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Thread: When did you start playing the guitar? (how old were you)

  1. #1
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    When did you start playing the guitar? (how old were you)

    I wonder.. when and how you got started playing?.
    thanks..

  2. #2
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    32. Because you're never too old (actually I learnt a few chords some years before but I didn't really take it up until later).

  3. #3
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    well ashc..how old are you now?..
    I'm 18 and ve been playing for 2 years.. I was thinking.. if I missed the train..
    anyway..
    I do wonder the others..
    How long have you been playing?
    Do u earn money on guitar?
    etc...

    thank you very much

  4. #4
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    nearly 37. I think there might have been a thread like this before, and yes you're going to find that a lot of the really good guys started at 9 and 10 years old and so on, and like languages (which music essentially is) it helps to get into that before those changes in the brain which make this stuff a bit harder as you get older. But, anyway, you didn't miss the boat I'm sure it's just a matter of good quality practice towards the stuff you want to do.

  5. #5
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    14 I think...I'm almost 21, so it's not like it's been that long, but I should really figure this out because for some reason everyone seems to ask this question.

  6. #6
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    I was going to make a thread about musical upbringing, but it seems to fit rather well into this topic, so I'll just bring it up here.

    A person's musical upbringing is something that has puzzled me for quite some time and I'd like to get some peoples thoughts on this.

    Every interview of a musician that you ever read, when the person is asked about when they started music, they always mention about how they are from a musical family and exposed to many different styles at a very early age. Of course these comments are comming from people that at some point put in such rediculas practice hours that their lives couldn't support anything else but practice...but I suppose I should save my natural skill rant for another time...even though it kind of ties in.

    Is the issue of a musical upbringing as important as we seem to make it out to be? Am I the only guy out there that wants to be a musician that comes from a completely non musical family? I mean, it would be very reasuring to be proven wrong, but I have yet to hear a succesful musician say, "you know what, I honestly had to find out all this for myself." But for some reason, even if it doesn't hold much importance, we're still kind of expected to let everyone know about how we were deeply influenced by music at a very young age...like we're trying to convince the 15 year olds that their over the hill.

    I have a hard time figuring out why a musical upbringing should be much of an issue at all. Of course we're influenced by our surroundings, but we're all individuals and it always comes down to quality over quantity.

    Just a random thought that has been brewing for a while...
    Last edited by silent-storm; 05-09-2005 at 10:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    I think perhaps looking at it the other way might also help...

    i.e. Without a musical upbringing are you still equally likely to become a musician yourself? I dunno the answer to that but it's a very interesting study I'm sure.

    I did have one in the sense that my family were players of instruments and the like. I played drums and percussion from age 6 and took lessons to age 16, playing in the Croydon Youth Orchestra from age 8 to 12. Highlight: I played the Festival Hall in Croydon with the Queen in the audience Now that was nerve racking particular as an orchestral percussionist when you have 54 bars of rest to count through

    But Once the teen hormones kicked in I just wanted to play guitar and played from age 12 onwards. Self taught (mistake) from 12 to 21ish. became a hobby for 10 years or so and have since started taking it seriously again, where time allows. I'm 36 now.

    I think they key is not so much the age, but how much time and effort your willing to put in.

    Sacrifices must be made, are you willing to make them, kind of thing.

  8. #8
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Hi there

    Interesting thread, especially now that you have added the musical upbringing thing. I guess I am coming from a different perspective, cuz my upbringing was not musical at all. There was no instrument in the house when I grew up. Neither my parents nor my grandparents ( whom I used to stay with when I was in Germany with my parents... we used to travel a lot, from the States to Germany and back, because of my dads job ) had any. My grandpa used to be a drummer in the 50s, but other than an old bassdrum in the attic, which I never touched, there was no hint of that anymore.

    I didnīt touch a guitar until I bought one. It was the summer break before I got into 5th grade, so there were no music classes in school for me either, really. I was 10.

    Not that much music around either, other than some radio and whatever was on TV. My uncle, who used to live in the house of my grandparents, had a record collection of about 200 records, but he wasnīt home alot, and I wasnīt allowed to fiddle with his Hifi-gear. When he was home, he listened to some music, so I was introduced to "The Wall" by Pink Floyd ( which he used to listen to a lot ), ACDC ( I used to look at that cover of "Highway To Hell" a lot, and thought Angus was so cool ) and Billy Idol, among other stuff.
    When I got my first guitar, my parents werenīt that supportive at all. They actually hated it. My brother got a drumkit at the same time, we both had paid the instruments ourselves, cuz our parents figrued it was a waste of time. About 3 weeks later, when my bro and me were over at a relatives house, my parents sold the instruments.
    My bro never got another kit, but I was so heartbroken that my grandpa bought a cheap acoustic guitar for me and told myy father not to touch that, since it was his ( although I was the only one who played it ).
    So it was not the most encouraging surroundign to get started on playing an instrument.
    I have to say though: even though I started at age 10, and tried to play a lot ( trying to play along the vocal lines, listening to records ), I didnīt get serious about it until a few years later, when I started taking lessons from a good teacher.
    I believe ( cuz I teach a lot of kids and teenagers ) that even if you start at 15 or later, you can still "catch up" to someone who started at age 10. Because even though there are 5 years in between, I think that you are more focussed at 15. You have a better idea for what you want, you may be able to get more out of lessons and books, you might find it easier to memorize stuff or understand theory. You maybe donīt get distracted that easily, either.

    I do have a feeling that sometimes, people read interviews with that and that guitar hero and when he goes "I started at age 8", the reader imagines in his mind that that guy immediately sat down with the guitar and started working on the Hanon or tried to learn Paganiniīs caprices.
    We have to remember that even though you can of course achieve a lot at age 10, especially if you have a good teacher, you prolly wonīt achieve as much if you start on your own, without guidance. I mean, when I ask some of my 10 year old students, they canīt even tell me what music they like and wanna learn, cuz they donīt think in those terms.
    Sure, if you start out and immediately start taking classical lessons, you might make a big process soon, but I do believe that itīs not that hard to catch up when you start in your teens or even later.
    Just my opinion though. As I said, interesting thread
    Eric

  9. #9
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
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    I was first exposed to the guitar in school when I was about 13-14. It didn't catch my interest then, although I managed to grab the basic chords.

    I took some private lessons with the piano for a couple of years when I was about 10, but stopped. My brother played the cornet in the school orchestra, but he stopped as homework took over.

    I picked up the guitar for myself in January 2003. I was just over 17 then.

    Besides my brother and I, no-one I can think of in my generation or the older had been playing any instruments on any level.

    My father was a devout classical lover, so I'm sure some of the melodies have seeped into my mind, as he often played Debussy when I was trying to sleep. My father knew nothing about the execution of music as far as I recall.

    So, since I started comparatively late, I decided to dive head first into music (pun intended). I started seriously studying music theory for myself the late summer of 2003. I was playing bass in a metal band, and needed theory to gain freedom in my basslines.

    Techniquewise, I got a private teacher last winter about november/december 2004. He got me focusing on alternate picking, and this has helped me much.

  10. #10
    oh harro;D delicious's Avatar
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    well id say i have a pretty musical family. my mum plays the piano and violin, my aunt plays the piano also and my grandpa sings bloody well:P. so naturally iwas forced into learning piano when i was 5, although i was good at it i really hated it so i stopped after 2 years. after i stopped taking lessons i still played around with keyboard, piano and such just for fun but didnt really leanr aynthing new. wasnt til when i was about 13 that i got my interest back in music, when i got the net. i was exposed to a huge variety of music by various people and thats really when i found out that i LOOOOVE guitar music:> but ye time went on, didnt learn any musical instruments til i picked up my friends guitar and started wacking away at it. instantly fell in love with the instrument and decided that i was gonna learn it. this was last year, and ive only just been playing it for about 4months. currently 18, turning 19 soon....on same day as steve vai;D!

  11. #11
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Vai is only 19?

    He's not wearing well....

  12. #12
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    No sunlight you see .. all that practice...

  13. #13
    Registered User leppard81's Avatar
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    @whipl@sshh : First of all, its never to late to start and never to late be good at doing something... Everyoneīs got his whole life to get experiences, all you gotta do is dedicate that much time and passion YOU WANT to dedicate and everything will be fine... Just stop thinking about competition or something like "OMG! I "missed" train" in the first place, DEDICATION and PASSION are 300 times more important....

    But to get back on topic:
    Iīm 23 now and actually wanted to start playing at the age of 6, as me brother would start to play back then and I just wanted to be like him..... But my mom said I should learn flute first before getting on to guitar (anybody knows the reason for this? back then everyone was saying that, and still after these years i still dont get the point on why you should learn flute first...? ). THis was a MAJOR turn off so i decided to leave everything be.

    It wasnt until 13 when my brother gave me a Poison cd and i thought "Cool, if i ever play guitar its gotta be that kind of music" - then it again took one year after I finally would start to pick up the guitar as a constant hobby and also would start to take lessons, albeit the teacher (who was the only one in area) sucked big time..... At 16 or so i finally got my first electric guitar and finally felt "good" enough to start writing songs and stuff.. Iīd take a few new teachers over the years, would take pracitice more serious and finally ended up at A-Team-Music Academy in Munich studying for the past year; which improved my playing more than anything else and probably saved me years of useless or wrong learning strategies.... As a result of the past year it seems that I can start to work as a private teacher at a music school an hour away from me ( i got my first of 4 "promotional showcases" in 2 days, if it works allright, Iī
    ll have a few student then). Which doesnt mean Iīll make a living from it; but at least i get paid for something i love to do...

    All wanna say with that is that its NEVER to late to archive success if YOU only care about it. If anybody told me 2 years that Iīd probably end up teaching an getting into a metal band (as it seems right now), I wouldnt have believed one word..... Age should never be a barrier...


    ALEX
    We get the dreams that we deserve.... - Marillion

    http://www.myspace.com/alexsiedlermusic


  14. #14
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    I started playing guitar at 10 (back in 1976), and had a great period of punk music to start with. The technical excelence of the guitarist was not the main issue at that time, so I had a great time in a punk band from around 1979-1980 with reasonable amount of gigs and attention. Was really more into Brian May (Queeen) and David Gilmoore (Pink Floyd) at that time, so the solo's I got to play probably was more in that genere then the traditional punk genere. Quitted the punk band a few years later due to some serious things that happened to some of the band members, and started to play more along the lines of my own interests - rock, hard rock, heavy metal etc, but with less success. Luckily avoided the metal balad period ... . Mostly been struggeling with jazz for some years now (with absolutely no success ).
    Looking at Wes Montgomery, who started playing at around 25 (if my info is correct), and went on to be one of the greatest jazz guitarists, I don't think the age thing is the most important. Still I work hard to improve...

  15. #15
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    I started when I was 14 and I'm almost 28 now....I had about a 4 year gap or so from 20 - 24 because I was more interested in chasing college chicks around and partying... I'm in the process of getting my rock chops back to shred level, and am pretty close to the level I was at before I stopped. All I want to do is play face-melting guitar solos in front of thousands of people. That's all I want! I WANNA ROCK!!!
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

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