how hard is it to learn to play the guitar?
Learning anything depends on the person. Each person has a different level of difficulty for learning different things. Some people find it easy to pick up playing the guitar while others require extensive lessons and years of practice to be able to play even the simplest things. In any case, to make the process easier for you I would check out the local music store and see what their rates are for guitar lessons. Not only because a professional instructs you, but because you learn more than just doing it yourself (there's nothing wrong with it because that's how I learned how to play) like how to read music and tabs etc..
However, if you do plan to do it yourself, start off on an acoustic guitar. I found this out the hard way. Electric guitar strings are easier on the fingers to play or "softer" than an acoustic. So if you learn how to play on an electric and decide to try playing acoustic, you'll rip your fingertips to bits. So play on an acoustic (it doesn't have to be a really expensive one either) and get your fingers callused so that you're better able to play (and yes, that process will be uncomfortable).
Also, try squeezing a tennis ball in your hands daily for a few minutes as an exercise. This will strengthen your hand and give you a little more power when it comes time to do some heavy fret work.
Good Luck and if you have any more questions feel free to funmail me =]
I discourage lessons, at first. You should learn to physically play the guitar. Simply get a few chord diagrams of the internet, and if you must, get a few song tabs. Plenty of people will teach you to read tab. Then after you've learnt a few songs and you can play a few chords, seek lessons. Guitar teachers are more intent on teaching the theory side of music, for eg. Scales, intervals, modes, notation etc... And when beginners get this stuff thrown straight at them, they easily become bored and discouraged. After a while of playing stuff you taught yourself, you'll actually want to learn theory. And believe it or not, you'll get bored of learning songs by tab that other artists have already created, and you'll start writing your own stuff. So buy a cheap guitar and stink it up! (untill you get good ;)
you can start by learning a few chords... from a chord book or friend or songbook. Simple songs with a few chords. It will take a while for your fingers to get used to playing them, and changing will come slowly, but as long as you practice every day, twice a day is good, then you will get the hang of it within a month.
Also, learn a few basic scales, and practice them over and over again, slowly and perfectly, until you are able to play them quickly without error.
Your fingertips will build up callouses and you're on your way.
It depends on how far you want to take it. I had a college roomate that played guitar who taught me a few chords so I could strum several tunes. Learning a little bit of guitar for fun isn't that difficult.
nero's advice is good, get some lessons. I know several people who always wanted to learn to play guitar and started taking lessons as adults and really enjoyed it. Find a good teacher and chunk out some time for practice and I think you'll be amazed at how quicky you progress.
like another guy said, kinda depends on the person, I myself have been struggling trying to play guitar for over 2 years now, yet I was able to play viola fairly easily from day one when I first started it waaay back in 3rd grade(I took viola pretty much till my last day of high school)
what I really struggle with on guitar is trying to fast switch between all the chords...
Depends how far you want to go. The basics are simple, however once you get into more advanced techniques you will more than likely have to put in a lot of effort in order to improve.
I suppose you will want to start with a beginner guitar and decide later if you like playing it or not.
yeah guitar is easy look for simple songs. learnthe basic chords fool around. personally I took it in school. I learned basic methods that work like the 1-5-4 method of chirds. learn with easy songs. if you want to she hates me by puddle of mudd is very easy for tabs
its really easy just get a cheapish guitar (acoustic) and learn some chords. then start linking them to make riffs. then take some lessons and buy urself a decent guitar (thats what I did 5 months ago and now I play lead in a band)
Acoustic stuff is easy to learn...it can take you up to 4 months then you'd be pretty good...but if you play electric stuff things might get insane after a while...
not all of it.