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It's About Time


(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
Topic starter  

This post is more for the younger players out there. By younger, I mean the teens and 20 somethings. It's somewhat of a philosophical post, so skip if you're not into this kind of thing. I'm sitting here frustrated with my current lack of skill and ability on the guitar. I look back to the day I first picked up the guitar and thought, "hey, I can do this". That was 30 years ago. Like many others on this forum, I was 15 years old when I first started. I learned two or three chords and the put the guitar down.

Life and time caught up with me and when I finally decided to pick up the guitar again, I needed to start all over. Let me say it this way...YESTERDAY, when I was 15 years old, I thought that I'd have plenty of time to catch up and learn how to play. TODAY, I'm 45 and I can't believe that I'm just starting out. Yes, it DID go that quick.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing. I love learning how to play. Playing the guitar has become a huge part of my life. I wish I could go back and kick myself for quitting. So I guess this is a reminder to those of you who are just starting out and still have your youth. DO NOT STOP PLAYING!!! Tomorrow will come very quickly and you will not have the free time you have now.

For what its worth...

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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 KR2
(@kr2)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2725
 

Wow
Well said.
And like most advice from "older people" it will probably go totally ignored.
You know "casting pearls (of wisdom) before swine"

I can say almost the same.
I had a choice of any instrument to play back when I was 13
Mom took me to a music store and I walked out with a clarinet
Yeh, that's a rockin' instrument (not)
What a mistake that was Oh well
Making the correction now. . . . and enjoying it.

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


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(@dbrownlee)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 18
 

This is very true. I myself started a couple months ago at the age of 44. You think clarinet is bad? I went with the trombone. By the way, what does the "GAS" I keep seeing in posts mean?


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(@steph)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 26
 

As someone who is in his early twenties I feel like I should add some comment to it.
In hindsight it is always easy to say what you should have done at any given age. I had the opportunity to learn an instrument when I was about 10 years old and my parents would pay for everything: yet it did not interest me at the time.
Had my parents insisted, or had I known that I would like guitar as I do know and I would've taken lessons, would I still have enjoyed the instrument?
When I finally did start learning to play guitar it was really because I was ready for the journey at the time, and I knew I would be able to enjoy it. Maybe there is such a time for everyone, and just keeping on playing because "who knows when I will look back on my life and curse myself for not doing this now" will not have the same effect.
Just food for thought.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

This is very true. I myself started a couple months ago at the age of 44. You think clarinet is bad? I went with the trombone. By the way, what does the "GAS" I keep seeing in posts mean?

GAS = Guitar (or Gear) Acquisition Syndrome.

I'm another one who wanted to play guitar from a very young age....the first time I saw the Beatles, when I was about six years old, was the day I knew I wanted a guitar. I badgered and pestered and wheedled to no avail....had to wait till I was about sixteen before I got my first guitar. Classical nylon strung no-name acoustic - I think every teenager who badgers their parents for a guitar winds up with one of those as a first guitar. Strummed it listlessly for a while, put it down.

And like a lot of other people, life got in the way - marriages, kids, jobs etc. I was 46 - four years ago - when I decided I wanted to play guitar seriously. I knew quite a few chords, and a lot of songs back then...and that was it.

Now I work bloody hard at improving my guitar playing - 4-6 hours a day is about the minimum. I no longer have any illusions of superstardom - this time I'm doing it for me. But oh, the regrets - why, why, why couldn't I convince the parents way back then how serious I was? Why didn't I practise more when I was younger?

Ah well - I can't do anything about it now. So I'll just carry on, playing every day, for my own amusement and pleasure. Some days I never put a finger wrong - some days I can't put a finger right. But I'll carry on doing it because I love playing guitar.

Someone once said "if only" is the saddest combination of words in the English language....don't know who it was, but he was bang on the money.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

This is very true. I myself started a couple months ago at the age of 44. You think clarinet is bad? I went with the trombone. By the way, what does the "GAS" I keep seeing in posts mean?

GAS = Guitar (or Gear) Acquisition Syndrome.

I'm another one who wanted to play guitar from a very young age....the first time I saw the Beatles, when I was about six years old, was the day I knew I wanted a guitar. I badgered and pestered and wheedled to no avail....had to wait till I was about sixteen before I got my first guitar. Classical nylon strung no-name acoustic - I think every teenager who badgers their parents for a guitar winds up with one of those as a first guitar. Strummed it listlessly for a while, put it down.

And like a lot of other people, life got in the way - marriages, kids, jobs etc. I was 46 - four years ago - when I decided I wanted to play guitar seriously. I knew quite a few chords, and a lot of songs back then...and that was it.

Now I work bloody hard at improving my guitar playing - 4-6 hours a day is about the minimum. I no longer have any illusions of superstardom - this time I'm doing it for me. But oh, the regrets - why, why, why couldn't I convince the parents way back then how serious I was? Why didn't I practise more when I was younger?

Ah well - I can't do anything about it now. So I'll just carry on, playing every day, for my own amusement and pleasure. Some days I never put a finger wrong - some days I can't put a finger right. But I'll carry on doing it because I love playing guitar.

Someone once said "if only" is the saddest combination of words in the English language....don't know who it was, but he was bang on the money.

:D :D :D

Vic

+1

#4491....


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(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
 

I think I got lucky

First time I played guitar, I was 12-13 years old. We had music classes at school, 2 classes per cycle of 9 days. And I was SO happy to play guitar, cause before that, the only instrument I played was xylophone and flute... But I was very disapointing with the guitar classes, it was boring... Cause we had to learn in group, it was long and slow and evrybody at the same time. No rock'n'roll stuff..

So I kinda "stop" to play after that and I thought that music was not for me.

Later, my cousin got an electric guitar and finally never really played on it.. I was curious and she lend it to me for about 1 month. I just love it and my mother bought it from my cousin as my birthday gift. I was 18 years old I'm now 19, not far from 20.

So hopefully, that "guitar break period" is over

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


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(@viper)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 38
 

My sister got one of those no name nylon strings, and fortunately for me she quit. I was 15 at the time.
So, there's that chunck of wood collecting dust in the corner, I steal it form her and go to about.com and learned all the lessons there. My hands hurt so much after that, but the seeds were sewn. I was addicted. 6 months later, I'm absorbing theory and playing classical and electric guitar about 7-8 hours a day everyday. And when I don't have the guitar I go over theory. And when I don't have a writing instrument, I'm reading a book on theory or music. Music has truly taken over my life, and I couldn't be more thankful for it... except that I wish it had happened about 6 years ago.
P.S. My hands haven't bled yet =[

Ibanez RG3EXFM1


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I don't think I was ready to learn guitar until later in life. The younger version of me would not have had the patience.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

I'm not sure ho wmy story relates although it's similar to most of the older players here. I started out playing trumpet in grade school, did that for two years and got bored with it. Trumpet wasn't a cool instrument.

Convinced the parents to buy me a guitar and like Vic mentioned it was a nylon string acoustic. I took lessons for about a year. I had to walk a couple miles to my lessons and felt like a dork carrying my acoustic guitar around(I was very self concious). In that whole year I never learned a chord it was all single note playing, May Had a Little Lamb, crap like that. My teacher told me to practice everyday for at least a half hour which I did, but I'll I would do is look at the clock waiting for the 30 minutes to be up so I could go outside and play baseball, football or just hang out with my friends.

None of my friends played any instruments as we were all into sports so eventually I lost interest and stopped playing. Then did all the usual stuff went to college, got married, got divvorced, got poor again.

I ended up working at a rock n roll club to help my finances after my divorce and got to see hundreds of great shows for free and meet a few rock stars along the way, but that really didn't light the fire for me. I eventually met a girl who worked at the club who at the time was the lead guitarist in a Hardcore band.

About the same time I bought a guitar for my oldest daughter. As I saw her progressing I thought it would be cool if we could do something together some day. Also I think I did it to impress the ex-girlfriend who I had kept in touch with(she's now my wife)..unfortunately she still isn't impressed..oh well.

Fast forward a couple years and the girlfriend moved south to pursue a job as a radio DJ and I was all by myself for probably the first time in my life. On a whim I went out an bought an electric guitar and putzed around for about a year or more with it before I deceided to start taking lessons.

I have days like Vic were it feels like man I'm gonna be able to play this thing one day and then others like Wow I suck big time I should give it up. In reality I'm probably somewhere in the middle not real bad but not to good either.

I hooked up with a few people over the years Wes being one of them and now we jam once a week every Friday with the hope of maybe playing out somewhere.

I tell my kids the same thing about music just stick with even if it's semi serious now because at some point you'll come back to it.

Well that's my boring story.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@stellabloo)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 189
 

I don't think I was ready to learn guitar until later in life. The younger version of me would not have had the patience.

Oh that was me picked up me dad's guitar at 16 and said - "WTF??? you have to do WHAT with your fingers just to play a chord?" lol and went back to the piano.
During my treeplanting years I bought a mandolin and figured out how to jam along to simple tunes but never seriously studied this as a solo instrument and then finally packed it away.
Last year I finally wound up with some time on my hands again, only to discover that the speaker on my electric piano had developed an annoying buzz. So I panicked and bought a really cheap guitar on ebay. It was my way of lashing out lol.

Now the funny thing is, that cheap guitar TALKED to me. That just never happened when I was a teenager. My guitar talked to me the way the mandolin talked to me, it told me how it wanted to be played I bought a bag of picks when I bought my guitar and the guitar told me it didn't want me to use picks .... My guitar led me from one song to the next .... The whole guitar thing has practically orchestrated itself with lots of help from GN of course ...

... but here's the thing - my teenager has seen me pick up the guitar and learn so much in just a short time and really, really have fun playing songs - lol it has been a Kumbaya-free zone and now HE's hooked. He won't play scales and he won't go to a guitar teacher :? but he is still playing after 3 months and actually getting better which is self-reinforcing as well... (sucks to get stuck in the same place f-o-r-e-v-e-r, I know).
I tell him to try to play at least 15 min a day which is IMHO a do-able goal - and often turns into more time just because you are already sitting down and playing. I mean, he IS a teenager .... and that is the other big thing (and also from reading other posts) learning to play stuff you actually enjoy playing?

Long story short - I too missed the boat and will never be a rock star :( but if we do it all when we're young, what excitement is left for us when we're older? And in the end, the true joy of learning is found in the process, without attachment to result 8) - a concept that was WAY over my head when I was young.

What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's really all about?

~ why yes, I am available on youtube ~
http://www.youtube.com/stellabloo


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

but if we do it all when we're young, what excitement is left for us when we're older?

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. If you enjoy it today, you'll enjoy it again, and more so, tomorrow. If it's no fun today, well, hell, it can only get better tomorrow.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I too missed the boat and will never be a rock star :(

If I was a rock star when I was 20, I'd have been a statistic by the time I was 30. :(

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Ray,

Better to burn out than fade away....

Vic,

I'm not sure I'm with you on the if you love it now you'll enjoy it more so tomorrow. In theory yes but it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes you get burned out and it isn't fun anymore. I played softball for 20+ years and for a few years, I was pretty hardcore we'd play about 130-150 games in a season which was only from early May to September, so that's alot of games crammed into a short time. I love to play the game but I finally got burned out on it and lost most of my interest. Of course I was alsos playing alot of other sports to as I was playing flag football in a league, two basketball leagues and a bowling league so I was playing sports in some league almost every day of the year.

I still love sports and always will but the thrill isn't there like it used to be, although I have been playing hoops lately. This is finally 4 years after tearing my ACL and having in reconstructed.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@wattsiepoops)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 271
 

This post is more for the younger players out there. By younger, I mean the teens and 20 somethings. It's somewhat of a philosophical post, so skip if you're not into this kind of thing. I'm sitting here frustrated with my current lack of skill and ability on the guitar. I look back to the day I first picked up the guitar and thought, "hey, I can do this". That was 30 years ago. Like many others on this forum, I was 15 years old when I first started. I learned two or three chords and the put the guitar down.

Life and time caught up with me and when I finally decided to pick up the guitar again, I needed to start all over. Let me say it this way...YESTERDAY, when I was 15 years old, I thought that I'd have plenty of time to catch up and learn how to play. TODAY, I'm 45 and I can't believe that I'm just starting out. Yes, it DID go that quick.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing. I love learning how to play. Playing the guitar has become a huge part of my life. I wish I could go back and kick myself for quitting. So I guess this is a reminder to those of you who are just starting out and still have your youth. DO NOT STOP PLAYING!!! Tomorrow will come very quickly and you will not have the free time you have now.

For what its worth...

Thanks for the words of wisdom!
Im 17 and havent been playing long, but i have been through my fair share of instruments. From something like 5 until 11 i played recorder and was lead first descant in my primary (elementery for you americans) school. Then i went to high school and gave up on music until year 8 then i took up cello! cello of all instruments. But i threw away the bow and got into the finger plucking.

Now i am playing guitar and really enjoying it! I dont have any desire to quit just yet but i will remeber this for when that time creeps around ( Because from what im reading it is sure to, it does for everybody from time to time).

David Watts
Takamine G-Series - £229
Fender STD American Telecaster (Cola Red) - £849
Vox 15watt AMP (Valve pre amp) - £129
Acoustic/Electric Rhythm and Lead (Occasionally) Southport Elim Youth Band
Former Aftershock 24/7 Rhythm Guitarist (Band split)


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