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Thread: Age

  1. #1
    IBreatheMusic Addicted Guila's Avatar
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    Age

    is there a proper age for start do learn music & guitar playing?
    because i look at every good guitar player bio and they always start to play with 10 years or so.
    I'm 15 and trying to get back the wasted time.
    Do you remember Eagleheart? That's Me...

  2. #2
    Registered User Ricky Garcia's Avatar
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    For a lot of beginners age seems to matter in terms of how good you are... like if you play good and beeing younger is more valuable then with a higher age. I dont see the reason for that really though since there are so many players that are older then me and so good that I can not even look at their face...

    It absolutly doesnt matter when you start and you havent "lost" anything beside the 5 min of posting time to start this topic here you should allready sit in fornt of your guitar and practice!!
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  3. #3
    IBreatheMusic Addicted Guila's Avatar
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    thanks bro. by the way your interview w/ Steve Morse was great
    Do you remember Eagleheart? That's Me...

  4. #4
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    And donīt get intimidated when you read about someone who picked up the guitar at, say, age 8. I mean some people start at an early age and are able to "jump right in" and learn a lot.
    But when you start at such an early age, you wonīt be able to develop your playing as fast as you would when starting at, say, age 15.
    At a really young age, the attention span usually is a bit shorter, and you get bored quickly. Also, consider the physical aspect of it... smaller hands, less coordination.
    So, someone who started at age 10 or so is not 5 full years ahead of someone who started at age 15...
    Hope Iīm making sense
    Eric

  5. #5
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    i started to play guitar at the age of 6 or 7. and god i hated it. so after one year i quit.
    time went by and as i was 13 someone played me deep purple and scorpions. from that point on all i wanted to do is play guitar. and i've been playing ever since.

    what i want to say is: there has to be the right time for everything!
    i don't think i would have had the same fun and success when i would have kept playing at the age of 6.
    you get better if you love what you are doing - and who is to blame if you didn't love to play before beeing 15.
    take it as it is and remember motivation is more important than age.

    but i know.. playing guitar is so cool that you think "d**n why did't i start earlier to have that much fun!!"

  6. #6
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    I started at 17 and I'm not doing so bad (still had to work harder than my little brother <who started at 12> but I worked so hard that I surpased him and now he's a drummer > ) so it's all a matter of how much you practice, you can start at 3 and still never be good (due to lack of practice) or start "late" and become good... remember that one guy who had a stroke and relearned how to play guitar? what was his name? he's a very famous jazz performer... anyways, he proves that age is not a decisive factor.

    Regards,
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  7. #7
    Registered User Ricky Garcia's Avatar
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    Also the talent factor is something many people completly underate and they just see the learning and practecing time factor... look at it this way: If you want to become a model you better are born with a nice face otherwise you will have a problem.. sure you can fix some certain things like a big nose or small breasts etc but there is a limit right? Otherwise you will look like MJ at some point. So if it was just not ment to be that your are blessed with a musical talent then you can keep practecing until you die and you will not make it. Well sure you can be lucky and end in some comerical band etc. but guys like Steve Vai are simply good and would have been succesful no matter what path they have taken...

    With that said who freakin cares if that one kid is 13 and can play som tricks but will dissapear in the long run because of lack of musicality and bad songwriting...
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  8. #8
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    Jazz hero Wes Montgomery didn't start till he was 19. Never too late to start, besides I've heard a lot of those "Started guitar in the womb by plucking his umbilical cord" type players say that they just screwed around for 5-6 years until they were 15-16 when they finally got serious.

    Forgottenking was talking about Pat Martino, he learned to play bebop better than almost anyone twice! I can't find exact dates but he started playing professionally around 1967 I think and had a brain aneurysm in the 80s that led to him completely forgetting how to play guitar, he relearned how to play and this year has been nominated for 2 grammys for his recently released album "Think Tank."

    Re: What Ricky said:
    That may be true but just because you may not have the genetics to be a steve vai doesn't mean you can't improve You never know how far you can go.

    -Dan
    "In improvised music you easily can tell who is a guitar player and who is a musician." - Maarten (fellow IBMer)

  9. #9
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    Amen to what Dan said, even though I agree with what Ricky says I have found that a lot of students use that as an excuse to quit, and it's not good to be a quiter... don't kill yourself if you're not as good as Vai, Satch, etc no matter how hard you practice, but don't use the thought "I'll never be like Vai, Satch, etc, so I'll play my computer games instead of practicing" (ok, ok, I admit it, I've been there ) So, no matter how little talent you have, if you practice hard you'll improve.

    Regards,
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  10. #10
    Registered User Ricky Garcia's Avatar
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    Forgottenking, that falls under the category of either lack of selfconfidence or just beeing lazy... the selfconfidence is something that you need in the music and art biz more then in any other because usally it takes a huge amount of selfconfidence to survive the hard times until you might have some certain success if you have it at all. Beeing to lazy to practice means that somebody is not really interested in learning to play. The ones you admire today are those guys who found such a joy in playing more then in any computer game. With my students I try more to introduce them to many styles and players so they know what is out there and hopefully get attracted by it.. if not then they will usally quit which is ok since I dont see the point to tyr to turn somebody on to something he doesnt want to learn by himself.

    Let me add somethin to my post... I am especially directing my thoughts to people who think that if they take the same path as some of their idiols they will eventually be as good as them... which is absurt of course. There is so much more then just going to Berklee for some semesters... I heard that many times "Sure he went there and he played with that guy and thats the only reason why he is so good!!"

    But anyways back to topic..

    NO age doesnt matter!!
    Last edited by Ricky Garcia; 12-31-2003 at 12:11 AM.
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  11. #11
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Yupm, Ricky is correct there. Motivation is what counts. Will. And "fire" as esoteric as that might sound.
    I have a lot of students who come in and they donīt even really care about playing. Itīs something their parents told them to do. Or something they do because they actually wanted to play soccer but didnīt wanna run too much ( if you know what I mean ).
    You know, I really try to show them how much fun it can be, how much you can achieve, how you can play their favorite songs with the guitar.
    But still... they donīt practise, and I always have to repeat the same basic information over and over. They consider the guitar lessons as something similar to a class in school... something they have to be at.
    And usually, they quit. Not only lessons with me, but playing.
    Some of them change. I have a student who came in and just wanted to play for fun, punk and stuff. Then, he got interested in lead guitar, tapping and stuff. And is by now getting quite good at it.
    And there are students like Matthias ( who also is one of m ystudents who often visits ibreathe ). He is so motivated and inspired, itīs a pure joy.
    He comes in, immediately takes his guitar and is ready to play. And when he comes back the next time, you can tell he actually has picked up everything I told him last time, and has practised.
    He wants to be able to play, he works hard, it means something to him.
    And he is making a huge progress... he has developed so much in the time I have been teaching him.
    And I credit that to himself.. his motivation and will.

    You can compensate a lack of talent with hard work. But you gotta believe in it, in yourself and your music, and you have to WANT to get somewhere.
    otherwise, you could just say "Well, what am I good for ? There are guys like Morse, Timmons, Satch, Gilbert, Metheny ( etc. ). Iīll never get there."
    Well maybe you wonīt but you can try... and if you think "Iīll never get there" you most likely wonīt even try.
    Brings me back to that quote from my old math teacher "If you fight, you might lose. If you do not fight, you have already lost"
    Eric

  12. #12
    IBreatheMusic Addicted Guila's Avatar
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    thanks Eric.
    just to make it clear i dont have any support from my father by the way he didn't even wanted to pay for my guitar so i had to share the money with him. but that's not important.
    and about motivation i don't have anyone that supports me but a cousin that is a bass player and he always tells me we shouldn't try to make music just for the money but because we like it. and actually in my summer vacation i live for the guitar.
    Do you remember Eagleheart? That's Me...

  13. #13
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    just to make it clear i dont have any support from my father by the way he didn't even wanted to pay for my guitar so i had to share the money with him. but that's not important.
    It is. I didnīt have any support from my parents either. Quite the opposite. My dad sold my guitar while I was on a field-trip once. And he was always making jokes about me becoming a rockstar and not having to worry about getting a job.
    That sucked, believe me. But I didnt care. I didnīt go "Iīll show you" either. Because bitterness isnīt a good motivation either.

    I didnt mean to say that you are one of the people who donīt have the motivation or anything, really !
    I was rather talking about different people and their different attitudes towards playing, practicing etc.
    Eric

  14. #14
    IBreatheMusic Addicted Guila's Avatar
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    i see your point dude and thanks for the help.
    and if i looked like i was angry i wasnt
    Do you remember Eagleheart? That's Me...

  15. #15
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    Wise words from both of you Ricky and Eric. And yeah, I forgot to answer the question; no age doesn't matter... anyways, I didn't get any support from my parents either and I've been there Eric, it really did suck... I eventually earned his respect, even though that came out in a different way... but I don't hold any resentment against him, au contraire, I think what he did kind of made me a stronger person able to endure some other things "on my own" (you're never really on your own, you always have support from someone or something, material, spiritual, real, ficticious, imaginary, etc) so yeah... man! This feels like therapy!! Thanks for getting this going guys!
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

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