Am I too old to learn how to play guitar?

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

  1. LiveOak

    LiveOak Senior Member

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    As long as you don't have any issues with your fingers or joints, i.e., the mechanical side of things, the only thing holding you back from being a kick butt player is the time you must put into practicing and learning to play. Be on fire with your desire to get really great at playing your guitar. Get a good teacher and do what they say, learn and grow.
     
  2. 12watt

    12watt Senior Member

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    Even if you do have finger problems, there is always slide or creativity with open tuning. I've seen guys without arms playing with their feet. Where there's a will there's a way.
     
  3. InkedLester

    InkedLester Drippin with Blues Blood

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    I've dabbled on and off for 30 years and just started taking lessons and getting serious at age 42! You're never too old! What are your goals? Play some songs? Jam with friends? Be in a band? Just have some fun by yourself? Get a good teacher, compile that with other resources like online videos, books and DVDs, and devote at least 30 minutes a day to keep those fingers moving and in a year or two you'll be 10 times better than you are now.
     
  4. JohnAng

    JohnAng Junior Member

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    42 here also and just took it up.
    Never too old i say.
    I am enjoying learning, even though i suck at it at the moment. But i just keep practicing, practicing, practicing.............
    Some days when i am home alone, i can just sit with the guitar for hours on end, making all sorts of horrible sounds.
    Eventually something sounds good and you have this WOW sensation, which then makes you want to keep going.
    I am going to start taking lessons once i find a good teacher in my area.
     
  5. Nicky

    Nicky On The Road Less Traveled Premium Member

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    I started 4 yeas ago at age 51. I have all sorts of physical issues with arthritis and joint pain in my hands. Hasn't stopped me. I'm a lousy guitarist, and damn proud of it!:dude:
     
  6. Pickens Slim

    Pickens Slim Member

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    I started exactly 1 year ago at 50. I've loved every minute of it, even though it's been very frustrating. You have to want it. When I started, my pinky would not move independently from my ring finger. That's been solved. I still can't play a G chord because my middle finger keeps hitting the E string.

    I practice scales or chord progressions for at least 30 minutes a night and fingering for another 30. The past two weeks it's been bass runs and double stops. If I don't get practice in on a particular day it irks me.

    It has to be fun and not work. Keep your eye on the prize.

    Slim
     
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  7. Hotspur

    Hotspur Senior Member

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    28 isn't too old.

    I agree with everyone who said take lessons. Look, if you have a friend who plays who's happy to jam around with you and show you stuff, that's a great way to go for a couple of months. But then get lessons. Even if it's just for three months, it'll help you.
     
  8. Roberteaux

    Roberteaux GOOMPH! V.I.P. Member

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    You'll do fine, so long as you're willing to practice. I am 53 years old and started playing last October and am making progress enough to be pleased with myself. I can actually play some simple songs and riffs now.

    I play for about one to two hours daily, and have an on-again, off-again guitar instructor helping me along. The teacher helped quite a bit.

    Best of luck!

    --R
     
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  9. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    The simple answer is that's it's never too late, but it's all according to how much time you have to put into it and how far you want to go.

    Younger kids are ok and learn pretty quickly for the simple reason all they have is their dick to keep. Mum does everything else including putting out supper and all they need to do is walk downstairs.. No bills.. Job etc.
    With the best intention in the world, the older person generally can't commit themselves half as much.
    You go out to work... Your work phones you.. Your wife wants you to get this. You have to go out to dinner on Thursday. The bills are late in paying.. The fridge has just broken..The kids have to be put to bed..etc etc etc etc....The list goes on.

    In other words pressures of everyday life are far more difficult and complex than the average 14 year old.

    This is one aspect most people don't take into account, but having taught guitar with over 30,000 hours full time teaching experience , I see it every week as regular as clockwork..
    To be very good you basically have to be a selfish bastard.and live eat and crap guitars to the detriment of nearly all else.
    Most marriages wouldn't last five minutes if you came home from work.. Had your dinner then locked yourself away in your bedroom for the next four hours. ( Which is basically what most teenagers do if not studying ).
    So the truthful answer to your question is , you get out of it simply what you put into it.
     
  10. ysottot

    ysottot Member

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    I'm 59. Played on and off (Mostly off), with about 20 years that I didn't touch my guitar, since I was 16. Never really learned anything. 3 years ago I started to play again and took some lessons last year. Now I have 8 guitars and love to play. You're never too old.
     
  11. Eric Smith

    Eric Smith Senior Member

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    Every time I see this theard I wonder what you would do if everyone said yes.

    I officially started about 10 years ago and I'm 41. My suggestion is to start by learning chords first so that you can actually start playing songs that you can recognize as songs. That being said, do not stop working on theory and individual note exercises or you will be sorry. I know that I am.
     
  12. VulturePenguin

    VulturePenguin Member

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    As already stated justin guitar is an absolutely awesome website! I've started playing guitar about 6 weeks ago and am absolutely loving it! Good exercises are ones where you can visibly see yourself improve. For instance try doing as many chord changes from E to D in a minute and note how many you do. Then go away, come back and try it again. First time I managed about 20. A week later I was at about 60 and seeing that improvement gave me a HUGE amount of encouragement. Keep it up!
     
  13. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    I'm 48, and I'm just starting (2 months now). Granted I played various brass instruments from age 7 on up. That helps a little. But, you have to want to do it. I find myself thinking "I don't wanna work, I just wanna strum on my guitar all day" most days.
     
  14. Sean0913

    Sean0913 Member

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    One of my online students out of Dallas is 91, and a retired doctor. He's started playing 2 years ago. You're too old when you are dead. Go have fun.

    Best,

    Sean
     
  15. zeronalo

    zeronalo Senior Member

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    41 yo here who picked up a guitar for the first time 2 months ago. I went and bought a Taylor Big Baby, then a Epi Sheraton and small amp and disappeared into the back bedroom. I watch almost no TV now. Take one lesson a week and practice about 5 nights a week for an hour or more. When I signed up for lessons and had to spend one class being taught how to use my left hand properly and that my pinkie was there for a reason.

    I see progress but can't play anything fast enough yet - but as long as there is progress I'm happy.

    freddy
     
  16. outskirts of infinity

    outskirts of infinity Senior Member

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    There are certain advantages to learning guitar when you are older.

    I first started playing guitar when I was younger, and just started playing again after a number of years away from guitar.

    I didn't have the maturity, self-discipline, or the patience then that I do now. Previously, I never did any finger exercises. Now I do them, and actually enjoy doing them, and in a single month I have noticed significant improvement.

    I used to never use my pinky for anything but chords. In the span of a single month, my pinky is right in there with the rest of them - I'm even doing bends with my pinky (something I never thought would be possible).
     
  17. DaveGH

    DaveGH Senior Member

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    I kind of agree, there are advantages to learning now in my 40's. It is what it is. After learning a few chords around 13 I put it down and went on my way. 21 years ago I bought a Yamaha classical (G-225) at a yard sale for $40. So it sat for about 19 years. 2 1/2 years ago I MADE A DECISION to learn guitar. I lfound a teacher in his 20's trained in jazz, flamenco. He knew I grew up on Zeppelin, Rush, Floyd etc and that I wanted to play lead. It has gone much better than I expected! I'm close to knowing all the notes on the fretboard, practicing arpeggios and reverse arpeggios, triads and other stuff... I knew NONE of it before. I agree that there's peaks and valleys, not a consistent thing. One of the best things he told me early was that I might get 10%, more will be revealed as we go and this has kind of proven true. With a good teacher I am more able to relax and trust in the process. I've even played in some jam sessions and hold my own. Remember that everything starts with the major scale.
     
  18. Manning

    Manning Banned

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    Heck no you are not too old! You are never too old. I for one do not want to get to the end of my life and be full of regrets over the things I never got around to doing. That is when it is too late. Enjoy the process of learning how to play and making music! We are all still learning how to play guitar, no matter how long each of us has been playing, right?!
     
  19. bsm9981

    bsm9981 Senior Member

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    30 years old and just started about 3 months ago. Actually just got finished with my practice session at 1:00am, I work full time, have a wife, and a 2 year old son. It can be done. No matter what, just enjoy it, the first time I actually made music, I nearly fell over LOL. I am loving it. I have no intentions of a professional carear, its a great hobby and get away for me. I just love music, and I can't sing, so might as well jam a little on the guitar. Have fun.
     
  20. jobryan26

    jobryan26 Senior Member

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    I am 38 and just started playing about 9 mths ago. Even if I do not feel like playing (which is rare) I pickup my guitar for at least 15min everyday. What is awesome is when I put the guitar in my hands and look back at the clock that 15min has turned into 30, 45, or even 60+min. There is just so much enjoyment, expression, and connection that takes place when you are playing. One of my biggest fears was wondering if it was just a phase of wanting to learn, would I stick with it? I have come to not only love playing but also tinkering around with them. So far in 9mths I can play Def Leppard - Hysteria, Photograph, Rock of Ages, Armageddon It, 38 Special - Hold on Loosely, Jeremy Camp - Tonight, Hillsong - Mighty to Save, and Inside Out from beginning of the song to the end. Now for the bad part THIS STUFF IS ADDICTIVE!! Now, what was one of my fears has turned into another kind of fear.. I can't stop buying guitars!!! lol I now have 3 Les Pauls, 2 Strats, and a Taylor Acoustic.:hyper: The constant changing between guitars also helps keep the interest going so that's my excuse for trading or buying new stuff.:D
     
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