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Those higher in age and piano playing

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fingerguy, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    I am 44 and for the first time in my life I am trying to learn the piano. I know I know I created a thread about how I am taking a break from music; seems like I just needed a break from my string instruments.

    I currently don't want to take on a teacher for I don't have the time to guarantee significant amount of practice and on top of that plus the teacher cost it isn't worth it.

    I was considering apps but still on the fence about that.

    I do have a book that I bought when I bought my fiance the Roland Keyboard and it's helpful. But what I am really focusing on the most is learning a song. I am putting a lot of focus on "Imagine" by John Lennon.

    Am I alone on learning this instrument so much later in life?
  2. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Nope. I picked up playing drums after I turned 50.
  3. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    My experience in music began at age 7 in a church choir. I learned to sing in a chorale setting almost continuously up to about age 17 when I joined a metal cover band and sang lead vocals.

    Shortly after, I picked up the electric bass and was instantly hooked. I've played in numerous bands over the past several decades as a bass player and vocalist, although I did try several times to learn other instruments.

    I've dabbled on sax and flute but never really got proficient at either so gave that up. On a whim, I bought a Roland TD electronic drum kit and spent a lot of time learning that. After only a couple of years I got pretty good on drums and actually joined a band as a drummer for awhile.

    In the past 35 years, (I'm 50, now) I've tried to learn the keyboards numerous times. I still have two decent boards that I break out every once in awhile plus I have a vintsge Hammond M3 that's fun to jam on.

    Unfortunately, I can't seem to develop any talent on the keys. I've put in the time and practiced diligently, but I just don't seem to have the knack for it. Not sure why that is, but I can't play keys well at all. Maybe it's because I'm left handed.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  4. No, you are absolutely not too old!

    Dismiss that type of thinking!

    44 is not old.

    I'm 62, and may be starting mandolin soon.

    If something makes you happy, never abandon it.

    If you're on the fence about starting something you've never done, fall off onto the positive side.

    No place for negative thoughts or doubt in this life.

    That is all. ;)

    Gaolee, Mr_Moo and Oddly like this.
  5. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Heck, I picked up the bass (well, one of my own and any attempt to seriously play the thing) later than that. Trombone around 10, EBG musta been 48, URB musta been 52. As bad as I am on URB, that's the one I get to play with other people, so I actually do play it better than the EBG I've had longer but don't have much outlet for playing with others, thus far. This despite my total lack of comfort about the fretless aspect of the giant plywood object...

    I can peck away at a keyboard and use them in figuring out songs I'm trying to write, but I ain't no keyboard player. Yet, anyway. Not dead, though, so it could happen.
    Gaolee and Mr_Moo like this.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Playing devils advocate... Would it be possible to enjoy playing something other than popular music, while you build up your chops? A challenge for adults is that the music has to be interesting and cool. Kids learning to play don't have that problem, so they'll plow through beginner music and exercises, especially if there are cookies involved. But adults are more self conscious.

    Bela Bartok wrote a set of beginning piano books called the Mikrokosmos that start out really basic in terms of note choice and technique, and gradually build up. A nice thing about them is that the tunes are musical and interesting nearly from the git-go, not banal childrens songs. And you're not thrust into the deep end on reading, especially because there are recordings of the complete set.
    Mr_Moo and T_Bone_TL like this.
  7. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Montreal, QC
    I'm in my early 40s, and I'm trying to learn a new language right now. I'm in classes and everything. It's difficult. But it reminds me a lot of trying to learn an instrument. I get frustrated a lot, even with the basics. And when I try to use it in the real world, even with short interactions, I feel like I'm at a gig where I have no clue what I'm doing. But I'm trying to stay positive about it.
  8. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    While I completely agree that working on things like Bartok books and similar kinds of music is far more fun than working on drills, I have found that I really enjoy sitting behind the drum kit and just doing drills. My teacher thinks I'm nuts, because I don't mind not playing specific songs, just lots and lots of drills. What that has done is make it possible to slot in pretty quickly when I get the chance to play with other people. I ended up gigging pretty heavily on drums for a few years as a result, even though I had been playing for about two and a half years when that band formed. It fizzled earlier this year, and I'm beginning to get antsy to find another band to play drums in. In the mean time, I keep doing the more and more complex drills and getting into the zen of it. It is a meditation of sorts.
    T_Bone_TL and fdeck like this.
  9. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    My fiance helped me realize yesterday evening that me trying to learn "Imagine" with no piano skill is probably a stretch and start on something a lot easier. So instead I found a chart for blues scales (love the sound of the blues scale) and been practicing that and exercises in the book. Currently focusing on C - G notes on both the left and right hand and really knowing (not having to really think) the notes on the bar when I see them. I am not good with books so this will take me longer than others but I will achieve it. But the blues scale is a blast.

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