#1
This is a very difficult question to answer and there's probably no set in stone answer for everyone. A lot of it depends on your own personal talent, previous training, expectations, and goals. I think one of the attractions of the guitar in the first place is that it seems to be an instrument that is convenient and easy to learn on your own but that's not always the case.

My son for instance, I like to brag about him : ), took piano lessons for years and then decided to learn the guitar. I got him a new electric guitar for Christmas one year. He went out and got books on scales and guitar lessons and taught himself to play exceptionally well in a few years. He now plays professionally piano & guitar. He can read music as well as learn by ear. After years of only playing the electric guitar, he finally decided to get an acoustic. After playing the acoustic for a few months, he told me his electric playing improved dramatically. I think it's best to start out with an acoustic. It will develop your hands better.

I suffered through trumpet lessons for years and learned the treble clef so when I tried to learn the guitar by myself, it was relatively easy for me as well. I bought an E-Z Guitar Method book and started learning some pretty corny songs. You do have to start out with the simple songs first. My expectation at the time was to just learn accompaniment guitar for singing (impress the girls) but it grew as time went on. Back then, there was no internet or tablature and sheet music for guitar was usually incorrect so I pretty much had to learn songs by ear anyways. Now the internet is an invaluable resource for guitar lessons, tablature, lyrics...Sheesh! I wish I would have had it back then!

I've heard the stories about great guitarists and songwriters that claim to know no or very little music theory but are still great anyways. If you have that much talent, you are among the fortunate few. For most people that have never had any musical training at least on the treble clef and want to learn the guitar, you'll need a teacher. Try to find one that plays the same type of music you want to play. A teacher can also show you easier ways to do things and keep you from developing bad habits. You'll also need to develop some skills like tuning the guitar and replacing strings. Some people play the guitar for years and are still afraid to replace their own strings or still have trouble tuning. As soon as you get over this, your life will be happier : )

There are other levels to consider. If you want to progress to the best like my brother in law, you're talking Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, then a Doctors Degree in Jazz Performance? What are your goals and expectations?
#5
actually, i did learn guitar by myself, and i do now play guitar probably more than exceptionally well, after 3 years, with NO lessons, ever, and no prior instruments played. no books, no nothing. everything by ear, so quit bragging.
#6
Quote by olix95
actually, i did learn guitar by myself, and i do now play guitar probably more than exceptionally well, after 3 years, with NO lessons, ever, and no prior instruments played. no books, no nothing. everything by ear, so quit bragging.

yeah, right. I don't think ANYONE can learn how to play the guitar more than exceptionally well in 3 years.
#7
Interesting story. I'm really big on using an instructor, mainly because I teach guitar on the weekends. Seriously, I think it's possible to learn on your own, but it's also easy to learn bad habits that an instructor can catch and correct. This is just one of the things my students pay me to do.

Prime example... My brother has been playing guitar for years - longer than I. I was talking to him awhile back and asked why he didn't take on students. His answer immediately made sense. He told me that he was self-taught and had learned too many bad habits that he didn't want to pass on to students. I was professionally taught by an instructor, which made all the difference in the world. Can my brother play guitar well? You bet he can. Does he use what are considered the "proper techniques?" No. Does he know theory and the reason why he plays what he plays? No. Does he necessarily need it? That's debatable.
#8
Quote by WtrPlyr
yeah, right. I don't think ANYONE can learn how to play the guitar more than exceptionally well in 3 years.

so just normal exceptionally well then?
#9
Actually, the true tl;dr of this thread is:
Wrong Forum.
I play guitar in a ska band.
Modded MIM Strat > Fender Tuner > Bugera V55HD > Custom built 2x12
#10
Quote by WtrPlyr
yeah, right. I don't think ANYONE can learn how to play the guitar more than exceptionally well in 3 years.

lets just say, there isnt really anyone i met in this town who can play guitar better than myself, and considering im 14, well, i feel i have a little room for a bit of bragging rights
#11
Quote by olix95
lets just say, there isnt really anyone i met in this town who can play guitar better than myself, and considering im 14, well, i feel i have a little room for a bit of bragging rights



I'd say you need to post something of your skills on your profile. We'd all love to hear your playing. I'll bet it's really good.
#12
You might be good for the time you're playing (age doesn't really matter) but I doubt you're an exceptionally good guitarist that's up there with the legends.

You can always prove me wrong ofcourse.
#13
it is possible to learn n your own. Having an instructor can just make things go a little smoother and a little faster.

Too many people rely on instructors and it holds them back so some independent study is necessary to become the best you can be.

Edit: in regards to your ...article..TL;DR
#14
Quote by KG6_Steven
I'd say you need to post something of your skills on your profile. We'd all love to hear your playing. I'll bet it's really good.

if you have checked out that one song on my profile, don't judge off of that crap. that would probably be the worst recording i have ever done. and i have no video recording device, and as for sound recording, the only thing i have is my phone, and we all know phone recording sucks. i don't have anything to hook my guitar into my computer, so i really have no recording options right now
#15
Quote by olix95
lets just say, there isnt really anyone i met in this town who can play guitar better than myself, and considering im 14, well, i feel i have a little room for a bit of bragging rights


if the clip on your profile is you playing,then I'm sorry you have no bragging rights

Even I dont have bragging rights,and I've playing for about 5-6(seriously) now....the people hwo really have bragging rights are guys like ryan,chris,dave mc etc. etc.

I suggest that stfu
#16
Quote by WtrPlyr
You might be good for the time you're playing (age doesn't really matter) but I doubt you're an exceptionally good guitarist that's up there with the legends.

You can always prove me wrong ofcourse.

i would say there is a hug gap between "exceptionally good", and being a "legend"
#17
Quote by olix95
if you have checked out that one song on my profile, don't judge off of that crap. that would probably be the worst recording i have ever done. and i have no video recording device, and as for sound recording, the only thing i have is my phone, and we all know phone recording sucks. i don't have anything to hook my guitar into my computer, so i really have no recording options right now

Phones can't capture tone, they can capture skill.
#18
Quote by archenemyfan
if the clip on your profile is you playing,then I'm sorry you have no bragging rights

Even I dont have bragging rights,and I've playing for about 5-6(seriously) now....the people hwo really have bragging rights are guys like ryan,chris,dave mc etc. etc.

I suggest that stfu

this is old, and recorded in below freezing temp, dramatically affecting playing abilities, and like i said, it's old, so i have gotten better since then
#19
Quote by WtrPlyr
Phones can't capture tone, they can capture skill.

my phone can't capture more than half the notes played in general
#20
Not to continue hijacking TS thread, but Hornell is a small town of 9000. My bet is there's at least a few guitar players you haven't met. For your genre of music, you might be the only one playing it, which, technically, makes you the best. However, I'll bet there are some very talented rock, blues, country and other styles that have been playing for longer than 3 years and know their stuff inside and out.

Just about the time you think you know your stuff, another guitar player comes along and makes you want to crawl into the corner.

Humble pie. It don't taste so good.
#21
i should have never said what i did say, so you know what, ill just put it this way for now so i can be left alone; i suck
#22
Quote by olix95
my phone can't capture more than half the notes played in general

whats the point?


if you're bragging you should have proof to convince us that you have the right to..

if you dont,stop bragging..simple

/endrant
#23
I thought this forum was about gear.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#24
Quote by olix95
i should have never said what i did say, so you know what, ill just put it this way for now so i can be left alone; i suck



I don't think anyone said you suck. At least I didn't. I don't care for screamo at all, but if that's your style, then good on you. Good luck.