Undoubtedly some of the most frequent letters I get here at TheGuitarLesson.com are from people asking whether they are too old to learn guitar. In fact, the "Am I too old to learn guitar" subject line letters come from people in all age groups.
It's funny because I've had 13-14-year-old kids ask this question, adults of all ages of course, and even a 74-year-old grandfather who wanted to jam along with his grandkids.
This topic seems to be on the mind of all adults considering guitar lessons, so let's talk about it for a second.
Am I too old to learn guitar?
Your age has nothing to do with learning guitar, regardless of whether you are 15, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70+.
It's that simple.
As long as you are physically able to fret the strings on the fretboard, meaning that your fingers can move freely, you can learn guitar.
Is it harder for adults to learn guitar?
Possibly, but not because of the reason you think.
The advantage youngsters have is due to the fact that they have more time to practice.
In essence, people that are 20+ have much less free time on their hands. Why?
- working at a regular job (plus overtime)
- bills to pay and life goals to stress about
- spouse to devote time to
- kids to raise
Once people enter their 20's, and especially after having kids, time becomes a very scarce commodity.
The lack of time is the biggest inhibiting factor in learning guitar for most adults, simply because the guitar takes practice. How much practice is ideal? At least an hour a day. Try squeezing 1 hour of uninterrupted practice time into the day of a parent working an 8-hour job.
People at a later age going into retirement have more free time on their hands. They are working less, the kids are out of the house. This means that they have more time to practice guitar. And yes, they do learn to play. I have loads of online students that are in retirement and are enjoying their new hobby.
5 reasons adults can learn guitar easier than kids
Adulthood has its challenges, but also its perks when it comes to learning guitar.
- You know the music you like, since you have been listening to music for decades. The motivation you get from wanting to learn a song you love, or in general, a genre of music you are into can mean a huge difference.
- Playing guitar reduces stress, and we all know that we need less stress in our lives. Once you are comfortable with the basics and reach a level where you enjoy playing simple songs, grabbing your guitar and doodling away can become a great way to escape from everyday stress.
- Adults are better at time management and prioritizing than kids, which translates into one thing. You can make the time for a new hobby by prioritizing it over other less important things, that you might have eaten away at your time. I had an adult student that always complained that he never has time to practice, but always talked about the TV series' he watches regularly... I think many would agree that playing guitar for an hour every day is much more advantageous than watching episode 351 of whichever TV series is popular at the moment.
- You have command over your finances. You can sign up for premium guitar lessons. You can get that beautiful guitar that will motivate you to play. You can even hire a teacher.
- Technology is you friend in everyday life, and in your efforts to learn guitar. Do you have a smartphone or a tablet? Yes? Than you can learn guitar. The quality of online guitar lessons has evolved beyond what live teachers can offer, and as an adult,. you have unrestricted access 24/7.
If you have time to practice, you will learn guitar at any age
Anybody can learn to play guitar at any age, as long as they have enough time to devote to it.
If you have always wanted to play guitar and you find making music motivating, don't assume your age is an issue. Make the time, and you will reach your guitar goals. You will feel yourself getting better with each day of practice and you will hear the results.
Now you might be wondering how long it takes to learn guitar, right? Here is what you can expect.
I started playing the guitar 3 months ago at the age of 28 with a Harley Benton Telecaster and an Acoustic guitar. The reason was that I finally finished grad school in computer science and wanted to pick something to express myself and hone in for the rest of my life. I started to listen to some solo of my family’s music, Kompa and enjoyed hearing songs from my favorite, game movie and anime and wanted to play those types of genres. I made some goals of mines I wanted to have set in stone
Level 1, learn to play the music that I really enjoy, even the difficult ones.
Level 2, learn to play music by ear.
Level 3, learn to transcribe song into guitar tabs.
Few months ago that I started playing, I have taken private guitar lessons.
It feels like I’m not doing any solo. Mostly, I had been practicing strumming songs. Hammer-on, alternate picking and pull off exercises. There are times I show him riff and the person would add it to this week exercises to do, which is cool. The thing is that I expected to learn to lead by now, but if it’s too early, I understand.
I’ve been practicing every day and watch extra videos outside my private lessons like. Zombie Guitar, Justin Guitar, and Synner. Also made an account to show my compilation of my guitar progress.
Goal was to hit intermediate before 30 which I heard it’s doable but don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.
I saw your article of time range of being an advance guitar as well as this one and it was informative, Thank you.
Pianoplayer since age 12. I’m 46 now and started learning fingerstyle guitar about 3 years ago. Dedicated and motivated, average 1 hour/day. My friends saying that I’m playing like a pro now. I know that they are being kind to me but I do play well and I’m getting better.
Practice, practice and practice! The great payback is that you getting better each every day! You are never to old to make progress!
Thanks for sharing your story!
Thank you, I am and will become a master of the guitar.
Kindly share your views and tips to me as I want to fond of learning guitar
Hi there, I have a free beginner’s guitar guide which will help you get started with the guitar:
I am 73 and had never even touched a musical instrument in my life.
Due to the pandemic there was nothing much to do.
There was an old guitar which belonged to son. It has some damage but one day I took it out and strummed.
I had no idea what frets were or even the number of strings.
To make things short after three months now I can play few simple songs which I learned by watching YouTube.
Gives me great pleasure and I hope to keep learning.