(Original post by TheCount.)
What methods are most effective to self teach guitar?
Books? Video's? or is a teacher the only effective means?
Also, how long would It take to become quite fluent?
(this post is based on Acoustic-- start with Acoustic, never Electric unless you are
you want to learn how to play guitar and you are going to keep on doing it.)
The most effective way to learn how to play the guitar is through playing it.
It's obvious but it'll teach you more than a book or a video could ever do. The only thing on the same level as learing purely by playing and listening by ear to the sounds you are producing is a tutor who can pull you up on when and where you're going wrong and what you can to do to improve and get back on track.
I've used books and booklets and vids but it truely is through playing the guitar and getting a feel for it and just constatly, constantly, CONSTANLY
playing that you will get anywhere near passable. Don't even think you will be competent until you get to the point where you do become competent without even thinking it.
Generally, it'll take a few days of playing to get an understand of how to hold your guitar in a way that suits you best. From that, it'll take about just under a week to understand how to properly strum and then about another week's worth to understand how to put pressure down on the frets. Your fingers will hurt (yes, hurt, not sting) during this perod. They will hurt and this is a good this. This hurt is your fingertips developing callouses which will enable you strum for longer, with more power and faster than you would have been able to previously
After this, it'll take a few weeks before you are able to strum out some simple chords in order. Usually, these will be Major chords, following Cs and Ds, sometimes even As and Es and then most people learn to do Gs fairly quickly to-- and let's not leave out Bs, of course!
During this time, you'll notice that your fingers will have mind of their own, becoming more flexible in your left hand (if frets-- reverse roles to suit) and your right hand will become more finely tuned to the level where you can noticeably strum and pick better than before.
Ah, that's also worth mentioning. During the next couple of months or so, you should be learning how to pick as well as strum. You should to play appaggio (misspelt, someone correct me, please?) and strum upside with your fingers but you'll find you'll do it like you were picking the strings in reverse but with your backs of your fingertips rather than the front. It's weird way of playing the guitar at first but it becomes natural fairly quickly.
Apart from that, I can't say any more because the experience can wildly differ, but those are usually the first few months of a general guy's/girl's attempt to self-learn the guitar. It may differ for some but for most, the timeline will be roughly the same as that. Oh, and don't worry, your body will develop a natural sense of rhythm and you may find that when you listen to guitar again, you are able to understand it much better and then music in general. It's all part of being able to play an instrument, heh heh.