7 Guitar Tips For Older Beginners
Are you an adult and just starting out on the guitar?
Do you have questions about you potential to learn the guitar, or feel clueless about how the learning process goes?
In this article I will answer some common concerns adult beginner guitar players tend to have, as well as suggest ways you can learn the guitar more effectively.
Tip 1: Yes it can be done.
Before we proceed further, it should be made clear that learning the guitar as an adult, even in your 50s, 60s, and 70s, is possible.
There are both advantages and disadvantages that affect your ability to learn the guitar as an adult, but these are pretty minor and tend to balance each other.
While you still have to learn the same things younger people do!
Tip 2: Being a beginner may be uncomfortable at first. That's Ok.
For kids, being a beginner is a normal part of daily living.
As an adult, especially if you're have expertise in another subject, feeling like a beginner may feel uncomfortable.
I once had a new student in his 50s who couldn't possibly learn a simple tune kids as young as 6 can learn in one lesson and a week practicing of practicing.
The guy was very accomplished in other areas of life, and held a high position.
But he was so anxious about being a beginner that he couldn't focus on the easy melody he had to learn and quit after three lessons.
It's good to know about this so that if it does happen to you, you'll be aware that it's just temporary discomfort, and not lack of ability to learn.
Tip 3: Find a good guitar teacher
As an adult you have more experience in determining whether a teacher is good for you than a younger person.
Use that experience wisely and make sure that your teacher:
1. Is looking out for your best interest.
2. Has the ability to give you what you need.
Tip 4: Set goals
Why have you started learning the guitar?
What do you want to achieve?
What emotional needs does learning the guitar satisfy and where you do want to arrive with your guitar playing to have all those needs met?
What genre/s of music do you want to specialize in?
The more specific you are about your goals, the more you'll focus on things that will get you towards them, and the sooner you'll reach them.
Tip 5: Make plans
Now that you know what your goals are, form a plan towards reaching them.
Though I started learning the guitar at the age of 15, it was much later that I discovered the value of goal setting and planning.
Had I done so before, I would have become the guitar player I wanted to be a lot sooner.
Don't learn random things from the Internet.
Instead, check how every thing you learn fits in the big picture, and work only on things that get you closer to your goals.
A good teacher can really help you here, since you don't know what there is to know yet, thus it's hard to plan. But s/he does!
Tip 6. A long term process with short term benefits
If you're expecting significant results in a few weeks, or even months, you're likely to be disappointed.
Accept the fact that it's going to take a lengthy period to become a good guitar player, and appreciate the fact that the process itself has a lot of benefits on your mental and even physical health.
If had to lose all my guitar playing abilities, but allowed to keep all the other benefits I've gained during these 26 years of practicing the guitar, I would still consider it as worth the time.
Tip 7. Frequent like minded people.
Once I had a student who started learning the guitar in his late 50s who had a very immediate short term goal: To have something to show to his wife.
After a month of lessons, he was very confident he could achieve his musical goals, but his wife, who didn't understand that learning the guitar is a long term process, didn't (at that point in time, she would eventually realize his potential).
Point is, people who are not musicians themselves, will find it hard to understand you, but people who are do.
Frequenting people who are learning music will help keep you motivated and who knows, you might be in a band together one day!
There are many places where you can meet like minded people, but probably the best place to look for is your teacher's other students.
You may not want to hang out with people much younger than yourself, but you'll be surprised as to how many adults attend guitar lessons, whether they're beginners or more advanced players.
Robert Callus is a guitar player, a songwriter and a blogger. Find more articles like this on www.learnguitarmalta.com