The Woodshed

Anyone here start taking guitar lessons later in life?


You have nothing to lose, something we should all consider.


I 'played' guitar for years...from when I was 11 years old to when I was 42. At 42 I realized I knew just as much about actually playing a guitar as I did when I was 11! Basic cowboy chords and the odd half-assed walking bass line were about the extent of my prowess. Then I met Paul Pigat and started taking regular lessons with him. The key for me was finding a teacher who taught me exactly the style of music I wanted to play while cleverly weaving all of the music theory through fun lessons. Like putting a dog's pill in a blob of peanut butter

It was slow going at first (for Paul especially...the guy has the patience of a saint!) but I persevered and the proficiency of my playing made huge leaps over a few years. I now front two regular gigging bands and although I'm no guitar god I can hold my own and along with my band mates keep a dance floor hopping all night.

Lessons at any stage of life are a very good thing.


I'd like to. I just don't have enough time.


I'd like to. I just don't have enough time.

– Billy Zoom

well something to look forward to..a dozen years from now..when your "semi" retired!! hah



I'd like to. I just don't have enough time.

– Billy Zoom

If you take lessons you might make it someday.


It's never too late, Grump. I took lessons when I was in my early 40's. Best thing you can do. There are performing pro's that still have teachers.


Don't know if anyone mentioned it, but I clearly remember way back when in an interview in Guitar Player Magazine with Chet Atkins where he was taking lessons from I believe Andres Segovia. I remember thinking how cool that a guitar god could be so humble. Always sumptin to learn, why music is a lifelong pursuit, maybe two or three.


Enjoyable read about a 40 something trying to learn to play:



"Anyone here start taking guitar lessons later in life?"

A few half a century ago but, these days, I don't want skill to cramp my style.


I've had students of all ages. There's very little difference, I think. They drop out or catch fire at about the same rate. Getting paid by the hour, I don't get frustrated when a student doesn't practice, but it's a lot cooler when they do! My last 40-something student took weekly lessons for about 2 months, then he retreated into Youtube. He would call every 3-5 weeks, set up a lesson, and we'd go on Youtube and I'd help him tighten up the stuff he wasn't figuring out on his own. That really worked for him. Funny...just tonight I mentioned to the wifey that I took 6 or 8 lessons back when I was about 16. She said, You did pretty well with them...maybe it's time to take 6 or 8 more!


I would make lessons stick if I knew I could turn out like Johnny.This kid kills it!


Done. My first lesson is Tuesday at 4:30.


If you take lessons you might make it someday.

– UncleGrumpy

Um, perhaps, you have your incentive, now!


You ain't whistlin' Dixie. I went to the shop today to get strings and sign up for lessons. I was ready to back out but now I know that I must learn. I think it will be fun and I now have a little someone to pass my my knowledge to.


Depending on your playing level and the quality(your definition of)produced that satisfies you, I believe you can learn a lot.

When it comes to blues, I have my own style and created it from influences. I'm set in my ways and like what I play. If there could be a teacher to help me get past certain hurdles it would be great.

Now for playing stuff I love but rarely ever play? Hell yes I'd pay for lessons.

Good luck Grumps!


My first lesson was fun, better than I expected. My teacher seems to know exactly what I want and started with more advanced material than I thought he would. He surprised me when he said that I have natural talent and great skills. I wonder if he tells that to all of his students. I am practicing every day and look forward to my next lesson.


A few years ago (you know, come to think of it, I believe it has actually been about ten by now), I decided to take drum lessons. Eventually I switched over to drum kit with the idea of being a one man studio band, inspired in part by some of the excellent recordings I've heard by some esteemed members of various guitar forums which I read and take part in.

You might not think that a guy in his fifties would start something totally new like drumming. But I thought if I can just be competent, that's good enough, realizing that I will never be Ginger Baker, or Gene Krupa even in my wildest dreams. But I thought if I can be as steady as Ringo, and really play a given groove "in the pocket" as they say, that will be good enough. And I have a great appreciation for Ringo's drumming.

As far as guitar goes, I'd really like to advance my finger picking more, maybe branch out into chord melody arranging. It would also be fun to pick up a Telecaster and turn out some hot Nashville hybrid picking.

So yeah, I'm a firm believer in taking private lessons no matter what your age may be.


Update. If you think that you are too old to start lessons you are wrong. I'm having a blast. Some of my homework is tedious but most of it is way fun. I'm learning scales and chords that I had never heard of and also learning how they relate to many different songs. I come home after every lesson with a new found excitement for playing the guitar. It's fantastic.

There are parents waiting for their kids when I go for my lesson and they often ask of me if I am a teacher. My reply is "No, I'm just one of the kids."

A small bit of knowledge can go a long way.


Good on you, Grump! I took a year of lessons when I first started playing at 22. A couple of years ago when I was 45, I took lessons again to learn how to play some lead. Glad I did!

You can teach an old dog new tricks . . . if the old dog wants to learn and will expend the effort.


I had to start over from scratch at age 55 after being in a coma. Brain and fingers could not connect.

Could not play a note when I woke up and it took a year to begin playing a song again. I almost quit but, hung in there. Now, I am in my late sixties and study/practice/write/record every day.

So age should be no problem for you. My experience taught me to take SMALL bites of knowledge or technique and apply them in as many ways as possible.

The wrong teacher could be a bad thing. I need to know WHY something works so I like a teacher who can tell me why as well as what...

Good luck, amigo☺


A man in my church just last week signed up for lessons on learning to play. He's in his late 60's. I think that's really neat.


A man in my church just last week signed up for lessons on learning to play. He's in his late 60's. I think that's really neat.

– ArtSims

That's better than neat and shows that any person at any age can want to learn something. Hey, Gordie How played hockey in his late '50s so why can't someone learn t play a new instrument in their '60s?

I know I commented earlier, but I need lessons specific to augmenting the style I already play. Specifically I would like formal lessons on 2 things: Gypsy jazz and swing playing leaning heavy on Charlie Christian stuff also.

For certain things youtube just would not be enough(and it has helped with learning certain songs in the past) but I need a teacher for what I mentioned above.


I recently started a free 30 day trial at truefire dot com and I'm all over the many lessons there. I plan to sign up for the $20 monthly fee when my trial ends. I can't say enough good things about their lessons and how well they're done.

They have numerous sample lessons that don't require a trial or paid membership. Well worth checking out for folks who like online lessons.


I started taking piano lessons at 5, then accordion, drums, bass and trumpet. When I was 11 I got my first guitar. By that time I was taking music lessons for 6 years and sang in the choir at school. My parents were both musicians so I had a good background. Les Paul and Mary Ford were my music heros in those days. Then came Link Wrey and Duane Eddy. In the early 60's I could get sheet music for all the pop songs of the time at the local record store but almost everything was written for piano with chord charts above the lyrics. I believe that I took my last lesson in the late 70's with the advent of fusion. When the internet came into popularity in around 1993 I found group forums dedicated to guitar and bass on Usenet AKA newsgroups. I became avid with Jazz guitar and bass groups. There were people who made me look like a beginner. There were many heated discussions in those groups. I learned more from people in those groups than I learned through all the lessons I took in the past and I still frequent the groups. Learn your theory to where you can recall things in a split second and play them. You never stop learning.


While I would love to take lessons from an actual person, I simply don't have the time (and wouldn't know who to go to anyway, to learn what I want to learn). So my "lessons" consist of:

TAB books/songs/albums- Brian Setzer, Jonny Lang, Stevie Ray Vaughan, JD McPherson, whatever I want to learn)

Truefire courses (Jim Campilongo, David Grissom, Tommy Emmanuel) ...also DVD courses (Paul Pigat, Ray Benson)

And what I call "tidbits" ... individual lessons either from magazine articles or youtube or whatever

...but the point is to learn stuff I don't know yet... not to just "jam" (which I already do a lot)...

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