Some people assume that learning to play an instrument can be more of a challenge later in life. This is said to be true of learning languages, new hobbies, careers and other activities that require learning new skills. Is this really the case? Is it challenging for someone to learn the guitar at 40 or even older?
In my opinion, people make more excuses as they get older because they have lost that spark and have become lazy. They have also bought into society’s assumptions that says it will be difficult to do. Although there may be a bit of cognitive decline as you age, there are other benefits of being older that could actually help you to learn the guitar.
Of course you can learn the play the guitar at 40 and beyond. While it may be easier to pick it up at an earlier age, there is no reason that a person who is 40 years or older cannot become an excellent guitar player. As a guitar player myself, and over 40, I still pick up new skills regularly.
I started when I was around eight years old but I am constantly learning new things on the guitar today at 42 years old. Of course, it helps that I already know advanced techniques, but it still takes brainpower to master new skills. I know that anyone my age can pick up the guitar and learn to play it just as I do.
If you are an adult and want to start playing the guitar, you can make it happen. There are advantages to being a 40-year-old that can put you ahead of the curve once you begin to learn to play. Let’s look at five reasons that I believe being 40 will help you learn to play the guitar.
Five Reasons You Can Learn The Guitar At 40
1) You Understand That Acquiring New Skills Takes Time
At age 40, you understand that anything worth doing takes time to learn. You are mature enough to know that with any new hobby, there is a learning curve that you have to stick to. As a seasoned adult, you know how to stick to something and make it work out.
You have likely stuck it out at a job you don’t particularly love so that you can provide a good lifestyle for you and your family.
The same will have to be done if you choose to learn the guitar. You’ll have to stick through the beginning phases and get through the pain associated with beginner principles. Your hands will hurt, and your brain will hurt from having to think and get your hands to work with your brain.
However, as an adult, this is nothing new to you. If you are like me, you go through this type of thing every day at your job. Something new comes across your desk and you have to figure it out, you have to learn and go through the pain of fixing a problem or coming up with a solution.
As a 40-year-old, you are well-equipped to handle problems and learning the guitar should be right up your alley.
2) You Need Stress Relief
There’s nothing like playing a musical instrument to release stress from a difficult day at work. As an adult, you probably know a thing or two about stress and look for ways to reduce it each day. Playing an instrument is a great way to take your mind off of challenging situations that you may be experiencing.
When you sit down to play an instrument, you forget about everything else and you become one with your instrument as you make music. This can help to take you away to another place and leave all of your worries behind.
Although in the beginning, you won’t be making beautiful music, it will still be a stress-reducing activity as you get better each day. When you play the guitar, the little successes that you experience during the process will be uplifting and help you to ease the stressors of your regular life.
3) You May Be In A Better Place Financially
Some guitars cost a lot of money and it’s often better to play a higher-quality guitar than one of the cheaper guitars that many beginners tend to purchase. Cheap guitars are not always a great idea because they don’t allow you to get the best out of them. Purchasing a mid-range guitar is a better choice and as an adult, you probably have more funds available for such a purchase.
When I was a child and began my journey into playing the guitar, I could not afford one. My parents bought me the best one that they could but it wasn’t a high-quality model. I learned to play on this guitar and sometimes it was difficult. The action was super high and it didn’t even have a truss rod so the neck of the guitar was bowed.
I was a bit jealous of a friend who had a better guitar and I would enjoy playing it anytime I went to their house. It was much easier to play as the action was low and the overall feel of the instrument was higher quality and made me want to keep on playing.
You can certainly feel a difference between a high-quality instrument and a low-quality one. If you are an adult and are looking to begin playing, make sure you purchase a mid-level model. Buying the cheapest guitar on the market isn’t a good idea and you may wish you had purchased a better one once you start playing.
You probably have a bit of savings and at least a consistent paycheck that you can use to purchase the guitar that you want. A younger person that is just starting may not have this luxury.
4) You’re More Committed To The Process
It’s a process to learn a guitar or any other instrument. It takes a lot of work and there are many different areas that you must master in order to be proficient. You will need to know the basics of how to hold the guitar, how to move your fingers, how to strum, fingerpick, form chords, play scales and much more. It is a process to be able to learn everything and put it all together.
As an adult, you will probably be more committed to this process. You have probably committed to other things in your life and this is no different. Even getting up each morning and going to a job is a commitment that you stick with and have stuck with for years.
When you pick up the guitar, you will have to stick with it and be committed to the process no matter how long it takes if you expect to become proficient.
Younger folks may give up when adversity sets in or boredom is reached. However, you as an adult will push through these types of things because you know that success is on the other side. It takes commitment and it is a process but you will stick with it and come out better on the other side.
Committing to learning a hobby like playing the guitar is an important part of being successful.
5) Your Children Can Learn With You
At 40 years old, you probably have children who may also be interested in learning to play the guitar or already play. If your children have already learned to play, they can help you through the process. It is helpful to have someone to be able to learn with. A person with a younger mind can be a huge help in getting you through some of the difficult parts of learning the guitar.
Your child will probably learn faster and will be able to teach you the things you don’t quite understand. It can make it fun when you choose to learn something with your child and each of you can celebrate your successes together.
Learning to play the guitar at 40 is certainly possible. Not only is it possible but you could become a rockstar if you wanted to you. There is no age limit to be able to learn an instrument like the guitar and whether you can or whether you can’t is all in your mind.
As long as you are physically able to move your hands along the guitar neck and fretboard, you can learn the skills necessary to put music together on it. It can be a rewarding experience once you start to play music that sounds good.
Although it is a process and might be more difficult than it would’ve been if you had started young, it’s as possible at 40 as it is at 13. If you are considering starting to learn the guitar at 40 years old, don’t hesitate. Get started with it now because the longer you wait, the more difficult it will become.
You can learn guitar even when you’re in your 70s but why wait until then when you can get started now. If you don’t start now, 20 years from now you will wish you would have. Learning the guitar at 40 is a challenge but a fun one that can be very rewarding in the end.