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An old dog seeking for a new trick

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New Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

I will tell you my odd story. I am a 48 dude about to turn 49 within two months. I started self-taught guitar around 17 with my mom's old acoustic. Six months later I moved to electric and other 6 months later I joined my first (an only) band that played just own tunes. I played at this band till my 20 and I was not too bad as guitar player, but due to the fact that we played self tunes there was not improvisations and all leads were carefully rehearsed and repeated millions of times until to get acceptable.

Due to College I ended quiting the band and over the next 29 years I came and go from guitar. If I summ up all the time I had a guitar at my hands it should totalize maybe a couple years of playing. I never played on a band again in the last three decades. I bought and sold my gear several times. I never EVER got serious lessons and the only scale I know is 'minor pentatonic' (14-13-13-13-14-14) that doesn't fit everything. Last year I recorded an album and it was kind of OK because I can work just fine on record sessions since I don't have too push too much. Since it was MY album I had complete control over everything, so...

Anyway, my friends are constantly puzzled about me because they invite me for jam sessions all the time and I always decline, and the reason is because I don't know how to improvise so I don't want to feel embarrassed among them. The other day my wife nicely mentioned that never have seen me to play an entire song from start to finish.

All in all the sad truth is that I am a fraud and I am really tired of it. However I am not entirely ready to abandon the guitar. I still love it. I still feel that excitement when I hear a blues solo and then there is that wish of be able to play something like that. Then I decided to give myself a very last chance until I turn 50, so I have 14 months to do something about and the deal is: if I cannot learn how to play at least barely decently enough to jam with friends and so, I am going to sell my gear for the last time and quit guitar forever.

I know that age is not an issue and I know that the timeframe I have is enough if I do it the right way. I can dedicate up 2 hours a day in this venture so I ask you. What is in your opinion about the more straight method to go to try to achieve some positive result? Should I join a class? Ideas? Suggestions?



PS: I have a decent gear (not top, but decent) compounded by a LP, a strat and a 175 plus a nylon acoustic. My amp is a VOX VT-15.

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1497

If I were in that position, I'd take lessons from a good teacher.

Tell the teacher you want to learn to improvise and see what the response it.

If you can't afford lessons, there are DVDs you can buy and both free and paid lessons on-line.

You'll probably get the most for the least amount of time with a good teacher though.

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats >^. .^< >^. .^<

Eminent Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 29

I'm just over 50 and new to guitar. I take online lessons, but a friend of mine suggested that I get the "video game" RockSmith 2014. Play with it at the differing levels, some of which include improvisations at higher levels, which with your experience, should get there pretty quick. :note1: This way you can practice improvising with no one around, and have fun at the same time.


:note2: :note1: :note2:

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Alan Green
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342

It's no substitute for playing with real people.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at:

Active Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 8

Yeah, if I were you, I'd go and jam with real people. Of course, if you wanna learn to improvise your guitar solos, there is a place where you can do that. You can always go to and practice your guitar solos there. :)