Anyone re-learn guitar later in life?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by schmintan, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. schmintan

    schmintan Tele-Meister

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    Hi All.

    Ive played guitar on and off for 20+ years. As a young chap i had little patience for scales and hours of practice & i spent too much time gassing over nice gear, so i plateaued after a few years. Then i went to college, got a job, married, kid and well, my guitars just sat under the bed. I never let it die completely, but it certainly didnt get priority.

    Im finally back playing, and after some experience and general living of life, i have learned that little and often (consistency) will trash sporadic intensity any day.

    My time is extreemly limited, but im lucky to have a great wife who helps me make the most of my time, and have been getting 1 - 1.5 hours practice 5-6 times a week.

    As my practice time is limited, ive structured it a bit to get the most from it, so now it looks like
    • warmup - 15 mins: stretching, speed practice(chromatic runs, scale runs to metronome, alt picking)
    • improv - 15-25 mins: lead improv using blues & major scales. learning to mix maj & min, caged, learning fretboard.
    • songs - 10-20 mins: learning new songs, practicing songs i know but need to work on.
    Im actually enjoying it more than ever as i am seeing and feeling progress. With my structure its visible, I can see the metronome speed increase, i can hear more nuanced lead work & i actually have some full songs i know instead of learning just the main riff of 10,000 songs.

    It feels like ive started learning again. I obviously have a good foundation so its not from scratch, but i still have that sense of beginning, doing something new.

    Id like to ask:
    1. Has anyone else rediscovered the guitar later on in life?
    2. How do you make time for it with work, family & life in general?
     
  2. Sybo

    Sybo TDPRI Member

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    I picked it up again last year after I gave it up a few times in my life. I am enjoying this more than I ever thought possible. It’s like a drug! EVERYTHING changes when I pick up one of my guitars, my mood, my mind, wonderfulness! I am in a place mentally that I am making some killer progress from past studies and the wonderful guy giving me lessons .

    I try to play/practice at least one hour every day. Soooooo much to master. Is there ever any mastering? I am 62 years young!!
     
  3. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    There were a few years where I hardly touched a guitar after many years of playing...
    But I couldn't give up music, so i switched over to piano, and plinked and plonked away at that for a while, trying to learn how to read notation. I didn't get very far with that - but got a lot out of it and it started me writing my own tunes and I enjoyed that process very much, gravitating from cassette tape to digital recorders and eventually to Digital Audio Workstations - and getting my guitar back out of the case along the way...
     
  4. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I played from when I was 13 or 14, through until I was ~25. I then just didn't have the time to play, although I still had a guitar around the house I picked up from time to time. I sold all of my gear apart from one guitar.

    While never stopping completely, I started to play again seriously about 3 years ago - so a break of about 12 years from properly playing and 'learning'.
     
  5. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I started at about 18, played a lot until I was about 25 and some until my first child was born when I was about 28, at which point, any free time just dried up. I always kept an acoustic and an electric guitar around, but I basically didn’t play for 30 years. I’d pick a guitar up every now and then, but between having absolutely no callouses and being rusty beyond belief, I’d usually put it down within 10-15 minutes with my fingers in pain and unable to play anything listenable anyway. And then about three years ago, with time on my hands, I started playing again. Fell in love with it and I’m going strong. I used to play out a lot, now I basically play in. But between a looper, a home recorder, and online lessons, I’m having a blast and developing techniques I didn’t have the first time around. I’m even learning to fingerpick on acoustic, which I never had patience for in my youth. I’m not very structured about it, but I’ve been putting in a lot of time and I suspect I’ll continue to as long as I have the spark.

    -Ray
     
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  6. Donny Osmond fan

    Donny Osmond fan Tele-Afflicted

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    I learn something everyday.
     
  7. teletail

    teletail Tele-Meister

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    I am a classically trained bassist, was self taught guitarist until a few years ago. Took lessons from a highly respected teacher who wanted to teach songs. I stopped taking lessons from him and found a really good jazz teacher about 10 months ago. My progress has been amazing. He really emphasizes technique.

    Many people completely misunderstand technique. You don’t develop good technique for its own sake. If you have good technique, you have good tone and you can concentrate on making music instead of thinking about how to play what’s in your head.

    I don’t have kids and my wife is an artist so we support each other creative passion. You find a way to do the things that are important to you. You get up earlier, stay up later, skip TV and alcohol, whatever it takes.
     
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  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yep
    This morning, as many mornings, I am up earlier than need be. for the express purpose of practicing

    People commonly complain that they "don't have enough time"
    We all of us have the same 24 hours in every day; it's how you choose to utilize those hours
     
  9. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's

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    I call myself a recovering bass player. I guitar in high school , switched to bass soon after since guys in the neighbor hood needed a bass player. I played trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba , and bass. I continued bass for years and always had a guitar or two two mess around and learn songs on.
    In 1999, while playing bass and a little guitar in a Bull Roast/ wedding band , a friend at church shared he was tired of firing guitar players, most had illusions they were Eric Clapton. I knew and got along with everybody in the band already so he asked me to join. I quit playing bass, sold my bass and bass rig to buy gig worthy guitar gear. A few years later , I plateaued my learning and took lessons from Carl Filipiak , guitar guru in Baltimore, incredible teacher and human being.
    Can still gig on bass if I choose, but play guitar at church on Sundays and guitar in 7soulsband.com.
     
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  10. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    What age qualifies as later in life? 1.5 hours, 6 days a week is a lot, congrats on finding a wife that's cool with that! I have the opposite...
     
  11. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    I didn't really start playing until my late 20s. I'm 37 now. Finding the time is always difficult, between work and family. I became self employed 5 years ago so that has helped some. The bulk of my practice happens either after the family has gone to bed or before they wake up. I have an amp with power scaling so I can practice at pretty low levels without waking anybody up. That might be my biggest tip. Get an amp with power scaling or an attenuator, fit that practice in during those quiet times in the house.

    When i don't have time to practice I listen. I record our practices and listen to them, analyze my playing and identity not only my weaknesses but also strengths. I listen to the music I want to play as well, i immerse myself in it's vocabulary.
     
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  12. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I'm trying to break bad habits while learning to do more than chords.
     
  13. teletail

    teletail Tele-Meister

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    +1

    The universe doesn’t care what your excuses are.
     
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  14. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    I started at ten, got lessons for several years, played several more, then played off and on for around 25 years at which point I started playing seriously again almost 25 years ago.
     
  15. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I've never stopped playing guitar, but I'm always relearning it because I forget everything.
     
  16. SoK66

    SoK66 Tele-Afflicted

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    After finishing a degree in music I put the guitar aside and prursued a business career. 11 years later some guys asked if I'd consider playing with a Company band as a surprise goof for our annual Christmas party. I describe the experience of coming back to music as being something like meeting a former girlfriend, falling in love again and having wild monkey sex. For the next five years or so I was the music industry's best frind. I had the money to buy pretty much anything I wanted, so guitar & amp lust took control of the finances for about five years before I got some common sense back. I had studied classical guitar in college, so I already had a practice regimen I could return to. Every AM I was practicicng technique basics, then after supper every night I was learning tunes I'd missed out on during the layoff. It's been nearly 30 years since I returned to the guitar and I must say I've enjoyed everyminute of it, mostly because I don't have to look upon it as a way to make a living as I had in the early days.
     
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  17. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I left my band in the early 90's, kept all my gear, but did very little with it. Never joined another band.
    I even got 2 ukuleles.
    We re-grouped in 2013 & learned about a dozen of our old songs.
    I discovered a new love for the guitar. I bought new gear - a guitar, 3 amps, a cab, several pedals.
    I play very differently now, even without a plec/pick.
    It's becoming difficult now as I have arthritis, mainly moving gear rather than playing.
    I'm more into music, guitars, playing, composing than I have been for years.
     
  18. skitched

    skitched Tele-Meister

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    I’ve pretty much just started 3 months ago at 41, I totally suck, but I’m improving every day I’m following Justin Guitar’s beginner program...hopefully that’s a good start.

    If anyone wants to tell me about skills you wish you would’ve started learning at the beginner stage: I’m all ears.
     
  19. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm lazy. And I'm a member of the "instant gratification" generation. Simply put, I want it now.

    With that in mind, and also being classically trained since age 6, I wanted a little something of an edge during those moments where I was in that most feared "position" of classical musicians...

    "Off Page"! Improv! Heaven forbid...A Solo...

    I stumbled upon a method created by a guitarist whom I happen to respect...based upon:

    It's called "Shapes". A method of improvisation that is truly helpful to players like myself, who can follow a chart but struggle with stretching beyond the notation.

    I sing the part I'm playing. As I'm playing it. Something about hearing the notes in my head guides my hands.
     
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  20. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm giving a 66 year old who was once a very good touring player a few lessons, he had a bike crash which nearly took his life and after a long time in a coma wiped out most of his memory.
    Funny thing is originally he played left handed and is now playing right handed.
     
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