11 comments on “Philosophies for Learning the Guitar at 60: Begin

  1. 12 years of piano lessons, 7 years of playing a clarinet, contra bass clarinet, and self taught flute…are you saying “there’s a chance”? I have wanted to learn how to play strings (specifically guitar) for a number of years. A guitar is much easier to transport, and easy to own north of the Arctic Circle. Any tips you care to share, or programs you are using to learn? Thank you!

    • With a background playing other instruments, you’ll have a nice head start going into the guitar. The ability to read music by itself opens doors and shortens the learning curve. I’ll be publishing a series of philosophies (tips, rules, ideas) for learning to play the guitar later in life – some posts short, some long. I’m using three main sources: 1. Collin McCallister’s Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales and Solos which is a 24 lesson video series available through The Great Courses. 2. Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method Grade 1 and 3. Uncle Tim’s First Year: A Beginner’s Guide to the Guitar. I’ll be saying more about these resources on this blog. Best of luck to you! I’d love to hear more about your music and the progress you make with the guitar. JD

  2. I played guitar from 1964 (soon after the Beatles came to the U.S.) for about 25 years. After that, life intervened. Your post inspires me to take it up again. Thanks for writing it.

  3. Your story is moving. And yes no point delving too deep on though. And you have reminded me of my piano days as well. I took piano classes when I was 13. And I could read and write music and play well. After a year the music teacher said that she would not teach from tomorrow and that was the end of my music journey. I d hear coldplay perform and imagine myself playing those beautiful piano notes myself. Finally saved up and purchased a decent Casio. And decided to revive my love for music. That was five years ago. There was a hasty attempt at learning it last year (it did not work because I was so impatient with the step by step approach and just wanted to remember what I had learnt in my childhood but I dint ) . Finally gave up after a few weeks. Now I have a beautiful five month old baby but after reading your post I only wonder will my Casio also see the light of the day one day like your guitar did ?

    • Here’s to hoping that your Casio gets pressed back into service! You touch on a valuable point though: On the one hand, acquiring complex skills – such as learning piano or guitar – a person is generally best taking a step-by-step approach. But that requires a kind of patience that isn’t often tested in most of the rest of our life… So developing this patience is almost like a skill in and of itself. Congratulations on your baby. What a wonderful time in life.

  4. Thank you for your wishes 😊 yes everyday brings new joys, to see her grow and watch her amazement at simple things in life. And yes, I ll try to incorporate a schedule for my piano as well someday ! Life you mentioned in your post, Definitely it’s not that we don’t have time , but our priorities shift. Also As kids it’s easier for us to pick new talents / skills , as there is a thirst to prove to ourselves, of being capable of many new things. To maintain this thirst takes conscious cognizance and effort, especially when you feel you are “settled” . That feeling is always a warning, to get up and get out of the comfort zone !

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