How old is too old?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
leslietranter
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by leslietranter » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:17 pm

Lots of good advice in this thread with which I agree. I was 64 when I started classical guitar as a complete novice. Get a good teacher, have realistic goals and, most importantly, enjoy the journey because you never know how far or how long it will be. Being retired we have the gift of time and we know how to stick with things even when the going gets tough. I never thought I would last ten years, I'm now 74, I have little natural ability but I have become totally besotted with and devoted to the instrument. I look forward to my weekly lesson and through practice and persistence I now play grade 6/7 pieces. Aim high but be realistic, overly high expectations only leads to failure and depression. Good Luck.

StevSmar
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by StevSmar » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:39 pm

I had a break for about 10 years. Getting back into playing was tough, starting over again and also mourning for the years that I didn’t take advantage of.

I was surprised at how quickly I relearned what I’d known before, unfortunately bad habits also.

After about 3/4 of a year I started taking lessons, which was probably the most intelligent guitar decision I’d ever made.

At the moment I’m essentially having a break, partly due to injury (from those bad habits...) but mainly due to spending my spare time on other hobbies. I’m still having lessons though, learning surprising things as we explore musicology etc.

Good luck with your journey!!!
Regards,

Steven from Winnipeg

gm66
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by gm66 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:16 am

My 2c is the older the better! :P But it's important to know and accept any limitations.

I'm in my 50s and learning classical guitar (and piano) with a dodgy right hand due to a break that left my wrist at an angle. This has a minor effect on my guitar technique and a more substantial impact on my piano but as long as I'm having fun it's all good.

There is so much good material in books, and especially on the net, that it's possible now more than ever to make progress in musical self-tuition - both theory and practice. Also I can see how a teacher would have benefits, and perhaps one day I shall find one, but at present things are going along nicely.

Stan
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Stan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:25 am

Wow, thank you all very much for taking time to respond to my post. My ultimate goal is to be able to play competently for my self. I have never performed and I don't have that desire I just recently discovered classical guitar. I know that sounds strange but it is true. Of course I had heard classical guitar but I never listened to it, if that makes any sense. At this stage in my life, it is the most relaxing and enjoyable thing I can do.

Since I am retired, I have all day to practice, but I am not sure that practicing all day is a good thing, so I have been taking things slow and practicing for short 15 to 30 minute intervals. Discipline is something else I am working on. I think I will move my classical guitar away from my steel string guitars. It is too easy to pick one up when I get frustrated and I end up playing the same stuff I know and using the same bad technique. As I said in my original post, I am below zero due to all my bad habits and it will take a lot of work to correct that. I had no idea how different playing a classical guitar was until now. It's like playing a similar but in many ways, an unfamiliar instrument, a completely different experience.

I live in a fairly remote rural area but I am fortunate in that there is a university with an excellent school of music fifty miles away and I hope to contact the professor who teaches classical guitar and ask him to recommend a student who is willing to teach me. I have bought the first volume of Solo Guitar Playing by Frederick M. Noad due to recommendation I read on this forum.

I am thankful and gratified by all your responses and encouragement. I came to the right place by a stroke of good fortune.
The steam that blows the whistle never turns the wheel.

Fixin2
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Fixin2 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:59 am

I agree with Bear. Too old is leave this earth. If you get up in the morning and don’t read your name in the obituaries, then grab your guitar and play!

Scott Phillips
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Scott Phillips » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:13 am

To the OP. It sounds like you have a plan. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

Conall
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Conall » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:49 am

Getting back to the OP....
It's never to old to learn classical guitar.
But eventually we will all become just too mentally or physically infirm or both to start or continue.
How far you get depends on how good your teacher is, how motivated, musical, intellectually & physically capable & coordinated you are, how many lessons you can afford, how much time you have, if you have space & a tolerant spouse & not too many responsibilities....etc etc
My father is in his late 80s, has been playing badly since his 20s but still "practices" his guitar for about 30-60 minutes every day. He attempts all his favourites (including bits from the Aranjuez, Albeniz & Recuerdos) and although he's very intelligent and fluent in over half a dozen languages still struggles with staff notation on the guitar. He listens to BBC radio 4 (current affairs / talk radio) while playing! He acknowledges he plays poorly but accepts it because he still somehow manages to get something out of it - I don't know - maybe a vague clue to the tunes he really likes. Who cares, he's (relatively) happy playing, knows he'll never be Segovia & doesn't bother anyone & keeps out of my mother's hair for a while every day!
Try learning CG, preferably with a good teacher. Life is too short to worry about whether you will "succeed" or what everyone else thinks.

simonm
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by simonm » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:47 am

Note from Mod.

A number of posts have been removed from this thread so it is possible that there is an occasional post that contains a quote from a post which is no longer here.


Simon

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StGeorge
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by StGeorge » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:29 am

As long as we live, there is hope. Only death limits us. 8)
StGeorge, Slayer of Dragons.

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Arduous
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Arduous » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:43 pm

It's never too late and you are never too old.
I have been teaching for decades and have several students who are between 65 and 80.
They do really well.
Matter of fact they know what they want and have listened to music their whole life so they tend to be careful when they practice and actually understand the importance of it much better than people who are... "too young"....lol :D
Go for it.
Enjoy your self....have fun

Robert Drechsler
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Robert Drechsler » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:20 pm

Why should someone be too old for learning new things?

BrunoB
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by BrunoB » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:03 pm

As many others have said "you are never too old"! I have played CG for 60 years but had a twenty year break until recently. What I have discovered is that the three hour sessions are no longer possible due to stiffness etc but I have noticed that I use shorter sessions more wisely and with greater focus. I cannot play as fast and that helps me to avoid some of the mistakes I would have made when playing at a greater 'lick'. Short periods of concentration are good for you as well!
Best of luck and Play On!
BrunoB

Sharkbait
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Sharkbait » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:58 pm

Stan wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:25 am
Wow, thank you all very much for taking time to respond to my post. My ultimate goal is to be able to play competently for my self. I have never performed and I don't have that desire I just recently discovered classical guitar. I know that sounds strange but it is true. Of course I had heard classical guitar but I never listened to it, if that makes any sense. At this stage in my life, it is the most relaxing and enjoyable thing I can do.

Since I am retired, I have all day to practice, ...

I am thankful and gratified by all your responses and encouragement. I came to the right place by a stroke of good fortune.

Hi Stan,

I think it’s great that you are playing for the enjoyment of it, because that enjoyment or love will keep you going. Since your goal is to play competently for yourself and “it is the most relaxing and enjoyable thing I can do”, it sounds from your description that it’s the journey, not an end-goal, that is most meaningful to you. So you can approach the guitar just for the joy of playing it, without imposing too high standard of perfection or expectation on yourself.

While age may not be on your side as far as physical aspects are concerned, it is on your side from a psychological point of view. You will probably now have the determination to practice, the musical interest and will to keep at it, the self-awareness to forgive yourself when you keep repeating your mistakes, and best of all, the time and financial freedom to immerse yourself into the world of classical guitar (not only playing, but also listening to and exploring other classical guitarists).

I second the suggestions of others to get a good classical guitar teacher, if nothing else than to guide your technique so that you reduce the likelihood of injury. But most good teachers bring a wealth of experience that you might not even be aware you lack until it’s pointed out - e.g. rhythm, musicality, alternative fingering.

Have fun and I wish you many years of pleasure learning and playing the classical guitar! Delcamp is a great community so come back here often to share your journey with us.

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:02 pm

If you forget where you placed your car keys - that's normal and you are not too old. If you are looking at your guitar and wondering what it is and what to do with it - that's Alzheimer's - and you may or may nor be too old. When somebody has to change your diapers, you may be too old ... but maybe not.

Segovia had to be helped onto the stage in his final years. Rey de la Torre was young but so arthritic it ended his career.

So I'm sorry to say, I think the original question is flawed.
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bear
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Re: How old is too old?

Post by bear » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:12 pm

Stan wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:14 am
This is music related so I hope it's ok to post this here. I have fooled around with steel string guitars for about 45 years but never seriously. i can strum rhythm, play a few bluegrass and blues licks, basic barre chords and play a few basic fingerpicking patterns, but I can't play real fingerstyle guitar much less classical guitar. I do not read music or tabs. There are millions of us out here. I want to learn.

In 2009 I put the guitar down for 9 years. Last December I picked it back up and now I really want to get serious and truly learn how to play classical guitar. I am worse than a beginner due to all the bad technique I have picked up over the years, so I am starting from below zero level. I have a LOT to "unlearn". My fingers have loosened up some since I have been playing over the last few months but last year, I couldn't even bend my left index finger enough to make a C chord. That has improved to some extent but at 63 I have some stiff finger joints. I guess I am looking for a little truth here. Is it too late to start? I know I will never be a master of classical guitar but I really want to get serious and learn all I can before my ride in this world is up. Any comments, good or bad are welcome. Thanks.
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