97. How long does it take to get good?

Guitar students can play well enough to accompany a song in two months with regular practice. They could also expect to play basic rock and blues guitar in that amount of time. To play intermediate classical guitar music it takes about two years of study for a diligent student, but one could spend a lifetime studying the guitar and never know it all.

98. How often do I have to practice?

Generally one should practice at least half an hour a day. If you practice forty-five minutes to an hour you will progress more quickly. By practicing I mean that the student identifies what needs work and repeats an exercise or piece of music until it becomes easy to play. It's really rather fun. Though if you want to be a virtuoso it's going to take a lot of hard work.

99. How young can a student begin?

Four and half years of age is the youngest one should be to begin guitar. Before that age they can do rhythm games, singing and listening to music, but the motor control necessary to begin an instrument generally doesn't mature enough until children are four and a half. Eight is a very good age to start an instrument. The trick with young children is to make it fun so they'll have a positive experience.

100. What if I can't read music?

You don't have to read music to play the instruments I teach. However for classical guitar and classical mandolin it's necessary. The folk and popular styles don't require reading music, but it helps. Learning to read music really isn't all that difficult if you take a step-by-step approach. I have taught thousands of people to read music. Generally students find it quite liberating.

101. Is it ever too late to start?

It is never too late. Some of the best beginning students I have had started in their fifties. Many people begin in middle age and do very well for themselves. Perhaps they appreciate it more than younger students. One of my best students was seventy-six years old when he began. He played very well.