#1
I've begin to ask this question. At the age of 17, just in the last four or so months I have been reawakened from a guitarless coma that lasted four, five years and my playing ability has multipled itself every month, consecutively. Really, the most improvement has been made in the last couple months- triggered by my decision to move out of my mom's house, thus having to get a job and be relatively independent.

Sorry if this comes out jumbled or arrogant, I have yet to take the time to proofread or revise it in any way for diction or grammatical flaws.

WOT WARNING================

I first picked up electric guitar when I was probably 14. I took a few "lessons" from my haircutter's boyfriend, here I learned the chords E, A, and D. However, I was not taught their names or anything like that. Also, somehow amazingly I bothered to learn the penatonic scale (must have been an accident heh.)

So I could play punk music well. And I never bothered playing anything outside of power chords on these two notes.

I remained this horrible of a guitar player up until probably January. Sick of not knowing any solos or anything fun outside of punk, I learned the little intro of Jefferson Airplanes' White Rabbit one night. It was by far the most grueling activity I could think of, my fingers bled and bled and bled, yet I stayed up until 4 in the morning (on a school night) just to learn this ten second blurb (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj8MpszNics&feature=related)

And then I forgot it. A month later I attempted guitar again. This time I was able to learn the notes, albeit not nearly as well performed (hammer-ons and increase in tempo). Then I would just play while waiting for a page to load or something, nothing over ten minutes.

Then I moved out of my mom's house (this is around early March) because I was done with conflict between us. This left me having to get a part-time job (25+/- hours a week), and walk/bus to school, work, and leisure. To be honest, in the last few months I have had very little leisure. I would normally get back home from school on a weeknight at 10:30pm because of having to take the bus from school to work or whatnot. When I would get home, I would just play the guitar because I had nothing else to do.

Hell I picked up my guitar for absolutely no specific reason at 8:00 pm and seriously did not put it down until 2:30am. And that was a schoolnight. My fingers were totally bitching at me the next couple days, but I didn't feel any pain- I kept on playing, and just played the next day.

In the past few months I've just enjoyed myself immensely playing. It was no longer a chore, but something I absolutely immersed myself in whenever playing. In this time period I have become better guitarists than any of my casual friends, i've learned multiple styles of music I had never touched before March. I've gotten much better- improvisation has taken incredible leaps, I have learned not how to play just power chords but open chords (more than the basic six or so) and full barre chords. I've also learned how to play not at ease, but with some idea on the other four strings. As in, I can go in and improvise off the pentatonic scale to some degree. Also, my punk has evolved further from just power chords to full-barre ska, and stoner metal (kinda a mixture of garage, punk, and metal).

I could go on and on. I'm attempting to learn musical theory (purchased an MIDI keyboard/controller to learn it on. I'm also about to pick up on guitar scales when I get a decent guitar sometime this month (my old ibanez is a p.o.s. it's not even worth putting new strings on). I am still by no means knowledgable of the fretboard- when I play along with music or friends I am prone to ****ing up. But it's nowhere as bad as four months ago, when I would be totally at a loss.

To me, it seems as simple (sarcasm perhaps) as a combination of A. learning how to play guitar and B. learning musical theory. Because right now, I have all the motivation in the world. Sometimes I will imagine an incredibly insane riff or bassline during class, write it down in tablature in class and emulate it later on. I'll develop every instrument in my head and play the song through, as if I was using a music production tool such as sony acid or fruityloops. It takes ****ing forever to do this, sometimes with more complicated stuff it would take an hour to map out a solo or something. But i'm full of music that I just don't know how to express, because I do not know A. or B.

I have already been thinking of considerinag a career in music, whether it be sound engineering or teaching musical appreciation to kids in public school. Just in the past few months I realized I can settle for not just appreciating music but feeling this music and making it myself. I've always known this, but never had the motivation to pursue it. Im up to taking lessons, i'm up for learning musical theory, i'm up for studying hours on end. Anything. I just hope it's not too late.

Thanks for reading. I'm open to any suggestion/comments.
Last edited by APimpNamedSlick at Apr 27, 2008,
#2
Dude you're only 17, you have plenty of time.

I'm not the greatest but I'm pretty good and I didn't even start until I was 16.

This site's been great. There's plenty of helpful lessons and these forum members have helped me out a lot.

I'd suggest looking into a good book on music theory. It's sounds like you have the dedication to make it work for you.


Good luck man.
#4
It's not to late. Some great guitarists started when they were 20.
You sound dedicated enough to go far :p
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#5
I personally just started less than a year ago, and I was a few months away from being 18. You'll be fine if you're motivated; it's not a race so at least enjoy it.
#7
Contrary to myth, the older you are the easier you'll learn. It is so much easier teaching a 20 year old than a 12 year old.
#9
I read about half of that and decided to stop, but I'll tell you this: It's never too late.

There are people that can easily become amazing guitarists with just a few years of solid practice. Probably a lot of them on this forum.
#10
No!!!!!!

As in no im not reading all that...

sorry, but yeah the answer is no its never too late.
#11
yea bro its never to late, just dont get discouraged by comparing yourself to these guys that have been playing their whole life... be the best that you can possible be and the results will come in time...
also ever thought about getting into classical guitar? its really neat and alot of our classic metal is centered around it...
#12
Jack Black didn't pick up a guitar until he was 23. Or so I hear.

And he's sick.
I like a do da cha cha.
#13
Quote by creedster
Jack Black didn't pick up a guitar until he was 23. Or so I hear.

And he's sick.

I hope he gets well soon.
#15
I am 20 now, and I started when I was 17, it is just that when you get older you have less time to learn. I have a lot of university work to do - late nights! I'd play guitar ANY day. I didn't even bother with theory until I was 19, I can't stay away from reading about theory now - and being on UG.

It doesn't matter how old you are, someone else said to me when I thought about this myself, that many of those players that started young didn't put ALL of their time into playing.

It is cumulative guitar playing/practice that matters, not just the time you have 'played' guitar.
Quote by Necrophagist777

I agree, i always help people up. At the last show we all protected this little kid who was tying his shoe in the middle of the pit.


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#16
I wonder when KG picked up his first guitar...
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#18
Haha, great to hear. That's another thing- the amount of time being able to play.

I'm attending community college for my first two years until I transfer to either UC Berkeley or UCLA, so I was thinking i'll have two years of absolute guitar-playing in my future, no distractions.
#19
Quote by APimpNamedSlick
Haha, great to hear. That's another thing- the amount of time being able to play.

I'm attending community college for my first two years until I transfer to either UC Berkeley or UCLA, so I was thinking i'll have two years of absolute guitar-playing in my future, no distractions.


Just on the side, where are you gonna go to community college? I'm going to one near UCLA and that would be pretty random if you're going there too.
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#20
Hahah, nope. Pierce College, in Woodland Hills. Dosen't mean we can't hook up further down the line though.

I can't ****ing stand living in the valley. Everything is commercialized to hell. We're the sixth-most populated city in the world (if it counted as a city) and all we're known for is harvesting a large mexican population and being porn capital of the world. Not that there's anything wrong with porn ;o)
Last edited by APimpNamedSlick at Apr 28, 2008,
#21
Quote by APimpNamedSlick
Hahah, nope. Pierce College, in Woodland Hills. Dosen't mean we can't hook up further down the line though.

I can't ****ing stand living in the valley. Everything is commercialized to hell. We're the six-most populated city in the world (if it counted as a city) and all we're known for is a large mexican population and the porn capital of the world. Not that there's anything wrong with porn ;o)


Oh, okay, I know a few people going there. I live right up in Topanga, and yeah, I hate the valley too. I'm going to SMC over in Santa Monica. The parking sucks but everything else there is pretty cool.

How hot was it out there today?
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#22
Dude, Jack Black is a kick-ass guitarist and started in his 20's. Don't worry and just stick with it. I'm also not sure if its true but I heard a rumor that clapton started late too. I'm not sure how old he was when he was in the yardbirds. Keep rockin' bro
#23
Quote by demonofthenight
Contrary to myth, the older you are the easier you'll learn. It is so much easier teaching a 20 year old than a 12 year old.



I find this to be very true. I played guitar from when i was 16-18, and then quit for a couple of years. After about a month of picking the guitar back up and being very dedicated to daily practice i find that i am already better then i was.
#24
No clue how hot it was. Hot enough where I didn't even think of going outside. The day before, was ****ing insane. At least mid nineties. So around that.

I've got a couple friends who are going to Santa Monica. I was thinking of doing that, but I most likely will not because it's a long commute, and if I were to get an apartment near there I would have to you know, pay for it.

Topanga's a beautiful ****ing place. I used to drive by there just about every day during summer school to visit the beach. It's kinda on the slow side, but I'd rather have that then soul-less melting pot of pretty much nothing. I mean, it's something, but you know. Undesirable.
#25
Yeah, it's pretty relaxed up here. The only problem is the way that a single slow car can make it take 15 minutes to get to PCH... plus it's almost midnight and it's still so damn hot out...

I would say you should go to SMC, but yeah, rent in Santa Monica is ridiculous. That and it would take you probably about an hour and a half to get to SMC if you had to get to a 9:30 class.

Anyway, just to actually contribute to the topic, you definitely are not at any disadvantage by getting serious about guitar at your age. I know someone who has been playing since he was 7 years old, but all he can do is play metallica and megadeth covers. It's all relative.
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#26
i have a friend whose better than me(ive played for 3 years) because of 1 summer where he would practice 8+ hours a day

its all about the practice and motivation
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