#1
I love music. I have been playing drums for 40 years and met my wife when I was on the road with a band in Canada in the 70's. I have respectable technique and good time but I feel like I had to work twice as hard as most guys to become proficient at drums.
So what do I do at the age of 56 and for no good reason? I decide to learn to play guitar and it looks like it's going be just as much of a struggle. I have a pretty good handle on the rhythmic part and can sight read a little but the technique of guitar has really been slow in coming. I have been practicing fairly regularly for about a year and really don't see a hell of a lot of progress. I just have "stupid fingers" to quote BB King. Not really a point to this, just venting in a forum where maybe some of you can feel my pain. David
#2
haha yeah i feel ur pain dude. according to my guitar teacher, im very talented. but i dont see it. i've gotta practice twice as hard as the next guy to get just as good. and to top it all off, i'm incredibly lazy T_T
#3
People learn at different rates. It really just depends on the way you learn, your practice method, and your personality in general. Give it time.
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#4
Just stick with it brother! Everyone has "stupid fingers" in the beginning, if you feel technique is your problem take lessons, or since you seem to have played around a lot ask a friend that plays to show you some stuff. Practice, practice and do it again lol.

What kind of stuff are you playing?
#5
im sorry man. just dont give up, and its never too late
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#6
Yeah, I've been playing guitar for almost 6 years now, and I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to slow down and it's getting hard to improve. What I'm doing is just learning new styles, right now I'm learning a bunch of Billy Talent songs to try and understand that style of playing, helps the fingers move, gets me out of my comfort zone.

I think that when you get stuck like this, try getting a different guitar, I've always found that different necks allow me to play some things better, like, playing Billy Talent on a actual Fender Strat is so much easier than on my Squier Strat which has something similar to an Ibanez neck.

The way a neck feels really can affect your playing a lot, and most people wont even think about something like that, they just assume it's them and not the neck being uncomfortable. If you don't feel comfortable playing, then you wont get the enthusiasm to play more and try different things.
#7
Take comfort in knowing that I'm the same way. And for me, it's not even just music. But it's everything else. I feel like I really have to work my ass off to get just proficient. And when I get there, I discover I'm not even that good. But since this can't be a completely pessimistic post, just look at it this way: you ARE learning. And even if you don't think so, you're definitely still better than you were before the last time you practiced.
#8
I know exactly what you mean. I'm not that good to begin with but it's so obvious I have no natural talent, even if I can play good it feels like I forced myself to get there.

Also I really struggle with the piano, I hate when someone plays something amazing on piano and I'm like "Dude that's awesome I didn't know you could play piano" and they're like "I don't even play I'm just messing around lol" :l
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#9
Hey, David, keep at it! I'm not too far behind you in age and have been playing for far, far less than the total sum of my years. Not that I'm super good at playing guitar, but I'm good enough to teach students on the weekend. Guitar isn't something that comes to you right away. It takes a couple years of dedicated practice and work. Hang in there and you will get better. It just takes us older guys a bit longer.
#10
It took me 7 years to get where I am in my guitar playing. I can't really sweep pick worth shit, and my legato needs work. But I'm content with the rate of learning I have.

I guarantee you're learning faster than I did, TS. It took me 2 years to get basic chords and it took me much longer to learn basic rhythm.
#11
Don't feel bad, a lot of us share your pain.

I've just started teaching a guy, he's almost 40 and a complete beginner, he's been playing a few weeks and he's a lot better than I was when I first started - I fear he will over take me in a few months lol.

The only advice I can give is keep playing and do picking and fretting exercises as slow as you can, pay attention to everything your hand is doing i.e. if you're learning a fast lick then pay attention to which notes are upstrokes and which notes are down, emphasise the motion slowly, pay attention to how hard you need to pick to sound the note, see if your fretting hand is muting unnecessarily or if you can get a better sound by adjusting your position - just stuff like that, it'll all come together in the end.
#12
There's no such thing as talent, it's just an excuse people use so they don't have to work as hard as others. Now at 56 you probably know this already, but you need to put the time and practice in if you want to achieve anything.

If you're really stuck I'd invest in a few lessons
#13
Lessons are cool. You really have to have goals in mind, do you want to learn a few songs you like or improvise jazz runs?
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#14
Quote by piszczel
There's no such thing as talent, it's just an excuse people use so they don't have to work as hard as others. Now at 56 you probably know this already, but you need to put the time and practice in if you want to achieve anything.

If you're really stuck I'd invest in a few lessons

Took the words right out of my mouth.

There is no such thing as talent, you see the people who are extremely proficient at guitar and there is one common denominator - thousands of thousands of thousands of hours spent practicing and playing their instrument.

After one year you can't expect to be amazing - you're still a baby as far as guitar playing goes. I've been playing for 12 years and don't feel like i'm anywhere near where i should be - i still can't play a lot of faster stuff and i can't always nail a piece perfectly. So don't feel down - it's nothing to do with talent and all to do with hard work. More hours of decent, focussed practice = more skill at your instrument. Simple as that.
#15
I'm going to say what my math teacher said to my class yesterday. He is talking about math, but it still applies here lol.
"I know some of you like to think that you just aren't good at math, but that isn't the case. You probably all think I was always good with math, and that it just came easily to me right? Well that isn't the case. When I was in college everyone assumed that I was just good at math, and that it just came naturally for me, but what they didn't realize is that when I was doing math it wasn't just coming easily for me. I was struggling to work things out and learn them. I bet I've worked harder than any other friend I had in college at math, and that is why I am good at it, and that is why people think it comes natural for me."


Basically if you put in the effort you will get somewhere whether you can see the improvement or not. Sure some people might catch onto guitar easier than others, and things might come easier for them, but they still have to work their ass of to get there.

I wasn't really practicing correctly, and I thought that if I just played songs that my skill would gradually increase. Well it did, but I've hit a plateau because I wasn't pushing myself. Guitar is one of those things that takes a loooooong time to "master". Just find where you are the weakest and use that technique until it's your strong point. If you're bad at vibrato then play it, and play it, and play it. If you're bad at sweeping then practice that technique into the ground until you're really good with it. There aren't any shortcuts to guitar, and sadly it took me about a year to realize that.

Just keep with it, and enjoy the ride. You should also try recording yourself now, and then one year from now watch the video and see how much you've improved.

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Last edited by DemonicTurtle66 at Sep 14, 2010,
#16
I just started this thread to vent my frustration a bit but after reading the responses here, I actually feel a lot better.
The guitar player in my band is a good friend but I have kind of shied away from getting him involved in my guitar debacle but we have a gig this Friday maybe I'll hit him up to get together for few pointers.
Thanks everyone for the supportive responses. I think I'll quit typing now and go practice.
David
#17
There is absolutely nothing which can stop you learning guitar (and even to "shred" if you desire so) at your age. Talent, well, if we talk about technique there is no such thing, if you want to compose orchestra pieces, than maybe there is a little "something" involved but even that is not proven.

If that helps, I had to switch from lefty to righty after 15 years of playing (don't ask why) and that didn't stop me.

If you need advice, I have one - get a very good, respected teacher (I am talking someone around Guthrie Govan level, although there are guys who are less famous and as good as him if not better). Even a couple of lessons with a great teacher will speed you up tremendously.
#18
well i think guitar is a hard instrument to get to sound decent. most string instruments are. if you are just starting out at your age and being around music that long, yeah it can be frustrating to go back to the beginning with something. sure some learn faster than others but we all have to go through what you are going through. some just take a little longer, but we all do it. just keep playing and it will come. it helps if you have the drive to play and improve as well. you have to love it. if guitar is just something to do for you, you might not improve as fast as someone who truely loves the instrument.

i know for me, everyone thought i was a "natural". but really, its because i spent hours and hours every day playing and trying to get a good touch. so all those people you hear who seem to have it easy, probably didnt. they probably just played a lot more than you did. everyone also has different ways of looking at music. sometimes people get lucky with the way they think and it makes them sound better or maybe they can memorize things faster.

so again, just keep playing and keep it fun as well.
#19
Quote by cowgard
I love music. I have been playing drums for 40 years and met my wife when I was on the road with a band in Canada in the 70's. I have respectable technique and good time but I feel like I had to work twice as hard as most guys to become proficient at drums.
So what do I do at the age of 56 and for no good reason? I decide to learn to play guitar and it looks like it's going be just as much of a struggle. I have a pretty good handle on the rhythmic part and can sight read a little but the technique of guitar has really been slow in coming. I have been practicing fairly regularly for about a year and really don't see a hell of a lot of progress. I just have "stupid fingers" to quote BB King. Not really a point to this, just venting in a forum where maybe some of you can feel my pain. David


I think it's almost a necessity for a drummer to learn a chordal instrument. They make all the little drummers take piano in jazz class. So, if anything it will add to your musical abilities in a huge way.

And the guitar is a rhythm instrument, so you should already have all of the rhythms in your head from playing the drums, so your ahead there...
#20
Jimi Hendrix had stupid fingers when he first started.....


And then he died from choking on his own vomit. Watch out dude.
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#21
Quote by simpleben09
Jimi Hendrix had stupid fingers when he first started.....


And then he died from choking on his own vomit. Watch out dude.


That ain't right, but it is funny. David
#22
I have been playing for 3 years, and can play all my favorite songs all the way through on electric and acoustic as well as play in a local metal band now. 3 years ago I couldn't tell you what G chord was. While I was in my first year or two of guitar, everyone would say "You must be super talented to play that well after X amount of time..."

To that I say "GO F*** YOURSELF", I spent hours in my room playing songs as slow as possible and making them as fast and articulate as I could. I took the time to properly learn to fingerpick, sweep, bend, slide, tap, pinch etc. It took thousands of hours probably (and a ton of ganja) so talent is bull****, its all about practicing hours and hours and challenging yourself. You can't learn 1 AC/DC song and say you have mastered the electric guitar, though I think many guitarists are in that boat...
#23
Quote by hansome21
(and a ton of ganja)


Aha! THat's the trick...I started a year ago and I was wondering why I'm progressing slowly....time to fix that!!
#24
Quote by Hab Fan
Aha! THat's the trick...I started a year ago and I was wondering why I'm progressing slowly....time to fix that!!



Lol, well its more productive to get better at guitar than play modern warfare 2 for 3 hours

Just used what got me good at video games to get me good at guitar
#25
I've owned a guitar for about 3-4 years, but I'd say overall I've gotten probably not even a month's worth of decent playing out of it. I've been at uni studying most of the time and have made excuses for far too long, so I think it's time for me to get my butt into gear.

From what I see here, it's definitely more about just perseverance and determination than anything else. Some people have probably inherited good genes which gifted them with awesome perceptual and motor skills, but even they had to practice hard to get where they are.
#26
I have no talent for music WHATSOEVER! But i just kept playing and practicing and here i am now :x

People say my effort is ¨talent¨ That´s what talent really is, the effort you put into it and if you don´t quit it.

You said yourself you have been playing for 40 years, get some of your mates that play guitar to show you some stuff and help you out, i had some people around to just watch, friggen bastards didn´t want to teach me a thing, but i just kept on going and going and got to where i wanted to be musically c:
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#27
To quote a very talented Nir Felder -
'we all have such a long ways to go, and always will.'
#28
To say there's no such thing at talent is going a bit far... I started at the same time as my friend who has terrible practice habits (he normally just runs through pieces of songs as fast as he can unless he's really stuck) while I take everything super slowly, with a metronome, and somehow he plays much more cleanly than I do. Don't understand it. That being said, everyone can learn guitar -- as others have said, it's just a matter of time and effort. Good luck man.
#29
I've always been super clumsy and not good with my hands, I think. Yet I've gotten some decent progress in a year now.

It's just the amount and type of practise you put in. You shouldn't let other people tell you what you can't do, so don't let yourself say that either. If you want it, work for it and get it.
#30
Dont feel bad.I've been playing for 18 yrs. And i'm just now starting to get it a little bit.Though i've never been in a band so i'm sure that has somthing to do with my slow pace.I'm a bedroom rock star.HA HA ; )