Am I Too Old to Learn the Guitar?
If you are over 60 and find yourself asking, “Am I too old to learn the guitar?” The answer is no. Anyone at any age can learn to play the guitar. Some people over the age of 30 also think they may be too old to learn. But as with anything else, the difficulty lies not in your age, but rather the techniques and effort.
Practising correctly is essential
How you practise the guitar is the most important factor that determines your success on your learning journey. The biggest obstacles in learning the guitar are often physical obstacles. That is because you are going to use muscles you have never used before. You must also get your fingers used to movements you have never made before.
When you begin learning the guitar, the first thing you are doing is really attempting to teach your fingers, hands and arms new abilities to move in ways you are not familiar with. It is not exactly learning the guitar but rather body learning that you are engaged in. Body learning involves practising all movements slowly while being relaxed throughout your body.
For older adults, body learning takes more effort. After all, an older body tends to have more tightness and tension. If the student puts in the effort and knows how to practise the necessary finger movements that do not allow excess tension into the hands, arms, shoulders and body, s/he will be successful at learning to play despite the age.
The reason it is easier for children to pick up new skills is because of their ability to change their brains to adapt to new experiences. This is known as your brain’s neuroplasticity. When we get older, our brains mature and reduce in neuroplasticity. The reduction begins to start after the 20s and continues down in a straight line. Despite this, our brains continuously change. Just that, as we get older, this ability for change takes more effort.
Learning the guitar as a beginner when you are 60 will be twice as hard as when you are 30 but the only difference is that you need more effort. If you are willing to put in the work, you can learn the guitar at any age.
Time and Effort
The difference between someone younger and older learning to play the guitar as a beginner besides effort is time. A younger learner may be single and do not have the commitment of an older married person with kids.
If you are picking up the guitar above age 40, you may still need time for your family and your career commitments. You may have less time compared to a younger person to dedicate to the practise. But as long as you can schedule a regular time of even just 5 to 10 minutes a day, it is good enough.
For those above the age of 50, you may find yourself having more time as your children grow up to start having their own lives. You probably have more time for leisure here except for some work commitments.
Most people above the age of 60 are looking for something to fill their free time. They may have had dreams to be a musician when younger but could not learn a musical instrument due to several reasons. This group has more time to practise and this can compensate for the extra effort required to learn a new skill.
Just remember that as with learning anything new, the starting is the hardest and it can only get easier as you go along. Get in touch with us at Ritmo Music Studio if you are looking for a free trial guitar lesson.