Am I too old to learn how to play guitar?

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

  1. chromehunter

    chromehunter Senior Member

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    I just turned 44 and I never intended to learn to play guitar. It all started a little over a year ago when my wife bot a Fender Strat. and a little Voxs amp. Myself being a Cabinet maker and Carpenter for 23 years I thought to myself after looking over her new strat. ( I can build that shit ).So I started off on a journey to build a guitar having most the tools and wood laying around. I chose to build a LP Custom Black Beauty because they looked way cool to me and in the course of building it I thought to myself ( I should learn to pluck this thing ) so that when I’m done I can set it up properly. So I started learning cords on my wife’s old Yamaha acoustic and must admit it is addicting and I just learned my fist song House of the rising sun by the Animals. I may never get really good at it because I'm a builder at heart but I’m going to keep at it and see where it goes. The Les Paul is almost done and can't wait to start building the next one a Gibson L4 Archtop for the old lady and the list goes on and on.[​IMG]
     
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  2. Mouse2112Fan

    Mouse2112Fan Guest

    Dear "Mouse":
    Thank you for posting this reply. After finding out about your passing this past weekend, this post helps answer some questions - mainly the "WTH????" question I asked when I heard the news today.... This post tells me that you had recently found out you were pretty sick, and that it was bad - and you knew it.
    I already miss you, and I know of others who are missing you, too.
    You ROCK!
    Hugs always from "NN"
     
  3. cybercruiser

    cybercruiser Junior Member

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    Oh MAN, I'm screwed then, I just started a month ago(2nd time, first attempt was about 13 years ago), and I'm 45, is there no hope?!?!?!!?
     
  4. McCloud9

    McCloud9 Senior Member

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    Chromehunter, all I can say about that guitar you built is WOW! If your talent / ability / gift for learning how to play guitar are anything like your ability to build one then I'd say you're going to be in business in no time! That guitar looks amazing! Good job!!!
     
  5. Elcooperino

    Elcooperino Junior Member

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    i would say you can start learning at 8 or 80 , it really doesnt matter how old you are just how much determination you have. i wouldnt worry to much about your little finger i know my dexterity was appauling in it when i started still not the best but it has improved just make sure you dont neglect it use it as much as possible excercising it will improve your dexterity.

    As far as books and videos go i would highly recomend this website Free guitar lessons : Complete Beginners Method and loads of Blues, Jazz and rock : Learn how to play Guitar free here! its made by a talented guitarist and guitar tutor call justin sandercore. it has a complete beginners course to get you goin and its completely free , although it says if possible donate but that is obviously an option. well i hope you start to put some effort in and learn good luck man :)
     
  6. Eric Smith

    Eric Smith Senior Member

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    So has the OP started learning to play yet? I mean if takes any longer, he's going to be too old to start learning.
     
  7. old mark

    old mark Senior Member

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    Jake, I thought I was too old at 15, so I got a bass and took lessons for a few months on that. I learned a lot about music, eventually bought a few guitars, and have been playing both instruments ever since...this was in 1963. I started playing in bar bands at age 15, and played for money for almost 20 years.

    Today is my 64th birthday, and I'm still learning, although I also play harmonica and was a singer for about 15 years, and I'm starting to learn keyboards.

    2 hours total practice time is hardly enough to learn how to tune it...If you want to play, take time and learn.
    If you really hate to practice, you won't ever learn to play.

    mark
     
  8. MCAN

    MCAN Senior Member

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    You're never too old. I'm teaching my 57(?) year old uncle to play
     
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  9. Deguello

    Deguello Senior Member

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    I taught my grandfather to play guitar.
    I was 14, he was 60
     
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  10. Luther Perkins

    Luther Perkins Junior Member

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    Hello, I have been listening to Johnny Cash for years. But, for the past 6-12 months, I have really appreciated and paid special attention to Cash' lead guitarist - Luther Perkins. It is because of Luther that I have decided to start learning guitar. The problem is that i am 45 years old. I know folks are nice and encouraging by saying that 45 years old is not too old, but are people being honest? Can I really learn how to play like Luther Perkins?

    Should i buy an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar? If i go electric, i will probably buy a Fender because that i what Luther used. The notes sound so bright. Is that a Fender sound or can those bright notes be generated on other guitars? Luther played a Fender Esquire. His guitar was recently sold at Christie's auction house for 75K (see link). I would like to buy a guitar that has the ability to mimic Luther's bright notes. Obviously i cant spend 75K on a guitar, but i can spend around $300-500 to get the right guitar to learn on (can i buy a Fender for this price?). If I get good and really prove to myself that i can do it, i will treat myself to a more expensive guitar.
    http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5273112

    [​IMG]
     
  11. McCloud9

    McCloud9 Senior Member

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    I am 54 years old. I started playing guitar 15 months ago. I had always wanted to learn, then one day I heard a friend of mine play his acoustic guitar and I knew then I was going to finally learn to play. The thought has never entered my mind that I might be too old to learn, I gave that no thought or consideration whatsoever. It never entered my mind. Of course you can learn to play the guitar. In the 15 months since I started, my other friends that play, and my wife, all say they have been impressed at how much I have learned in a relatively short time. It does not seem short to me. It is work, but it is fun work. There are so many instructional sites online these days, DVD lessons, so much material available to help you learn, and while I have not had any professional instruction, I am going to do that at some point in the near future as I know it would be extremely helpful. The question should be, and certainly in my case, was do I WANT TO LEARN TO PLAY. I say GO FOR IT! How much you learn depends on how much tiime and dedication you have, or want to put into it.

    I can't say that I can ever learn to play like Eric Clapton but I know I can learn to play. There are so many songs out there that use 3 or 4 open chords. I got into learning the open chords then I wanted to learn scales so I practice some scales every day because I knew right away that if I wanted to solo or play lead I would need to learn the scales and it helps my inprove my dexterity.

    Using free online resources for me is great, but I am also aware that I may be inadvertantly teaching myself some bad habits, which is why I want to at least get occassional professional instruction.

    I started with an acoustic guitar, I didn't want to spend alot of money but I wanted a guitar that was quality enough so that I could at least have an instrument that was easier to play. I moved to an electric fairly quickly, and for me at least, it was easier to learn on an electric than an acoustic. Mainly because the strings on an acoustic are "stiffer" for a lack of a better term, but electric strings were much easier for me to depress. I knew my fingers were going to hurt (I did play a while when I was 10 years old and i remembered, it hurts the finger tips) but I also knew that is only a temporary feeling and I truly looked forward to go ing through that phase because I knew once I did, learning would be much easier and it has been. I had read learning on an acoustic is better in that your technique has to be better and that electrics are more forgiving. This may not be correct in other peoples opinion as I am only going on my personal experience, but if I had it to do over I would start with an electric. I would not spend a ton of money on it though because what if I didn't follow through? On the other hand you want to spend enough money to get an instrument of good enough quality to make playability easier for you. Just my 2 cents. GO FOR IT! You will have alot of fun along the way. Good luck and I hope this helps.

    There are others here who have much more experience than I and may be far more helpful but as a beginner myself, I thought I would share my experience.
     
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  12. Luther Perkins

    Luther Perkins Junior Member

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    McCloud9, Thank you very much for taking time to answer my post. Its really important to read other people's experiences. I am going to go for it. Thank you again for your thoughtful post. :)
     
  13. McCloud9

    McCloud9 Senior Member

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    You're very welcome Luther, I think you will be very glad you did! Its been a very good experience for me and I think it will be for you as well!
     
  14. outskirts of infinity

    outskirts of infinity Senior Member

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    You definitely want a Fender if that's the kind of music you want to play. I'd recommend either getting a Fender Esquire or a made-in-Mexico Fender Standard Telecaster. You should be able to get one of those new for under $300-500, even cheaper if you can find one used. In my opinion, the MIM Fenders are the best guitars on a budget. You could go even cheaper by getting a Squier, but I wouldn't recommend it (it is a step down in quality).

    Starting out, I'd recommend playing electric, as it will be easier on your fingers. Which means you'll need an amp. A small practice amp will do, a new should cost you under $100.

    This is a great time to begin learning guitar, thanks to youtube and the Internet. I'd recommend going to youtube and doing various searches, such as "guitar lesson," "Luther Perkins lesson," etc. You have access to a lot of different teachers and material for free right in your own home now. I wish I would have had this when I started guitar.
     
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  15. Luther Perkins

    Luther Perkins Junior Member

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    Thank you Infinity for your response. I am considering purchasing this telecaster ( Fender® Products ). Its a little over my $500 limit, but not by much. I assume that the guitar is made in USA given that its $650. Do the Made in Mexico guitars provide the same sound?


    If I can play Home of the Blues then I will treat myself to a more expensive guitar. In the beginning of Home of the Blues, Luther plays the first 20 notes so cleanly with a smile towards the end; then go to 1:40 to hear Luther's solo. It so beautiful and I love the simplicity. This is just one example of Luther's playing ability. I am so inspired. I know this sounds crazy but i am almost scared that i will fail, but i will try nonetheless.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86mMPBuEXj0"]Johnny Cash - Home of the Blues - YouTube[/ame]
     
  16. outskirts of infinity

    outskirts of infinity Senior Member

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    Luther, that is the guitar you want to buy, but it isn't the price you want to pay. That is the MSRP, which you should never pay. It has the maple fretboard and the single coil pick-ups that you want. This is the same guitar listed at Guitar Center:

    Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar and more Solid Body Electric Guitars at GuitarCenter.com.

    It is made in Mexico, and GC's regular price is $500. But even that is too high. GC and the big chains routinely will give you a discount, often times 15% off. GC has sales, usually around the various holidays, but you can probably get that discount anytime. If the sales guy doesn't want to give you a discount off of the $500, talk to another sales guy or the sales manager. If I was looking to buy this guitar, if they wouldn't give me a discount off the $500, I would go somewhere else. This is a common guitar and easy to find, so don't worry if you need to go somewhere else to save a few bucks.

    Luther's playing, at least in that video, is pretty simple stuff. So long as you have at least most of your fingers still attached, you most definitely could learn to play that. How long it'll take will depend on how much effort you put in.
     
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  17. Luther Perkins

    Luther Perkins Junior Member

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    Wow Infinity. Thanks for the heads-up about pricing. I feel much better knowing that i can get a good guitar within my original limit of $500. I will follow your negotiation strategy and get a good price.

    I hope you are right about me being able to learn Luther's style. I get really sad when I think that Luther died so young (40 years) in a house fire in 1968. Luther was with Cash from the beginning and, in my humble opinion, Cash wasnt the same since Luther death but I might be biased give that Luther is my favorite guitar player of all-time.

    Thank you again for all your help and knowledge.
     
  18. McCloud9

    McCloud9 Senior Member

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    Luther,
    I agree with what Infinity is telling you. Also, while I am in no way a guitar instructor, I've spent alot of hours surfing and searching the internet for info on chords, scales, music theory you name it, once you get the bug to learn and improve you will be doing the same things. As I have said before in this topic there are many more experienced players here than myself, in fact I would bet almost EVERYONE here is. I am not an expert but like I said I've done alot of research for files to help me along the way and if you have questions feel free to pm me anytime and I will be happy to share what little I have learned or point you towards a source of information anytime. This is not to say "look here is how its done" there may be better sources out there that I have yet to find, but I know how its been for me to learn things on my own and every little bit helps. Just being on this forum has been one of the best sources of info for me. Someone has posted a sticky on the forum about learning guitar and theory, I don't have the link off the top of my head but you can search it up easy enough. Don't be afraid to ask questions but look at the different forums and I try to post in the proper one. I also search the forums first because chances are someone has already asked the same question for you! I hope you find the learning process as exciting as I do! Have fun!
     
  19. TreyNewton1

    TreyNewton1 Junior Member

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    Im 31 and started taking lessons about 2 months ago. I thought the same thing that I was to old but its like everyone else has said "you have to want to learn and not give up". Good luck and just keep practicing
     
  20. scottaleger

    scottaleger Junior Member

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