How Good Should I Be at Guitar After 2 Years? A Realistic Roadmap

As an aspiring guitar maestro with two years of practice under your belt, you might be wondering where you should be on the skill spectrum. The question “how good should I be at guitar after 2 years?” is a common one that man players ask themselves.

It’s essential to set realistic expectations while maintaining a determined attitude to stay motivated on your musical journey. In this comprehensive article, I will show you what you should know and be able to do after two years of average practice time on the guitar.

What “Average Practice” Means

To set the context, it’s crucial to understand what I mean by “average practice time” when learning guitar. For most people, this translates to around 30 minutes of dedicated practice per day, five days a week. Of course, individual practice habits vary, and some may be more or less consistent, but this is the baseline I’ll use for this discussion.

I hope that you have spent the last 2 years playing guitar on a daily basis and enjoyed it enough to keep learning!

Chord Knowledge After 2 Years of playing guitar

Chord Knowledge After 2 Years

Basic Open Chords

After two years of consistent practice, you should be able to play all the basic open chords (major, minor, and dominant 7th) fluently. Mastering these foundational chords is critical, as they form the building blocks of many popular songs. Practice transitioning between these chords smoothly, without any noticeable pauses or fumbling.

Barre Chords

In addition to open chords, a guitarist with two years of experience should have a solid grasp of barre chords. Barre chords allow you to play chords all across the fretboard by barring your index finger across multiple strings. By moving the shape up and down the neck, you can play any major or minor chord, giving you greater freedom and versatility. Can’t get far without knowing your chords and barre chords, and by 2 years you should be a master of both.

Chord Variations

By the two-year mark, you should also be familiar with various chord variations and extensions, such as 9th, 11th, and 13th chords, as well as suspended and diminished chords. These chord types add depth and sophistication to your playing and open up new possibilities for songwriting and improvisation. You might not be a master of all of these variations, but by 2 years you should know some of them, maybe the famous Jimi Hendrix chord?

Scales and Chords after 2 years of playing

Scales After 2 Years of Playing

Pentatonic Scales

Guitarists with two years of experience should have a firm understanding of the major and minor pentatonic scales. These five-note scales form the basis for countless solos and melodies in various genres, from rock and blues to country and jazz. Be able to play these scales across the entire fretboard, and understand how they relate to the chords you’re playing. Knowing the pentatonic scales is invaluable to improvisation and jamming with your friends!

Blues Scale

The blues scale is a modified version of the minor pentatonic scale, with an additional “blue” note. This scale is essential for any guitarist looking to play blues, rock, or jazz. Practice this scale in different keys and positions on the fretboard to develop your ability to improvise and create authentic-sounding blues solos. Knowing the pentatonic scale and the blues scale are essential for any beginner guitarist, and by 2 years you should have practice jamming with these scales either with backing tracks or with your friends.

Strumming and picking skills after 2 years of playing guitar

Strumming and Picking Skills

Alternate Picking

After two years of practice, you should have developed proficiency in alternate picking. This technique involves using a consistent down-up-down-up picking pattern, which increases your playing speed and efficiency. Focus on maintaining a steady rhythm and clean articulation while using alternate picking.

Palm Muting

Palm muting is a technique used in various music genres to create a muted, percussive sound. By resting the edge of your picking hand on the strings near the bridge, you can control the amount of sustain and create rhythmic accents. Two years into your guitar journey, you should be able to use palm muting effectively in your playing. Most riffs you play from your favorite rock and metal bands utilize palm muting and therefore by 2 years you should have learned some of these along the way!


Fingerpicking is a technique that involves plucking the strings with your fingers rather than using a pick. This method is commonly used in folk, country, and classical music and can add a delicate, intricate touch to your playing. After two years, you should have a basic understanding of fingerpicking patterns and techniques. This is especially true if you have been learning acoustic guitar!

A repertoire to impress

Repertoire and Ear Training

Diverse Selection of Songs

Your repertoire should consist of a diverse selection of songs and styles after 24 months of strumming and shredding. Aim to have at least 10-15 songs under your belt, covering different genres, tempos, and techniques. This impressive repertoire will not only boost your confidence but also showcase your abilities when playing with others or performing in front of an audience. When family members ask “play something”, make sure to have a good song under your belt to putt out at the right occasion.

Soloing and Improvisation

In addition to learning songs, it’s essential to develop your soloing and improvisation skills. Spend time practicing solos from your favorite songs and experimenting with creating your own. Improvisation is a crucial skill for any guitarist, allowing you to express yourself freely and adapt to different musical situations. Utilizing the blues and pentatonic scales I discussed above, jamming should become easier and easier as you progress.

Ear Training

Developing your ear is an integral part of becoming a well-rounded guitarist. After two years, you should be able to recognize and replicate basic melodies and chord progressions by ear. This skill will make it easier to learn new songs and enable you to play along with other musicians without needing sheet music or tabs. The best way to get you there that is often ignored is: tune your guitar by ear. By doing this for 2 years you should have a much more developed ear.

How Much Theory You Should Know

Key Signatures and Chord Construction

While not every guitarist delves into music theory, understanding the basics can significantly enhance your playing. After two years, you should be familiar with concepts like key signatures and chord construction. This knowledge will help you better comprehend the music you’re playing and make it easier to learn new songs and techniques. What makes an Am an Am, how to change it to a A major. Well, you should have a basic understanding of all this by 2 years.

Chord Progressions and Harmony

After two years, you should have a basic understanding of chord progressions and harmony. When I say basic I mean it. Harmony is not easy to learn for a beginner without guidance, but by learning songs for 2 years, you should have a much better understanding of chord progressions than you did at the start.

Developing your unique sound

Developing Your Unique Sound

Tone and Gear

As you progress in your guitar journey, you’ll start to develop a sense of your unique sound and tone preferences. Spend time experimenting with different types of guitars, amplifiers, and effects pedals to find the combination that best suits your style. Additionally, learn how to dial in your desired tone using your gear’s settings.

Playing Style and Techniques

Your playing style is an essential aspect of your identity as a guitarist. After two years, you should have a solid foundation in various techniques and be able to incorporate them into your playing. Develop your unique style by combining these techniques and drawing inspiration from your favorite guitarists. Its time to learn to become your own star!

Songwriting and Composition

Another way to develop your unique sound is through songwriting and composition. Start by writing simple chord progressions and melodies, and gradually work your way up to more complex arrangements. This creative process will help you hone your skills and establish your voice as a guitarist. Use what you have learned when practicing songs from your favorite artists to shape your own style of songwriting. Do more of what you like, and less of what you don’t!

the verdict on how good should I be at guitar after 2 years

The Verdict

The question, “how good should I be at guitar after 2 years?” is subjective and depends on factors like practice time, dedication, and natural ability. However, with an average practice schedule, you should be a confident and capable guitarist, proficient in chords, scales, techniques, and theory. I hope this article helped you by detailing all the skills a guitar player with 2 years under their belt should know. Remember, the key to improvement is consistency, patience, and enjoying the process. I included a YouTube video as a skill check to see where you stand with your guitar playing. I hope you find it helpful. Thank you and keep strumming!

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