I Wish I Had Started Playing Guitar Younger

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Larmo63, May 12, 2018.

  1. SURF

    SURF Tele-Holic

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    I also think, that it would be better if I started earlier. But... if the parents have no music gene...
     
  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    'Talent' is like a duck on the water, from the shore it looks all smooth and effortless, next to the duck it's all furious feet working hard under the surface.
     
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  3. john_humphrey79

    john_humphrey79 TDPRI Member

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    I started playing when I was 15 or so and it was just metal and bar chords. I was in the band in middleschool and highschool and played saxophone and bassoon. I also picked up the bass a little and jammed with some friends. I wasn't anything spectacular at all. I went into the army and got into clubbing and dance music so my interest in guitar was non existent.
    Last year my dad wanted to buy me a rig so I picked up a mim strat and Bassbreaker 15. I've learned so much in the last 10 months about guitar than I ever dreamed of and I keep learning and practicing. I'm wanting to pay for lessons here in the near future to keep improving and really expand my playing.
    I wish I would of started when I got out of the army and was in college because it would of definitely helped with my transition. I've always had music inside me and now I can make it come out.
     
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  4. midnight340

    midnight340 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I’m in a different category than most who have posted. I started playing at age 66. I’m 71 now. Of course I wish I’d started earlier, but at this age that thought is a waste of time.

    I keep a precise record of my practice/ play time. (left over from years of doing home remodel work.)
    I’m now at 1,812 hrs. Working through all the Justinguitar courses. And exploring my own directions.
    I learn more every day. The biggest challenge has been learning to hear, developing my ear, but I am thrilled by how far I’ve come. I turn on Pandora shuffle and pretty much know the key, and can play along in some form.

    It takes quite a while to get my “construction-work hands” warmed up, but I improve steadily, and it is a joy to me. Best thing I’ve ever done for myself!!
     
  5. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    So, for those of us who have worked with out hands, there is the subject of wear and tear on the old digits.

    At 54 I am playing faster and with more accuracy than I ever did in my 20’s and 30’s but I’m definitely feeling some pain in my fretting hand index finger and little fingers. The position is the hand under the fretboard with the fingers hooked around and above the strings, ready to fret the notes. I can feel pain in the first knuckle of a couple of fingers. I spoke to my Physio guy and he said it’s scar tissue on the tendons from overuse and although it’s painful to fix, it’s possible to break up the scar tissue and improve it. It’s excruciating but the relief is real.

    Anyway, I thought I’d mention it in case anyone else has this sort of condition. Initially, I thought I was getting arthritis but my phisio ruled that out. I’ve still got to attend a few more sessions to break up the scar tissue but the improvement is notable to me.
     
  6. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

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    I got a cheap acoustic as a gift at 9 or 10 and had no idea what to do with it. No lessons, no teachers, not even a basic Mel Bay book or anything. I don't even remember trying to figure things out. I wish, probably a little too often, that I'd focused on learning and practicing at that point.

    High school gave me some momentum, but mostly for the wrong reasons (girls and identity). I still didn't take any real lessons, but my raw talent (such as it was) and haphazard self-teaching was better than nothing. I wish, probably a little too often, that I'd focused a lot more on learning and practicing at that point...

    Looking back, being one of those obsessed loners that spends all his time in his bedroom playing guitar would have probably been the best thing for me, for any number of reasons :D

    Since then, I've had periods where my skills and understanding have taken big leaps, but also periods where other things have set me back... or at least kept me from moving forward. I wish, probably a little too often, that I'd focused more on learning and practicing etc...

    If you're one of those blessed people who have zero regrets, I envy you. I could have always done more, and I could be a lot farther along than I am now. Boo hoo. My regrets are fuel for buckling down and learning what I should have learned 37 years ago... or at any point since.

    And God willing, in 10 years I'll probably be thinking "I wish I'd spent more time practicing during my late 40s instead of posting nonsense in online guitar forums" :D
     
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  7. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    A few school friends and I formed a punk / rock band whilst at school. I started out on bass but switched to drums when we lost our drummer and couldn't find a replacement - but another friend wanted to join and play bass. That was late 70s.

    About 83/84 it all fell apart and, although I've had a guitar and been able to strum a few chords for the intervening years, it was only last year, when my wife bought me a course of lessons, that I started to actually "learn" anything.

    I'm now 57 and realise / accept that an innate lack of skill / dexterity and, mostly, lack of time means that I will only ever scale the dizzying heights of mediocrity, at best. Still, it's fun and keeps me out of mischief.

    I do wish I'd started learning a LOT earlier, though.
     
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  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I learnt theory for an orchestral " College of Music" back in 1966. Then got my hands on a tenor trombone. Learning to read was considered mandatory when I was a youngster.
    Anyway I got a cheap nylon string guitar at age 13 ( 1969) and played it till the bridge lifted the rear of the sound board. I'm glad I had my classical education as it helped me understand and advance quickly. I played live at 14 in front of 2,000 people.

    Anyway, it does not matter when you started, as long as you enjoy it AND it does remarkable exercise for aging brains. Enjoy until you die. I know I will.:)
     
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  9. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I was seventeen when I walked into the jungle. When I came out I was twenty-two, and by God I was rich!
     
  10. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister

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    I'm 61. The Beatles made it look so easy....
    At probably 14 or so, Mom took me to the music store and we rented a guitar and I started lessons to see if there was any real interest. Practice? who needs practice?
    Of course, the guitar was a piece of crap with strings 1/2" off the board, Hendrix would have been a plumber.
    I re-started later, with much better guitars, and love to play and make music now.

    Please, please, get your kid's/grandkid's guitars properly set up with the LOWEST action you can and playing will become so much less difficult. I did a setup on my gkids uke and they were amazed at the difference.
     
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  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I started at 10. Starting actually learning songs at 12. Did my first solo acoustic gigs at 14. Pretty much gigged for a living since then. I'll be 45 tomorrow.

    I still suck.
     
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  12. JBFatFingers

    JBFatFingers Tele-Meister

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    I didn't start really playing until about 2 years ago at age 34. It's almost like it never occurred to me until then that I could actually learn to play the guitar. By that point I'm deep into my career with a wife and three kids. At this point the best I can hope for is that it's a fulfilling lifelong hobby/creative outlet, and possibly a chance to meet and play with some like-minded people. I still say it's totally worth it.
     
  13. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    The whole time I “wasn’t” playing, I felt like a “musician without an instrument”. I was asked several times over the years by professional musicians, “Do you play?”.

    I figure it was because I seemed to appreciate and understand what was going on more than most audience members.

    I even got a knowing smile from SRV, because I alone loudly applauded a very complicated lick he pulled off. It was one of those that “sounds” simple, but actually isn’t simple at all to play!

    No one else seemed to notice, or they didn’t react if they did. I let out a woop, or a loud whistle, and he looked my general direction and seemed to smiled knowingly.

    In general the audience was going wild for trills and such, that “sound” badass, but are actually pretty easy to play.

    He seemed suprised that I recognized the difficulty of that lick compared to others, but then again I was a musician without an instrument.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Well, talent may be like that, but ducks aren't like that. When we take the time to observe them with glasses, and they're undisturbed, they are just cruising.

    And I've seen entertainers trying to accomplish that also, and some succeed and some don't but sound great anyway.
     
  15. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    It seems the takeaway from this thread is it’s never too late to get going, but it’s much better to start as early as possible.

    So kids, buckle down,
    work hard, keep it up and come thank me later.

    To the old farts playing catch-up, at least you are doing it, and it is good for your (our) older brain. Even though you will learn slower, and you will never make guitar god status, the rewards are still there.
     
  16. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    To add to my previous comments:

    I’m lucky that a lot of the music I like is very simple. Whenever I start to think “dang I’ll never be great at this because I didn’t learn more when I was young”, I’ll make myself pick up my open g partscaster and rip through Brown Sugar or Tumbling Dice or Honky Tonk Women or Jumpin’ Jack Flash or All Down the Line or...., and then I feel much better.

    It doesn’t have to be hard to be fun and rewarding.

    And as I said earlier, it’s fun (at my age) to get better at something every day. I’ve been on a major scale kick lately, breaking out of minor pentatonic jail. For a long time I stayed away from single note “lead” playing, just working on changes and rhythm. I wanted to lay a foundation first. But there’s always the temptation to noodle, and for a long time minor penta was my default. It feels good to get out of that and mix it up some.

    So to summarize; yeah we can’t change the past and we’d be better if we had applied ourselves earlier. However it’s still a wonderful journey as long as you don’t dwell on the fact that you’ll never be a real rock star.
     
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  17. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I know what you mean some licks when listening appear simple, but learning some of them can be real twisters, great shame what happened to SRV btw. I use to say to my girlfriend i am packing this lark in i think she kept me going in away because of her love of music and songs.

    Also although i liked music alot before i played guitar, i must admit i expected it to be easier than it was, so maybe i was not that natural, i think outside influences kept me going i could well need that sort of stimulus.
     
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  18. Glen W

    Glen W Tele-Afflicted

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    It can always be thought that one would be more advanced if they were to have started at an earlier age. But, I think if the desire and drive hits you a bit later in life - and you really want to get there...you will.

    Whenever I hear someone say that they are limited because of starting when they were in their 20's, I'm reminded of one of my favorite guitar guys: Ronnie Earl. I believe he started when in college after seeing Muddy Waters live. In a few years he was backing up Big Walter Horton.

    This was recorded sometime in the early 90's, I believe, giving him about 20 years experience under his belt.

     
  19. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Glad there are others here similar to me. Music and guitar are my first loves. But I've never been any good. So I constantly feel like a noob compared to other players, even though I've played for 30 years.

    I picked up the guitar at 17, in part cuz I needed to take an easy college class the summer I started college. Summer, because I was on a "trial" period. Grades weren't good enough for regular admission. Anyhoo... I picked up the basics pretty quick, and fell in love with it immediately. It was during a time when guitar was resurfacing as a center of popular music (not just glam rock or metal), and it was everything to me at the time to be able to sit and play whatever was cool on the radio for anyone who would listen.

    It kept me sane during a hard time of transition. I had background in music since I was youngster. Lots of good ear training. Just not much experience with instruments. Over the years I've found my ear at times to be a detriment. It helps me figure out songs right away. But I get frustrated and distracted too easily with theory and scales, and solo playing, so I never played lead. I compensate by telling myself things like "I'm really a singer/songwriter. Not a guitarist.", etc... I picked up bass fundamentals very easily, and have ventured recently on drums, thinking I would focus from here on out on those, since "everybody plays guitar". Strange turn of events, and I recently found myself wanting to turn back to guitar for real this time, and not just fart around for a few days/weeks like I always do. I've been improving more in the last couple of months then I have in decades. I still have a long ways to go before I'm at where I think I should be after all this time. But at 46 I'm closer than I was before.
     
  20. GFrank

    GFrank Tele-Meister

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    My Mom was very into music - her era being the original rockers - Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, etc, and so was my Dad - big band swing, Western Swing, Country - and we grew up with lots of music in the house and both of my brothers and I all loved music. My older brother brought home Kiss Alive! when he hit middle school and I was around 8-9yrs old and I became obsessed with rock music. I immediately wanted a guitar, but my parents weren't having it, so it took me a couple of years to wear them down and they finally bought me one for my 12th birthday (after having had to agree to play tenor sax in the middle school band, which I hated - I wanted to ROCK!). A couple of years of learning to play Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, ZZ Top songs got my fingers ready for the arrival of Van Halen, and I spent most of the 80's obsessed with Van Halen and learned every lick on every album, and my younger brother did the same on the drums.

    Over the years my tastes shifted and expanded, from rock, to jazz, to fusion, to world musics, to prog/punk to country (old school, not pop or bro country) and playing music on the guitar has been one of the great loves of my life.
    I am a pretty proficient player, and I think there is definitely a lot to be said for getting young fingers moving early.
     
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