If you're relatively new to electric guitar then you might be curious to find out exactly how long it will
take you to get good. And I think it's a valid concern. You've been putting all this time into practice, and I
think it's only natural to wonder when you're going to see the fruits of your labor!
But you probably already realize that it's a very difficult thing to answer. (I know that I can't really
give a clear-cut answer anytime a student asks me this question). The truth is that it depends on a lot of
different factors. Let's take a look at a few of the most important now…
Everyone has a different idea as to what "good" means. Some people have very modest goals, while others are
much more ambitious. For Example: One guitarist may only want to play songs that use basic open chords and a
few strumming patterns. Obviously their goal will take far less practice and time than a guitar player who has
the goal of playing shred guitar in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen!
If you are highly focused when you practice you will progress a lot faster than someone who just mucks
around. So learning to improve your attention to detail, awareness and your ability to concentrate will help
you immensely in reaching your musical goals sooner. This sort of deep, effective and goal-oriented practice
allows some guitarists to progress more in six months than some progress in 10 years.
While it's true that your quality of practice is vitally important, it would be naive to suggest that how
much you do isn't important. The more quality practice you do the better. In fact, a 30-year study carried out
by Anders Ericsson gave the following results…it takes around 10,000 hours of committed practice to become an
expert in any field. (That study would definitely help explain why a lot of the guitar greats have done
thousands and thousands of hours of practice. They needed to do that much to reach their level of playing).
So after all that, what's the best answer I can give you? Unfortunately you may not like the answer…it will
take as longs as it takes. If you clearly define your goals, learn to practice in an effective way, and
practice as much as you can, you'll get there as soon as you possibly can!