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To Old To Learn Bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Motoro, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Motoro


    Feb 3, 2003
    I've been thinking about starting to learn bass guitar. But at the age of 33 I'm worried that my ability to learn and retain bass will have me frustrated. Has anyone here started to play bass later in life or taught anyone who was older? Did they learn well. I'm sure I can do it but actually sitting down with a bass is a different story.
  2. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    As long as you have the desire I don't think you're ever too old (IMO 33 isn't old either! :D ). I recommend that you find some songs you really like that have simple bass lines and start from there. I think that if you start by figuring out songs you like, you'll have fun and you'll naturally progress. Remember, it'll take daily practice on your part, but it'll get easier as you go.

    -Best wishes.
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Way to old.

    Maybe cowbell.

  4. Today is the first day of the rest of your bass playing life. :hyper:

    Don't wait another minute or waste any time wondering, just start NOW!!!!

    Providing that you have the will to learn, the confidence in yourself, and the time to practice, picking up a musical instrument is like handwriting.

    Let's say you're right handed. Pick up a pen and try to write your name with your left hand.... chances are it will feel awkward and un-natural. Now, write your name with your right hand... feels natural and easy, doesn't it? ;)

    Picking up and playing a bass guitar (or any instrument for that matter) is the same way... it takes time for the instrument to feel "at home" in your hands. So get started, spend an hour a day at least 3 days per week with your bass (if not more, as your lifestyle allows)... In a month or two, it will start to feel like writing with your right hand.

  5. radi8


    Feb 10, 2004
    You're never too old to learn.
    I got a late start..hobbyist, but i love it.
    I have a friend who started playing in his early teens...he plays bass and guitar.

    When he's glued to the tube,he grabs his favorite guitar(PRS) and just practices---without the amp--just sitting on the couch.
    He says you'd be amazed at how much you can do during commercial breaks.
  6. i picked up a bass again at age 32,for me i have a desire to do my best at the level im at for this day,there are many more experienced players than me and some less, i dont compare myself to anyone but always try and learn something from everyone,i think being at a later age in life has its positives ,one being you may have a better focus and since you probably been threough so many learning experiences already in life you will be more willing to listen to critcism and not be offended when someone says things like keep it simple ,or can you please turn down a little ,i know when i was younger you couldnt teach me nothin without a comeback very hardheaded,i thought the same way you are thinking now i actually saw this program on tv how age ,can effect our memory or ability to learn ,im naturaly a slow learner anyways,but when i get a good grip on what im trying to learn i because of my addictive personality really try and master it,so take a look at our website this is what i have accomplished in the 12 yrs of playing bass ,your never to old
  7. What you lack in youthful learning ability you'll make up for in mature patience and dedication, right? You know, early thirties isn't old. Unless you're balding.
  8. dhodgeh


    Jul 15, 2004
    Nope. I'm 49, got my first bass about a year ago to lay down backing tracks so I could jam on my six string (at which I was never that good).

    Discovered that playing bass just 'feels' better, and have gotten a lot more serious about the instrument than I ever was with the six string. I've also have learned a lot more about music (theory, timing, rhythm, reading and such) than I have in the past seven years of fooling around with the guitar (this was after a very long hiatus from playing).

    So go for it. It's never too late.

  9. I started at age 52. I hadn't ever even touched a bass before then nor did I have any other previous string experience to rely on. Our church had started an additional Praise & Worship band and the second team needed their own bass player. I was already with the group, playing congas and various percussion instruments. Our leader knew that I had good rhythm so asked if I would be willing to learn the bass. She set me up with lessons and, after only two sessions, I was playing with the group in front of the congregation. I continued the lessons for eight months, at which time my instructor got married and took time off. I'm still with it after two years eight months and loving the bass. If I wasn't too old to start, you likely aren't too old either. Go for it!
  10. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I started at 33 so it better not be too old!

    C'mon, jump in, the water's fine! :D
  11. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    I started at 45. Now at 47 I am in three different bands and have even done some studio work. I think it actually helped to be a geezer in that I was interested in learning to play period and did not mind getting bogged down in theory for awhile. As a youth, I'd have been all about getting the tab for my favorite songs and leaving it at that. So just think, if you start now, by the time you're my age, you should be a pro-level player.
  12. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I don't see why not, normally senility doesn't set in until at least 35

    i'm joking of course :) I think if you're still in the habit of learning, you should be fine... I'm 33 and I find myself learning stuff as thoroughly and as eagerly as I ever did... and I hope it continues until I die (at the age of about 90 if possible)

    In fact, I think your learning can get better as you get older because I dunno bout you, but I had to learn to learn properly :) As a teenager I was distracted by all kinds of things... and the fact I was a teenager meant I knew all there was to know already :spit:
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It would probably be best to kill yourself at your age...........

    Seriously , it's very true what you see in article after article, band after band --- the expectations of your capabilities, in no way, limit you. In fact, I know so many bands who want someone who has reached the point where their finances allow them to get ace gear and the maturity to rehearse/play sober.

    The main thing is to stay on top of what's going down in good music, (i.e.. NOT MTV or VH1 or commercial radio).

    Give you a "fr'instance" - I was playing in band on my off nights that was just sort of my "one-of-these-days" bands where I was in my 40's and the rest of the guys were in their 30's and the singer was in his late 20's. At that time, I would ask them to try a song, like Weezer's, "Hash Pipe", and none of them had even heard of the song. They were into every 80's thing from Iron Maiden to Billy Joel.

    Again - your attitude and love of music determines all.
  14. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    33?? Crap!! I wish i had started at 33. I stared 8 months ago at 47, now 48. Started with lessons and now playing in a Blues band and having a blast doing it. Consider yourself lucky you are only 33. Don't waste any more time and just go for it, you will not regret it. You can look at things in two ways, either the glass is half empty or it's half full. I choose the latter. Get a bass and have fun wiht it.
  15. I started at 29 (last year), and am progressing quickly since I've been playing with a band and practicing daily. I played guitar forever, but have learned so much more in the last year because I am older and a better listener and student. If you actively seek lessons and advice, and develop good practicing habits, you will be jamming in no time.
  16. milo


    Jul 22, 2004
    be carefull soon bass will be first thing in ure life.
    its obssesion.i ve been with girl for 6 years and we have a year old son and she still cant belive how crazy i am bout everything connected with bass.and gues what my son is playing bass too and if i want to put him to sleep i just play him a song with bass in front. :bassist:
  17. emor


    May 16, 2004
    Go for it.

    I'm playing again after a 15 year lay off, and I'm enjoying it more than ever.
    Also thinking about looking for a band. (But first, a new amp :hyper: ).

    My wife is being very supportive. A Mesa Boogie is pretty cheap as mid-life crises go... ;)
  18. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    Go for it. At 33, the only thing you can't get into is a little boys choir. And even then...
    bass is so much fun you'll be able to stick with it and pick it up no problem. Get on top of your practising and you'll be great. :D

    Wasn't there a similar thread a few months ago, with the starter being 60 or so? Or am i getting dilusional in my old age? :p ;)

  19. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    So.. with all of the above encouragement, what are you waiting for?
  20. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I bought my first bass guitar at age 48, only two months before I turned 49. I had never played any musical instrument. I couldn't read music. Didn't even know what "music theory" was having never heard of it.

    I was the oldest student at the music school I enrolled in, being older than any of the teachers and even the owner!

    What I discovered is that many of the younger students in their teens started off full of enthusiasm, but gave up very easily. They could learn a lot faster than I did, but many of them never stuck around long enough to really learn much of anything.

    I think what being older gives you is a definiteness of purpose and fewer distractions. I mean, you make sure you have fewer distractions. The youngsters have so many interests and few settle into just one thing. I say, few, but of course there are some outstanding youngsters who do stick with it and really shine. I envy them that fantastic head start.

    Anyhoo, at 33, you have a 13-year head start on what I had. So are you too old? Heck no.