Guitar tutors - any of you have old students?

What's Hot
axisusaxisus Frets: 10737
At the grand old age of 55 I quite fancy some guitar lessons. I guess one can't be too old but I was wondering if you do see people my sort of age getting lessons?
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
«1

Comments

  • mli3mli3 Frets: 86
    Never too old matey. go for it.
    I'm 42 and have lessons
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • peteripeteri Frets: 823
    I’m 48 and been playing since I was 14, I have lessons
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BradBrad Frets: 209
    edited June 21
    I’m currently teaching a lovely 85 year old gentleman, so nope, one is never too old smile 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3561
    One of my students is 53, the youngest is 9
    Everyone should be learning regardless of age and I would take lesson myself at 49 if I could afford it 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2933
    over the years I've taught people with a wide range of ages from late teens through to early 60's
    the old fella's were better in one sense because they didn't have that 'desperation of youth' to want to be amazing right now and fully understood that it takes time, effort and patience..
    on the other hand, the older fellas had been playing a while and had some very well burnt in technique habits that needed to be unlearned and replaced..
    age though didn't seem to matter.. every student is totally unique in every way and from a personal perspective, seeing each of them develop into something more is equally rewarding
    play every note as if it were your first
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7110
    There was a Guthrie Govan thing where he talked about giving lessons and he always had the same programme that he expected everyone to go through on their way to becoming the best all round guitarists then he had some older students who didn't want that, they tended to want to learn more specific things and Guthrie had to change his whole approach. 
    The moral being , I think, that as long as you can find a tutor who can help you achieve your goals you'd be fine. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • camfcamf Frets: 734
    Sorry to hop on board this thread but I've been wondering the same thing. I'm in my late 50s and I've built up an 'idiosyncratically' sloppy style of playing electric that's served me pretty well as a songwriter and second guitarist. However, I've never really had much interest in playing acoustic or giving my right hand any real thought at all. I'm trying to work on improving my right hand technique and adapting my playing to get more out of my acoustic playing. However, I don't really want my current electric playing style to be too deconstructed or changed as I quite like how I'm playing. Is this something I can reasonably expect to work out with a tutor or would I just be seen as a pain in the arse? I guess I'm just wanting some tips on being a better acoustic player. Any alternatives to bothering a poor tutor? :) 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18257
    I have a 50 year old student at the moment.
    He is the hardest working of anyone I have taught and progressing very well.

    Go for it.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • richhrichh Frets: 307
    Go for it.  I'm a similar age to you, and have been taking lessons over the last year or two.  A good teacher will have people of all ages going to them.  I would say though, that while there are excellent teachers out there, you may have to cast the net wide to find the right one for you.  Even if a teacher is a great player, they may not be the right person for what you want right now, so if you don't find an inspiring and helpful teacher right away, don't give up.  And it doesn't have to be local either, with Skype and Facetime!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    Yes all the time, in fact, the better learners are the more ones, no education to distract them and other things in life. The ideal ones are in their 50's. Good paying job, children have moved out and regular attendance to lessons makes the best progress.

    Usually find children under 10 don't actually want the lessons its their parents. Teenagers can be a bit of hassle to do lessons with their attitude problems. Young adults between 20-30 are normally busy with doing other things and commitments.

    So go for it, depending which area you're in I have a few spaces left, be it in person or via Skype!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6248
    I'm 48 and having fiddle lessons. I'm at least 10 years older than my teacher, but doesn't bother me or her.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8895
    I have taught middle aged people before, not a problem to me, but some of them found it, er, "difficult". I don't believe that once you're grown up you can't learn, but kids seem to learn easier, maybe because they're in a learning environment for 5 days of each week, whereas older adults especially could have had a long break from learning and so be a bit unused to the process.

    One woman told me she "couldn't understand" the the Mel Bay "Easy way to guitar" kids book that I recommended her to follow as she was starting from scratch. That one's easy, you can get 8 year olds to do it but this woman couldn't. Or at least wasn't willing to put in the effort. She never even gave me much chance to explain how to follow it and where the learning was taking you.

    Other people have started and then quit because they only wanted a hobby to dabble in every other week not something you had to do every day in order to get anywhere.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tone71Tone71 Frets: 236
    Im 47 and have lessons, its great
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 192
    Kids learn easier cos their brain is at the stage where its primed for it.  And well they can spend evening after evening pottering away, mucking about and trying random crap till cows come home...

    Older people can learn though.  In mid 90's royal scottish orchestras principal trumpet player decided to take it up and get lessons when he retired.  Within 2yr he was principal in said orchestra.  Just shows age isn't a barrier ;)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 274
    I've got a couple around that age and they're great; you're definitely never too old. One is a beginner, the other has been playing for a while, but they both take stuff on quickly. As others have said, older students tend to know what they want to do, and obviously have formed their musical tastes by then, so it's a bit easier to tailor lessons to suit. On the other side of it, my youngest student is 7, and we had an ace lesson this week where we were doing a simple version of Back in Black; I thought the little fill bits might be a step to far, but he'd been watching me play it and copied it straight away! Love stuff like that  =) One of my best students is a teenager, so it can really vary...you definitely have to want to learn though, whatever age you are. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    edited June 22
    Agree with the whole sticking to it/commitment thing. Regardless of age I've seen many many learners quit esp when taking anything less than 2 weeks frequency for lessons. To them, they may think they have more time to practice but in fact it gives them an excuse to practice less due to no lesson on the following week so a bit of a mental procrastination period. Every single learner that has taken fortnightly/as you go "drop-in" lessons has quit, and I'm not surprised. The gap is simply far too long to build any momentum and by the time you've gotten round to practice again you've forgotten what the material was/or how to practice properly. So we usually spend the next lesson repeating what we did last time and cos they didn't bother to practice its a waste of time. But you will stand more chance of progressing if you took weekly lessons without practicing, as that hourly session is supervised practice with feedback. I can't see what they're doing outside of lessons and for all I know they could have been practicing incorrectly for a week.

    The best learners I have are weekly and everyone is on a monthly payment thing, so no choosing when they want the lessons, 4 lessons per month, no bullshit. And their progress is great week to week. One even comes for 2 hour lessons per week and he's only been playing for about 2 years, yet plays better than most of my learners who've been here longer who could already play a bit before they took lessons. The fact is he puts the time and elbow grease into it. And now he reaps the rewards. Can only imagine how good he'll be in another 2 years if he keeps it up.

    Think of it as going to the gym. Will you really expect to see results if you just go once every so often per month, eat junk food and don't really know what to do?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • StavrosStavros Frets: 79
    Spot on.

    I started playing only 15 months ago, at the age of 58, and completely agree that anything longer than 2 weeks between lessons is counter-productive. Although, it does depend completely (and obviously) on how much effort and practice is put in between lessons.
    I love my brick
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 525
    Stick with it and don't be ashamed/scared of lessons at your age. If you like guitar-music that's usually a good start and if your faves are liked by your tutor, then you are squids-in.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18257
    edited June 23
    There are a few different types of older student (in no way a comprehensive list) that I have experienced:

    You have the 'student who has no time'- their family and job get in the way of their practice and they end up coming for a bit and then quit.

    You have the 'used to be pretty good but got busy with life and it slipped' guy.
    They come for a period of time until they get their shit together and then they don't need to keep coming. I load these guy up with as much as they can cope with.

    You have the 'I want to do it but I just can't' guy.
    These are guys who have a desire to play but feel as though there is something wrong with them that means that they are specifically unsuited to playing the guitar. 
    Positive encouragement and breaking things down as small as possible for them to have a series of successes is key here.

    You have the 'I want it to be done, but I don't want to do the work' guy.
    These are a pain in the ass.
    They are inherently lazy, lie about the work they do and expect it to happen quicker than it is technically possible to even if you do the work.
    They also argue with you about the best way to do things, despite not really being able to play. I don't teach this people (and I think I probably used to be one of them until I sorted myself out).

    You have 'the flake'. He will come for a bit, then one day will stop coming without telling you- or a lame email/text 20 minutes after the lesson was due to start.

    You have the 'humble, realistic and hardworking' guy.
    This is the ideal student.
    They might occasionally get down about how long it is taking but they work hard and don't put up roadblocks.
    Be this guy.
    When I was studying drumming with a teacher I tried to be this guy too.

    And they are pretty much all 'guys'.
    In 25 years of teaching I've only ever taught two women.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • axisusaxisus Frets: 10737
    I'm the guy who's played the same old pentatonic stuff for 35 years and would like to find something new. 

    I'd also like to learn some Satriani but I struggle terribly with TABs!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    octatonic said:
    There are a few different types of older student (in no way a comprehensive list) that I have experienced:

    You have the 'student who has no time'- their family and job get in the way of their practice and they end up coming for a bit and then quit.

    You have the 'used to be pretty good but got busy with life and it slipped' guy.
    They come for a period of time until they get their shit together and then they don't need to keep coming. I load these guy up with as much as they can cope with.

    You have the 'I want to do it but I just can't' guy.
    These are guys who have a desire to play but feel as though there is something wrong with them that means that they are specifically unsuited to playing the guitar. 
    Positive encouragement and breaking things down as small as possible for them to have a series of successes is key here.

    You have the 'I want it to be done, but I don't want to do the work' guy.
    These are a pain in the ass.
    They are inherently lazy, lie about the work they do and expect it to happen quicker than it is technically possible to even if you do the work.
    They also argue with you about the best way to do things, despite not really being able to play. I don't teach this people (and I think I probably used to be one of them until I sorted myself out).

    You have 'the flake'. He will come for a bit, then one day will stop coming without telling you- or a lame email/text 20 minutes after the lesson was due to start.

    You have the 'humble, realistic and hardworking' guy.
    This is the ideal student.
    They might occasionally get down about how long it is taking but they work hard and don't put up roadblocks.
    Be this guy.
    When I was studying drumming with a teacher I tried to be this guy too.

    And they are pretty much all 'guys'.
    In 25 years of teaching I've only ever taught two women.
    In my 10 years teaching I've had at least 3 of each of these types!

    "The flake" and "I want it to be done, but I don't want to do the work guy" a lot. One only took 45 minute lessons per week, never practiced enough and expected to be a shred demon. Never going to work, I suggested to him he has to do hourly, for a slightly higher rate to make more progress. He quit soon after.

    Need more of the "humble, realistic and hardworking" types! I'd say only 3 of my learners are these and they're a joy to teach. The rest make it a bit of drag cos I know they aren't putting the time into it to see the desired results, so it becomes work for me, but hey, business is business and I won't tell them to stop coming.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    What about the "Very wealthy and buys all the expensive guitars/gear but doesn't learn to use them properly guy"? (Mainly Les Pauls). Drives a Merc or Jag, and works Monday-Friday using his weekends to go away (when should be used for practising really). Big music fan but doesn't have the ear for music.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RyderRyder Frets: 0
    Hi. Long-time lurker here, this thread particularly interests as I'm in the 40 plus age group and playing 2 years - self taught.

    I plan on getting lessons after the summer but wanted to ask in your experience what kind of time you need to practice each day? Currently spend 30mins every evening before bed practicing and some nights a bit more. Have made some progress in the last 2 years in terms of smooth chord changing etc but want to develop my improvising ability. I think I would get more out of the practice with more structure...or am I fooling myself?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 274
    Ryder said:
    Hi. Long-time lurker here, this thread particularly interests as I'm in the 40 plus age group and playing 2 years - self taught.

    I plan on getting lessons after the summer but wanted to ask in your experience what kind of time you need to practice each day? Currently spend 30mins every evening before bed practicing and some nights a bit more. Have made some progress in the last 2 years in terms of smooth chord changing etc but want to develop my improvising ability. I think I would get more out of the practice with more structure...or am I fooling myself?
    30mins every day should be enough to see improvements, and from what you've said, it sounds like it is :) Some structure to your practice will definitely help; having a teacher to set you goals will also help. That's not to say that you can't do this by going down the self-tuition route, but having someone with experience to guide you along will make it easier and quicker, particularly when you're moving onto more complex stuff like improvisation. They'll also be able to point out any basic mistakes/technique issues which are harder to identify if you're self-taught. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18257
    In my 10 years teaching I've had at least 3 of each of these types!

    "The flake" and "I want it to be done, but I don't want to do the work guy" a lot. One only took 45 minute lessons per week, never practiced enough and expected to be a shred demon. Never going to work, I suggested to him he has to do hourly, for a slightly higher rate to make more progress. He quit soon after.

    Need more of the "humble, realistic and hardworking" types! I'd say only 3 of my learners are these and they're a joy to teach. The rest make it a bit of drag cos I know they aren't putting the time into it to see the desired results, so it becomes work for me, but hey, business is business and I won't tell them to stop coming.
    Interesting we have a similar experience here.
    Do you also find that you can now pretty much clock which type they are going to adhere to after the first lesson?
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 353
    edited June 24
    axisus said:
    At the grand old age of 55 I quite fancy some guitar lessons. I guess one can't be too old but I was wondering if you do see people my sort of age getting lessons?
    I'm 51, been playing 18 months and had a year of lessons, which I paused but intend to restart.

    One thing I think of is at our age we don't have runway that youngsters do - they have decades in front of them to work and improve, whereas we'd don't have the same supply of time left.  So the focus of lessons can help keep us moving.

    I also found lessons helped me get through that difficult first year (when 90% of new starters quit). Taking a few weeks to learn a song I'd been hearing for 30 years probably isn't something I'd have seen through on my own - but weekly checking in with my teacher (mentor/leader) kept me on track. And once I could do it I became a player who could play something, and who could learn more, not a all-fingers-and-thumbs beginner. It's a significant milestone I think.

    And also, lessons with the right teacher are fun, and get you playing in front of/with another person, instead of just lonely plinking away in your bedroom.

    I will go back to lessons.

    I also think it's important to understand a teacher can't really _teach_ you guitar. Your learning is done alone, practicing, you still teach yourself really. The teacher's role is more guide or mentor I think. But that's an important role.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2933
    octatonic said:
    You have the 'I want to do it but I just can't' guy.
    These are guys who have a desire to play but feel as though there is something wrong with them that means that they are specifically unsuited to playing the guitar. 
    Positive encouragement and breaking things down as small as possible for them to have a series of successes is key here.

    these are the ones that I find most rewarding..
    once you get them to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them..
    that they are not somehow musically disabled and that it's just a matter of enough repetition and hard work to develop the neural paths [and so motor skills] required to play...
    you can start breaking down the barriers

    I have a guy like this in his mid 20's.. loves guitars, rock and metal..
    he came to me 3 years ago knowing nothing
    now his warmup is the G major scale [3 notes per string, all 7 patterns] in quavers at 170bpm
    which considering our starting point is massive..
    he can play [amongst others]
    Don't Believe a Word [Thin Lizzy from Live and Dangerous] including the solo along with the album
    Judas Priest Genocide [from Unleashed in the East] including all solos and licks
    and we're working on Judas Priest Hell Bent for Leather
    all at full speed..
    of all my students [all of which are more capable because they were reasonably solid players to start with] his journey has been by far the furthest
    no it don't come easy to him.. but he puts in the work, sticks at it and he's absolutely loving it..
    watching him grow has been and absolute joy
    play every note as if it were your first
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    octatonic said:
    In my 10 years teaching I've had at least 3 of each of these types!

    "The flake" and "I want it to be done, but I don't want to do the work guy" a lot. One only took 45 minute lessons per week, never practiced enough and expected to be a shred demon. Never going to work, I suggested to him he has to do hourly, for a slightly higher rate to make more progress. He quit soon after.

    Need more of the "humble, realistic and hardworking" types! I'd say only 3 of my learners are these and they're a joy to teach. The rest make it a bit of drag cos I know they aren't putting the time into it to see the desired results, so it becomes work for me, but hey, business is business and I won't tell them to stop coming.
    Interesting we have a similar experience here.
    Do you also find that you can now pretty much clock which type they are going to adhere to after the first lesson?
    First of all I kinda have a little bet with myself as to how long they'll last til they quit. If they're still with me after 6 months then there's a good chance they're a keeper.

    But yes I do notice habits such as who's more committed and stuff as the lessons go on. You get to know what they're like as a person too, e.g if they're late every week and don't apologise you know that's what they're like in real life, yet somehow they keep a job. If it takes them a whole week to do 1 little task you know guitar isn't their priority.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vagabondshoevagabondshoe Frets: 2
    I’m 40 and just started a few weeks ago, wish I’d done it years ago. I’m already feeling a difference when I play at home and the encouragement from my teacher keeps me going (I was one of the people convinced they had a musical disability!) 
    I don’t have a lot of free time, but paying for lessons makes me feel like I can leave the ironing and play for an hour. Honestly it’s one of the best things I’ve done. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    I’m 40 and just started a few weeks ago, wish I’d done it years ago. I’m already feeling a difference when I play at home and the encouragement from my teacher keeps me going (I was one of the people convinced they had a musical disability!) 
    I don’t have a lot of free time, but paying for lessons makes me feel like I can leave the ironing and play for an hour. Honestly it’s one of the best things I’ve done. 
    Good on ya. And encouraging to see not all adults in their 40's blame work/family/home life as being a reason why they can't practice. It CAN be done you just have to make time, what annoys me is former learners quitting and seeing them in the high st shopping or on social media pissing around, when that time COULD be used practicing. Truth is they CAN do it, they just don't WANT to.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.