Page 1 of 2
#1
Hiyas all. I just bought my first guitar 2 days ago, Ibanez RGT6. Then, I called around town looking for an instructor to kickstart my journey in the "mysteries of the geetar". While I was doing so, I actually had 3 of them explain that at my age, it would hamper me too much to be worth the time invested to teach.

Now, I am not that old, only clocking in at 41. I have no musical experience at all, other than an ex-girlfriend once showing me how to play the opening riff to iron man way back in high school. With that said, I admit to feeing a bit peeved about the response to my inquiry. I am curious if there would be any valid reasons to not wanting to take on a totally new student who is a little more "seasoned" than some.
Also, are there any techniques to get over certain hurdles of being a little bit older, ie. stiffer joints, less flexablility in the muscles, etc.. Thanks
#2
man forget about them teachers, they sound like dickheads. if you want to pick it up then do so. i fully commend you for it! if noone accepts to give you lessons then you can always try learning yourself, it's really not that hard to pick up once you have the thirst for it.

good luck!

edit: my dad only started playing when he was about 48, with half paralysed fingers and all sorts of ailments, and he's pretty good now, so no, you're not too old
#4
Yeah , if you want to learn then you should. if your fingers are giving you problems you could learn some warm up exercises to loosen them up
#5
Hey man. The teachers you approached appear to be patronising morons and it's not true what they said in the slightest. Your fingers might be a little stiffer than that of a 14 year old but not enough to warrant them not teaching you. My dad started playing bass at around 45 so it's just nonesense.

I would recommend practicing scales and chromatics. When I was starting my fingers were really stiff, but I developed a chromatic exercise to practice for about 10 minutes a day before I practice to warm me up, and it's really helped my dexterity and pick/fretting co-ordination. The excercise is as follows:


------------------------------------------------6-7-8-9---------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------5-6-7-8----------7-8-9-10--------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------4-5-6-7------------------------------8-9-10-11--------------------------------------------
---------------------3-4-5-6---------------------------------------------------9-10-11-12------------------------------
-----------2-3-4-5---------------------------------------------------------------------------10-11-12-13---------------
-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------11-12-13-14


Keep going up a fret like so. Practice slowly at first then speed up as you get comfortable. This will also help your fingers to get used to the neck.

There's more information about scales here:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/scales/scales_made_easy.html

Good luck and welcome to the guitar community
#6
age shouldn't be a concern.

my dads learning to play guitar and he's 59, just using it as something to keep him busy now he's retired. sure, his fingers aren't as supple as a younger players it doesn't stop him enjoying playing.
HADOUKEN!! Click For UG's Street Fighter Group

Quote by synpet713192

I'd never seen you around until very recently, but this and the other pic have caused me to worship you
#7
No way are you too old to start...anything.
You can either keep looking for a teacher that does not have their heads in the sand, or you can do the dvd thing. I'm not sure what style of music you are wanting to learn. If you have interest in metal/classic rock, you should check out The Metal Method. Doug Marks has been producing these videos/dvd's for many years, and they r-o-c-k!
Hang in there, and all the best to you.

ps
You can also check out GuitarMasterClass. It is a total online guitar learning system.
#8
im teaching someone atm who just peaked 40, i thought it was easier to teach as they are more mature, but she just wanted to learn the basics and that before she starts on her own journey i would of thought the teachers would of welcomed u in...
#9
no your only 40, its worth it, you got several decades of playing left. find a dedicated teacher who will encourage you and take your money to them, a teacher who dont want to teach you wont do it very well
#10
Quote by Hawkee
Hiyas all. I just bought my first guitar 2 days ago, Ibanez RGT6. Then, I called around town looking for an instructor to kickstart my journey in the "mysteries of the geetar". While I was doing so, I actually had 3 of them explain that at my age, it would hamper me too much to be worth the time invested to teach.

Now, I am not that old, only clocking in at 41. I have no musical experience at all, other than an ex-girlfriend once showing me how to play the opening riff to iron man way back in high school. With that said, I admit to feeing a bit peeved about the response to my inquiry. I am curious if there would be any valid reasons to not wanting to take on a totally new student who is a little more "seasoned" than some.
Also, are there any techniques to get over certain hurdles of being a little bit older, ie. stiffer joints, less flexablility in the muscles, etc.. Thanks


You are about 3 years younger than me, and I started about a year and a half ago. Don't listen to those idiots that say you are too old, because you are not. I take lessons from a really young guy who is quite good and age has little to do with it. Sure, you might not be as dexterous as you were in your youth, and your hands may fatigue a bit faster, but take your time with it and it will be fine. And find some better instructors.
#12
Go for it man, my Dad(54) just took up the bass guitar again after a 25 year hiatus to keep him busy when he retires later this year. He definitely kicks my ass at playing bass too and he got me into playing guitar, so it's all good. Sure your fingers may not be as flexible and you may tire a bit quicker, but who cares, it's all about the fun of discovering the instrument. There's nothing you can't do!

Those teachers know jack-all. Find a proper teacher who will want to teach you what you need and want to know, and encourage your growth as a guitar player.
#13
Wow! Thanks for so many quick responses. Yeah, I am not feeling I am too old. The instructors I have contacted also teach at the local college, not sure if that may have anything to do with it or though. Was just put off by it.

Kudos to all the "older" folks like me picking up a new hobby, so to speak. Will give those scales a try and see how it goes. I did pick up the Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method book/dvd set. Read where it was great for beginners to get a grasp on the basics, and, build a foundation to work from.

Will look into the Metal Method series as well. Even with my tastes having such a broad range, I will always have a prefrence for the metal sounds I spent most of my younger eyars rockin' out to.
#15
Hawkee, i also began with the Mel Bay book, and it was pretty good for a beginning, it'll get you off to a good start, so good luck with your playing,

also, those teachers are pricks, several of em are sadly, thats why im teaching myself now, so i hope the same works out for you
Turquoise Team Beasts!
#16
I can recommend reading 'Guitar Man' by Will Hodgkinson... at the age of 34 the author set himself the goal of learning to play the guitar and perform in front of an audience within six months; the book is highly readable and traces his journey from complete novice to first gig.
Last edited by geetarmanic at Jun 19, 2008,
#17
Quote by Hawkee
Yeah, I am not feeling I am too old.


You're not allowed to feel old when you are only one year older than me.

Those teachers are morons. It's true that younger people have better muscle memory that aids them in learning an instrument. But that doesn't mean older people have a dissability to learning, it just takes us a little longer. It really comes down to a matter of how much you practice..
#18
That's just beyond comprehension that a "professional" would even imply that you are too old for lessons or to start playing. I'm 35 and just started a few weeks ago. I couldn't be more pleased with my progress, and honestly, I can't imagine having the focus when I was younger. I've pretty much just been reading, watching youtube videos and just playing.
#19
Man, you're never too old to learn something new. You may never become the worlds next super shredder, but as long as you've got the focus and drive to actually become a good player, then you'll become a good player.

A teacher I know had a guy come in, he was 60 and had just retired and was bored out of his mind. To make matters worse he had no experience with music at all. He's been teaching this guy for about 4 years now, and he's actually gotten quite good in that amount of time. The only real problems he had were in the first year or two with building hand strength.
#20
dont worried your age has noting to do with your pasion for music walk into some local guitar shops and ask for a teacher im from chicago and the guy that would take lessons after me was in his 60 and i had a 6 months of lessons ahead of him and he somehow manage to get ahead of me ... when i ask him he said something around the lines of im retierd so now i can have fun playing all day

Guitar : Fender CIJ Mustang and a Telecaster
Amp : 76 fender champ
Pedals : BBE green screamer, Big muff, Ibanez LU20 Pedal Tuner, boss loop pedal
#21
Quote by lefty01
No way are you too old to start...anything.

QFT

Other people's misconceptions should never stop you from pursuing anything you want to do to enrich yourself.
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#22
Well, if you're too old then so am I - I'm 42 - but that ain't gonna stop me!

I atually bought my first guitar (an Ibanez acoustic) about 10 years ago and took a few lessons, but I got distracted with other stuff and didn't stick with it.

I've recently picked it back up again though and now I'm really feeling the drive to stick with it. I've bought several books and restrung the old girl, and I've been spending several hours a day torturing it.

I haven't gone for lessons again yet but man I'd be pissed if some yute told me I was too old. I figure if I'm not too old to ride a 190 horsepower Kawasaki ZX-14 motorcycle, I can certainly handle a guitar.

I was a band geek in school (played trumpet) so I can read music at least, and right now I'm going the self-taught route. There's a bunch of good material out there in print, CD/DVD, and online, and it's not rocket science.

Go for it, and don't let anybody pee in your cornflakes!
#24
Quote by Woelfe
You are about 3 years younger than me, and I started about a year and a half ago.


It's good to know we have some guys my age here. I too, started about 18 months ago. I'm loving every minute!

Chris
#25
Whats all this nonsense I'm reading???

-Shreding and pattern balding is not sexy.
-Black leather and beer bellys dont go well together.
-Nobodys going to catch a stage diver wearing orthopedic shoes.
-The only panties and bras that will be tossed your way will be Sears catalog bloomers with Depends pads stuck to them.

Do yourself a favor. Take that new axe you just bought and use it as a shovel to dig your grave and jump in.

Life (cool life) ends at 24. FACT.
#26
My brother-in-law's dad is close to 55 or so, and he hasn't been playing for very long, and he's a fantastic player.

Those so called teachers are full of ****. My former teacher, who I'm still good friends with, has several new students who are in the 30+ range, and several of them progress faster than many of his teenage students.

In the end, it's a matter of effort. If you practice, you will become a good player.
Quote by gilly_90
Hi, I'm looking for some fruit, I can't decide between apples and oranges.
Which one is better?
Thanks
#27
Quote by Axe Murderer
Whats all this nonsense I'm reading???

-Shreding and pattern balding is not sexy.
-Black leather and beer bellys dont go well together.
-Nobodys going to catch a stage diver wearing orthopedic shoes.
-The only panties and bras that will be tossed your way will be Sears catalog bloomers with Depends pads stuck to them.

Do yourself a favor. Take that new axe you just bought and use it as a shovel to dig your grave and jump in.

Life (cool life) ends at 24. FACT.



Check your emails.
Been away, am back
#29
Quote by Logz
Check your emails.


Email checked.

Thanks for the warning, but you do know I was totally joking right? At least I hope the thread starter knows I was joking. My post was so over the top, I figure there is no way the sarcasim would go unoticed....

Guess I was wrong

I'm 34 myself and started playing 9 months ago, Im hardly one to tell the thread starter he's too old.

Anyhow, commence with your moderation.
#30
If you don't find a teacher you like, I would suggest checking out nextlevelguitar.com. I am not a shill or agent or anything like that. I joined that site not too long ago, and I have been extremely happy with the results. The guy that teaches on that site (David Taub) is an awesome teacher, very enthusiastic, and very available through email and his site if you have questions. I don't know how much guitar instructors charge these days, but a year's membership on that site is probably the equivalent of 4 or 5 lessons, if I had to guess, and he has material from complete beginner to advanced players. And they are very thorough videos. Plus the info is always there whenever you want it. Sorry, I do sound kind of like an affiliate, but I have just really enjoyed the "go at your own pace" style of learning. Good luck with whatever you do.
#31
As a point of information, I'm 57...with short fingers.

Every three or so years, I take on a new challenge, so, when my youngest daughter expressed an interest in learning the guitar, I thought...hmmm, it's about time to start something new. I bought her a guitar a month ago and bought myself one too. Then, I went out and bought an electric to complement my acoustic.

The point is that the teachers were, imo, jerks. I don't plan of doing gigs. Just love music and find playing the guitar relaxing and rewarding. And, I think I'm doing pretty good this month I've been learning how to play.

It's always good to challenge oneself. The only one who can define me is me. Yes, I'm not as dexterous as in my younger years, but, hey, I'd be less so if I wasn't active AND I plan to be active for years to come.

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last edited by KeithA at Jun 21, 2008,
#32
Hawkee, I've got a bit of advice for you if you care to take it. I'm 45 and have a wee bit of a jump start on you since I've been playing guitar on and off since I was 15. The older I get, the more I recognize the need to properly stretch out before doing any exercise, including guitaring. At our age it's just easier to damage ourselves than it was when we were younger. So the advice is to do decent warm up's before playing guitar. Stretch out your fingers, wrists and arms. Work your hands on something like a tennis ball to get the blood pumping nicely. Guitaring can be strenuous and if your not prepared for it, you might wind up in a fair amount of pain in no time. Good news is it doesn't have to be painful if your smart about it.
And welcome to the most excellent world of guitaring. You're gonna love it!
#33
first of all wow they have to be crazy to turn you down if you have money ill teach you anything i know second 41 really isnt that old i know most people in their 40s are still in good shape its not like playing the guitar is running a marathon even when shredding. third you should never let your age keep you from living your life to the fullest.

so yeah you should just keep playing because 41 is def not the age for you to stop living
#34
Dont be worryin bout guitar teachers dude, I'v never had 1 and i'm pretty sure most of these guys have never had a teacher. You can begin at any age, it may be easier to learn when your younger but your never too old to learn something new.
Quote by LiBam
...depends ... I sound sh*t nd i'm James Hetfield!


- This is why we Love Ultimate Guitar
#35
Thanks again for all the advice. I did find a teacher, with my first lesson on Monday. Hopefully this will be a long, fun road. Found it funny that the ones I spoke to first were closer to my age, while the guy I am starting with is almost half my age. We have the musical tastes though, which should only add to the experience.

Axe - I actually got a chuckle out of it. Had visions of this heavy set, middle aged guy, in an old leather jacket about 10 sizes too small trying to plink his way through some Metallica.. Was then I realized.. Wait! That's me !

Lefty - Thanks for the tip. I have noticed my left hand, and wrist, start to ache after awhile when working through some notes. Will work in some extra warm ups in my routine.

Again.. Thanks to everyone else for their tips and advice! Been a most eye opening first week of learning. Looking forward to more progress, and fun, in the future.
#36
Don't let anyone stop you from reaching a goal you've set your mind on.

Let's face it. Learning a new language is easier when you are younger aswell. Heck, thinking about it, EVERYTHING is easier to learn when you're younger. So, does it prevent A LOT of people from learning new languages, new things? Sure, it DOES make thing easier when you are younger. As proven scientificly, the brain can be compared to a sponge when younger.

But like I said, it never prevented anyone from learning a lot of new things. We'll be honest tho... unless it's to become the next Metallica for example, the age doesn't matter. I myself am turning 22 soon, and I know that if I wanted to become the next rockstar, I would have had to pick up guitar at like 5, and should have learned the theory when I was a kid. But who cares? I can still play, which is the only reason I picked it up in the first place.

And like other people said, I agree on the fact that maturity can help too. When I started guitar, I happened to waste a few years, because at the time all I wanted was to play and act like a rockstar.

People enjoy music their whole life, and the love for music is the only thing you need to play. If you can manage to impress yourself, it's already what you want, in the first place.

It's also proven that playing an instrument is a very healthful thing. You're making your brain work, and it involves a lot of memory. They've made researches on older people(60+), and it's been said that it also helps against Alzheimer(sp?). Music is pretty much wisdom when you think about it.

About your wrist and hand hurting after playing, it's just like when you lift weights. At start, you're weak and after one your arm hurts, but after practicing, your arm builds up and eventually you can weight things you couldn't weight before, and for a longer period of time. Gradually increase your playing times, as your hand/wrist/finger muscles need to strenghten up.

And finally, enjoy it
Quote by MH400
a girl on the interwebz?

You have 2 options.

1. Tits.
2. GTFO.

#37
First off, it was great to see so many people near my age posting. I'm 46 and after years of playing guitar, took up bass when my youngest took up guitar three years ago.. You are never too old and I glad you found a teacher who was open minded. The others sound incredibly close minded and I suspect a bit bitter

Make sure you do stretch before you play and that your hands are warm. A cup of joe or tea before you play does this nicely. I talked to a 58 year old guitar player recently and he said another benefit is that by taking up guitar or any other instrument in your middle age that your hands and arms will remain flexible and limber as you get older.

Good luck and all power to you!
#38
I'm pretty sure that if they're younger than you (the teachers), it would feel like a hassle to them and be awkward. I'm not saying it owuld be at all, in fact if someone wants to learn, they should. My uncle was learning guitar, and the only reason he stopped was because he didn't have the time to learn, thus, he gave me his guitar for Christmas (was my first electric, second overall).

As long as you have the drive, and the time, you can definitely learn guitar. It only took me getting used to reading tabs until I started teaching myself, which was only about a week or less after I picked up my first guitar.
I was an Internet Witness in the mike.h Murder Case.
Quote by Pauldapro
this man is right. everything he says is right. so, stop killing people and get therapy ffs
#39
I started to learn the guitar as a kid but lost interest. My teacher just wasn't all that inspiring and neither was Jingle Bells.

I'm 36 now and was listening to Satch several months ago and decided that any time is a good time to learn.

Yes we don't develop new motor skills as quickly and we have to watch the joints a little more but we do have more focus. Just keep at it. With resources like U-G and the internet it is much easier to teach yourself or keep looking for a teacher who doesn't have a whammy bar stuck up his ass.
#40
Quote by RCShadow
It's good to know we have some guys my age here. I too, started about 18 months ago. I'm loving every minute!

Chris


Ha! Very cool. I wish I had picked it up years earlier, but I'll make due. Glad to know I'm not the only "old" dude around.
Page 1 of 2