Am I too old to learn how to play guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by jakethesnake, May 14, 2011.

  1. Orange Lester

    Orange Lester Senior Member

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    I started in my late 30s after a failed attempt at age 12. I have played in 2 bands and its a part of my life. I practice about 90 minutes or so a day on average. It s my stress escape port of call
     
  2. ebn2002

    ebn2002 Junior Member

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    I started 2 years ago at 28. I can play better now than I EVER imagined I could. It really comes down to how much time you put in. In 2 years I have played the guitar everyday, weekdays for about 1-2 hours, and weekends usually about 4 hours per day.

    First couple months open chords were impossible. then it was barre chords are impossible. Then it was using my pinky while doing barre chords was impossible. Then slow solos were impossible. Then all along the watchtower was impossible.

    Now I can do all that, and it was impossible to me merely 1.5 years ago.

    In the beginning it is not fun, just get through the first year or so and it starts coming real quick. Once you can play a song all the way through, solo and all, the other songs just start getting easier and easier because most of it is repeated or similar.

    good luck!
     
  3. River

    River Senior Member

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    Good on you ebn. I still don't understand how any adult can not find the first year fun - I had a blast. But we're all different.
     
  4. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    This post was sweet and I can relate to the illness thing. I've been at home since last July and have been spending a lot of time relearning how to play.

    I started late as many others here did. I never started my own band until I was 39. But after that we starting gigging and having a blast!

    River was correct IMO to advise you to find a good teacher. This means different things to different people, but you know what you want out of this so just tell it to your teacher.

    Also, if you can find a band to play with or at least a decent drummer, this will help or it did for me. Playing in a band meant having to be responsible for learning songs and licks. I'm still a rhythm player at best, but I have had the experience of rocking out with a band in front of a cheering audience. It's almost more fun than getting laid. Learn some power chords that will get you through some simple songs.

    You mentioned you want to play some Clapton. When I started I wanted to play like Zappa. Neither may be a good choice unless you aren't easily discouraged. I got over it and still shake my head when I listen to Frank. Maybe you could shoot lower, learn 'Wild Thing' or something easier while keeping the 'Layla' riff on hold for a bit. I love the Ramones and while I still can't play exactly like Johnny, having to learn those fast changes really helped when I went to slower songs (though you can't sound like a chainsaw on EVERYTHING you play).

    Rock on brother:dude:
     
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  5. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    Never, the only limit is inside the human mind.....a lack of arms, hands or fingers could be a challenge but....If you have them, then............
     
  6. chrisuk

    chrisuk Senior Member

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    That's good advice - find stuff that is fun to play at your level as you go and don't be obsessed with some test piece you may be able to play in 5 years time.

    I have been helping my wife learn bass guitar and she wanted to play quite complicated glam rock songs. I had to get her round to trying basic 12 bar blues shuffles with the drum machine and me on 6 string but she has found that a lot of fun.
     
  7. scottaleger

    scottaleger Junior Member

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  8. GySgtFTL

    GySgtFTL Senior Member

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    I'm 53 and picked up my first guitar back in January. I'm taking a lesson each week and absolutely love it. I stink at it but that's okay. It's challenging, rewarding and discouraging all at the same time. Kind of like golf in that sense! While competitive sports are pretty much over for me, learning guitar allows me to continue to be challenged and grow. A major hurdle for me was the fact that I have NEVER taken any music classes. So when I was told that there are only 12 notes I wanted to know why just 12; why not 18 or 50 or ...etc. General music theory and knowledge is confusing to me but I am learning.
    I had always enjoyed music and admired those who could play it but it was my son who finally got me to take the plunge. He wanted to learn some songs before he went to college next year so we made a pact to learn together. I bought a Washburn acoustic that we were planning to share but it was not long before I had to have a Fender Strat and then a Gibson LP studio. It works great because he's into acoustic guitar and Christian music and I'm trying to bang out Cream and Zep. We sort of bounce things off each other as we learn new things.
    Like you, I wish I had started playing at age five but I'll take what I can get now and just be glad I did not wait any longer to start.
    Good luck. You're never too old.
     
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  9. Mouse2112

    Mouse2112 Member

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    Thanks Man, Yeah....it's kind of trying on me though but I keep at it. Spent a couple of days in the Hospitty last week and my wife brought me all my guitar lesson notes and she made me a diagram of the Fretboard. Why you ask? Well, she thought...:"You know...you might as well learn where all those damn notes are." So I did that. I am learning that the guitar is keeping me focused and it's keeping my mind busy so I dont get all depressed when I start thinking about Med issues.

    And that my friends is a very good thing.

    ROCK ON BRO!!! :dude:
     
  10. cybercat639

    cybercat639 Junior Member

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    I'm 45 and I started playing 2 months ago..Try devoting an hour each night to practice. I'm actually finishing some songs on the acoustic, and can play some cool riffs on my elec. All you tube tought, and some other internet lessons. :hmm:2 hours in 2 months?? Try 9pm to 10pm every night. Most of all have fun. SO, no, your not to old!
     
  11. carydad

    carydad Senior Member

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    I learn every day.

    Thanks to things like youtube, vanderbilly, guitarpro etc, it is easier now than it ever was to learn to play-and more fun. When I started(13), I would watch my friends band practice and then go home and try to copy what they were doing. I also spent a lot of time abusing my cheap tape player and wrecking my brothers records.

    Now you can slow things down digitally, loop them infinitely, or cut to the chase and watch some guy walk you through it note for note. I also never took lessons until my 20s...now the web is crawling with free lessons.

    I really do learn something every day. One thing that remains true to this day-the faster you start playing with other people-the faster you will get better.
     
  12. nutsauce

    nutsauce Senior Member

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    I started playing drums at 10 but didn't pick up guitar until I was in my 40's. My goal is just to have fun and be a really solid rhythm player though. No delusions of being Beck or anything.
     
  13. fabcan

    fabcan Junior Member

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    As my first post I thought I would tell my little story. 14 year old son plays video games, Guitar Hero being one of them. Metallica disc comes out and now both of us are playing it. We invested so much time into that game that I finally told him we might as well learn to play real guitars. That was back in January 2011, he doesn't play as much as I do (still likes his video games), but a few days a week we sit in the basement and play our guitars.He tells me I am getting better and I get to show him that practice pays off,even though I still suck. I am 40 with really bad hands (seeing a specialist next week) and even if I never learn to play I will still keep trying,it's good therapy for the mind and body.
     
  14. 12watt

    12watt Senior Member

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    If you are still breathing then you aren't too old.
     
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  15. 12watt

    12watt Senior Member

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    THIS is what music is really about!

    The music business has alienated so many people from the experience of playing music with others. The notional 'rock star' has made late adopters of the guitar seem a bit weird and those that persist into adulthood without fame come off as mildly deluded.
     
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  16. chrisuk

    chrisuk Senior Member

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    For most of us the value of guitar will always be in the process not the output. Too many adults give up on things that involve learning. Learning is intrinsically good for us.
     
  17. fabcan

    fabcan Junior Member

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    I have a bad habbit of telling people that every day you don't learn something is a day that wasn't worth living. And thanks to 12watt for "gettin it".
     
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  18. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    Welcome to MLP and good point. :thumb:
    That's been my mantra for years. With the internet there is no excuse.
    Today I learned why the British drive on the left side of the road. :cool:
     
  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Hey, Lester, its never "too late". Handle your business and do what you do. This ain't a competition, and you don't get penalized for a late start. :thumbs:

    I started playing at 13, and I'm still not where I want to be. That's the beauty of it -- it's an adventure that never ends.
     
  20. 12watt

    12watt Senior Member

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    So our sword hand is free - rarely useful these days, but you never know.

    Spiral staircases in fortifications rise clockwise for the same reason.

    I always thought the US drove on the right because they were cosying up to the aristocrat truncating French but it seems there was a more practical and mundane reason...
     

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