When it’s boiled down to its simplest form, there really are only two things you need to learn to play the ukulele: chord formation and strumming.
The hardest thing I find with new students is that they have a hard time narrowing down what they want to learn how to play. But more often than not a student comes to me and says, “I want to learn how to play the ukulele.” “Great,” I say. Some people can take years of music lessons, only to be disappointed that they never could play what they wanted to play. So to answer the question “how long does it take to play the ukulele,” it depends on your definition of playing.
Do you want to start guitar lessons but you’re wondering how long it will take you to see the payoff? This age old question has been asked by nearly all of my students for as long as I’ve been teaching: how long will it take to learn how to play guitar?
The plain and simple truth is that we are all on our own path and that each of us learns the guitar at different paces and levels. With all of that being said, most students can expect it to take 6 months up to a year until they can feel really comfortable on the guitar (and by comfortable I mean that they can learn songs on their own and improvise solos). Learning guitar is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, and can be a skill that you have your entire life.
Many new drum students ask this common question a few weeks into their lessons: “How long will it take me to learn the drums?” The answer depends on what you aim to get out of drumming. When you’ve finished with drum lessons and you’ve achieved all the goals you set out at the start, you’ll be in a position to take forward your drumming under your own steam. If you would like to play violin professionally, you’ll have to commit to many years of hard work.
If you take violin lessons and practice four to five days a week, here is an estimated timeline to illustrate how long it takes to learn violin. This month, you’ll continue to develop basic skills, and you’ll become more comfortable holding your violin and bow. At this time, you should start using your left-hand fingers (1-3) to play notes other than open strings.
You’ll also learn about bow directions and markings (up bows and down bows), and learn about half notes and half rests. You’ll learn lots of new notes, including the notes on the D and A strings using fingers one, two, and three.
At this point, the range of songs you can play really opens up because you know so many notes and rhythms! You will continue developing your bowing technique. Your violin tone starts to improve, and you’ll learn about slurs and hooked bowing, as well as how to cross strings more proficiently.
By this time, you’ve probably finished your first beginner lesson book and have moved on to the next book in the series.
You’ll learn about more natural and flat notes with all four of your fingers, which allows you to play in keys other than D and A major. Slurs and hooked bows are common in your music, and you’re able to coordinate the bow with your fingers. You’ll learn all of the notes that you can play, in first position, including sharps, naturals, and flats, and you’ll learn how to bounce the bow and play faster with more accuracy.
In your third year, you’ll solidify all the notes in first position, and become comfortable playing in flat keys.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you’re pretty dedicated to the violin, and by now, you’re pretty good!
Now it’s time to learn about shifting into third position, which opens up the range of the violin, so you can play higher notes. You might also learn how to play with vibrato, which will give you a more sophisticated sound and greater range of musical expression.
You probably don’t need a beginner lesson book series anymore, and you can further your learning by working in scale, etude and solo repertoire books.


Well, it takes more than a couple minutes to learn to play, but it doesn’t take very long to learn the basics about how to get started playing the ukulele. If you can form simple chords, and you can strum, you can start playing songs you like to sing! Sometimes, a student will come to me and say something like, “I want to learn how to play ‘Flake’ by Jack Johnson on the ukulele.” It’s pretty easy to figure out how to teach them.
It’s helpful for me to know why you decided to play ukulele instead of say, the tuba, or saxophone, or mandolin, or something like that. Is strumming the thing that really perked your ears when you wanted to learn how to play the uke, or was it perhaps a fingerstyle player? If I can figure out what you will consider “playing the ukulele,” then it will help me get you to the point where you are “playing” the ukulele. Or, have you already started and you’re wondering if you’re really making progress?
I know that isn’t a very concrete answer, but the reasoning is simple; you get out of the guitar what you put in. Some of my students seem to learn new skills almost instantly, while others take a few days or weeks to really get it down. The best students I have had don’t worry about where they are compared to their peers, they have their own goals and reasons for playing guitar.
Enjoy live interaction and real-time performance with friendly teachers in a fun group setting. If you only want to get to grips with the basics and a few songs it might take a couple months, if you want to be confident enough to play in a band it might take a year or two. However, that’s not particularly helpful and it sounds a bit smug and it doesn’t answer what you clicked here to find out, so let’s instead offer a few practical tips on how you can manage for yourself how long it is going to take you to learn the drums. It may be that you want to achieve playing a few of your favourite songs on the drums, or to get proficient enough to jam in a band.
Discuss with your drum teacher to find out what steps are necessary to take in the short term (from week-to-week) and in the longer-term. When you feel like you haven’t made a lot of progress recently, check back over your original list of goals to remind yourself of what you’ve already achieved. By this time you may have an entirely new set of goals and you will have changed your perspective on drumming and music as a whole (or even on life itself!). The truth is, everyone learns at a different speed, so there’s no way to tell you exactly how long it will take you to learn. On the other hand, If you’re just looking to play for fun, or to join in at church or in a band with your friends, you can make a lot of progress towards your goal in three to five years. In your first month, you will be introduced to basic note reading, violin scales, and music theory.
You’ll develop the ability to pluck simple melodies, and gain greater control bowing open strings.
You’ll also learn to use your second finger to play F natural and C natural on the D and A strings. You might start learning basic classical solos meant to be performed with piano accompaniment, or get a book of music from your favorite movie or pop singer. The more time you dedicate to practicing the violin, the faster you can increase your skills and learn more music you love to play. Here you can see more information to compare costs and also read the customer reviews before you buy.
I had years of music lessons with a teacher that only taught me what she wanted me to play. He is the author of the Dead Man’s Tuning series of mandolin songbooks, and is a former member of the American Federation of Musicians. You can see direct results from hard work and practice on the guitar (or any instrument for that matter).
And that is the key; learn how to play guitar for yourself and you won’t ever feel like you are falling behind your peers.


There are variables such as how frequently you take lessons and how much you practice between lessons which will affect the amount of time it takes to reach your goals.
Over the years at Elephant Drums we’ve taught students from all walks of life with such diverse reasons for wanting to start learning drums. Your teacher will be able to provide feedback on your progress and help push you to achieve your goals. These new perspectives will set you up for the next step in your journey of lifelong learning.
If you need to invest in a violin, here are our picks for the best violin brands for beginners. You’ll also learn how to pluck and bow open strings, and learn about quarter notes and quarter rests.
You may still need help figuring them out, but with some practice, you can play lots of different songs. If you practice hard and stay dedicated to learning the violin, you can make a lot of progress in just a few years.
To stay motivated, keep this map where you can see it, so you can always keep your goals in sight. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. If I know that, or know the particular song you like, then it helps me narrow down what I should be teaching you. Is the player that inspires you someone who uses simple chords, complex chord voicings or are they more of a lead player? Willy has been teaching for 20 years, and his students have ranged in age from young children to folks in their 80’s.
Your guitar teacher can spend your 30 minute lesson showing you a new skill or technique on guitar and you can master it in your lesson, but if you don’t practice between lessons all of what you learned is lost. But all drummers who get to a certain level with their playing see drumming as a lifelong journey of constant learning. We’ve even taught someone that wanted to learn drums in order to surprise their partner on their wedding day by getting up on stage and playing in the band. Your teacher will also help you to develop strategies to monitor you own progress and be self-motivated in your practice time. To make this even more obvious, you could record some of your practice sessions with an audio recorder or a video camera. After that year look back on your goals and see how far you’ve come, you might just be amazed at the results.
In truth, no matter how long you’ve been playing, however expert you become, there will always be more to learn and discover. We’ve also taught people that wanted to learn to play rhythms in order to improve their understanding of other musical instruments that they were already reasonably proficient in playing.
It’s a little strange to watch or listen to yourself at first, but reviewing recordings is a great way to find your weak areas and improve them.
Plenty of people also start learning drums with the sole goal of wanting to do something fun, creative and inspiring and to see where it takes them.
When you take some time off, go back to lessons you’ve already worked through or songs you can play and remember what it feels like to be in the “comfort zone”. If you have good practice habits and you’re giving yourself quality practice time, you will be making progress. Sure you can take a few days off and you won’t go back to stage one, but if you aren’t practicing outside of your lesson time you won’t improve.



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