Today’s question came from Rachel:

Question:

I’ve just bought my first guitar! I have a daughter and so from 7pm until 12am I’m alone and going a little stir crazy! I’ve always wanted to learn the guitar but kept convincing myself I’m too old (at 27).  So assuming I practice every night for around an hour, increasing it the more I enjoy it, how long do you think it would take to be able to play along to my favorite songs? I’m not trying to be a rock star, I’d just love to be able to create the music I enjoy so much.

Answer:

Hey Rachel!

First off… congratulations on the guitar purchase!

So…

The main question…

Are you too old to learn to play the guitar?

I get asked this a lot.   People as young as 20 wondering if they’ve missed their opportunity.

Have they?

Of course not!

There’s no age limit to playing the guitar.  I have beginner students ranging in ages from 5 to 65.  As long as you have working fingers you’ll be ok.

Here are a few things you’ll need if you want to learn to play the guitar:

  • Patience
  • Time to practice
  • Functioning fingers
  • Motivation and (maybe a little discipline)

 

As we get older some of those things are harder to come by.  I’ve seen great guitar players progressively lose their ability to play due to arthritis… at 27 it doesn’t sound like that is a concern of yours.

Finding the time to practice seems to get harder as we get older.  You mention beging able to practice an hour each night… so again… that shouldn’t be a concern either.

Keep in mind: An hour a day is a lot (especially when you’re just getting started)… so don’t push yourself too much.

As for how long it will take to learn your favorite songs – it really depends on what your favorite songs are.

For example, if they’re super advanced (solos, shredding, barre chords, etc.) it could take a little while.

If you’re just talking about basic open chords (G, D, Em, C, etc) you should be good to go in a month or less.

If you want more details about practicing (and how much you should practice) check out this article.

Let me know if you have an questions… and keep me updated on your progress!!!

I share even juicier stories and guitar playing tips on my e-mail list…. you can sign up here!

(Jake Posko does in-home and online guitar lessons in the Annapolis, Maryland area including: Annapolis, Edgewater, Severna Park, Pasadena, Crownsville, Arnold and Kent Island, inquire about lessons by e-mailing him at jake@jakeposko.com).