those to learn guitar. They are not the missing link (I reveal the missing link in this article).
  • I save you the need to pay for a guitar teacher (sorry all the guitar instructors out there). You can learn guitar without them.
  • I save you crazy amounts of time because I lay an actionable plan in front of you. You just need to take action and follow it.

The cost of all this?

It’s worth $100s or even $1000s* and costs you big fat $0. Sounds like a good deal to me (I recommend using this now, because this stuff is so valuable that I might turn this into a paid program any day now). The only thing I ask is to share this if you find it valuable so that more and more people can use this plan to finally learn the guitar. If you do not find this valuable, then do not share this. Fair deal.

*Where do I pull these crazy numbers? Well, many people spend $100s or even $1000s on subscriptions and guitar instructors to learn the guitar (and most still never learn). I also share some crucial tips when shopping for guitar, this can save a boatload of time and money too.

Let’s get going.

Well, before that, I insert this here just for laughs:

Define Learning Guitar

I’m pro-freedom. I do not try to force you to fit my mold. But here, I want to share what learning to play guitar is for me. If my definition makes sense to you, that’s awesome.

Here’s the definition

Learning to play guitar is not about

  • Reaching advanced level and filling stadiums
  • Knowing all the chords
  • Being able to play anything
  • Knowing all about music theory
  • Being able to play extremely fast

Learning to play guitar is:

  • Learning basic chords that enable you to play most of the songs (there are not that many chords you absolutely need, I will share the key 4 ones first that enable you to play most popular songs instantly)
  • Being able to shift through chords smoothly (this is all about muscle memory, do not worry, I will give you the best tips that pretty much no one uses based on scientific research)
  • Learning the #1 most important scale (this is used in most modern songs)
  • Learning a repertoire of 10-20 songs that you can play to impress yourself and others (you can easily learn a lot more in 1 month)

That’s learning the guitar. Some might call it learning the basics of guitar, but to me, these are the same thing.

Learning to drive a car is being able to drive from place A to B safely without killing anyone or breaking anything. Learning to drive a car is not about being a pro-race car driver.

No need for this if you only want to learn how to drive. Just to get from A to B.

The same applies to guitar…

Learning to play the guitar is not about being the next Jimi Hendrix. It’s being comfortable with the instrument, practicing every day, and knowing the core basics that are 5% of the information about guitar playing, but create 80% of the results.

If this goal of learning the guitar sounds good, nail it in your mind. Write it down, stick it on your fridge, make it your phone wallpaper – whatever it takes to keep it front and center.

Now, it’s time for the next step.

Reframe Your Mind

We are not talking about rocket science-level mental gymnastics here.

This is simple: toss out that old myth that you need years to learn to play guitar. Throw that in a trash can and then plant explosives in that trash can and blow it up.

With the right focus and plan, you can make massive strides quickly. But most of all, you gonna need some real dedication. Are you up for that challenge? I bet you are.

Remember this: “Whether you say I can or I can’t, both are true”. This is up to you.

Do You Have A Guitar?

I assume you already have a guitar…

If not, here’s a tip that saves you from the agony of getting a bad guitar and protects you from salespersons who try to sell you unnecessarily expensive stuff (this does happen, check the end of this article to find out more in the future):

“You don’t need to spend a fortune, but skip the cheapest stuff. Get a guitar that feels right, sounds good, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Buy the best guitar you can afford. (I do not recommend using payment plans for buying stuff we can’t afford, these basically make us slaves).”

If you want to save hours of research, just check these guides for the best beginner-friendly guitars out there:

Now, are you ready for the game plan that people selling you Online Guitar Lessons do not want you to know? Here it comes:

The Game plan for Learning The Guitar in 30 Days

Here’s your game plan dude:

  • Daily Practice Time: 20 minutes a day makes a difference (this doesn’t take into account searching for possible resources, or a short warm-up). Regular practice is key, not cram sessions and then taking 2 weeks off. You must do this every single day. No days off.
  • Before You Start: To make sure you follow through, agree with a friend or family member to check in with you every day to make sure you have done your 20 minutes of practice. If you haven’t, you have to pay this person $50 bucks, or something else painful. DO NOT SKIP THIS even tho this can feel like a pain.
  • Day 1: Learn 4 Magic POP Chords (check the image below) that can be used for playing 100s of songs. Then use this video to start learning some songs. (Learning “Stand by Me” is one of my top recommendations, my wife who does not play guitar was able to learn it in less than 5 minutes)
image reveals 4 easy pop chords for guitar
4 Magic Pop Chords. Learn these first. Check them in action here (you won’t regret it).
  • Days 2-6: Play the 4 chords and songs using them. Also, learn more songs to imprint these chords and songs into your muscle memory. Remember to have fun. You are playing real music here!
  • Days 7-12: Continue honing your 4 chord skills, but spice up things by learning how to read guitar tabs and start learning your simple favorite songs. (There is no shame in learning the riff from Smoke on The Water first). Check the best selection of beginner-friendly songs (with links to tabs) here.
  • Day 13: Learn the minor pentatonic scale.
  • Days 14-17: Learn how to use a minor pentatonic scale to make melodies (Experiment a lot and look for extra resources that fit your style of music the best)
  • Days 18-25: Phase your practice like the book “Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning” suggests, this enables you to hone your muscle memory fast. Practice your weakest links the most, but also repeat simpler stuff as well to build strong muscle memory. Do not get discouraged if you can’t remember something, when you repeat it to yourself it strengthens your memory and you are far less likely to forget in the future. All this could look like this: first, hone the use of the Minor Pentatonic Scale, then hone chord changes, then play songs you have learned
  • Days 26: At this point, make an analysis: Are you able to play the chords smoothly? Can you navigate the minor pentatonic scale and form simple melodies? Do you have 10-20 songs or parts of songs in your repertoire?
  • Day 27-30: If you are lacking in some of the aspects just mentioned, double down to these during your remaining 4 days.
The coach just laid out the plan…now you just gotta execute.

Now, try this plan. You have nothing to lose. You will learn to play guitar in 30 days. And in worst-case scenario, in 30 days you have almost learned how to play guitar. After these 30 days, keep playing the guitar every day for the rest of your life. You will be amazing.

2 Additional Tips That Supercharge Your 30 Days (It’s like using steroids for guitar learning without the risk of hair loss and heart failure).

  • Record Your Practice Sessions: It might feel odd, but it’s a game-changer. It helps you track your progress and pinpoint where you need to improve. Analyze these sessions.
  • Remember The Reality: You’ll hit rough patches. That’s just part of learning something awesome. You might feel lost and overwhelmed at some point. That’s part of learning too. Take one small step forward. Every day. Regardless of if you feel like it or not. This is how you win in guitar playing (and in life).

Final Crucial Thoughts (Do not skip this)

Give it a month, and you’ll be amazed at your progress. You might not be the next rock legend yet, but you’ll be laying down a solid foundation and learning to play the guitar. Sticks for life and you will be amazing.

Time to pick up that guitar and make some noise. You’re totally capable of this, man.

After these 30 days, learn 8 more crucial chords from this article and then learn songs using them.

Oh, I almost forgot…the missing link. You wanna know that? Why do many people want to learn guitar but so few do so?

It’s simple. People are not dedicated. They do not practice every day. And they do not have real direction in their practice, they are just noodling around. That’s why so many guitars gather dust in the corner.

Right now, you have all that you need to learn the guitar. The rest is up to you…

Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…). Expertise: guitar learning techniques, electric guitars, and guitar amplifiers. You can connect with me on LinkedIn or just email me.
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Pranshu Nigam

Great post! I think many miss the point that for most people, learning guitar isn’t about playing the fastest solos or learning every single chord out there. They’re happy with playing their favorite songs and enjoying a nice time with loved ones or alone. I wish I had come across a guide like this when I was starting out.