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Older Beginners?

50 Posts
39 Users
Posts: 2717
Famed Member

There must have been a reason for this thread to be resurrected.
I'm not even Catholic but feel I'm at a confessional.
OK, 56 and retired. Started about 7 months ago.
Just want to impress my friends and myself that I can play a guitar.
Still workin' on it.

Now what? Seven Hail Mary's or whatever it's called . . .

You're not alone, OK?
You're invited to commiserate with us beginners on the Hear Here board (Beginner's Videos)
Laugh at us at your risk.


It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

Posted : 08/05/2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 21
Eminent Member

I am over 60. Not going to tell you how far over. I started playing just about a year ago now and am taking lessons. Having a great time. I find it relaxing and fun and it keeps my old sclerotic brain active............

I would tell you it helps get the chicks but that doesn't seem to matter anymore.....................

Posted : 09/05/2008 2:19 am
Nick Torres
Posts: 5381
Illustrious Member

Let me tell you having played in a band at the age of 18 and now being the tender young age of 46, playing guitar and singing still can get the chicks. It's just the underwear they throw at me now is much more sensible.

Posted : 09/05/2008 2:27 am
Posts: 4
Active Member

Ive only just registered and this is my first post.
Im 41 years young and I will be a begginner.Ive ordered a Yamaha Fs720 small bodied accoustic guitar and should get it by the end of the week.

Im not new to playing musical instruments I play keyboards and I have achieved a ABRSM grade 8 on piano so I can read music,and have very good theory knowledge.I hope I can make the switch to guitar and make good progress.

What coarse do you think is ideal for an adult begginner that will start me off and be progressive?
Do I learn the guitar using tab or notation?


Posted : 17/05/2008 8:53 am
Jick Jackson
Posts: 90
Estimable Member

Cheers with big lefty, I'm 38 and have been learning guitar for 26 years. The only wisdom I can impart, since I don't consider myself a master are (in no order):

Keep playing, it (playing music) has health benefits that can't be explained.
If someone tells you you're doing it wrong, evaluate their explanation and explore and if you disagree gently tell them to f off. I learned this the hard way.
Once you know the basics, you know everything, but maybe only a small part of it. Playing guitar has a lot to do with math (which I suck at BTW pretty funny I'm an accountant by trade) but when you get key concepts, they matter later.
Your current equipment should not, under ordinary circumstances, limit your possibilities. If you can't make a crappy guitar and amp sound decent, you certainly can't do a whole lot better with an expensive outfit and you're only wasting money (if you feel you fall into this category I would be happy to be your paid consultant).
Don't ask friends what they think about your playing. They will lie. Unless you have brutally honest friends.
Chicks don't dig you because you have a guitar but if you can write and play them a song, they are melting (I am so sorry to any female posters that think that's misogynistic but hey it may be true vice versa for all I know). I know if a woman sat down and played me a song I might have to take a cold shower.
Your age has nothing to do with guitar playin' unless you have shriveled fingers or crippling arthritis. Many guitar greats played and play wellinto their 80's. I have arthritis in my left hand that was mangled beyond belief in an accident in 1995 but after they lasered all that muscle and sinew back together it only took about 6 months to get back where i was. They (doctors) say it will get worse; I say regular use of all those muscles in my hand can only help. And there's always vicodin (joke!)
Always make it fun, if it feels like a chore then it's not for you. It may be unfun trying to nail something, but when you do it is way more fun than than the effort put in, and you forget.
Clip your nails. You nailbiters freak me out.

With all due respect,

Wait, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
Visit The Best Show on WFMU at

Posted : 18/05/2008 4:55 am
Posts: 2717
Famed Member

Excellent post, Jick

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

Posted : 18/05/2008 12:52 pm
Posts: 3
Active Member

I picked up a guitar for the first time at age 60. I have always been very athletic and one of those people that can't sit still for 5 minutes. Father Time has been whispering in my ear for the last year or so that it is time to find something I can do while seated. I have only been at it a couple of months now but I am hooked. I followed advise and bought the best guitar I could afford (It is a lower end Taylor) and I fall in love every time I brush my fingers across the strings. By this time next year I am hoping to break the five minute chord change barrier. My first gig will probably be at the retirement home. I might even start a band there. We can call ourselves "The Almost Dead". :D

Posted : 30/04/2010 3:55 pm
Posts: 596
Honorable Member

Let me tell you having played in a band at the age of 18 and now being the tender young age of 46, playing guitar and singing still can get the chicks. It's just the underwear they throw at me now is much more sensible.
And occassionally larger. :mrgreen:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- "WOW--What a Ride!"

Posted : 01/05/2010 2:24 am
Dan T.
Posts: 5044
Illustrious Member

I didn't start in my 40's but I'm there now so welcome aboard and enjoy yourself!

Ditto! 8)

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge

Posted : 02/05/2010 12:19 pm
Posts: 1
New Member

I've been a beginner for over 40 years! I'll be 50 this year, and first learned to play as kid. Played the same six chords badly off and on but mostly off for years. Started lessons again a couple of years ago and those six chords started sounding not too bad. But then I was hit with rhuematoid arthritis and its accompanying sausage fingers and had to give it up again. Lots of drugs and doctors later, I'm back at it!

To make a long story longer, it's taken me around 30 years to figure out the 'good' guitar I bought when I was 18 is just too big and awkward for me for me to play comfortably. An ex-boyfriend helped pick it out and it's a super jumbo. Anyway, I found a small guitar I really like today that was sooo easy to play, so I started looking for reviews of it online and found somebody on these forums who had one. So I signed up and that's how I got here, a beginner again!

Posted : 09/05/2010 12:20 am
Alan Green
Posts: 5342

Well, welcome to the party; you'll find all sorts of help here on how to make playing the guitar easier if you have limited mobility (altered tunings and bottleneck slides spring rapidly to mind)

A :-)

"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:

Posted : 09/05/2010 5:55 am
Posts: 5
Active Member

Hello All,

This is my first post also. I am 46 and started playing about 16 months ago. It is amazing how captivating learning this instrument can be! It is inspiring to see so many other people my age just starting out. I wish I had done it 30 years ago. I guess the best advice I can give someone starting out at any age is to find a good instructor and have your guitar setup properly. Those two things can make a world of difference in how fast you improve! Not that you need to be in a hurry just enjoy the ride........

Posted : 04/06/2010 4:03 am
Posts: 21
Eminent Member

I'm new here, and this will be my first post. I'm an older beginner.

I bought a nice little used 1956 Martin 015 guitar in 1969, but I was shipped to Vietnam before I had a chance to learn to play it. 39 years later, May 2008, now age 60, I wanted to get wife something nice for our 38 wedding annaversy, but I had no money. So I decided to write a poem for her. It accidently turned out to be a song instead. I needed music for the song so I dug up my little Martin guitar I somehow managed to kept all those years. I taught myself three finger positions on the strings and I made music for the song. I sang the song and played the guitar (with raw bloody finger tips). Wife loved the song and cried. My fingers were killing me and I cried. I still haven't had time to do much with music. I wrote a few more songs and learned a few more finger positions since then, but that's about it. I only wish I had been able to start way-back then. It looks like some nice people are here. I want to put one of my songs on the "show your song" part of the forum and see if anyone likes it. Well, enough said. I gotta go now. Thanks for putting up with me.

Take care,
one song wayne

Posted : 16/06/2010 5:01 am
Posts: 4
Active Member

I turn 44 tomorrow, just retired and I'm getting serious about learning. It's never to late. Besides all the people I know that play, they had to start somewhere. Now it just motivates me to catch up to them, maybe even out shred them!

Posted : 17/06/2010 10:42 pm
Posts: 2
New Member

We all know someone who began to learn something (some activity) at what may be looked on as a late start. It really doesn't matter. Evidence all the replies so far. You just do what strikes your passion at the stage of your life that you can do it.

Great posts.

Enjoy Playing, Enjoy Life

Posted : 18/06/2010 11:36 pm
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