How Long Does It Take To Learn Rhythm Guitar

Posted by Mike Schuck

Many people begin learning how to play guitar for their own pleasure or as a way to learn music theory, but what many don’t realize is that you can actually make money doing it! This isn’t saying that it’s easy to do, but there are ways to turn your passion into something more profitable.

It seems like every day we read about another musician who makes a good living off of the internet and social media marketing. They have their own YouTube channel with millions of views, they use Snapchat to share new songs, and they post pictures and videos of themselves playing guitar in public settings.

Most of these musicians started out by practicing for hours each day and incorporating musical concepts into their lessons. While this sounds hard to achieve at first, I hope my article will show you that it’s not.

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There are several methods to learn rhythm guitar quickly, and this article will go over all of them. You will also find tips and tricks for making the most out of your practice time.

I’m going to assume that you already know the basics of reading music (note names, tempo, etc.) and note numbers (think treble clef vs. bass clef). If you don’t, no worries – you can easily get those pre-requisites out of the way before moving onto the next concept.

Practice often

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

One of the biggest mistakes new guitarists make is trying to learn rhythm by practicing too frequently. This can be very frustrating as you spend lots of time studying music theory and technique, then nothing!

I see this happening all the time. People will say things like “I have 10 minutes today, so I’m going to practice my scales for an hour.” Or they’ll start teaching themselves how to fingering patterns at a speed of half-time per string.

Both of these are great ideas, but they require more than your allotted time each day. You need to find a way to include timing in your practice routine.

Here's what you should do...

Listen to music

One of the most important things you can do as a beginner is to listen to lots of music! There are so many ways to learn how to play guitar, but one of the best is listening to songs and picking up patterns and notes for each part.

You don’t need to know what every note is or which position in the song each note belongs to, just like riding a bike — once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cruising around pretty quickly.

And speaking from experience, I can tell you that the more you practice, the faster you will pick up rhythm skills. So start playing some basic chords and licks now before moving onto another part!

I recommend starting with something easy first (like tapping your index finger twice as fast) then slowly building up speed and adding more details such as drum beats and bass lines.

Read music

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

The first thing you need to do is learn how to read music! This is arguably one of the most important things you can do as a guitarist because it teaches you the language of music.

Many people start playing guitar by learning easy songs that use simple chords and melodies. These are great ways to begin, but they will not help you develop your rhythm skills.

It takes years to fully develop our rhythmic sense so don’t worry about that yet! Instead, focus on reading music out loud.

You can either be doing this for basic notes like treble or bass clef, or full songs with lyrics. When practicing, try to keep time in a steady pattern, every two beats should equal one measure.

This way you won’t have too many gaps where there isn’t any sound. Once you get the hang of this, you can move onto more complicated rhythms.

Build a practice space

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

Now, this will vary for every person depending on how fast you learn guitar, what style of music you want to play, and how motivated you are to really learn it!

But there is one thing that doesn’t change when it comes to learning rhythm guitar – your practice room.

You can’t learn anything without knowing where your tools are, right? So make sure you have an easy access to your instrument at all times.

This means having it within reach in both your home studio and during your workouts.

And don’t underestimate the importance of having a headphone system ready as well. You never know when you might need some sound insulation. ; )

What I mean by a workout is anything beyond just practicing- you could be running or swimming, for example. Or maybe doing some other exercises like weight lifting.

Diversify your practice time

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

Even if you only have twenty minutes to practice, it is important to make the most of that time. There are many ways to do this!

You can spend five minutes just listening to music and practicing simple patterns on the guitar. You can also read a song’s lyrics and work on picking out notes and chords as well as rhythm.

Reading music is another way to improve your skills. By doing so, you will learn how different songs are organized and what elements they contain. This gives you an understanding of how music works and helps you develop your ear.

If there’s a riff or part of a melody that sounds good, write it down and repeat it back as best you can. When learning guitar, your ears should be your number one tool.

Challenge yourself

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

If you’re already familiar with some chords, it is very easy to get distracted by all of the cool tricks that your guitar can do.

Most people start learning rhythm guitar by practicing basic timing patterns like eighth notes or sixteenths. But what happens when you throw in an odd number such as a quarter note? Or a double bar rest?

These are two important pieces to learn how to play rhythmic guitar!

They take more than just knowing the basics to understand fully. In fact, it takes advanced knowledge of music theory to truly master them. And since most music theories apply to other instruments, this applies to anyone else who wants to really know their instrument.

But don’t worry! That isn’t hard to find! You can pick up many music theories online or through books at your local library.

Record and critique yourself

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

Only you can determine how long it takes to learn anything, including rhythm guitar! The best way to figure out your speed is by learning music.

Practice technique one time only, then record what you played and analyze it. Was everything in place and did you use appropriate finger patterns and techniques? If so, then bravo! You practiced well!

You may want to try practicing less frequently or even skipping a day to see if that makes a difference. Sometimes people get distracted or feel tired after practice, which can prevent them from sticking with it.

Also, are there any songs that you have trouble executing a part correctly? Perhaps you could try practicing those parts more slowly until you find a faster groove for them.

Keep a routine

how long does it take to learn rhythm guitar

When it comes down to it, rhythm guitar is all about music theory applied to practice. That means knowing what notes go into a song, being able to play them in time, and understanding how different timing patterns work.

Music theory can seem like a lot at first, but don’t worry! You won’t have to know everything from top to bottom, only when you need to.

All of that information helps beginners get started, and some people even feel comfortable once they form an idea of the basics.

But for true musicians, there’s always something new to learn.

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