What Is the Best Way For an Adult To Learn Guitar?

Adults often appreciate music more than children do, and the social, mental, and physical elements of playing an instrument have more meaning to adults as well. That said, it’s a shame that children are the ones with all of the time to practice and take lessons!

But that doesn’t mean an adult can’t successfully learn how to play the guitar at a high level as well. In this blog, we will discuss expectations, learning methods, and more. If you would like more information about our guitar lessons in Mississauga, please get in touch.

What is the Best Way To Learn Guitar as an Adult?

Adult guitar students are best served by taking weekly 45-60 minute private lessons with an experienced teacher and practicing for at least 20 minutes every day (or nearly every day). All things considered, this isn’t a burdensome time commitment, and you will learn how to play the guitar quickly!

How Important is it For Adults to Practice Guitar?

Practicing is extremely important. You will not improve if you don’t practice regularly at home, and the skill of your teacher won’t matter at all if you don’t practice. In your lessons, your teacher will give you specific instructions and materials to work on at home. If you follow these guidelines, you will see rapid and speedy progress, and if you don’t practice, you won’t see any improvement at all.

What If You Don’t Have Much Time?

That’s not a problem – in the early stages of guitar playing, even 15 minutes of slow, mindful practice per day will yield significant results. As you improve, and as your music and practice material gets more advanced, you will need more time to get value out of your practice. But at the beginning, even a few minutes per day is very important.

If you are pressed for time, consider making flashcards with chords written down. You can keep learning your guitar chords as you sit on the train, ride in an Uber, or eat lunch. You can do the same with time signatures, key signatures, and notes.

Always remember that practicing the guitar for 15-30 minutes per day is far more valuable than “cramming” for three hours the day before your lesson.

Can Adults Learn Through a Guitar App Instead?

Yes, there are several high quality guitar-learning apps that are effective for adults. Simply Guitar by JoyTunes, Yousician, the Fender app, and more come to mind. You will pay a subscription fee, follow the lessons, and use the practice materials every day.

The best way to use an app, however, is to pair the app with private lessons. Adult students often have wonderful success by taking lessons, signing up for an app, then layering the app’s practice material in with the material with a teacher. You will improve at an above-average rate if you use both an app and a teacher.

What If You Just Want To Learn Chords on the Guitar?

If you purchased an acoustic guitar and want to play it for fun, you can reasonably expect to teach yourself enough chords to play along with folk songs and read tabs. If you have prior musical experience, you will be fine on your own as long as you are enjoying this very basic level of playing.

However, if you have no prior experience, you will save yourself a considerable amount of time and frustration by enrolling in private guitar lessons. You will waste countless hours on YouTube searching for the right tutorial videos if you don’t already know how to read notes, count, understand guitar tablature, and more.

How To Learn Rock or Jazz Guitar as an Adult

Whether you are starting from scratch or have a foundation of guitar playing experience already, you will learn more quickly and holistically from a guitar teacher.

If you want to play jazz guitar, you will need to familiarize yourself first with the blues, then the various jazz modes and theoretical elements of the genre. You’ll need someone to help you learn jazz scales, arpeggios, and common licks.

Rock guitar has its own idioms, and whether you are learning advanced techniques like sweep picking and pinch harmonics, or simply getting power chords under your belt, you would benefit from a teacher.

Get Started With Music Lessons at Sing Music Studio

Working with a teacher is the best way for an adult to learn the guitar quickly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t supplement lessons with other materials! Speak with your teacher about methods, apps, and other media that could help you learn more quickly. If you are interested in guitar lessons, piano lessons in Mississauga, voice lessons in Mississauga, or anything else, please get in touch.


We've had our three year old enrolled in Kindermusik level 3 (3-4 yr olds) for several months. Each unit is 4 sessions and follows a unique theme (farm, garden). She is learning sing-along songs, musical elements of songs, and using a variety of simple percussion instruments. Included is access to Kindermusik electronic resources (song downloads, crafts and activities geared to the class material). The instructor we had (Nicole) is always attentive, energetic, and patient with the young ones. The program coordinator (Mandi) is communicative and accommodating. I was impressed with the speed that she was able adapt to virtual classes once the covid pandemic began. Looking forward to going back to the classroom.

Dan Coffin, Kindermusik Dad


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