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Am I too old....

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pica, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I'm 41 years old. I've been taking bass lessons about 7 months, every other week. That comes to about 14 lessons so far. I just don't seem to be getting it. I'll admit that I don't practice every day....I know I probably should. Am I to old to learn the bass?
    davidhilton likes this.
  2. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    That's it.
  3. Dave-Action-Fig


    Nov 28, 2006
    You are a bit late but never to old! Maybe you got a wrong teacher maybe you just don't practice enough. But since you are 41 I think you are doing it for fun, right? So why not keep playing and don't worry about 'not getting it'. I am 19 years old, playing bass for 6 years and two years into music college already and I am still not getting it.
    birminghambass likes this.
  4. eggfan


    Sep 20, 2009
    Lancaster, PA
    Have you talked to your teacher about your practice habits and routine? Making optimum use of the time you have is key. "Getting it" is a function of "wanting it" and applying yourself to achieving it. And go easy on yourself - "having fun with it" is important, too.
    Usirs and kohanmike like this.
  5. Good question.

    The bad news -- when you're older, it's harder to learn new things. This is a biological thing and it sucks.

    The good news -- although it's harder, it's still very possible.

    With the above in mind, if you want to learn bass and you're on the wrong side of 40 you're going to have invest more time into it. Not practicing every day ain't going to cut it.

    What sort of tunes are you into? I wouldn't sweat the classical pieces or improv jazz but focus on your technique (i.e., how to play the bass correctly) and learning some cover tunes of your favorite band because that's always fun.

    GL -- you'll get it in no time. Also, you don't have to be "great" to be successful as a bassist. In fact, the best bassists aren't that popular. haha.
  6. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Is your teacher in the education or Lesson/Gear sales industry...

    Unfortunately good teachers are rare.

  7. I gotta tell you that it bothers me to hear whippersnappers like you speculating that you are too old. I was 55 when I got my bass. Being somewhat senile, I'm not as sure of things as I used to be, but I think I started later than you did. I'm having fun. So should you. and so should everyone else!
    Max Bogosity, HughC, Himedia and 7 others like this.
  8. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Firstly, no, you are not too old to learn. However, if your practice schedule is patchy, then you are not doing yourself any favours. Try and put aside a certain amount of time every day for practice. A half an hour every day is better than three or four hours at week ends. Make sure you have a goal, and your time is not spent idly noodling. Stick with it, be patient, and in time I'm sure you will "get it". Above all.. have fun.

    Good luck.
  9. Have you ever played an instrument at any point in your life? Not that if you had not, you'd be too old. I'm just trying to get to the heart of the "I'm not getting it" comment.
  10. Hell no, you're not too old. In between your actual lessons it couldn't to take some free online lessons{youtube}. Keep the mindframe of "I will understand it, and I will kick some as$"...takes time but you WILL get it
  11. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    To answer your question, No I have never played any other instrument.
  12. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    It's simple.
    Age has nothing to do with it. (as long as your brain, and hands work)
    You get out of it, what you put into it.
    Keep taking lessons.
    Practice one hour a day, for at least 5 days a week.
    For the next 2 years, and you will become a bassplayer. (To some degree)
    At your age, if you don't enjoy it.
    You will never keep doing it.
    Good luck.:bassist::bassist::bassist:
  13. If you practice, it will come. Thats the big killer in learning an instrument. Most people don't realize the amount of time and dedication it takes.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  14. Not too old... I just started DB at 48 (been playing electric for decades but, the two are very different instruments aside from having four strings tuned the same)

    Pick some basslines from songs you really like and learn those (nothing too ambitious!). It's not the same as practicing the less exciting stuff but it will keep you motivated and you will learn from it as well.
  15. Jim Powers

    Jim Powers

    Mar 19, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Playing other instruments would be a help in feeling comfortable, but everyone has a first time. I started by playing with records, that way you begin to learn popular bass line structure in the genre you like, and the feel of being in the rhythm section; and its a fun way to learn. After a while you'll recognize patterns in various songs and begin to play your own bass lines without reliance on copying someone else's. You may feel more like you get it if you can play with one of your favorite songs for starters. As with anything, you get what you put into it, meaning practice time is important. But don't feel something should suddenly happen, like the fellow who's in music school says, it is a continuous journey of learning to get better.
  16. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    I started when I was older than you are now. Patience & practice are required. Surely you didn't think 14 lessons with short practice would take you far. Stop whining & go to work. :cool:
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I'm 57, I started playing bass guitar when I was 9 or 10.I practice 1.5 hours a day and I still take lessons.

    Your not to old,if you have a passion for the bass that should by pass all other obstacles like age.

    BTW, it's not easy.

  18. What is "it" that you are not getting?
    Max Bogosity and Babydave like this.
  19. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    If you're not getting it you're not trying hard enough as you have already indicated. Think about anything that you do well and think about how you got to do it well i.e. how much time and energy you spent on it and then apply that to the study of bass and you'll get pretty much the same results. Skill on the bass just doesn't happen anybody and I mean anybody that has skills on the bass has invested time in acquiring those skills.
  20. +1

    Teachers come in many forms and teach from many formats.

    I can tell you my adult students learn, relatively quickly, can play complete songs, and are having fun with their instrument in about the same amount of time you have invested.

    Does your teacher only pound reading standard notation, theory, and scales down your throat? Is it mainly academic? Does he teach you any intuitive skills, how to use your ear, universal patterns that most bass players fall back on, and (gasp!) TAB to learn any of your favorite songs?

    I use a combination of all the above. And I let my adult students help me decide what is important and where to put emphasis so they get the most satisfaction from their instrument. (I retain students close to three years on average using diversity and variation in my teaching approach).

    I have a couple of adult students, one in his 50s, who never played an instrument before, and they are good enough to gig out.

    Do tell us, what is "it" that your teacher is trying to impart to you that you aren't getting?
    delta7fred likes this.

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