Is it more likely that you will make it on one of Elon Musk’s space flights or be able to play the guitar like a pro?
The thought of learning how to play guitar could be daunting once you are past the accepted age of learning something new. Watching the sophisticated manoeuvres of Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton or B.B King don’t make it easy to start on the journey either. Break it down, however, and see that there are essentially three components to learning: the desire, a guitar and practice!
While we have the secret desire to learn something new, we end up making excuses. We either don’t have the time, we’re too old to learn, or just don’t think we have it in us. But none of these barriers are insurmountable.
If you are a complete beginner, it might be a bit hard at the start, but learning gets easier with time. The more you practice, the easier it gets. What you need to remember is that once you get grips with the basics, it won’t be as intimidating.
In fact, learning the guitar later in life has its own advantages. Adults know which style of music they like, have listened to a lot more of it than a child, and most importantly, they understand that everything doesn’t need to be perfect, making the journey a lot more enjoyable. Once they figure out the mechanics of holding and strumming a guitar, adults can usually replicate a melody far more quickly than a child. Your age can be an asset.
Take the example of Wes Montgomery. After a Charlie Christian record mesmerised him, a 24-year old Montgomery taught himself to play the guitar. In no time, he was managing his day-job at a milk company along with performing at nightclubs in the evenings. It was one of these gigs that got Montgomery his first studio album, setting the stage for his eventful, twenty-year long career as a guitarist. Age certainly didn’t stop Montgomery from honing his newfound talent and making a career out of it.
Not all of us are looking to become a world famous guitarist, but we could start with being the fun guitarist at the next house party, and who knows where that could lead.