I am a complete novice, ive also been told that at 38 im too old to learn the guitar, beginning to think the geezer was right, i bought a guitar for dummies book and have been working my way through it, not really getting anywhere. (trying for about 6months)
so my question is i need pointing in the right direction on what i should practice or a really good book that i could buy.
Thanks Mick
FWIW - we're the same age and I just started too, 4 months ago. I am taking lessons at a guitar shop and it's good for me, as each week I have someone checking in on my progress, giving me helpful insights, answering my dumb questions, etc. I think it just takes a while to get going....so hang in there, keep practicing, and don't give up!!
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There is no other way...

Justin is a great teacher, but don't be an idiot; just look at every great guitarist in history who learned it when there was no internet or Justin Sandercoe.
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Justin is a great teacher, but don't be an idiot; just look at every great guitarist in history who learned it when there was no internet or Justin Sandercoe.

Of course lol, it was a joke...

With a foundation of truth (I think in this time and day, justin is a great free teacher who has a nice structured course)
Last edited by Larz89 at Jun 12, 2011,
I started much younger granted, but what I did was firstly just learn some easy songs that I liked. Looked up some exercises and practiced them.
Then I took a music theory class, and applied everything I learned to the guitar and well... Just kept on practisin'. About 8-10 hours a day when I first got my guitar actually.
Thankfully, everything you need you can find on UG.
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Carmel is hawt
You're going to get discouraged, but keep at it. the rewards will come (along with a lot more frustration).

As mentioned, it might be a good idea to have some quick private lessons just to get the ball rolling.

Age has nothing to do with it.
First off, you are never to old to learn something new. Next, put down the book. Less reading and more playing. Next, make sure you have the right guitar for you. I recently upgraded my Epiphone DR 100 to a Seagull S6 and it has made a huge difference. Next, check out Marty Schwartz on Youtube or Guitarjamz.com. He has hundreds of song tutorials on YT, with many geared towards the beginner. I use Justin Sandercoe occasionally but primarily as a reference. Unfortunately, Justin's song tutorials are not great in my opinion.

The only way to learn is to play and specifically to play songs or progressions that sound like songs. Repetition is very important. When you are starting out, it is all about learning the open chords. For now, you don't need to worry so much about reading music(tab or regular). Tab is very easy to learn and you can pick it up later.

By the way, I am also a beginner
Quote by Sleaze Disease
Justin is a great teacher, but don't be an idiot; just look at every great guitarist in history who learned it when there was no internet or Justin Sandercoe.

...and now the shoe is on the other foot... </esoteric revenge>

age is irrelevant. sure, you may have picked it up quicker when you were 12 or 19 or something, but there's nothing stopping you from doing it now. keep practicing, you'll get there.
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Also, frustration is normal what seems like impossible tasks become very possible with practice. When I first started, I could only play one or two chords like Am or Em. C, D, F and even G were difficult for me. Barre chords were worse as I could only get a few strings to ring out. The list goes on and on.
Quote by Mick_23
ive also been told that at 38 im too old to learn the guitar

By who?! They're wrong. I teach people much older than you and they don't seem to have any problems...
I'd say start taking lessons. I learned like 50x faster when i took lessons rather than just reading it from a book. And youtube lessons arent the same as taking lessons...for me atleast. Having someone teach you in different ways if you dont understand is much better than just rewinding the video over and over. Haha.

As for being to old, dont believe it. just practice your fingers off like these other guys have said. Cause the key to playing guitar is repitition. Anyways hope that helps!
I am 57 and just a beginner. The biggest downside is that I have a full time job. Keeps me from practicing as much as I would like to. I am discouraged but determined. Just keep practicing each note, song, lesson until you know them cold. I dont know how long it is going to take me before I can strum down and up correctly!
Take lessons. I started guitar at 28, but immediately started taking lessons at my local music store. My teacher corrected various mistakes as they came up, provided me with structured practice routines, goals to meet, songs appropriate to push my current level of playing, and has forced me to work on areas I probably would have otherwise neglected.

By far, however, the most important thing he provides is accountability every week. I look at guitar (sort of) like working out (except I really enjoy playing guitar). I can get on a roll of working out for a month or two. But if I hit a rough patch at work and can't find time to work out, then it throws me off and a week off turns into a couple of months. I never have that problem with guitar, because even if I have done little practice during the week, I still have to warm up for my lesson, and I get to "start over" another week. Plus, I am always jazzed about playing after my lessons, which gets me back into the saddle.
I always tell people learn a fun simple song you like....'smoke on the water' or like 'you really got me'...something that is pretty basic but gets you rolling.

I took lessons as a kid...and it was boring because it was a lot of sight reading, then I was learning songs that were these full chord folk song or standards....I did that on and off for about 4 years....I had a friend who got an electric guitar when we were about 16...he sat down learned the basic 2 or 3 string bar chord...and he was off an running.

I went to his house and he played...and I was like "what is THAT??"

he'd only been playing a few weeks.

keep it simple...keep it fun....learn what you want to learn.

but pick songs that are realistic...

and like they said put down the book for now.

try and learn tablature and again pick some songs that are 2 or 3 simple chords but you love.

good luck...and like stated above...don't worry about your age....do it for you.
and lessons aren't all bad....my point was.....this is for you. be up front with the teacher.....learn the basics like how to hold a pick, the guitar, or to fret notes and some basic chords....don't let the guy give you the 10 year program....start working then on songs you want to learn and mix that with his methods.

if it's an hour lesson 1/3 should be material you'd like to work on.
I didnt want to bother with all the previous post I read the first few...
but you are by no means to old to play.. I cant vouch as I started at 17 and im now 20... but I would recommend learning songs you enjoy.. I too read the dummies book when I started it was a bore.. but the theory and such will help you later on. but first take time to learn tabs and play stuff you enjoy to get you into it. learn some simple exercises to get you moving =) enjoy!
The great thing about music is that there are no age barriers...

However, I do believe (personal opinion), that as you get older, your fingers are less agile/quick, unless you've been playing alot.

That being said, it is not a discouragement. It just means you have to practice somewhat more.

In what to learn (WITH A METRONOME):

1. Chords (which I assume you are doing now)
2. Power-chords perhaps?
3. Pentatonic Scale/Theory
4. The rest!

Obviously you want to be playing songs at each stage to improve your playing.

Some addtional notes....

        Last edited by ThatGuy_17 at Jun 17, 2011,
        I'm 34 and been playing about a year and a half. I'm not looking forward to the morning of my 38th birthday when I'm presented with a walking stick and my hands turn into a permanent unmovable claw and all my guitars get sold ;-)

        Joking aside, sod what some idiot has told you about age. If anything I think at our sort of age you are better equipped mentally to start learning. I realise that we may not ever make the big time with our grey hair and beer bellies, but if it's something you enjoy, then go for it and you just might surprise yourself.

        Good Luck!