How I Mastered the Guitar in 1 Year!

How I Mastered the Guitar in 1 Year!

How To Master the Guitar

Do you want to be a guitar player? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do, but find yourself struggling to really make meaningful progress?
More than most, I can identify with that feeling. I can think of nothing cooler than being a guitar player. Its a skill that never goes out of style, and girls love good guitar players. Is there someone you’ve looked up to that also happens to be a guitar player? Is there a role model that you’d like to model yourself after?
If you are anything like me, you answered yes to most or all of those questions. Some of you may not have felt this way until recently, but most of you have probably felt this way your whole life. For me, it started at around 5 or 6 years old. I had an Uncle who played, and I saw the way everyone gathered around him when he brought the guitar out. It was like that guitar turned him into a Human Magnet. He had everyone’s undivided attention, and they were happy to give it. It was very impressive to see what power music has over people.

(This article contains affiliate links which means we make a commission if you sign upat no extra cost to you. However, it is my honest review about my personal experience with MasterClass).

Commit Hard, Play Til It Hurts.

The really cool part, was when I realized that I could learn to do that too. I could learn to be a guitar player just like him, and make music that would pull people together. I bet you have a similar memory or life experience where you first had the revelation that you could be a guitar player. But, like anything else thats worth doing,  it takes hard work and discipline.
My parents kindly explained to me that it wasn’t easy and you have to take it seriously. That didn’t dissuade me one bit. In fact, it was reassuring to know that all it would take was my hard work and discipline…Eventually it would lead to me playing guitar.
I can’t remember how long it took to convince my parents that I was serious about wanting to learn guitar. I mean, who believes a six year old kid about anything right? Especially when that thing requires so much time and work? By the time I was ten they realized that I was serious.
I remember very clearly walking into the “The Music Shoppe” and shopping for a Guitar and a Guitar Instructor to go with it. Bob Pheiffer was the Instructor and he recommended I get started on Acoustic Guitar. I got to pick out a Hohner Acoustic with a clear maroon finish. It was awesome.
I had my first lesson, and went straight home to practice my first guitar chords. I didn’t quit until my finger were raw and my hand was numb. Thats when I knew for sure, this was gonna take a lot of dedication.

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Incentivize Your Guitar Mastery

This was where things changed for me. At school, I had heard of a kid who made this bet with his parents. For $300 he bet his parents that he could go without TV for a year. I don’t think he saw it through, but it gave me an idea.
If I could make that bet with my own parents, I could have $300 to buy that electric guitar at The Music Shoppe! So I did it. My Mom happily took that bet. Who believes a ten year old won’t watch TV for a whole year right? She didn’t think twice about it.
The thing is, I actually did it. I went that whole year with no TV, and I had my eyes set on that Blue Electric Guitar. When I eliminated TV from my life, I had very little to do. (Today that also would include smartphones and iPads.) So I spent every minute of free time practicing guitar.
I got really good, really fast. By the time I was eleven, I was playing along with songs on the radio. I don’t know if I realized it at the time, but the consequence of not watching TV was a mastery of the guitar. It became a natural extension of me. Not only did I master guitar, but I was also rewarded with a brand new electric guitar from the bet.
The point I’m trying to make is this. You have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the course of your life. You may not see it now, but you will. Trade in your TV Remote and/or Smartphone for a Guitar. Trade your computer time, for your practice time. Put your smartphone down, just for a bit every day….and use that time to learn what you’ve wanted to learn for so long.
You will be amazed at what can be done in that newfound time. Be bold enough to stop doing what everyone else is doing. You will be rewarded every day for the rest of your life from this one decision. It will give you confidence to tackle things you never would have considered before. At this time next year, you can be a master.

Which Do I Start With, Acoustic or Electric Guitar?

Master the Guitar


Master the Guitar Electric


Great question. This is hot topic for guitarists, and there really isn’t one “right” answer. It depends on many things. Do you plan on progressing to Electric Guitar? It may be easier to go straight to Electric, but in the long run it makes sense to start on Acoustic to strengthen your hand muscles while you learn the fundamentals.

If you are intent on playing only Acoustic, then it makes sense to start with an Acoustic. You can always progress to Electric later on. Some guitarists find they are happy to stick with Acoustic as it suits their style more than Electric would.

To Master the Guitar, You Need a Guitar Master.

If there is one thing you’ll need besides a guitar and ample patience, its a good teacher. In person lessons are great if you have the time and can afford them. They keep you honest and accountable for how you are spending your time.

If you can’t afford a professional instructor, or just don’t like the idea of in person learning, don’t worry. There are a whole lot of great resources online when it comes to guitar. So much so, that it can be a paralyzing to choose just one method, philosophy, or youtube personality. 

The most important thing, is to choose just one or two people, who’s guitar methods/curriculum you will follow. This is especially true for brand new students. There are many many ways to arrive at the same result, but, you have to see each through to their ends.

Do not skip around to different youtube channels/teachers when you get bored with your current lesson. Its a surefire way to confuse what you’ve already learned.

Focus on Guitar Fundamentals

Concentrate on the fundamentals. Most methods and instructors will have you learn the basic open chords (A, C, D, Em, G) and master them. Its okay to push yourself, but you need that solid foundation with which to build upon later, otherwise you’ll be clueless in more advanced lessons.

It may be tempting to look up tabs on one of your favorite songs, but thats an easy way to get sidetracked and ruin your discipline. You’ll end up sitting down to practice each day, but then find after a half hour that you’ve been playing that dumb song over and over. (GUILTY).

Once you’ve learned open chords, you’ll progress naturally to barre chords (which are challenging as hell), then lead guitar. This is where guitar gets REALLY FUN. You’ll be learning scales, shapes, and all the tools y pi u’ll need to start soloing and playing lead parts(ex: The intro to Sweet Child O’ Mine, or Purple Haze).

Deeper Guitar Learning:

By this point you’ll be ready for some deeper forms of learning. Perhaps you’ve heard of Masterclass? Yeah, I thought so. The amazing thing about Masterclass is the unparalleled exclusive access to the minds of two of the most iconic guitar players of our time.

You’ll be able to learn from Guitar Legends like Carlos Santana(Santana) and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine). This was unheard of when I started out. Sure there were DVD’s from renowned instructors, but not from actual guitar heros.

These aren’t just run of the mill teachers, these are celebrated and accomplished masters of the art of rock and roll. They guide you step by step through their own songwriting processes and the music theory behind it all. They not only teach you how to play like them, but how to unlock and develop your own personal style of guitar style. Who better to do it than them? I can’t think of anyone.

Guitar Taught by Legends

The idea that you can be learning “Smooth” from Carlos Santana instead of by ear or tabs is kinda crazy right? Or maybe you are more into the heavier side of Rock. In which case I can think of nothing more inspiring than learning “Killing in the Name Of” alongside the man who wrote it, Tom Morello.

Nevertheless, at some point in the beginning you’ll probably get in a rut and need a bit more motivation. Thats when I think its totally acceptable to take a little detour, just to light a fire. These masterclasses could be that fire when your hands are too sore to practice any more open chords, or your mind is too numb to practice any more pentatonic scales. Everyone needs a break or motivational material to get fired up again. Its all part of the process to truly internalizing it all.

I can tell you from experience, if you are going to learn anything, it should be from the best. If that sounds good to you, I’d appreciate if you would check out Masterclass through my link here. 

You’ll get a special deal, and I’ll get a small commission for your signup. Its a win-win, and you’ll have guitar mastery at your fingertips 24/7. is a participant in the Affiliate Program. A program that offers a means to earn commissions by advertising and linking to

  • Is guitar hard to learn?

    Its not hard if you love it, and are musically inclined. Many people play guitar, but few people play guitar very well. The only way to find out for sure, is to try!

    I encourage you wholeheartedly to try it for yourself. If you are already interested enough to ask this question, then you might have the level of interest and commitment necessary to learn guitar.

  • Can you learn guitar in one year?

    Its totally possible, but it depends a great deal on your own level of commitment, interest, and natural talent. If you are serious, it helps a great deal to get rid of other distractions entirely. Example: Stop watching TV for a year, while you are learning.

  • Is there a Guitar Masterclass? has two courses for guitar players. The first is taught by Carlos Santana (Santana), and the second is taught by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine).

  • Which type of guitar is best for beginners, Acoustic or Electric?

    Great question. This is hot topic for guitarists, and there really isn't one "right" answer. It depends on many things. Do you plan on progressing to Electric Guitar? It may be easier to go straight to Electric, but in the long run it makes sense to start on Acoustic to strengthen your hand muscles while you learn the fundamentals.

    If you are intent on playing only Acoustic, then it makes sense to start with an Acoustic. You can always progress to Electric later on.

  • Are there any good lesson books for Beginner Guitar?

    Yes, here are some of the most popular, well rated lesson books for Beginner Guitar.

    1. Gibson's Learn & Master Guitar Boxed Dvd/CD Set
    2. CP54047 - Progressive Rhythm Guitar - Book/CD/DVD

    3. Modern Guitar Method Grade 1- (Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method)

    4. Guitar Fretboard: Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours: 

    5. Modern Guitar Method Complete Edition

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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