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Am I too old to get started in this?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ski_rush, Sep 11, 2019 at 10:03 AM.

  1. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi ski_rush :)

    I am older! :p

    I started playing bass when I was a teenager! So what?

    I won' t say that playing the bass was the most importent thing I ever did in my live. (my wife would kill me :D)

    But it was and is the coolest thing!

    Get started! Of course you can wait another ten years and ask again. :D

    My answer will be the same!

    may the bass be with you

    IamBF and ObsessiveArcher like this.
  2. dave64o

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

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Just to add to my previous post about how late in life I started.....

    My brother just turned 65 and bought his first real guitar about a year ago. He messed around on guitar and keys when he was in high school but once he got out of college he never played at all. But he always said that once he starts winding down his business he'll buy a nice guitar, take lessons, and really learn to play. We don't live anywhere near each other, but he purposely markets himself for contracts in this area so he can visit more often with our parents but he also spends part of that time here at my house so he and I can jam. In that short amount of time, I've seen some really impressive improvement.

    But that's nothing. Our dad played violin in our grandfather's bands until he was about 22 - then he stopped playing completely. When he was 84, he finally opened up his violin case to try playing, thinking it might relieve some of the stiffness in his fingers from arthritis. He realized he couldn't put it down and found a teacher who jumped at the chance to work with him. After about six months, she told him he doesn't need her and to go find a band. He did that and, at age 92, is STILL gigging!

    You are NEVER too old to start - or to start back up after you stopped! :bassist:
    Nebula24, B-Lo, IamBF and 1 other person like this.
  3. Al Krow

    Al Krow

    Jan 15, 2018
    The first 48 years of your life could have been mine! I picked bass up at the same age as you, have just started up another band, so that makes three currently on the go, and we're doing some great gigs from pubs to weddings and totally loving it. Great to know you're still going strong at 70. That's super inspiring!
  4. lyricsoflife


    Feb 21, 2011
    Derby, KS
    You’re NEVER too old. Make sure your bass is set up properly and then go for it! It all boils down to practice like most instruments but making sure your instrument is set up correctly (action, intonation, etc.) can help eliminate some discouragement when starting out.
  5. :)

    Nebula24 likes this.
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I still
    One of the Dean's they discontinued.
    Nice little bass and from time to time you can actually find a USA-made one.
    B-Mac has one and it's one of the coolest basses around!
  7. SunByrne


    Aug 29, 2019
    Pearland, TX
    I started just a few months ago (in April) and was a little apprehensive about it, too, in part due to my age (49 then, now 50). But here's a bit of truth: the two best times to pick up a musical instrument are (1) when you're young, and (2) today. Sure, you and I missed the boat on (1), but (2) is still wide open. Now that I've started my only regret is that I didn't start earlier—it is SO MUCH FUN.

    But, of course, folks here are right that it will go a lot better if you can commit to it and set aside time to practice every day. It can be frustrating to feel like you aren't making progress and the best way to make sure you're making progress is to work at it every day. I like to remind myself each week what new thing I can do this week that I couldn't do last week to remind me that I'm making progress. Having a lesson once a week is also super helpful.

    The other thing that helps me (but YMMV) is working with your teacher to find songs that are both appropriate for your skill level and that you really like. I force myself to do basic exercises/scales for a few minutes each day (did more of that in the first month), and that's important, but what really makes me want to practice is wanting to be able to play songs that I really like. It's also great to work on songs you know well because there's immediate feedback—when you get it wrong, you know you got it wrong as it happens because you know how it's supposed to sound.

    And on basses, you're obviously getting a range of opinions. Personally, I also started on an Ibanez GSR200 and I don't see anything whatsoever wrong with starting there. I think being motivated and getting time in every day is more important that what your starter instrument is. So if you need a fancier instrument to get yourself motivated, get it. But if you don't, nothing wrong with the starter Ibanez!
  8. Sorry didn’t read through the whole thread. I started around the same age as you, have left my first non-serious band to go to another more serious band. We are in-studio once a week and host an open mike once a week and gig (paying) once a month It’s never to late to start something new. Never. Learn to play to the songs you would listen to when you are by yourself, get a nice cheap bass (Ibanez Talman, Squier VM. Etc. )

    In no time you’ll be looking for others to play with.
  9. BOOG

    BOOG Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Kind of hard to answer that question for another person, don’t you think? One thing I can say without any doubt and with affirmation from others, AGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LEARNING ANYTHING my friend. Motivation is the only factor. If you wanna learn then, learn.
    About gear... figure out how much you’re willing to spend and since you’re not sure if you want to invest your time and effort spend only half of that on gear and take a couple (or more) of lessons.
    Since you’re not sure though, and you’re so old maybe consider golf or gardening.
  10. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
  11. CoffeeLove

    CoffeeLove Supporting Member

    Never too old, if you are willing to put in the work and have patience with yourself. I started at 41 and am now 48, and am skilled enough to play most styles of music (with work). I have a play-out band that is booked regularly, and we cover some of the more challenging mainstream Motown stuff (and I get close). Just keep in mind I spent atleast an hour a day for about 4 years getting to that point, along with taking lessons to help me find week points and getting help to overcome them. Would practice after my 8 hour work day and kids were in bed. It is the coolest hobby I could imagine since my body can no longer play sports competitively.

    All that said, if you want it bad enough it is not too late.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    BOOG likes this.
  12. You're not too old. I'll be 43 in a few days and I started playing bass two years ago. I *had* a bass about 15 years ago, but didn't practice much either, and also ended up selling it. Now I have two basses, take things more seriously, and try to practice every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. I took lessons for a year and will be back to them when my schedule clears up a bit. I'm starting to play live with some friends. I don't expect to become good at it, but I love the instrument and have lots of fun playing it. So just go for it.
  13. Even

    Even Banned

    It's never too late.
  14. I got started just about a year ago too, and I`m 54. So my answer is no, never too old to do something that you have a passion for.
  15. The Bass Abides

    The Bass Abides

    Mar 3, 2019
    Like everyone else has said, of course not! I'm 44 and only started taking practice a little more seriously about 1 year ago. For the first time in my life, I am ENJOYING LEARNING the entire instrument. I would always become frustrated because I didn't get "good" fast enough. If your schedule/commitments/finances don't allow for face-to-face lessons, I would suggest getting "Roy Vogt's Teach Me Bass Guitar" DVD and book set. Roy really makes learning easy by laying out lessons in an order that makes sense. I got them from a fellow TB'er for $75. So far, worth every penny!
  16. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    What makes you think you would practice more now?

    I think you should play drums. The world is crawling with guitarists and bassists, but a drummer who has the sense to play a simple solid beat is worth his weight in gold.

    kre84u likes this.
  17. It's never a question of "am I too old to learn the bass".

    It's a question of "am I cool enough to be a bass player".
    SunByrne, Winslow, kre84u and 2 others like this.
  18. nomaj


    Apr 2, 2012
    Too old to learn bass? Maybe, maybe not. But you can have fun just making sound.

    Realistically, every accomplished player (of any instrument, not just bass) that I've ever known was inspired to play music at an early age.

    If you do buy another bass guitar, you'll also need an amplifier or at least a headphone rig, too.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes, you're way too old. Time to retire and play shuffleboard and bocce ball.


    Seriously, I believe the quote I have in my sig says it all...

    The hardest part about learning as an adult is getting over yourself --- onestring
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  20. lowendrachel


    Sep 11, 2012
    GTA, Ontario
    No you're not too old. I'm going to be forty in December and ive been wanting to start to okay tuba.

    Yes, I've been wanting that Dean Custom as well. Just go learn! Good luck!

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