Is it too late?
I've been wondering if it's ever too late to go for a music career. I just turned 24 a little over a month ago, and I'm really beginning to feel that I've missed the boat and it may be too late for me. I've started playing guitar at around 15, and quit for 2 years at about 20, but have returned about 2 years ago and I've actually made a lot of progress since then. I write some music, but have never written a full song so far. However, throughout the past half year or so I've been noticing some progress I've never thought I'd achieve in my playing and musical abilities, and have started developing my own style (I'm really happy for this), and have actually started writing my first serious song (my music is purely instrumental by the way). I'm adding to it my own touches, and taking influences from several different places. I'm hoping to make something relatively unique. Though those thoughts are kinda hindering me to be honest, and I'm not working on it as I'm supposed to.
I realize that it's hard to make a living out of music alone, but I've actually just finished college about half a year ago and I'm currently looking for a job, so music for me would be a passion and I really am not into it for the money. My dream is to write an album, start a band and do gigs, or perhaps start by uploading my music to YouTube, and see where it goes. (I've never really been in a band, due to serious lack of social skills mostly, but I've done some acoustic gigs of cover songs with my friend over the past two years.) Is this too late for me at 24? I think you'd have to count a few years into the future as well, as I'm guessing it would take me time to improve my musical skills more, fully develop my own style, and finish the album. So let's say I'm ready at 30-35... Would this be too late? I'm really depressed about the fact that I might have missed the train, as this has always been my lifelong dream, I don't want to see it shattered, and in addition I can clearly see that I have some very good potential in music, as I have a natural musical talent (not boasting really, but I've been told so by several musicians, including my guitar teacher, and other people). My passion is really very strong for music, and it's often where I go when I'm feeling down... So I feel a very strong connection to music, and to see my dreams not becoming true due to wasted time, age, depression (not seeking attention, but I'm going through a long depression phase, it's been at least 5 years now, and I've lost hope of ever recovering, so I try to live with it), and a lack of "life" skills would be really disheartening and shattering. It's really all I want from life, then I can go knowing I've done what I've always wanted, and lived for the most thing worth living, music.
I'm really sorry for the long post, but I kinda wanted to express myself and give some info about myself. I'm hoping for some advice and honest opinions... Thanks in advance.
Nope, not too late. Lots of people are starting new bands in their 40s and 50s and while they're not on the pop charts, they're still gaining a following. Do what you love and don't look back.
I agree. Definitely not too late. And actually arguably a good time to get into making music because of all the freedom the internet has to offer regarding getting your music listened to. I wouldn't hang your hopes on making huge amounts of money by doing though!
Good luck with it!
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I agree with above 2 comments
To be honest, I think it depends on the guitar player you want to be.
I mean, if you want to play shred guitar, or want to be a big rock star.
Yes, it's a little bit late to start.
But I can't say it's impossible.
Start it right now and carry on, dude.
I believe Wes Montgomery started playing guitar in his mid 30s and eventually became a famous and well respected guitar players guitarist.
Never too late.
Notes is a little off on Wes Montgomery - he took up the guitar at age 19 (my recollection, don't remember the source) or 20 (Wikipedia). The story I've heard is that he was married, working in a factory, and had two brothers who were gigging musicians (one played bass, the other vibes)... and he said to himself "that looks like a fun way to make a living".
He was about 25 when he joined Lionel Hampton's band, and was 32 when he was signed to a label. At the time he died at age 45 he was considered one of the giants of jazz guitar.
While times were different then, with far more gigging opportunities, it shows you don't have to be a child prodigy.
About 8 years ago a woman in her mid 70s came to me for guitar lessons. She had a goal of doing a public recital - and three years later, she did just that. So if you set a reachable goal, even if it's a stretch, the number of years behind you is not a barrier.
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Could have been a vicious rumor I suppose. I thought it was on the back of an LP that the guitarist in one of my bands had. If that's true (and not a screwed up memory) then it could have been promo.
The story was he started in his mid 30s and used his thumb instead of a pick so he wouldn't disturb his family while practicing. Now noteboat, you broke my mental bubble :(
So please forgive passing on the false information. I stand corrected (actually I'm sitting) ;)
In any case, it's not too late as long as you have the desire and the time to put into it.
This I know is true. We played a birthday party for a guy turning 80. His kids bought him a saxophone for his birthday and he was overjoyed. He always wanted to play one.
He asked me about a teacher, and I really don't know any in the area, so I advised him to call the band directors in the local high schools and the college.
They say learning a second language is good for the aging brain, and music is definitely a second language.
I started guitar in my late 50s. True it was my 7th instrument so I took to it quicker than normal (lots of good baggage from the other 6). And I know I'll never become a Les Paul, Joe Pass, or Jeff Beck, but I'm good enough to gig with it, it's interesting climbing the guitar learning curve, and most importantly of all, I'm having fun with it.
It's important to have fun with your instrument. Never forget that. Sometimes we have to work and practice to have that fun, but that's the goal. They don't call it playing music for nothing. And when you are having fun, when you reach each new plateau, you forget about the practice you put into that level, and enjoy your accomplishment. And each new level brings another thrill.
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Thank you all for the comments. I apologize for the late reply, I haven't logged in for a while
@kjtheguitarist: Actually I'm not starting now. As I said in the original post, I've been playing since 15, but it's just the fact that I've gotten nowhere with it so far that's upsetting.
The thing is, I don't get any chances to do gigs. I don't even have a band, and I'm not close to it. Lately I've lost motivation and haven't really practiced in weeks. I'm not sure what to do now. It's only getting worse, and it makes me ever more depressed realizing that I most likely will get nowhere musically. It's not that I don't want to, but it's just the lack of opportunities and chances. I want to write music and share it with people, and have an audience and all, and do gigs... but it's just not happening for me. It's really depressing... :( I'm considering sharing this with a musician friend of mine who's 38 now and just released his first album with his band a while ago. Would this be a good idea?
My advice to you is not to worry so much about your age - you´re still very young - but just get on with your guitar playing. As many have said already it doesn´t matter what age you are.
And if it´s hard to find gigs, just go out and play in the streets or in a park. You´ll attract attention and who knows who might happen to pass by.
And with all the opportunities that home-studio equipment and social media brings today it shouldn´t be too hard to get your Music "out there" for people to hear and enjoy.
It sounds like your problem is more of a mental blockage that you have set up for yourself. Don´t over-analyze the situation... in the Words of the famous Frank Zappa "Shut up ´n play yer guitar" (actually a title from one of his albums )!
If you love playing guitar, then do that. If you´re heart is not in it - then give it up for something you´d rather spend your time on.
Best of luck to you!
- Electric Don Quixote -
I felt the same way honestly when I hit my mid 20's. Started playing seriously when I was 18 and over the next 8 years I had a lot of trouble finding consistent band mates. It can be hard finding people who are as committed to playing as you are. I think because of that my passion slowly started to wither and about a year ago I just said screw it. What I do now is promote Guitar like this one http://rockinguitarlicks.xyz/how-to-learn-lead-guitarbest-solo-guitar-songs/ Maybe some day i'll meet the right people and get back into jamming with bands like I use to. lol it's not definitely something i'm done pursuing for the moment though. My point here being, is that you can always find a way to live your passion in some way or another. There's always options so best of luck to ya! :P
Bands tend to stay together when they have gigs, and get restless when they don't have gigs.
There may be a point where you are never going to be a teen idol, but depending on your talent and desire, it's never too late to gig.
And you must think about where you are going to play as well.
Here in Florida a lot of people come here to retire. So playing music for the over 50 crowd at yacht clubs, country clubs, and retirement communities is perhaps the most reliable market. Second to that is country because west of the resorts and retirement communities there are plenty of mostly younger country fans.
Being a musical chameleon also helps.
But it takes good band-mates with like desires and a willingness to compromise on artistic visions if you have those. I'd love to play jazz, but I'd rather play baby-boomer top40 and make a living at that than take a day job and play jazz once or twice a month. Others make the opposite choice and that's OK too.
OK so in a nutshell you need commitment, talent, and flexibility.
I've been making my living by doing music and nothing but music for most of my life since 1964. I had a couple of day jobs while trying to see what normal was like, and IMHO normal is over-rated. I've made a living, paid a house off, take vacations, but go without some other luxuries that I could have had as an electronics engineer, but IMHO it was and is worth it for a live of making music and enjoying every day.
Thanks for the further replies... You guys gave me hope with your amazing posts! I haven't been visiting the forum lately, but I'm still where I am... Still no motivation and haven't really been practicing for like 4 or 5 months. Wow, I can't believe it's been this long!
Anyway, I think I'll get back at it pretty soon. I might be having an acoustic gig with two of my friends soon, and we've set up a practice session for this week. One of them (a bassist) also suggested that we start a rock/blues cover band. I'll go at it and I hope it gives me the motivation I so much need at this point in my life.
It's never too late to learn. You are still very young to be honest. Just don't change career path all over again.