Why Is Guitar So Hard? (11 Reasons Why)

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Freya Crawford

Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

Playing the guitar can be a gratifying experience, but it can also be hard – especially if you’re not used to it.

The guitar is one of the most difficult instruments to learn to play. This article will explore 11 reasons why playing the guitar is so hard.

Why Is Guitar So Hard?

1. Physical Complexity

You are doing things with your hands and fingers that you’re not used to. The main reason the guitar is so hard is that it is a complex instrument.

It has multiple strings, each with its note, and each string needs to be pressed in the right spot on the fretboard to produce the correct sound.

Additionally, various techniques and hand-eye coordination are needed to play the guitar effectively.

If playing the guitar is something you’re interested in exploring, be sure to give it a try – there’s no doubt it can be a challenging but rewarding experience.

2. Practice Is Painful

The guitar is hard because you build up calluses on your fingers when you first start. As a result, the strings can be painful.

As you practice more, your fingers will become more used to the feeling of the strings, but practicing can be very painful in the beginning.

Many people give up on guitar during this time because they can’t overcome the pain. However, working through the pain can help you successfully learn guitar.

It would be best if you built up calluses on your fingers to endure the rough strings, and you also need to build strength in your fingers.

This is a painful but rewarding process, one reason why the guitar is so hard. Musicians who keep at it will improve over time.

3. Mental Complexity

Reading music is like learning a new language. For example, many people find it hard to learn how to play the guitar because of the mental complexity involved in reading and playing music.

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Playing music is an abstract concept, and the guitar does not have straightforward notes like a piano or other instrument with keys.

A guitarist must be able to move their hands and fingers independently of one another and read music simultaneously. This requires a lot of mental effort.

Some people do not have the coordination or mental capacity to play the guitar. The guitar is so hard because it is a complex instrument.

4. Memorizing Chords Is Hard

Remembering frets and finger positions can be hard. Memorizing chords on the guitar is difficult because of the complexity of the instrument.

There are many different strings, fret, and finger positions to memorize, in conjunction with various combinations of notes and chords, which makes the guitar so hard.

The good thing is that the more you play, the easier it will become to remember chords. But unfortunately, memorizing chords is hard, which is why playing guitar is so hard.

5. Scales Are Intimidating

Playing the guitar is tricky because the scale system is so intimidating. In addition, every time you pick up the instrument, you must remember a bunch of new notes.

Along with chords, learning different scales on the guitar can be challenging to memorize. You also have to practice transitioning between chords and scales.

This can be daunting for beginner guitar players. However, with some practice, you’ll be able to learn and play these scales without any trouble.

6. Theory Is Boring

Theory Is Boring 

Foundational lessons like music theory are often dull. So the approach is learning about music theory, which can be incredibly helpful when playing the guitar.

Understanding music theory can teach you how to read music, craft your melodies, and play chords correctly.

If you’re not interested in learning theory, that’s okay. But don’t discount its importance – it can help you improve as a guitarist.

7. Playing Songs Is Hard

Just getting to the point of playing a song is difficult. Playing songs is problematic because it takes a lot of practice and skill to be able to play the guitar like a professional.

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A challenge that you will face when you start playing songs is learning how to fingerpick. This skill involves holding each string with one finger and picking it up with the other hand.

Fingerpicking can be difficult at first, but it will become easier with enough practice. If you want to become a better guitarist, then you need to invest in quality lessons.

8. Keeping A Beat Is Hard

Learning how to keep time with the music is difficult. There are a lot of different techniques that a guitarist needs to know to keep a beat and play along with other musicians.

If you’re not used to playing by ear, then learning how to keep a beat can be difficult. Some people don’t realize how hard it is to stay in rhythm.

One way to help improve your timing is to use a metronome. This device will help you stay on time by providing a consistent beat.

When you’re practicing, set the metronome at a slow speed and gradually increase the tempo as you become more comfortable with the song.

9. Guitar Is Different

The guitar is hard because it is different from other instruments. One of the main reasons why it is so hard to play guitar is that it is a  string instrument.

Unlike a piano or even a trumpet or saxophone, a guitar relies on the player holding the right string on the right fret and strumming with the correct technique.

Piano and other instruments have one key and one place for a note to come from. In addition, guitars have a variety of combinations to hit a note or chord.

The abstract placement of fingers and technique in strumming makes the guitar so hard. There’s not a set key to press. Instead, it’s a combination of factors to hit a note.

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10. Tuning The Guitar

Playing the guitar is hard for many reasons. One of the most common problems is that guitars are not tuned properly.

To keep your guitar in tune, you need to tune it regularly. Tuning can be a pain, but it’s essential for keeping the sound quality.

The guitar is hard because sometimes you don’t know when it’s out of tune. Beginners can’t hear how “off” the notes sound. This can lead to inconsistent sounds coming from the guitar.

Guitars constantly need to be tuned, which is why it’s a hard instrument to learn. You’re not just learning how to play but also how to keep it sound good.

11. Consistent Practice

Playing the guitar is hard because it requires consistent practice. Very few people can pick up a guitar and play right away.

This is because guitar practice also requires you to get calluses on your fingers to play properly. You only get calluses from practice.

Playing the guitar is one of the most rewarding activities, but it can be hard work if you don’t practice consistently.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Stairway to Heaven is the forbidden riff, why singing is so hard, and why music is so powerful.


These 11 reasons explain why the guitar is so hard. However, with a little bit of practice, you can improve your skills on the guitar.

Learning to play the guitar requires patience and perseverance. If you want to become a better guitarist, start by practicing regularly and working hard to perfect your skills.


  • Freya Crawford

    Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

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