Is Age A Factor In Learning The Guitar? The Answer May Surprise You
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Maybe you have been thinking this for quite some time now “I am too old to play the guitar. If only I Started when I was a kid, I would have been the guitar player I want to be.” People say this when they are in their 40’s 50’s and 60’s etc. thinking that you cannot learn to play the guitar to a good level unless you start at a really young age. Well this is not true at all.
Now if you are an older adult I can predict the thought you likely have “you do not know what you are talking about, kids have the advantage of being able to learn, it is too late for me”. My response is yes I do, I have taught people who are older and helped them play at the level they want to play at, and yes kids have some advantage. But so do adults. More on that in a second.
No, it is not too late for you. Okay if you are 100 and you are in a hospital bed then it is too late to start playing. But as long as you are not in that situation you can absolutely play the guitar. With that being said, age is certainly a factor in your playing but not in the way that most people think.
About the author: Jake Willmot likes to practice guitar every day for at least 1 hour a day, as he is really enthusiastic when it comes to playing guitar. Jake has always preferred playing the guitar over a lot of things, even when he was at school and his friends were all playing football rugby, he always preferred the guitar. This has carried on to this day as he gives guitar lessons in Exmouth, Devon.
Starting as a child, advantages and challenges
You think that kids have all the advantage in the world? They really don’t. But with that said here is what they do have.
- They tend to be better at a lot of aural skills and activities like that
- They have no pre-conceived notion about their potential or learning- this is a big advantage since a lot of people do not think they can play the guitar. Whereas they are in the moment and if it is fun for them and not too hard for them they will not doubt themselves as much.
- They tend to be more nimble with their fingers.
- Tend not to be as focused as adults are- if you are not focused it is hard to get somewhere.
- They are not as strong as adults are since they are not fully grown yet. Do not underestimate the fact that they are not grown yet. Playing chords and certain techniques tends to be a LOT harder for them for this reason.
- They are not able to process things as quickly as adults are. Guitar is not just about the technical aspects.
Starting as an adult advantages and challenges
Yes you do have advantages. The issue here is that you likely are underestimating them. Here are they:
- Since you are fully grown you have strength on your side. While kids have to get a ¾ size guitar and still struggle with some things you can have a full size guitar and find certain things like chords much easier.
- You will be able to process things better than kids which is a major advantage. Why? Because when doing things like going from chord to chord, learning scales and things like that you are better at processing. This will allow you to do those things as your brain is more developed than kids.
- As you are an adult you are more focused than kids- this is a bigger advantage than you might think
- Aural skills may be a little challenging for you. This is something that can be overcome however with practice.
- You may have preconceived issues with your potential and mindset- DO NOT BELITTLE THIS. If you want to play the guitar or do anything that takes time, your mindset has to be at least fairly good. Because your mindset determines your choices and if you are mindset is bad you will not make the choices required to play the guitar.
- You may not be as flexible as you used to be and this may take time to build up again. But this can be done
Regardless of how old you are, age is irrelevant to playing the guitar well. Yes there are challenges but you can overcome these things. Playing the guitar is a decision, not a matter of how old you are.