I know you can keep learning things forever and constantly improve upon whatever you choose to do - such as pick up & learn to play an instrument. Myself, I've been playing bass for less than a year. I started out just wanting to be able to amuse myself at home or maybe to play along to some of my favorite records, but I've really caught the fever, and I can totally see myself jamming with others quite possibly on small stages in front of others at some point down the road. Since I'm already in my mid-40s I have no illusions about 'making the big time' or even making a living doing it. I go to work early & I come home early - I don't have a lot of other responsibilities. The Wife has been totally supportive, & we don't have any kids or other routine obligations to distract me. I've been putting in an average of 1-2 solid hours of practice per day, using several method books, practicing a little reading every day, meeting with a teacher for an hour every other week, & on occasion jamming with a few friends who play guitar. I notice some minute improvements almost every day, & pretty big ones when I go back and try to play something I haven't touched in a month or more. As far as the theory goes, I've got this big soup of new terminology in my head since I first started learning, & every so often I have these pretty big 'aha!' moments that make sense and I'm able to apply them. I guess what I'm trying to find out from you all is twofold: 1) How old were you when you first started playing an instrument that you later went on to master or at least get a good handle on? + (2) How long after you started it did you have a big boost of confidence in knowing that it was all gelling together ... you & your instrument?? (3) If you're proud of your first band situation- how soon did that happen for you??? (Not counting noise, sloppily played punk, etc ~ which I really do love!) We're all different in how, why, or how fast we learn. I'm just curious how fast or slow things came together for others. Share your story!