I am really interested in knowing how each of you individually learnt the guitar and also where you are at (how good you are). Did you teach yourself or have a teacher? Did you follow a specific course? Did you follow it to a tee or just generally? Did you have a guitar teacher and maybe private lessons for many years? Did you learn from a book? Did you just play around for years learning bits and pieces here and there, a song here a song there? What order did you learn things in, roughly? Did you struggle for a long period or was it a breeze. I basically just want to know about your guitar journey to this day. How did you get to where you are today. You get my drift. As much or as little information is fine. Thanks.
Last edited by hughesa1 at Dec 29, 2011,
I first started with lessons when I was about 7 or 8, not sure. I quit after a few years because I found them boring after a while. But once Guitar Hero came out, I started to learn songs. I just worked my way from song to song, gradually learning techniques and getting better. I'm at the point where I am able to play some pretty technical stuff (my favourite genre is thrash metal) and I could easily join a band.
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I first learned guitar because of Guitar Hero haha. but I practiced on a First Act Blue Acoustic guitar which is big enough only for a 8 year old and I at the time was 14. played it for an entire year then got an electric for Christmas.
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I started playing in 2004 with a teacher for about a year or two but put it down because I no longer had a ride to the teacher, put the guitar away for a couple years until I came across it in the storage space in about '07 and kept at it. At that point I was still able to play fluidly enough to read a tab and know what I was doing so I learned on my own with tabs for about two more years, then started with a teacher again(early '09). In the last year I've been learning theory, starting with articles here on UG and then getting some books with scales and other stuff suggested to me by my teacher.
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I started taking lessons when I was 9 from a classical guitar teacher. I continued to take lessons from him for about 3 years but I never really progressed because I wasn't interested in learning the style of music he was teaching. I then got another teacher that was able to teach me some stuff that I actually wanted to learn. He'd just teach me songs I wanted to learn and give me pointers on improving my technique for the first 2 or 3 years and I got to be alright. After the first 3 years with him though I got really into it when he started teaching me purely technique and theory of about playing lead guitar. He's been teaching me that for the past year and a half and I've progressed to the point of being able to play some pretty technical stuff and being able to work on my own leads and songs. I'd say that I'm pretty good, but nowhere near as good as I'm hoping to be in a year or 2.
spent the first couple of months trying to play 15 basic chords from a guitar book (including f and b7... which was annoying) then from there I tried to learn a new technique by first learning a song with that technique, then writing a song based on it. I still do that 5 years on tbh, but it seems to be working for me also helped my songwriting a heap.
I picked it up nearly seven years ago. I found tablature for Sonic the Hedgehog music, and off I went. Then I discovered The Living End and learned proper barre chords. Then I discovered metal and off I went. Then I discovered other genres of music. Entirely self-taught, I've just followed what interested me. What interested me seems to have flowed on reasonably linearly in terms of difficulty. I picked up rhythm quickly, though; I think that's because I was learning Meshuggah before I could even strum a few barre chords correctly.

I've been taking piano lessons though, and that has really helped my guitar. Both musically, and technically.
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I taught myself for about a year, off justinguitar.com (badass site!) and then decided to take lessons from a legit guitar teacher. One of the major regrets I had while learning this badass instrument was I was too hardheaded when I was told to hire a guitar teacher. I wish I would've started off with lessons.

All the "technique" i taught myself was thrown out the window when I started taking lessons. It took me a good month to stop resting my hand (while picking) on the bridge when it wasn't necessary. So yeah.

I still have a looooong way to go
For my 11th birthday, my parents bought me a Takamine EG240 and a few months of guitar lessons. I was very excited at first, but slowly lost interest because I didn't have much of an interest in music yet.

When I started getting into classic rock and metal, I took out the EG240 and started figuring things out for myself. I really enjoyed making up acoustic versions of my favorite Tool songs (which were really easy thanks to Drop D). I picked up a LOT of bad habits from not having a teacher at that point, or friends, or the internet (Youtube helps haha). It was very intermittent interest.

A few years ago, I met a new friend at work and we had a lot of the same interests in music. He invited me over to his place after work one time and I was shocked. He had at least $30,000 worth of equipment and his playing was God-like compared to mine. He helped me pick out a nice electric guitar at GC, got me an insane discount, and from there I started practicing 2-3 hours a day. Since then, my playing has improved exponentially.

Self-taught 99.9% of the way.
I started when I was about 12. I got myself an acoustic first, but never really got anywhere with it except with chords and stuff. Then I got an electric about a year later when I was 13. Went some time teaching myself things, but never got really far.

I got a year of lessons and I progressed rapidly because I didn't want to waste money, effort and time.

That was last year. I no longer am taking lessons because it seems he's kind of run out of things to teach me, and his technique isn't fantastic too (it's better than mine, but I'm more comfortable being taught by someone who is a lot better than me).

According to him, I was grade 6 when I stopped getting lessons, though I have my doubts. The hardest song I can play fully is Premonition by Joe Satriani, but I'm remotely close with Under A Glass Moon and Erotomania by Dream Theater.

I'm also learning a bunch of other more advanced stuff here and there in Dream Theater songs.

I'm currently taking piano lessons and that has dramatically slowed my progress on the guitar.
Last edited by triface at Dec 29, 2011,
I started when i was like 14 which was four yrs ago and im basically self taught acoustic but i did learn just about everything i know from Justinguitar.com and when i first started i put myself on a really strict schedule because i was so eager to progress. I never did the songs suggested on that site though, instead i did most of Taylor Swift songs and some other random songs and along the way i learned some theory and all of my covers i do have a lot if my own style in them however if needed i can play certain songs to sound the way the artist intended it to.

I love learning new things on my guitar and i always make sure i play what i enjoy and what makes me happy.

As of right now i am a steady intermediate because there is so much to learn before im a master and i am currently working on reading sheet music and the 21 day plan
Started learning three years ago (14 years old?). Took Guitar 1 at high school. From there I bought an el-cheapo electric and taught myself.
I wanted to have a guitar so I got one for my birthday this year (28th Jan.) and started looking around the internet for what I should learn first. I started out with the basic open chords, then the blues scales, then barre chords. I always learned songs with the new chords I learned so I could practice singing and playing at the same time, which I never found hard.
I have no idea how good I am. I can basically play 98% of the Nirvana songs from the top of my head, the first solo I learned was the solo to Love Buzz btw. I can't shred, but I never wanted to anyway since I'm not a metal fan, probably. I'm now slowly starting to write my own stuff.
I started on an Ibanez acoustic btw, and I never had lessons or a teacher.
With the exception of a couple of months I am completely self taught. I will say though that during the time I had a teacher my progression was faster but he and I didn't like the same types of music and decided to part ways. Self teaching is difficult and requires tons of discipline but in my case it's been worth it. I always worked better alone anyway. I started by simply playing the music I liked to listen to, learned chords and some theory and away we go! Still learning and always will be. I learned long ago that just because you can do it with your eyes closed doesn't mean you can put the instrument down for 3 weeks and come back and be as good as you were. I'm not a professional musician so I learned that playing every single day with a small break here and there is the only way for me. It isn't like a bicycle, at least not for me. I have to play on a regular basis in order to maintain and progress.

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I'm mostly self taught. Got my first electric guitar when I was 16. I always wanted to play along to my favorite songs, but I never really played it much. After about a month or so it just started gathering dust. I took lessons on a acoustic guitar for my first 3 or 4 months and I didn't learn all that much. Just 2 basic chords and whatnot. I still sucked pretty bad. I just fooled around with my guitar every now and then until I moved down south about 9 months ago. After about a week of just staying home bored, I decided to pick up my guitar and just started playing again. This time I really worked hard to actually get better instead of fooling around with it. I learned a bunch of songs, some scales, chords, solos(ex. Hotel California), all that. I started with simple stuff (Like blink-182) and just worked my way up. There's still plenty of room for improvement, but now, I've definitely came a loooong way since last year. Couldn't even play a simple chord progression without messing up then and now, I'm playing my favorite songs in my room, jamming all night long, and getting better...little by little. Moving down south was a blessing. I would still be a God awful guitarist if I didn't move. I really love playing music now and it's definitely my passion.
Last edited by SergJ at Dec 30, 2011,
I just recently started playing about 3 weeks ago. I purchased Gibsons Learn and Master series and have been following 1 lesson each week. In addition I've been playing Rocksmith. I do not intend to use the game as a learning tool however it has certainly helped my hand strength, stamina, etc. I plan to start formal lessons in the next 2 weeks.
For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to play the guitar. Back in 2006 or 2007 my brothers friend gave me and my sister his classical acoustic. We tried to learn, but gave up. Then during the summer of 2010 I got interested in guitar again so I started to mess around with it, then I gave up again. Then in September of that same year when I was a sophomore, a family friend was trying to get my sister to learn but he indirectly got me interested again instead of my sister.He sent me to justinguitar.com to get started on the beginners course ( I ditched the beginners course after I learned the basic chords.) Then he started to give me some tips and lessons here and there so I started to consider him my teacher. He made me learn the major scale the 7 position way in the key of C which was fun. He eventually gave me one of his electric guitars which was my first and still my only electric (its in my sig if you want to know what kind) because he was proud I stuck to the guitar. He opened up a way for me to easily learn my pentatonic scales by removing the F and the B note from each of the positions of the major scale which only left five positions. In between this all I taught myself a bit of music theory. Lol I didn't get my first amp until the beginning of this year (Its in my sig). But now its 2011 and about to 2012 and I'm 16 and still learning lot from my teacher and some things by myself. I learned how to change my own strings recently and now I'm looking into chord theory, learning some songs, making my own songs, different scales, soloing techniques, and I'm also looking to become a luthier so I can learn to craft my own electrics and acoustics with my teacher.
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I've always wanted to learn guitar (because of Slash) And I got a cheap Ibanez Gio, and started taking lessons, a year later I got a PRS SE Custom 24 with new pickups. Now I'm somewhat decent.
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I just recently started playing about 3 weeks ago. I purchased Gibsons Learn and Master series and have been following 1 lesson each week. In addition I've been playing Rocksmith. I do not intend to use the game as a learning tool however it has certainly helped my hand strength, stamina, etc. I plan to start formal lessons in the next 2 weeks.

I did L&M and RS too. L&M gave me a good foundation and RS has made playing fun. I've learned several songs and I'm retaining a lot.

Before this I was struggling with tab trying to teach myself. I started going in the right direction when I got Netflix and rented every guitar dvd they had at the time.
i started learning guitar just last year in june cause i thought i could impress my girlfriend with it haha.. but we broke up but im in love with my guitar now. i learned to play it with a few books and my father taught me the basic chords. i still dont know a lot and still have much much more to learn
I started learning the piano, 6-7 years ago, the first years I have not really worked.
I did not like it, I stopped for 2 years. And I restarted this year. (I have a good level anyway, I play without any problems such as Rachmaninov)
I started the guitar again this year. But I started to really work the last few months.
I love music more than anything else, and it's a passion.
Since I stopped my studies and I devote myself exclusively to my instruments (I work 4 hours piano and guitar 6h per day)

So, keep it rocking !!
I started playing guitar when I was very young, perhaps 5? Just exercising my fingers and getting calouses at the time though, not really playing any songs. I took a long break as my brother wouldnt really teach me. At around 10 I got my first Electric Guitar, and I started playing everyday. My brother taught me basic chord shapes, and some songs. My brother is very good at guitar and I always looked up to him.

I've been playing everyday since I was 10, I am now 14. I probably play 2 or more hours a day at times. Alot of days I play way more than 2 hours. I taught myself through alot of it, watching YouTube videos, playing songs by ear, and reading music books and guides online. I've made sure not to get any bad habits, and I don't have any, and never really had a problem with bad habits either.

Currently I am working on Michael Angelo Batio's Speed Kills/Speed Lives DVDs. I just finished Speed Kills 1, and am just practicing all the exercises and techniques until I feel 100% comfortable, then moving onto Speed Kills 2. I can sweep well, and I can play fast and clean, not having any muted notes or shitty sound. I understand alot of things about guitar very well. I have actually surpassed my brother, and the teacher has now become the student

I think for my age I am at a great level, and if I continue to play as much as I am, I could be very great at guitar when I get older. Thanks for reading :3
I tried to teach myself but ultimately went with private lessons and continued them for around 3 years. After that, I just studied basic books and found resources online to fine-tune my playing to the particular styles I liked.

I think it's always good to have some sort of private one-on-one lessons with a mentor guitarist, that way you can learn correctly before you ingrain wrong techniques into your brain.
I started to play guitar in the beginning of eight grade, (winter break of tenth grade now). I picked up a guitar for the first time in music class and the teacher showed us D, C, G, and I think A. Musically I was into Green Day and shit like that at the time, which kind of helped, and I played that stuff until Christmas and until I heard of Rammstein, and tuned to D. I would have no guitar instruction until 9th grade, and downloaded UG tabs of the bands I idolized, including Avenged, Bullet, Metallica, and Escape the fate. I really only dabbled with them, but I learned quickly, in my opinion. In the beginning I learned the rhythm bits to most of the Sevenfold songs, and now, I am working on the leads, and I am into some more technical stuff such as COB. I can also 3 string sweep pretty decently, and my friends who have been playing guitar for much longer are impressed with my progress.
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i keep asking my dad for wood. but he keeps getting annoyed (he's working on a house). and i'm too young to go outside.

well... i had an tutor...that sucked! so i sat down home listen to tunes, tried to play them, then i learned how to read tabs, after that i went on Youtube where they show me how to play and then i started a band, which helped me a lot actually.
My school had a guitar class. I took it until I graduated high school.The teacher just let us jam around on bass drums and keyboards too, so while there wasn't much instruction, I learned how to improvise and play in a group. At home I wrote songs on an old Roland 8-track and learned Metal songs and T.V theme songs by ear becasue I am awful at reading tabs and sheet music ain't much better for me. My best friends brother (and now guitarist in my band) and his friends played after school and I got a lot of my technique from them, especially the rhythmic tremolo picking. Guitar wasn't hard to learn cause it was fun and there was always something to look forward to because all of my friends play something and we learned alot from each other.
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I got my first guitar when i was about 12/13ish, so i've been playing for about 7 or 8 years, but nothing particularly serious. I bought it for £50 quid off a mate of mine who switched to the dark side (bass... SHOCK HORROR!!!) with a mini practice amp, a cable, 3 picks and 2 books, one chord book and one called the Complete guitar tutor or something similar.

to begin with, i just set about learning some basic chords so i could learn how to play some simple songs, then i learned how to read tabs, then how to read the chords in tab, then i started learning some basic lines and rhythm stuff until i was about 16 because i never really wanted to do anything serious, just pick up and play.

When i was 16 i finished my regular high school and started going to 6th form, but on the last day of regular school we had a massive presentation thing and a good mate of mine was playing Love Thing by Satch, which he showed me and printed off a copy of the tabs for me, which made me want to learn more and more things so i could get good enough to even THINK about picking up those tabs! I carried on learning different songs and bits and bobs until i thought that i may actually have a shot at learning it and was surprised when i found that i could do most of it in the first place, save for one little phrase that i still have a little bit of trouble making my way around. Granted, love thing is one of satch's easiest songs to play, but that was the first song that i'd ever played and really wanted to put my own feel into it and to make it really jump out, so that if i ever played it at an open mic night or something similar, that would be my awesome final piece before i got off stage.

At the moment, i'm just muddling through university and i don't have as much time as i'd like to devote to music, but i intend on going back and actually learning music theory from the missus when she's back from her teaching year in france, and then start learning some more advanced techniques like sweep picking, proper two handed tapping (I can play day at the beach by satch (again!) but it doesn't really use it as an expressive part of a song) and so on and so forth.

I think the key for aspiring musicians who want to play guitar is to find a piece of music that you think is purely awesome that you think is way too far out of your reach to play, and then work your way up to beginning to learn it through the proper channels (theory, lessons, proper practice etc) and then continuing the processes!
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I stole my brother's shitty starter guitar a couple of times and managed to learn the clean bits to One. A few months of jamming with my brother later, I got my own guitar and never looked back. I haven't had a lesson once (not something I'm proud of), so I had to learn everything on my own with the help of the guys over in what was the Advanced Techniques forum.
I started with a cheap spanish guitar a few years ago. I Learned the major and minor chords and learned some scales. I learned a few acoustic songs. After that I was just noodling around, I was bored of it as I wanted to play lead, and I wanted an electric guitar.

When I got my first electric just over a year ago, I started to use a pick. It was difficult at first because I used to use my thumb, but I got used to using a pick in a week or so with a few exercises. Then I started with legato and other tecniques. After that I've just been learning songs and if I came across a certain lick that I found difficult, I would stop and practice the tecnique needed to play that lick.

But I feel that that's not going to be enough anymore, I've been trying to play harder songs to get out of my comfort zone, but I've been struggling... I'm no begginner, but I don't consider myself intermediate. I just need that extra push get myself in that 'intermediate' area.

I'm sort of lost now, I want to progress but I just don't know how because 'slowing down and building up' isn't working...

Anyway, I still enjoy playing
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Last edited by BlueIceBox at Jan 2, 2012,