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Old new guy


I'm 67 and I decided to learn guitar. Bought myself a brand new 5230 LH no tremolo. She's dressed in black and sounds great when somebody else plays her. I started formal lessons this past week. Any tips would be greatly appreciated thanks.


Hello, Blister, and welcome to the GDP (Gretsch Discussion Pages)! That's a nice guitar you have there, and it will sound fantastic in your hands in no time. I think that it's great that you are picking up a guitar, regardless of your age. All it takes is desire, and it sounds like you definitely have that. You've landed yourself in a very good place!

You asked for tips on getting started on playing your guitar, and we'll be very pleased to help you in any way we (myself included) are able to. We're a community of very kind and friendly people, that share a passion for Gretsch guitars, and just about anything else under the sun.

I could recommend that you don't push yourself to the point of where it stops being fun. It can be frustrating at first, and throughout your entire journey, trying to get music out of these remarkable instruments. If you start feeling the burn of frustration, relax and remind yourself that you are choosing to learn how to play a difficult instrument. It has a built-in complexity that requires a lot of different skill sets. Allow yourself the room to grow at a comfortable pace, and don't become discouraged if you aren't progressing as quickly as you want to. It takes a little time, but it's well worth the effort when it all starts coming together for you.


Welcome aboard and congratulations on your retirement. Nice guitar. Have a blast learning how to operate it.


Hello and welcome. Wade gave you good advise.


Welcome to the forum. That’s great that you’ve picked up the guitar, you’re certainly starting off on a nice one. That’ll definitely help!


Welcome, Blister. I have found much help here and I’m sure you will, too.


Hi Blister, Welcome aboard. Practice, practice, but also let yourself just explore and have fun. We're here if you need us. Nice lookin' axe!


If you're a blues or root-rocker, start with the E chord.

If you're a country cat or folkie, start with G.

If you're a depressive singer-songwriter, start with Em.

If you're a happy singer-songwriter, start with D.

If you intend to play jazz, start 50 years ago.


don't get discouraged if you don't sound great right away...everybody started out terrible except for the occasional prodigy.

work on keeping a steady rhythm/beat first. play a simple beat on the low E string so you get used to picking rhythmically. once you know a couple of chords, strum them in different rhythms. if you have a metronome that will help. lacking that, tapping your foot along with your playing focuses you on the beat. if you can't play a steady rhythm nobody will be able to play with you, nor will you be able to overdub yourself.

nobody likes playing barre chords other than metal guys with light strings and low action. you'll need to learn them, but expect it to hurt. nobody will blame you if you stick to simple "cowboy chords" until you build up your hand strength. Neil Young has made an entire career out of it.

make sure to discuss technique with your teacher, i.e. how to hold the guitar and pick. especially when we're in our 60s, incorrect technique can cause all kinds of hand and arm problems. if something feels wrong or like it could be damaging, stop doing it.

and like somebody said above, have fun with it. you're never too old to play so loud that the neighbors complain.


Welcome aboard! Take small steps. Rome wasn't built in a day. Keep it simple at first. Above all, have fun.


I don't usually have guitar advice, but since you're just starting out, there is one thing that I wish I had avoided right from the get-go.

I started quite a long time ago (1978, at age 11) on a 3/4 size acoustic guitar. It had action that was kind of high (strings were sort of far away from the fingerboard/frets). In order to get notes to sound properly, I felt like I had to push as hard as I could to get the string all the way down. So my mindset was "push harder." It ended up being a habit I still kid of struggle with - being a "strangler."

So my advice - consciously practice playing with as light a touch as possible.


Your advice to play lightly isn't for every style. A lot of fingerstyle work that involves fretting with your thumb doesn't allow for a light touch. Best advice is to have the guitar set up properly to avoid high action. Lower fret height helps me nicely as I don't pull fretted notes out of tune.


Point taken - a proper set-up is key.


find a song you love. and play it and play it and play it.


Welcome aboard and good luck with your guitar playing!


Be careful of using too heavy strings. The lighter ones are less work, If you need louder you have a volume control, that's just my opinion. I have seen many kids and others give up simply because learning was a chore, too high an action and too heavy a string choice.


Welcome to to the GDP!! It's a hell of a great group here. The pages have been here since the mid 1900s. In around 2007 or 2008, a lot of members started organizing meetups. So a lot of us actually have met, and we value new members and friendly faces. Enjoy!

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