Middle-aged People Are Taking Up The Electric Guitar!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rze99, Dec 2, 2019 at 10:56 AM.

  1. Hey_you

    Hey_you TDPRI Member

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    I was just to turn 65 when I bought my 1st guitar. Can't wait till I get a few years under my belt.
     
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  2. BuddyDog

    BuddyDog TDPRI Member

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    Another late starter here. Took it up at age 50, played terribly for 5-6 years, put them away and picked it up again this summer. Just turned 64 and doing in person lessons plus on-line. Never had a lot of fine motor skill in my fingers and am a lefty playing right handed. We'll see how far I get.
     
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  3. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    Picked up guitar in 1963 when I was 10. Played a lot for three years, and put it down until around 1983 when I was 30 and I bought a dreadnought. Dabbled on that for another 13 years until I picked up my second electric in 1996. Been a dedicated player since then.

    Started taking lessons when I was close to 50 from a very qualified instructor, and took on and off, mostly on, from 2002 to 2012. I improved exponentially with lessons, but it helped that I had already been playing for some time by then.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 2:37 PM
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  4. SuprHtr

    SuprHtr Tele-Meister

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    I joined here last February, bought my first acoustic in August 2018, first electric in December 2018, and I’m a slow learner when it comes to motor skills. But I’m having fun and slowly getting better. I get one-on-one lessons once a month or so, and work ceaselessly to master what I’m given, plus other stuff that I like. I’ll be 62 this Saturday. And being old, I get GAS. Get off my lawn!
     
  5. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    Better late than never, yeah!
     
  6. midnight340

    midnight340 Tele-Meister

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    I might have the record so far. Started at 66 and am 73 now. An old habit from work days keeping daily track of my hours. 2,024 hrs to date. Partly beginning and intermediate Justin Guitar lessons, lots of messing around with different pedals, amps, guitars, plus playing along with streamed music. Having a blast and learning more all the time.
     
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  7. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus TDPRI Member

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    Interesting post topic. I am now 48 years old and purchased my first guitar 7 years ago in 2012....a Seagull starter which is long gone. I did so as a way to relax and as a way to utilize my brain differently (as opposed to the monotony of my day job). Much of the 7 years I have spent tinkering with guitars and guitar gear and I have learned a GREAT deal about guitars....how they work...how to fix them....and even more time learning about different guitars and their values in the market. So like an idiot...I got sidetracked from actually playing the damn guitars and became proficient at buying low and selling high (hey...somebody needs to help out those starving artists right?). I used Gibson's "Learn and Master" series to learn and although I am still lousy by any musician's standards, I have really learned an awful lot including barre chords and some of my favorite Beatles, Stones, and Dead tunes. Just today I booked my first real guitar lesson with an instructor which will take place this Thursday. I still really enjoy my time plunking around on guitar but need some focus and direction. I've finally tired of repairing and have found a couple/few guitars that I truly enjoy which has stopped me from the buying/selling. For me guitar is like a never ending puzzle....every time I say that I cannot accomplish some maneuver....and after a few weeks of practicing said maneuver....only to accomplish the same maneuver effortlessly.....is oh so gratifying. The brain/muscle memory training required for guitar is an excellent life lesson that I only wish I would have taken seriously in my youth. Better late than never...I am very happy to have begun my guitar journey and I hope to continue down my path at my pace. I hope that others of some age who are in doubt decide the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 11:23 PM
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  8. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I started at 43 as a way to alleviate some PTSD issues. Didn't really have any big ambitions, just wanted to focus on learning and be able to play a few songs. It turned into far more than I expected. That was 7 years ago and although I am by no means a pro, I do fill in with a couple of local bands and can at least play a passable rendition of many of my favorite songs from my past.

    I will say though that learning guitar late in life is not easy....just too many distractions compared to youth. Still, progress is progress regardless of what pace it takes.
     
  9. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Meister

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    I'm just starting at 65. Played other instruments all my life but just decided to learn guitar a couple months ago.
     
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  10. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    We pretty much shadowed each other then. I started at 43 with a Seagull and the Gibson LMG course. Spent 5 years building guitars and restoring amps...should have spent more time practicing. After that 5 year mark I realized that I became the guy with a lot of gear, but limited idear about playing. Drove 2 hours roundtrip to an instructor each week for a year to try and take a more structured approach. It helped a great deal early on and I progressed rapidly for 6 months, but then my instructor got a lazy and just started to phone it in when I visited. There was no structure, no vision, no nothing except him showing off his new songs for 20 minutes of the hour session. I had to fire him and go it alone once more.

    If you find the right instructor, you will be amazed by what you can learn and quickly. I hope that happens for you.
     
  11. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Gee....

    I guess I kinda fit this profile. Been playing guitar steady since my 20's but acoustic primarily. A couple electrics wafted through the transom. A cool Tokai Les Paul early on. A few other no names and even a G&L ASAT failed to grab me like a Fender Telecaster which showed up when I was 56 just 3 years ago.

    Middle age = more time and money for many of us allowing an indulgence in gear.
     
  12. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus TDPRI Member

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    That's great...if you lived near me we would have been dangerous together. That Gibson course is really excellent for those with the tenacity to go it alone. I work out of my house so I am used to being alone and am a bit of a self starter type (meaning I don't really like other humans that much). Gibson's Learn and Master gave me the basic set of skills that I think are needed beyond just mimicking marty schwartz or justin guitar etc. It is time for someone to reign me in and show me how to use the few skills that I have developed....while moving me forward in some direction. I really hope that I can find a good instructor...that is surely no easy trick. Thanks for posting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 12:20 AM
  13. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    I started at 59 four years ago. I have the C Chord down solid. Actually, three different ways.
     
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  14. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

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    Interesting topic. With guitar I don't fit, I started at 18, but I did start cello lessons at age 57 - a life long ambition that I was finally able to indulge.

    I had a brilliant teacher who specialised in teaching adult starters and we had many discussions about the issues around taking up an instrument in later life. I'm not going to summarize, there's a huge literature on the subject and it's always a popular subject in classical guitar and cello forums.

    But two main points she made: on the plus side, adult learners usually have strong committment to practice, even if time is limited. On the minus side, they tend to have done a lot of listening to their chosen instrument played professionally on record, in concert etc and have too high expectations of the sounds they'll be making for the foreseeable future which can lead to dissatisfaction. I certainly felt this! So did my partner...

    Any comments from adult beginners?

    I stopped mainly because my teacher moved away - I tried various others, but didn't find one who'd treat me like an adult. And I did feel that having put 40 years into the guitar I was wasting that investment because of the time the cello demanded. I had classical guitar lessons again, did a lot better, but still wish I could have stayed with my original cello teacher. I've still got my several thousand pound cello - who knows...

    Two interesting reads for adult beginners, both cello centred but the lessons apply:
    John Holt - Never too late
    Wayne Booth - For the love of it.

    Good luck to all adult beginners! Stick with it - it's a great journey. Lots of frustration, but huge satisfactions.
     
  15. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    My guitar/music journey has been a bit weird, I guess. I began taking lessons for a coupla years from an INCREDIBLE teacher in Tulsa, OK. Played in a high school band that made it no further than the garage, but had fun. Moved to Oregon, took some more lessons for a coupla years, played in another "goin' nowhere band" for fun, then simply dropped the guitar for 40 yrs.. Occasionally I'd play at church, but basically I made the choice to beat myself up as much as possible on dirt bikes.

    It was only when I learned I had rheumatoid arthritis that I felt like if I didn't start playing again, there will come a point where I can't play. And I've actually been learning more than I did when I was younger, thanks to this site and youtube. I play more, and my wife of 40 yrs. encourages me and tells me I play better than I did when I was younger.

    I wonder if others close to my age have noticed this thing? At age 63, it seems as if learning new songs takes me forever. Agonizingly slow, and somewhat embarassing at church when I show up not knowing all the "new-to-me" songs. However, re-learning to play some of my old '70s rock songs correctly has been a real gas, and maybe goes a tiny bit faster.
     
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  16. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    OP here.

    Great to see so many taking it up or retaking it up a little later.

    It’s interesting that a lot has been posted here about kids not playing the guitar and the market for guitars drying up. It is rare that anyone mentions the mature new player market. And I do know kids taking it up I’m helping them too if I can.

    How many mature players are building guitars or acquiring more than two or three instruments?

    I think Fender’s Strategy is right. Make them affordable via a range of price points and provide lessons while nurturing the high spec top end legacy market.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 3:56 AM
  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Meister

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    Been playing since I was 15. Got into repairing and building at 20. Been at it ever since, and it has been (and continues to be) a fun journey.
     
  18. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister

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    Born in 1950 I was a deep sea fisherman most of my life, I always wanted to play guitar but never got around to it until the fishing collapsed in the mid 90's and I came ashore. Always been good with my hands and one day in 1998 I saw a beat up electric guitar in the local flea market. I bought it with a view to doing it up for my son. He never really was interested so I ended up learning myself and that started me off on a hobby of buying beat up guitars, doing them up and selling them on. I got better at both playing and repairing and have even built a couple guitars myself.

    Although I sang in a covers band for a few months in the 70's while living in Denmark I had no experience of playing with others until I began going out to a local jam/open mic night at a local pub. It was never a success for me as at 50'ish I felt like an outsider. The people my own age had been playing since their teens, knew each other very well and the people at my level were all teens and early 20's and I felt like the grandad at the party. Neverless I persevered, went up and did a couple of solo acoustic things but it never really progressed from that so I eventually stopped going. I realise now I went too early and if I had waited a couple more years as I became more confident it probably would have turned out better.

    Anyway as my kids left home and we got more room I moved my guitars and "luthiery" tools etc up into our converted loft. By then I had gotten into computers and the internet and found a couple of sites where I downloaded various backing tracks and just jammed along with them which helped a lot. At present I am debating buying some proper recording equipment and having a go at some home recording. The clip below is something I did on my PC webcam last year after a Facebook friend from my teens queried whether the guitars in my pic were just for show. The audio isn't hi-fi but I was quite chuffed with it and since then have progressed to playing along with live concerts of my faves where I can solo over the piano solo's and play rhythm over the rest of the track.

    That didn't work so can someone explain to me how I can upload a small video from my pc to this post?.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 4:40 AM
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  19. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    I started AGAIN at 57. I’d played about ten years as a kid - never got very good but had a whole load of good times playing out back when I was a social critter. Took 30 years mostly off, although I always had an electric and an acoustic around and occasionally would pick one up and try to play it with tender fingers and overwhelming rust. Now I’m three years into second round and I’m loving it. I still have no talent, but I’ve got time and I’ve learned an incredible amount and improved a good bit since I started again, in middle age...

    -Ray
     
  20. ponce

    ponce Tele-Holic

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    Read somewhere long ago how Miles Davis phone called his pianist Joe Zawinul in the middle of the night to translate him some model train instructions that were written im German.:lol:
     
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