#1
So I've been playing guitar fairly casual for a long time now. Like the chord and sing type of guy. But I'm 16 and I want to start taking this really seriously. Is this honestly too old if I really want to go professional and pursue this in University? Or is there some sort of redemption if I work very hard? I also want to expand my horizons by looking into classical guitar so that I have a variety of playing styles, etc. Is there any hope or do most successful guitarists start at a really early age?
#2
Honestly, if you work hard enough (and definitely take LESSONS) then you could do it.
breaking hearts
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#3
I made the exact choice at almost exactly the same age. Yes, you can do it, but you will have to work you @ss off. It comes down to how seriously you want it.

Best bet = contact your local university and sign up for private lessons with the person who teaches classical guitar there. He/she, better than anyone, will know what you need to get there, and can work with you to get you where you need to be. It also helps because that person will also know the other faculty and will probably be on your audition panel.

No, they will not be able to "give you an automatic pass" because it is typically a committee that decides. It's not like you will have connections that will free you from responsibility and accountability. But it will mean, when you audition, that you are not just another random face off the street either.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#4
Depends what you want to do with it. Honestly, in terms of being a performing classical guitarist or something, unless you are just a prodigy, it may be too late. In classical music, you just have to be good and most of your competition is extremely talented and started at a young age. I'm not saying it's impossible, but you will be playing a lot of catch up if that's the type of professional player you want to be.

If you want to make it as like a pop or rock band or something, as long as you can write some good material, get a good group and perform some good music, you probably still have as good a shot as anyone. I mean, most people have not made it by sixteen and many people become performers without being technical geniuses. You'll have to achieve some sort of professional performance level, but again, you probably have some time. I won't go into your chances or anything like that though since most people already know how hard it is to make it in this format.
Last edited by Warrior47 at Jun 21, 2010,
#5
Quote by Xnipes
So I've been playing guitar fairly casual for a long time now. Like the chord and sing type of guy. But I'm 16 and I want to start taking this really seriously. Is this honestly too old if I really want to go professional and pursue this in University? Or is there some sort of redemption if I work very hard? I also want to expand my horizons by looking into classical guitar so that I have a variety of playing styles, etc. Is there any hope or do most successful guitarists start at a really early age?


Wait you're 16 and you think you're too old? What has this world come to?

It doesn't matter what age you start, this isn't thoroughbred horse racing. If anything, most people make their big leap of progress going into and in their 20s as they'll start getting wiser and mature enough to start to really understand everything. Learn some theory, learn how to read, develop your technique and start playing in every style and as much as you can.
#7
... except, the implication here is that he doesn't want to start university when he is 30.

If he wants to start university at 19-ish, like most kids, waiting until you're 16 really IS waiting too late to start for most people, unless they are really committed.

I was 16 or 17 when I made that choice. I got into McMaster when I was 19, but only into the Humanities program. I was good enough to get the necessary "permission of the department" exception to take most of the music courses I needed, though. I kept practicing my @ss off, and got fully into the music program the next year.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
The world is your oyster.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#9
Absolutely +1 to axemanchris.

If it's any help, 16 was when I decided to get serious and I landed a place with the best modern music college in the UK. (and then didn't take it up in the end)

If you practice hard, get your theory together, work with the best teachers you can find and you honestly love doing it - you will be able to do this.

I don't know about the classical guitar scene (see the above posters for advice on that) but there's plenty of the worlds best electric guitarists started later than you.
#10
Quote by Xnipes
Is there any hope or do most successful guitarists start at a really early age?


That's an interesting question there however. You're saying that if you go to university you'll be successful. Well, there's no guaranteed way to do that. To the best of my knowledge, most people who graduate from university with music degrees end up teaching, rather than becoming big rock stars.

But if you enjoy it, you'll have a blast. You just have to figure out what success is to you. You can still play in bands and such if you study other subjects.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#11
Quote by AlanHB
That's an interesting question there however. You're saying that if you go to university you'll be successful. Well, there's no guaranteed way to do that. To the best of my knowledge, most people who graduate from university with music degrees end up teaching, rather than becoming big rock stars.

But if you enjoy it, you'll have a blast. You just have to figure out what success is to you. You can still play in bands and such if you study other subjects.


I really meant success in the broadest sense. That could entail rock stars, it could entail a fulfilling career as a music teacher, or as a small-time gigger; whatever really. But I personally would like to attend University, and to perform professionally. That or compose musical scores.

Thanks everyone for the advice! It's very encouraging.
#12
Quote by Xnipes
I really meant success in the broadest sense. That could entail rock stars, it could entail a fulfilling career as a music teacher, or as a small-time gigger; whatever really. But I personally would like to attend University, and to perform professionally. That or compose musical scores.

Thanks everyone for the advice! It's very encouraging.


Robert Fripp, Wes Montgomery and heck, even Charlie Parker started really late. Charlie Parker actually sucked big time at music until he decided to hole up and practice at 18. There are a bunch more for every instrument.

Like I said, most people, as talented as they could be as children, never really reach the hyperspeed of progress and creative prime until about their 20s in anything whether it's sports or professions or whatever. So playing your cards right and truly loving what you do, you could surpass a lot of people that have been burned out by playing since they were 5. You just need to work hard, realize what you really need and go for it.