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Learning Guitar: A Question of Timing and Age?

By Jon, published on 05/03/2018 We Love Prof - AU > Music > Guitar > Learning an Instrument: When Should One Start Playing the Guitar?

You’ve always wanted to play the guitar, and now you feel it’s the right time. Yet there is lots of contradictory advice about how best to become a guitar player.

Is it best to get a guitar teacher when you are very young? Is it preferable to learn how to play guitar yourself, on your own with a beginner guitar? Or is okay to learn with online guitar lessons, in which you slowly learn the basics of the fretboard and guitar tablature?

And sometimes most importantly, is there a right age at which to learn how to play the guitar? Or is there no right age to pick up your first guitar and sign up to a guitar lesson?

We will try to answer your questions as clearly as possible. But we’ll ask you a question in return: what do you want to get out of your new guitar? Do you want to just play songs or do you want to smash out guitar licks in mind-blowing guitar solos? Are you more a jazz guitar person or a classical guitar dude? Do you want to play fingerstyle or are you a rhythm guitar rocker?

Your answers to these questions will change our answers to your questions!

At What Age Should You Start to Play Guitar?

We would all like to play like those legendary guitarists (Jimmy Hendrix, Clapton or David Gilmour, etc.) who can fill their music with emotion, who excel at everything from guitar chords to pentatonic licks and blues guitar.

But is there a right time to start playing like them? Is it okay for children to manage these guitar songs, or should they begin with something else?

What is the right age to start learning the guitar?

You can learn guitar from any age - like this baby How old are you when you start learning to play the guitar?

The answer to that first question is clear: no – there is no best time to start guitar lessons for beginners.

Whether you want to play as an amateur with your buddies in a garage or you want to become a professional, there is no right age to learn to play the guitar.

However, for younger people, it is difficult to learn the guitar before the age of 6 or 7 years because physically, children’s fingers are not muscular enough to perform the first exercises on the neck, not to mention their limited concentration. Depending on the age of the guitarist (child, teen or adult), there are different sizes of guitars available to make practicing easier.

There is No Right Age to Start Learning Guitar

For adults and elderly people, if you do not have joint pain in your fingers, wrists, arms and forearms, or shoulders, you will never be too old to play guitar.

Picasso's Old Guitarist learnt the guitar Picasso’s Old Guitarist

Age is not a factor in starting to play the guitar.

Different kinds of support

Playing and learning guitar can be done through different media: courses on the Internet, music school classes, an association or individual lessons with an independent teacher.

In structured courses, you will follow a pre-established program and you will probably have courses of music theory to supplement your training.

Online, there are good and bad tutorials: compare the different videos; do not hesitate to contact the guitarist who presents them, or to consult various discussion forums.

Private lessons allow you to customize your learning: the teacher comes to your home and will adapt the content of their course according to the expectations of the student and their strengths and weaknesses.

Can I Be Too Old to Start Learning Guitar?

No – don’t be silly! You are never too old to do anything. Whilst, when you are young, your brain is a little more plastic – meaning that it can adapt to new things more easily – this is not to say that older people are unable to learn new things.

If you have the patience and the interest, then of course you can. Go buy yourself a guitar and get started!

When is it Best to Practise Guitar?

Learning the guitar means that your fingers will have to move in unfamiliar ways and you will have to learn how to do this smoothly, efficiently and quickly as needed. Rather than practicing an instrument, you are educating your body to acquire new skills.

You can play the guitar at any age Playing the guitar at home in your free time

The question “When is it best to play guitar?” poses two other questions: when is it best to play, and how long to play for.

The most obvious tip is to play the guitar in your free time (leisure, holidays, weekend, or evening). If you have difficulty finding time you may find it helpful for example to schedule practice during your munch break at work.

Scheduling guitar lessons london or in your city also allows you to set targets.

You could take your guitar on holiday with you (snowboarding or skiing). Like all the great guitarists you admire, you will have to practice every movement, every technique with regularity and perseverance.

How Much Time Do I Need to Learn the Guitar?

This entirely depends on what you mean by ‘learning the guitar’. If you want to just play your favorite songs, then you could do this in a matter of weeks (depending on what those songs to learn are!). If we are talking a song by someone like Green Day, with simple power chords, you can be playing these in no time at all!

However, if you want to know the theory of chord progressions and the major scale, say, then you might need a little more time. To learn the theory of the arpeggio, or to able to play complex fingerpicking patterns, you will want to be playing for a couple of years, probably.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Guitar Properly?

If you asked legendary guitarists, they would tell you in unison: “a lifetime”.

The fact is that you will never manage to fully master your instrument if you only play it occasionally.

No, the guitar is not easy - but pick it up at any age and play! It takes effort to learn to play guitar!

Each style of music, each style of guitar, entails one or more precise techniques, a particular way to pluck the strings or to play a rhythm.

The important thing is not so much the goals you set, but how you achieve them, and how much you enjoy it.

It can take 6 months or several years to learn the guitar. The right time to play guitar is when you want to, when you feel the urge to do so.

After that it all depends on your familial, personal, and professional context: if you work, you will have to make the time to practice your favorite instrument.

Regularity and consistency matter

It is, however, recommended to set a rhythm for your practice so that your guitar lessons start to feel like a normal part of your day.

There is no precise good time to play the guitar.

Whatever happens, plan to set aside at least 20 to 30 minutes a day for your guitar practice.

Whether you play in the morning before going to the office or school, whether it is during your lunch break or at night to de-stress after a busy day, there are no bad times.

The first rule of playing guitar: fun

If playing your guitar every day is a chore to you then you will not be able to stomach 15 minutes of practice per day.

On the other hand, if you take a real pleasure in having your guitar in your hands, you will be surprised to find 2 or 3 hours just fly by without noticing it.

Whatever happens, always keep in mind that fun must take precedence in your guitar practice; this is what will help you make progress successfully.

Check out out blog on tricks to learn the guitar quickly!

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