TOP 10 GUITAR LESSONS MYTH #7 | I’m Too Old To Learn Guitar | FALSE!
The idea that anyone is too old to play guitar. well, it is simply not true. American media is obsessed with youth in a way that no other country is: only in America are you told that your best days are behind you at age 30! The rest of the world by and large views age as irrelevant. I work with all ages from eight years old to people who are enjoying retirement. And while it’s true that I have mentored child prodigies who had a natural gift for music and were guided to it by parents at a very early age, some of the most successful guitar students I have ever worked with are baby boomers in their 40s. It’s a bit like the varsity quarterback and homecoming queen in high school and then 10 years later at the reunion, they’re both overweight and working a dead end job. Complacency and contentment are the great enemies of success! One of the reasons I think “older” (read: more mature) do so well in guitar lessons is that you’re very often dealing with people who have experienced a lot of success elsewhere in life. And so they went out, built the great career in business, corporate or entrepreneurial, built a family, did all these things and there the guitar sits in the corner.
And one day, they will go over and see it there and say “I really don’t want to give that up” and then the Bob Seger song starts playing in their mind: “Come back baby rock-and-roll never forgets.” And they go “You know I’m not giving this up, I can do this! When you have someone that’s focused like that – at any age – well, hard work and focus is the name of the game. You really can’t stop someone like that from being successful. So what I really try to stress to everyone as a guitar teacher is to just disconnect from the social conditioning we’re bombarded with: this idea that once you get the age of 30 you have nothing to say musically anymore because the music industry sees you as “old.” Well, that’s a funny thing coming from them because they sound old and crotchety now: That music industry in all its “youthful” “brilliance” is what took a successful iconic business and drove it right over the cliff with its refusal to embrace the digital age via Napster etc. etc. Time and again, it’s been proven these people simply most of the time do not know what they’re doing and countless artists that became mega successful: Van Halen, Ozzy, Poison, Meatloaf, ad infinitum were turned down 20 times by every record label.
Being a “rock star” is about freeing your mind to do what you want, on your own terms, to do it your way, and to get there in a reasonable amount of time, with your own hard work and determination. And not to let anyone tell you it cannot be done! I taught a child prodigy who was eight, many who were 10 and 11, lots of ambitious teenagers, touring people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and baby boomers in the business world. The “oldest” person I taught was a semi retired cardio thoracic surgeon in the military. He had way more energy and drive than most people in their 20s: he still gave physicals a couple times a week at the VA hospital he took up the guitar – his wife was a singer and I taught him for a couple years. He started touring in the church playing acoustic folk guitar accompanying his wife. He was 82 years old. Les Paul played until he was 91. BB King played until 86. Jeff Beck is at the top of his game playing better than ever and you can name countless examples of others doing the same, never letting “age” or rather society’s perception of it – get in the way. And you shouldn’t either! You might not be able to go out there and play pro football anymore and get your head bashed in, but chances are you are actually way smarter and wiser now and that is one of the greatest assets of all when it comes to long-term success. Your age and wisdom are weapons in your success arsenal for guitar lessons in atlanta. Use them!
Play it your way.
The Cypher way.
Jimmy Cypher out!