I am in my 2nd year of learning tenor guitar – in my mid 60’s. I heard Richard Durrant play “Skye Boat Song” on the tenor guitar about 1 ½ years ago. I was smitten. Something was rekindled down deep within me and I knew that even though late in life, I had to start playing music again on the guitar.
I traded my standard (now vintage) guitar that I played as a teen for a beautiful tenor guitar handmade by the local music store owner. (See my post “Breaking up With my Guitar” for the backstory.) With a neighbor, roughly the same age and in a similar situation we signed up for guitar lessons and attend alternate weeks in the same time slot. Finding we both had a love of traditional folk tunes, we got over our shyness and started playing and singing together. Now we have a repertoire of about 8 songs that we have memorized and informally have played with other folks.
We are still not too polished but looking back but hey, I know the chords and the notes on this instrument. I am learning music theory, am learning how to sing harmony and am performing with another person. It’s a musical adventure.
The most difficult part of being a beginner is getting over the myths of learning as an adult, some of them being- I’m not talented enough, I can’t remember anything, or it’s too late for me. I’m not “good”, (yet) but I am sooooo much better than when I started.
We just returned from attending Wintergrass, a huge 4-day music festival in Seattle that had the best of the best in this genre and beyond. It was inspiring to hear all these fabulous musicians and then amateurs (including children) jamming in the hallways. There will be no fame in the future for us but that’s not the point. It’s but there are fun and joy of the
process of playing music that is what truly is important. An added benefit is keeping those brain cells firing.
Ultimately you can begin anything at any age if you have enough commitment to PRACTICE. Show up every day and you will improve. having a buddy will help but is not necessary.
Don’t ever think it’s too late to begin and just know that the first step is the hardest.
P.S. The best investment in life is in yourself
2 thoughts on “The View Beyond Beginner”
I’m in my mid 60s and I’ve just started to learn how to play the piano. We have a beautiful piano in our house that no one played for more than 20 years. Last year I finally had it tuned and it took a year but I finally signed up for piano lessons. I need to practise more but I can already hear an improvement from week one. I’m heading into week six.
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That’s so exciting! Thanks for sharing. I’ve found my 60s is a great time for exploration.
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