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Am I too old to get started in this?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ski_rush, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Greg Waldon

    Greg Waldon

    Aug 22, 2017
    I have to agree on the Peaveys (USA made Foundation or Fury) and I highly recommend the LTD B-50.
    Bass V likes this.
  2. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Welcome to Talkbass.

    Ok dude, the answer is yes . . . Or no. Depends on you. It's really about you much you want it and if you have the time to put in the time.

    There's also some patience involved if my experience is indicative. Here's my story:

    Played for about 20 years, recreationally. Stopped for nearly that long. Got a wild hair about 4 years ago when I was 55 to start playing my old Fender basses again. Used the amp/cab that had been sitting about for decades.

    What I've lost in hearing acuity, has been offset by the resources offered by the internet. Learning is easier because of websites like Scott's Bass Lessons, YouTube, etc.

    Started getting the urge to play with others but my business schedule is an obstacle. Finally found a blues jam locally and now I attend most every Monday night. It gives me, a bedroom hack, the opportunity to play with pro and semi-pro musicians and whereas I'm not in their league, I can generally hang.

    Here's a vid from last week:

    Not terrible, considering that I didn't know the songs (as per usual) ;)

    Edit: I'd guess that your age puts you slightly below the median on our little corner of the interwebs.
    timplog and Oddly like this.
  3. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Will you ever be the best bass player in the world? No.
    Will you be the next teenage heartthrob? No.
    Will you win a Grammy? No.

    Will you spend the rest of your life having fun, learning and making new friends? YES!
    browndog, mjbing, B-Lo and 2 others like this.
  4. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    43? That’s not too soon to start. ;)

    As for the bass, try a bunch and get what feels good to you, playing-wise and emotion-wise. The more you love the instrument, the more you’ll play.
    Nebula24 likes this.
  5. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    It took me about 10 years to go from "rank beginner" to "playing in a band", and that was being self-taught (though admittedly with natural musical talent).

    Unless you're planning to die at 50, it's not too late.
  6. No. This is the golden age for older bass players because- small amps!
    Lobster11 likes this.
  7. juanaguinaga


    Aug 5, 2019
    I'm 48 and started less than 2 years ago, I play in two bands and I am the oldest, if it is true that they judge you by age but with effort and practice you can achieve what you propose
  8. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    As far as gear is concerned, I'm the wrong guy upon whom to rely. I've always subscribed to the doctrine of buying the best quality gear which I can comfortably afford at a price whereby I will expect to take the smallest beating possible.

    Therefore, I almost always buy used and look for a good deal. The advantage to that, as I see it, is that I actually want to practice rather than having to force myself to pick up or plug into a sub-standard bit of kit. Ymmv and your situation is unique, ofc.

    Best wishes in your decisions.

  9. 4sight

    4sight Supporting Member

    You're barely middle aged, plenty of time to learn something new :thumbsup:
  10. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    After playing guitar for almost 50 years, then joining a ukulele group 6 years ago, I added bass uke a year later when I was 64, now I only play ukulele and bass uke, just turned 70.
    OtherLisa and Chrisenbacker69 like this.
  11. Chrisenbacker69


    Nov 24, 2013
    +1 on this. GuitarPro is another good tool and has been indispensable to me. Plus, know your scales (this will help you understand keys and set the table for understanding modes) and know your fret board. And make work on these part of every practice.
    minddrain likes this.
  12. Just go for it

    Just go for it SUSPENDED

    Feb 8, 2019
    Of course you can!
    Learn this and be creative:

    C major scale:

    1. C major - Ionian mode
    2. D minor -Dorian mode
    3. E minor - Phrygian mode
    4. F major - Lydian mode
    5. G dominant - Mixolydian mode
    6. A minor - Aeolian mode
    7 B minor - Locrian mode

    Just start on the next note, and then the next one, and so on... and go trough all the notes of the arpegio, it will show you the light.

    ... and practice 8 hours a day ...
    mjbing and Chrisenbacker69 like this.
  13. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Although I started playing bass many years ago, I had to take a decade off due to wrist issues, and hence at 52 years old, I started again - at that point, I couldn't play my way out of a paper bag - I sucked. This weekend (9 years later), I'm playing at the biggest church I play at - attendance between 2 services runs somewhere between 1500 and 2000 people. It took about 5 years of daily practice (1.5 hours a day on average) to get to where I could play well enough for that gig. You're not too old - you can get good at your age, but you do need to realize it takes time and dedication to get good. Persistence is the key.
  14. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I messed around for a lot of years, but I never had time for more than that.

    I started taking lessons when I was about 47 and even then didn't have much time, so I cancelled more than half of my lessons because of work or family obligations.

    I started playing with a basement jam session, on a VERY occasional basis, when I was 50. Over about two years, we might have played about 20 times, but it was my first experience playing with others and loved it. It was only a basement jam, but these guys all played professional when they were younger and were quite good. They also didn't care that I was a newbie and were nothing but encouraging - while still challenging me. I improved a lot playing with them.

    About a year and a half ago at age 53 I started playing with a weekly basement jam session playing mostly British Invasion era rock. The regular playing time helped me improve even more. The guitarist/host then asked me to play in another of his weekly jams so I did both for about a year or so, although I recently quit the first weekly jam I joined.

    Why did I quit that one? Because, at age 54 (FWIW, I just turned 55 last weekend) I joined my first gigging band this past June and needed time to learn material and attend rehearsals. We played our first gig about 3 weeks ago, have two more scheduled into October, and are talking with a couple of other clubs and wineries for booking even further out. As much fun as it has been playing in those basement jams, it wasn't even close to playing in front of a real audience - AND GETTING PAID FOR IT!!!!! I still sometimes feel like I'm out of my league, but my band mates are amazed that this is my first band and have have nothing but good feed back about my playing, my tone, and even my vocals. Got great feedback from the audience at our first gig as well.

    I'm kicking myself for not doing this 40 years earlier. Yes, you absolute CAN do it at your age!
    Vytor likes this.
  15. npbassman

    npbassman Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    In the context of learning a new musical skill, the only difference between me at 46 today and me at 15 is that back then I had insane amounts of time to burn, and learn. Set aside 30-60 mins a day to learn your craft and stick to it and you'll have a blast. The advantage now is that there are multitudes of free training material at your disposal now on youtube, other sites, here on TB, etc and you don't have to commit 2-3 hours a week to see an instructor every week. With that said, I would recommend seeing an instructor to start off and get you on the right track and then maybe check in every so often.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    ELG60 and FJBass82 like this.
  16. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    At 43, barring any restrictive ailments/issues, I would say you are in a great position to do it.
    ELG60 and FJBass82 like this.
  17. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Learn the first five frets and some minor pentatonic scales and you're basically a pro. Bonus points for a backward Kangol hat and no shorts.

    But seriously, no, at 43 you are not too old to start bass. At 73 you're not too old.
    browndog and FJBass82 like this.
  18. I started playing the bass guitar when I was 35. Never entered my mind that I was "too old." It was something I'd wanted to do since I was 12 or 13 in Junior High when some friends and I wanted to start a cover band. I'm now 55 years old and presently in a cover band playing classic rock, alternative rock, and a few country tunes. It's a blast playing music with friends who are all around the same age, and it keeps us feeling young!

    Don't hesitate to pick up the bass and play!
  19. If you are looking st a day job then life is over st 65; however music can be learned played and enjoyed at any age.
    Go forth ; learn play enjoy!
  20. minddrain


    Dec 17, 2018
    My wife told me to get a hobby. I said, I’d need a new bass and amp, she was like okay what’s stopping you? Finally she’s like, why do you have so many pedals and what’s the difference.
    Iofflight, Tuffluck, B-Lo and 3 others like this.
  21. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Do it. You are NOT too old.
    When I was about 35 years old I told my Mom I was thinking about going to medical school and becoming a doctor. Her reaction was “What? It will take you ten years to get through undergrad training, medical school, residency, etc. etc. By then you’ll be 45 years old.” My answer was “If I don’t do it, I will still be 45 in ten years and without a medical degree.” (I didn’t go to medical school but the point is still valid.)
    browndog, mjbing and B-Lo like this.

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