General discussion


Can an old dude learn music?

By DMambo ·
For Christmas, we got my 11 year-old son an electric guitar. As expected, the 3 kids bicker over time on it (hope they are as enthusiastic in a couple of months) but as a complete surprise to me, I was in the group claiming that it was my turn to try it.

I have NO musical experience - I flunked out of drum pad in 4th grade. I'm 44, can't read music, don't know a g-clef from my butthole, but this this is cool. Can a total newbie learn music at my age? I don't have the goal of being in a band, but I wouldn't mind playing songs with my kids who all play something in the school bands.

I don't think this is like learning about IT at a later age. IT is just about flexing the brain muscle, but the guitar takes brainwork and actual fine motor physical coordination, not exactly my strong suit. Will practice payoff? What tips do you have on shortening the learning curve?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Why not?

by maecuff In reply to Can an old dude learn mus ...

I'll make a deal with you. While I haven't reached your advanced age (I trail by a 2 years), I HAVE been thinking about learning to play my husband's guitars. He always looks like he's having so much fun when he plays. Anyway, I'll start learning and you start learning and then we'll find out if you can teach an old..well, you know the rest.

Collapse -

It's a deal.

by DMambo In reply to Why not?

I'll keep you posted. I think I'll have to struggle a bit to keep up with my oldest daughter, though. She's 13 and EVERYTHING comes easy to her. She's was playing 3 different songs after looking at the instructional book for an hour. Makes me crazy!!

Collapse -

Take a few lessons

by jdclyde In reply to Can an old dude learn mus ...

All of the guitar shops will have someone that teaches. This will give you more of a jump into this than if you try to tackle it on your own.

WARNING! Scales are important, but people often start to think of them as "boring" so they don't do them. Attitude is all important! Just making organized noice (the definition of music) can be fun.

The instructor will also usually get you started with a few songs, (usually you say what your interested in) so your really playing SOMETHING.

I would consider watching the papers for used equipment, as with that many people it will be more fun with at least two. I have four, and have my eye on one more electric and a Bass.

do you have to be really really dextrious? Depends on what you have your heart set on playing. Don't expect to be playing a complete song the first day.

I also like to pick up some of the guitar magazines. "guitar for the practicing musician" is one of the best IMO. They even have sheet music with tablature so you won't have to learn to read music if you don't want to. Has good lessions and tips, and lets you know what the greats do. fun fun fun!

The very best of luck with this, and a Musical New year to you my friend.

Collapse -

What are the scales?

by DMambo In reply to Take a few lessons

Several folks have mentioned them. Is that the thing 1st string open is E; 1st string, 1st fret is F; 1st string, 3rd fret is G: 2nd string open is B, etc?

Lessons sounds like a good idea, I'll see what I can do. We're still looking for a source for the kid's lessons. Like jck said, the young grad student.... um, maybe a dried up old blues singer would be better for me!

Collapse -


by jdclyde In reply to What are the scales?

Scales, "the notes in a key" is a technical term I found, but that doesn't help you. Think of it as the notes that flow together. These are in different keys on the fretboard, and just help you feel what goes together.

Lots out there, just have to google it!

This was the first few that looked promising using "scales + music + guitar"

Have fun!

Collapse -

I've asked myself the same question

by maxwell edison In reply to Can an old dude learn mus ...

But I always answer it with a resounding yes.

The bigger question I ask is why don't I? Well, on second thought, I'll answer that one right now. Because I never have made it a high enough priority to make the time, that's why.

(Guitar and/or piano, by the way.)

So the answer is, yes, you can -- IF you make it a high enough priority to make the time, that is.

Collapse -

Max, Thanks for the link

by DMambo In reply to I've asked myself the sam ...

I especially liked this comment:
"A news story on TV talked about recent research showing that our brains record almost exclusively the last frame of mind or emotion associated with any experience."

It reminds me that this experience will we fun and that I need to keep it fun. My fingers hurt like ****, though. :)

Collapse -

strings matter

by jdclyde In reply to Max, Thanks for the link

a smaller gage will be easier to press than the heavier gages. They just don't last as long. More breakage.

Just don't over do it right off the bat. that is a mistake people make with many activities. They do it all the time and burn themselves out. Do it regularly, but not for very long times (at first) an d your fingers will adjust better.

Collapse -

my advice

by jck In reply to Can an old dude learn mus ...

Get a hot, young, 20-something grad student in music education to teach you.

It'll help you keep focus and want to impress her.

Good luck.

Collapse -

subnote about learning

by jck In reply to my advice

If you were near Ipswich in England, I'd direct you to a guy who is a phenomenal guitarist and has a beginners lesson kit he's working on printing.

It's increased my ability in 3 weeks doing arpeggios.

Of course, I'll never do those well because I play fingerstyle as opposed to using a pick.

My first CD title will be "Things I learned to pick besides me nose!"

Related Discussions

Related Forums