Older guitar students - can 'old dogs' learn new tricks?

Hi All - I started learning at 68, am 74 now and still having fun with this. My sister gave me an acoustic when I was in high school and I stuck with it for a few months, just long enough to stumble through “The Times They Are A-changin”. Then I gave it up and periodically regretted it but never thought of starting over, mainly because for a long time, we’ve lived in a NYC apartment where making noise is a problem (I know, hard to imagine noise can be a problem in this town!). Anyway, I learned about ways to practice silently with an electric and that was the new beginning. Like some have mentioned here, I rushed through the lessons at first and have had to backtrack a few times. I’m comfortable with playing rhythm guitar along with songs I like and now making another attempt at my nemesis, barre chords. Justin’s lessons have been great and I’m going to keep at it.

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I can tell from experience about going to fast because of excitement but slowing down and even going back over the lessons help. Still struggling at times but well worth the extra effort. I’m not ready to perform but fun trying new songs with chords I know. Learning every day. Did I mention that I’m 68 and been playing now for a couple years. Hands don’t move like I’d like and slow at learning but having fun.

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Hi, Dave from Melbourne, Australia here.

At 51 years old (just) and am about 3.5 years into learning to play guitar again after a false start in my late teens. I am into blues, rock and country, but open to any kind of music.

I found Justin’s site early on and it has been very helpful. I’m really enjoying playing now and things are getting a bit easier to learn. Playing guitar helps me relieve stress and the feeling I get when I can play a lick or riff (somewhat) successfully is great. However, I’m still far from what I would call any good. My rythym needs work, I know a lot of intros and a couple of solos - but not really any full songs!

I think the next steps for me are to play with other people and find a good face to face teacher - supplemented with the invaulable lessons here as well.

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Hi Davemac and welcome to the community.

This rings alarm bells for me.

:dizzy_face:

My old mantra is needed here:
Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.
In the words of Abba: “Without a song or a dance, what are we?”

:slight_smile:

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You are right! I am close to learning all of Shallow (whole song) from Juston’s lesson atm …

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Two 73 year olds having fun and learning some cool tricks along the way.

Two old dogs

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I guess I’m one of those old golden retriever types - perpetually longing for the next mealtime, walk on the beach or new trick to learn, skipping along with my smiley chops and wagging tail.

Hiya from Tyne and Wear UK :grinning:

Its lovely to be here among all of you inspiring folks as I strangle half baked tunes from my guitar and sing the wrong words. I hope to be as adept as you in the not too distant future (with the help of these amazing courses from Justin - he’s da man! (I see my kids cringe as I write those words :joy:))

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Hey Fay won’t be long before you’ll be inspiring others who join this journey after you. Just take your time, everything you need is here. I’m shivering thinking of beach walks this time of year in your neck of the woods though !
:sunglasses:

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Hi everyone, I am Michael from Washington UK. I have not picked up a guitar in over 50 years, so I guess I qualify for this topic. I gave it a try when I was a teenager but didn’t get very far and was not very good, had to give it up when real life kicked in. I have always had in the back of my mind that one day to give it another go when I had time. I was putting the Christmas decorations away and spotted my old guitar in the back of the cupboard, so started to wonder if this was the time to give it another go. As you do, I went to the internet for a bit of search around, my how things have changed, electronic tuners for guitars, wish I had that back then, never really got the hang of tuning with pan pipes and listening to the notes.
I also came across Justins Guitar lessons and was very impressed so decided to give it a go. First problem when I got the guitar out of the cupboard was that it was in need of repair, tuners had not faired well. I was not in the mood for a bit of DIY so I gave away my old guitar to somebody who said they would repair it and put it to good use, and I went out and bought a new one. I am less than a month in and started at the very beginning, really enjoying following the lessons, I have learnt more in that time than I knew before. I think I have made reasonable progress and surprised myself, some things have come back easily, such as chord changes but more complicated strumming is beyond me at present, but I keep practising. The ability to play along with some of my favourite songs in the app is magic. I intend to stick with it so wish me luck.

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Hi everyone. Old dog from Virginia taking up guitar in my late 50s. Still trying to figure out the basics. Finger tips are getting there, but it’s the rest of my arm that’s giving me issues. Keeping my thumb in the “right” position seems to be using long dormant muscles and tendons. Looks like I need to take up yoga to make this work.

Nevertheless, I’m having fun, and it has given me something in common with my musician son.

I’ve enjoyed reading other member’s posts and many are truly inspiring.

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Hi @MAT1953 and @FayH! Great to see other north easterners in the community. I’m an oldster up in Northumberland and just joined a few weeks ago. Just thought I’d say hello!

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Semper Fi, Burnspot!

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Always nice to know you are not alone.

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I’m a yellowing 56 here and only been learning the guitar for 45 years. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Hi. Ben here. It seems that I am not quite the oldest here, 73 and a bit with plenty of years left to try and get a tune out of a guitar. I tried to play yonks ago on a cheap nylon stringed guitar but books and CDs etc. never really made sense, they all seemed to assume a good knowledge of music and I am definitely not musical. Some time passed - Children - Grandchildren - Retirement - and I thought that I would have another go. I reckoned the best thing to do was get a new guitar so I bought a better acoustic guitar and after another period of getting nowhere I discovered Justin just at the beginning or the UK lockdown. His style of online lessons are just right for me. I love his philosophy of not worrying about getting everything right so long as you enjoy yourself. I am following both of those ideas. The other piece of advice he gave as far as I was concerned was that electric guitars are easier to play, so I got one of those as well. That really is true. I’m still not any good but I have an appreciative audience with my family who are impressed with my repertoire of three songs! Now that I have found it, I will enjoy following this thread for further inspiration.

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Hi, I picked up my first guitar 18months ago at the old age of 61. The last time I tried to play a musical instrument was a recorder in primary school!
Don’t give it as much attention as I should but enjoy the app and truly believe it has improved my playing.

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Congratulations for that! My family has begrudgingly accepted that they are going to have to put up with the noises coming out of my guitar until the noise (hopefully) gradually starts to sound like pleasant music.

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I might have overstated it a bit by saying ‘songs’. I think your use of the word noise is nearer the mark :hear_no_evil:

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Hi everyone I’m a 53yr old just learning again after about 7yrs of keeping the guitar in the attic. Now on module 4 of Beginner grade 1 and have found that I can now sometimes change chords without looking at the fretting hand, but am still struggling to move off from playing just on the first beat. Would it be better to slow the tempo down even to its lowest level(I use the song app) and try to keep up at that tempo to play on all of the beats?

Simon

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Yes Simon, that would be a good idea; accuracy is important and you don’t want to practice mistakes - if you do they stick.

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