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Let's say..... there was this guitar player.....

guitar_199

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
2
I don't know if this is the purpose of this section..... but I will try... and see what happens....

There was this guitar player who started at 10 years old and is now about to be 65. Learned completely by ear....and has been playing clubs for the last 30 years...and is consistently told.....he is really good.

but let's say...on introspection...this guy realizes NOW......at 65 ....just how much he missed by NOT having traditional lessons. A good ear.......and good ability to make the guitar do what his ears hear......BUT.....in his opinion...his right/left hand synchronization is not what he wishes it were.... picking dexterity... not smooth... and would like to see it better...

HERE is the question.... is it too late??? Are there materials I could gather to study.... or would it not even do me any good?

I know this is a wide open and very vague question...I just wanted to see where it would go. I have never HAD a single guitar lesson.... I would not know HOW to put a lesson plan together....

Just......for ME.... I'd like to be better....to get better... I just have no idea where to start....

I would welcome any comments....and... no I am not particularly sensitive!!!!! :)
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,172
It is never too late!

My suggestion: Find a jazz guitar teacher at your local university/college or guitar shop. Yes, specifically a jazz guitarist. They will have all the techniques and formal/academic/theoretical background to absorb your playing as it is and to identify your gaps. (It sounds like your gaps will be subtle and hidden since yo've been playing for so long and you have actual ensemble experience - which is a massive head start.)

It may take a couple of months of lessons (once a week or every other week) to begin sorting it all out - but stick with it and, because it's never too late, you'll learn something.

I remember an old guitar lesson video with B.B. King on which he was asked "What is the singe most important piece of advice you have for young players?" and his response was "Find a good teacher and stick with it!" If that's good for B.B., then it's good for everyone, young or old!

Yes, find a jazz guitar teacher and get yourself some lessons.

Report back!
 

DaviFlody

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Apr 22, 2021
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1
I started playing guitar myself at the age of 20. Now I am 25, and I play very coolly. I am sometimes shocked by my level of play. That's why you can do it, don't ever give up, my friend! I always wanted to learn to play the guitar, and I just got a new electric guitar that I dreamed of, it was Les Paul. The first thing that my father advised me to do was to go to his friend's guitar teacher. I thought I could learn to play the guitar myself, but after reading an interesting article on this site. And I realized that it is better to study music together with a teacher to learn faster. Most importantly, you will still know music theory, which is not a little important.
 
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OldStrummer

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
116
I'm pretty much where you are, except that I started about five years later than you did. But I'm five years older, so the time frame works out the same.

About two years ago, I signed up to take lessons from a guitarist who studied under Pat Martino, and has a masters in musical studies. Can't go wrong, eh?

Well, the problem we both recognized quickly is that my style of playing (and all the bad habits I self-taught myself) were not aligned to the "serious" guitar student. After a year of weekly lessons, we parted amicably. I parted with some good coin and came away with little to show for it.

I am undeterred, however. Being self taught before the Internet, I have found there are some terrific resources online, and I have availed myself of them and still do. What I have found works best for me is to not bite off more than I can chew; I find something that sparks a "light bulb moment," and ingest it before I move on. I'm not trying to be the best (it's too late for that, anyway). I just like being a lifetime learner, and I need others to help make that happen.
 

Nifty

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Apr 28, 2021
Messages
9
One suggestion, explore a genre or style you haven't tried. Classical or jazz maybe. I never think it's too late to learn something new.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
29
I am somewhat in the same boat but I did have lessons early on. As another poster mentioned above, there are excellent free resources on-line now, and I use them to make me a better player, and it works. All the music theory I learned when young is now mostly in brain cells I left behind:). To be honest, there are times when soloing I forget what key I am in and what the root chord is and I am playing an ingrained pattern I can play in my sleep. If that happens too often I know it is time to hit the books, er web sites, and start learning new things. It is amazing how much I don't know. Explore, have fun.
 

ourmaninthenorth

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Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
6,421
I've always flattered myself by thinking I am self taught, in reality, learning the mechanics of guitar playing was simple mimicry. Sitting for hours listening to albums and trying to find tiny snippets to copy. I find it as satisfying today as I did as a 12 year old kid with a head full of magic.

Am I a technically brilliant guitarist? I am not. Do I find simply playing guitars the most brilliant of experiences, I most assuredly do. As far as "technical advancement" goes, I have no ambition whatsoever. There is not another guitar player on the planet that can teach me a single thing about how to feel when playing, and that's what playing is to me, feeling. Deeply personal, a profound lived experience.

Rather obliquely I've always swerved the empirical side of being a guitarist, I should be at a certain level after a certain time span kind of posited argument. Why? Apart from impressing the easily impressed, it has zero value to me when I tuck something under my arm. That's when the musician in me comes to the fore, I simply play and see where it leads me and somewhat importantly what it allows me to escape from.

guitar 199, you are already there, look within rather than without, would be my humble contribution to this fascinating thread.
 
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clayville

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
5,731
Not sure if this will help any, but here goes: I'm a mostly self-taught blues hound and have been playing for 40 years. Good ear, can make musical noises in the right key and generally hold my own in most situations I encounter. Makes me happy, makes others happy on occasion. My knowledge of theory is wafer thin. About a decade ago I signed up for lessons with a Berklee-trained jazz guy hoping to find a path toward breakthrough improvement. He listened to me play a while, and then had me play along with him a while, asked me to stop and tell him the notes where my fingers were on the fretboard. Sheepishly, I couldn't. He asked me if I could sight read music and I confessed that all I can do is (very) slowly fumble through single melody notes. He told me that though I can play Guitar well, I don't really know Music - and that until I learned Music I would forever be handicapped, but once I did it would open many doors for my playing. Unfortunately, I had to go back to the beginning to do that - not so much to unlearn things but to learn the stuff I'd been ignoring for many decades.

I spent many months playing Mary Had a Little Lamb and other kid's stuff all over the neck, but it wasn't really opening any doors for me. And I was bored out of my mind, and so was he. Then somehow we hit upon Bossa Nova partial-chord triads as a way to perk things up - soon I was learning the notes, moving these triads around, and actually making music even if it wasn't the sort of music I expected to be making - and that was helpful. After about a year and a half though, I plateaued and I quit.

My point isn't "Hey, try Bossa Nova!" It is that it's hard to find the teacher or curriculum that's right for you, and it's hard for a teacher to motivate and teach new tricks to an old dog. Whatever it is you hope to learn, or whatever comes along in the process that inspires you, it's going to take work and practice to break out of your old habits. And many of them you should keep - they've been working for you for a long time. You've done your "more than 10,000 hours" on your own. But you'll need to find the balance between engaged exploration and real inspiration and put some more hours into it. Trying was helpful to me. Hope it works out for you.
 

dalezjc

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Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
17
I'm 67 and I took guitar up seriously at 62. I've always been able to play "cowboy chords" and could learn songs by ear decent enough. However, I didn't know what I didn't know. I started taking online courses (started with Griff Hamlin) and slowly learned scales (pentatonic, major, minor, etc) and started playing along with jam tracks. I took Justin Sandercoe's courses (JustinGuitar.com) and his stuff is incredible, and the far majority is free! I took one of Steve Stine courses, but didn't like his constant nagging of upgrading to better and newer courses. Fast-forward a few years and I'm writing my own material and learning to solo, and I'm having a blast! I just started taking Tim Pierce's courses, and I would say they're geared towards intermediate/advanced players, but it's fun an extremely challenging. Right now, my mind gets jumbled with all the scales, modes, arpeggios, etc and it makes it hard to come up with solo phrases sometimes. But I keep at it!

You're never too old!

Dale
 
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