Too old to learn?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bcarll, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. bcarll


    Oct 16, 2001
    52 yrs old and it's been 35 years since I even held a guitar. Got the urge to take up the bass for my own private enjoyment. No band in mind. Little formal music instruction but can read in the treble cleff but never had to read bass . Just discovered Tablature-- whatever happened to reading music? I am going to try to learn to play by self study so could you suggest the best tapes, videos etc. out there to get me off to a good start and should I note read or do the tab? Going this weekend to buy bass and amp --- probably the Squier P and amp combo.
  2. Hey bcarll, welcome to talkbass. You're never too old to learn. You go out there and buy that bass and amp!

    Mike J.
  3. Welcome! I wouldn't say you're too old to learn! I started at 43 myself, so you don't have that much age on me! :D

    I haven't seen too much in the way of videos, since I have a teacher, but I'd recommend reading over Tab. I've never learned to read music, and the book I'm working in is called "The Evolving Bassist" by Rufus Reid. It costs somewhere around $28.00. If you can't find it at a local music store, then Amazon carries it.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!

  4. Rock On Man!!! You Might want to check out a MIM (made in Mexico) fender jazz or P bass instead of the squire, I think you would like it alot more for the small price difference Oh yeah if you can buy used. Save your money on instructional books, go to between them and talkbass you will learn everything you need to know.
  5. Hey go for it. "Too old" is a misconception. Music is an art and lots of artists start later on in life. Most respected musicians these days are older too, defying more and more that unwritten law that musicians must be young.

    I'm 32 and always have been into great it's my turn to learn the instrument I love and make some music of my own. Age is irrelevant!
  6. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I'd stay away from that Squier amp. My bass teacher used those and they fart out real quick at bass frequencies. I understand the hesitation to spend too much on gear when you're not sure yet about your committment, but better gear will be more inspiring to your playing. Check out used stuff if need be, and try the more expensive stuff as well so you have a good basis for comparison.

    And no, you're not too old to start. :cool:
  7. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    No, you're definately not too old to learn bass. The only time you shouldn't attempt to learn bass is when your hearts not in it. If you want to learn bass, then do it, and I hope you have many years of happy playing ahead of you.
  8. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm...

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    I agree with all above, never too old to start.

    But as someone here said, do not invest in very cheap/crappy gear, you will not enjoy playing it half as much as a decent gear, and you might get discouraged.

    If the bass playing doesn´t work out, you can always sell it. It´s quite harder to get rid of crap gear.
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I started when I was 30. Being too old to start, is just like a unicorn. Neither one exists! ;)
    However, after a few Jacks on the rocks, that unicorn thing is debatable!:D
  10. Truer words were never spoken Warwick 'ol pal, but, Jameson's more my drink (especially the Crested 10) although Jack is still in my inventory. I drink Jameson, then I think I play like Jamerson, then I wake up!:D
  11. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    I'm 41 and I started 5 months ago. I couldn't even pluck a string when I bought my first bass. I'm now rehearsing with a band and I did an open stage about a week ago. I've got a long , long way to go but I'm loving it!

    Icez and MJB make very valid points. I just don't think that I would find so much enjoyment in learning this new skill if my instruments were not as good as they are. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you have to spend the kind of money that I or any others have. I probably could have found something less expensive that would have made me happy. I found some stuff that I liked and I was fortunate enough to have a little extra cash that allowed me to get what I wanted.

    Just take your time and find something that you feel that you can be comfortable with for at least several years. It may very well be the Squier. Touch, feel, listen to and try to play as many different basses as you can before you buy. You'll see the difference but keep in mind that the most expensive bass is not always the best option. Look for the most value that you can get for your dollar. I hope some of this ranting helps. Good luck and much success to you.
  12. I'm 42, and started again after a 15 year break when I was 38. I have been gigging for most of the past three and a half years.
  13. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    thats why music is so great, its an "all age" thing :D
  14. Shumph


    Aug 25, 2001
    On the move
    Started at 36,

    Try the Mel-Bay note reading studies for Bass and the Mel-Bay Bass method 1.

    Both thos books will have you reading in no time. And they are real cheap

  15. LiL BaSS DuDe

    LiL BaSS DuDe Guest

    May 15, 2001
    Mel-Bay IS THE MAN! I have one of his books, for beginners. I could play it all if I had TAB... But Im taking it step by step reading the music. A lotta work. But bass is the greatest thing ever :D

    I agree with all the above.
    Peace. ;)
  16. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Go for it. As we all age, I'd imagine it's probably not a bad idea to keep the fingers limber anyway. That is, if it doesn't cause excessive pain and all.

    No need to read just yet. If you are just getting back into things, I think reading can wait a little bit. There's an undeniable sense of immediate gratification to just picking up the bass and playing. Maybe try just using your ear for starters , it can be fulfilling in more ways than one. The sheets will all still be there when you are ready.

    By the way, welcome to TB.

    Good luck! :)
  17. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    ...and over. This is not recommended, but suitable for the ear player. When I got into the band, which was almost simultaneous with beginning to play, I just learned the patterns. Only now that I am old(er) am I finishing off learning the notes on the neck and beginning to fiddle with bass clef. If you've got an ear, use it. If not, I'd suggest you attempt to play by reading music. It's the old fashion way.

    As for the quality of the instrument. Do yourself a favor. Buy an American Fender Jazz and an amp with 60 true watts or more. Sell off part of you 401K!
  18. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Hey Michael, I also fancy Glenfiddich.
  19. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Man... and I thought I cheated myself when I started playing bass at 18... :)

    Never too old to start man. Find a teacher and learn how to read music. It's good for you, it builds karma and stuff. You will find that you can contribute much better in a band situation if you learn to read music. By learning to read, you wind up learning some theory stuff along the way out of necessity. Theory is good. Tab is bad. Tab is a shortcut, like trying to learn how to speak a foreign laguage by using a (for example) english to spanish dictionary all the time: you can communicate, but it's very slow and it doesn't always make sense.
  20. P/Funkster


    Oct 17, 2001
    Hey man. I definately think you should go for it. Yeah, I'd say go with a MIM Fender precision or Jazz. I still have my MIM(Made in Mexico) precision. Didnt have any money for a new one, so i just put an American pickup in it. You could always take that route. Oh yeah, and you said you know how to read treble, so, what is read as a c on a treble is an e on a bass clef. Just scale everything up 2 steps, and just get a bass fingering chart.And the worst thing you can do is put your bass down if you see some young kid tearin' it up. It's not a competition...collaboration is the way to go.......Good Luck and Have some fun!!!!