Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me they think or worry they are too old to learn guitar.
Some think it outwardly.
Others have this lingering thought deep inside that being able to play a few songs and change chords smoothly is beyond them.
I try my best to make sure everyone knows you are never too old, and you 100% can do it.
In fact, if just playing a few songs nicely is all you want to do, that’s great, but never limit yourself to just that.
There’s a whole lot more you can do, and there are new possibilities open to you if you believe you can do it.
Thankfully though, there are quite a few of you who think age is just a number.
I’ve been in the teaching game long enough to have seen and taught quite a few guitarists on both sides of this fence.
The truth is, you can go from feeling hopeless to having amazing jams and playing stunning songs, whichever side of this fence you sit on…
…But it makes it way easier having a more positive mindset.
So, on that note, here are two “chalk and cheese” emails/comments I got these past few days to highlight this…
I’m currently working on your Tom Dooley Master Class and have got to the stage of just putting together the base and the melody, I’m getting there, albeit slowly!
Thanks as always for all the good stuff you’re doing, I’d love to subscribe to your DTAA, but, at 79, I learn very slowly, and I don’t think I would be able to make best use of the facility at this time.
…And then there is this from Charles, who left this comment on a page on one of the lessons on my site the other day…
“Hello Dan. I have attempted to play a guitar for the last 45 yrs or so. However, I had no structure. Therefore no progress. When I mentioned to some friends that I wanted to be a good finger picking player, they said that is too hard & I am running out of time.
I see now that structure plus a very good teacher can take one anywhere they want to go. Practice is the vehicle. Age is just a number. I believe that, now.”
Ah, that second comment is much better (although Charles needs to ditch those friends – kidding, well kind of).
Although the email from Peter was kind and reasonably positive (I’m pleased he’s making progress) he showed a little more about how he feels in the way he ended it.
The bit where he says, “I’m 79, I learn very slowly”.
I’m not saying Peter should join the DTAA or anything (that’s for him to decide) but…
You know what…One thing I’ve found over the years is that most people tend to learn better at a slower pace.
People who learn slowly don’t rush and they have focus, they take things on better, and they don’t jump ahead before something sits in their memory properly.
This is something I’ve been a big fan of teaching and talking about for a long time, but last month I took this further…
…In the month of February, in the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy, I gave students a simple 3-step monthly plan based on these principles.
It’s been a big hit.
We’ve had loads of comments from members on the lessons and plan, and I’ve had a lot of emails saying how much more encouraged students feel.
So, for the month of March, there is a new 3-step plan and it’ll help you make more progress throughout the whole of March, learn a new song or finish an old one, improve your technique so you feel more relaxed when you play, be better at playing and remembering strumming patterns, and be able to improvise music yourself… and do all this without feeling overwhelmed. (You can go at your own pace with this plan).
…Plus, you will be able to play (or get started if you prefer) with a fun 12-bar blues piece (no matter what your skill level).
Anyway, you can find out more about the membership at the link below and you can listen to the two blues arrangements there too.
Enjoy and remember, as Charles said, “age is just a number”.
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.