I've been learning my first song since I started playing guitar. It's been Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. I picked the song, because 1) the chords are easy to play 2) I love the song. While I've come some ways since learning the song, I'm not quite there yet. I've been trying to get the song down for the past 1-2 months. I feel like it's taking forever. I just wanted to get an idea of how long it took everyone else to master the first song they learned.
I spent the first couple of months just trying to play 15 open chords (though I remember B7 and F being a bit of a bitch) and trying to change between them, after that it took me a couple of weeks to play wonderwall and then bloody ages to play time of your life.

If it's taking ages then I'd suggest learning some other songs at the same time or you'll get bored and frustrated. Keep playing though! you'll get it in the end and afterwards you'll find songs getting easier and easier to learn.

My thread - https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1512117
Surprisingly, the very song was my first song as well. Technically, it was my first at least, I had learned other songs previously, but that was the first song i learned properly, without help etc.

The song itself took maybe half an hour to learn all the way through properly, but everyone is different. I grew up in a music loving household, and most of my friends played instruments, and i myself sang before that, so music was already a second hand thing for me when i picked up the guitar, and as I said previously, I had learned songs before ( I'm talking like Chapter Four from Avenged Sevenfold, very different).

So, to be completely honest, it all depends on how well you can memorize the chords and the changes, how hard you work at it, etc.
A about a year and a half ago I attempted to play for about a month and then I gave up. However, this past November, I started playing again and taking lessons. So I've been playing for about 2-3 months. Thanks for the input everyone.
It's not uncommon for someone playing as long as you have, to experience problems learning songs. It's pretty much a fact of guitar. The best thing you can do is to not get discouraged and keep at it. Eventually, you'll find it getting easier and easier.

Also, as a side note. I checked out some of the Chasing Cars chord tabs on this site and they're wrong - at least the couple I looked at. Be careful relying on UG tabs, as their accuracy is frequently questionable.
I haven't been playing all that long but it definitely took me some time before I could play a full song. Most of the time I would learn little bits of songs and that was it. One I knew all the standard chords it made things a lot easier.
The problem with learning songs, at least for me, was getting bored...I been playing 6yrs now and there are only a few covers I actually learned all of...I prefer to compose my own stuff to keep things more interesting. My first song was Just a Phase by incubus, and once I learned the intro I never really played the rest haha...but pick something that you cant play and when u notice that u actually can play it, it makes things infinitely more interesting and exciting.
patience is the key.

electro-acoustic guitar player
(looking for band in or near rayleigh - essex - UK)
I don't know the song myself, but seems looks like some decent chords to start out with.

When I started, now 7 or 8 months ago- I remember working on the basic chords:
G, D, E, Em, A, Am, C <-- those chords will get you very far in the beginning.

You might also want to work on B7 and Dm.

The River by Bruce Springsteen is a great song to play with those simple chords, I think it is: Em, G, D, C and Am.

Once you get those chords down, then the F chord will open a new world to you - and the Bm will open another one later on.

In terms of songs, then it is ultimately up to your taste in music as well. I remember having two strumming based guitar songs in mind that I wanted to play so bad when starting out. I then realised that the basic rythm of the song was a normal A Major chord with the removal of one finger once in a while. The fact that I could play a long to songs that I loved in the first few months was a huge motivational boost for me.

Be realistic and appreciate what you have achieved already. You have played in what 1.5 months? That is absolutely nothing and I bet that you have progressed a lot already.
Last edited by dscheche at Jan 24, 2012,
practice la bamba: C, F, G7, F

electro-acoustic guitar player
(looking for band in or near rayleigh - essex - UK)