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Learning to play an instrument at an older age

I've always loved the sound of violin ever since I was very little. I never got a chance to play it. I was thinking perhaps when I reach 26 when I'm finished with most of my schooling, I may try my hands at learning the violin, but I fear it may be too late for me to start. Would I still be able to play for those who play the instrument? Would there limitations placed on me, if so what are they?

by Anonymousreply 1702/10/2013

Your not a dog OP and yes you can learn to play the violin. It won't be cheap so I warn you. But if you want to play for the enjoyment of you and friends you can coerce, er-cajole to listen go for it.

by Anonymousreply 102/09/2013


by Anonymousreply 202/09/2013

You can play a CD of your favorite classical work on your stereo (or iPod) and stand there waving a baton around to the music, maestro.

by Anonymousreply 302/09/2013


by Anonymousreply 402/09/2013

Anyone have any real experiences learning an instrument post-childhood?

by Anonymousreply 502/10/2013

you're just too old.

by Anonymousreply 602/10/2013

Once humans are past 20.5 years of age, they are too stupid to learn new things. Kill thyself.

by Anonymousreply 702/10/2013

You can't learn, you either "have IT" or you don't.

And if what you have isn't "IT" it never will be.

Remember when it comes to music, practice makes mediocre at best.

by Anonymousreply 802/10/2013

R8 is full of shit, and most of you responding are ignorant, or just being assholes.

I took up the stand up bass and electric fretless bass at 40 and I fucking love it. It brings me more joy than I could have imagined. I play jazz, rock, fusion, alternative ..

I even made several really cool new friends, and we all jam together a few times a month. Obviously we're not trying to be rock stars, it's just something we all really enjoy. Sure beats the hell out of surfing the Internet.

It was a bit frustrating at first, but I am so glad I stuck with it, because I'm quite good now.

I say go for it, and get lessons to help you play correctly. It's very therapeutic and soothing to play an instrument. Not to mention fun, and it gives you a nice sense of accomplishment!

Keep us posted OP!

by Anonymousreply 902/10/2013

Of course you can learn an instrument. OP, the only limitations are in your head. Don't expect to be good right away. Make sure you practice regularly. If you ever ge discouraged just compare what you're current abilities are to what they were when you started. That should cheer you up. Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 1002/10/2013

Of course you can. I did. It's also great exercise for the mind to. Helps keep it out of a rut and activates seldom used parts of the brain. Want a good example of music's effect on the brain? Watch this.

Start learning music as soon as you can.

by Anonymousreply 1102/10/2013

It's never too late, OP. Itzhak Pearlman didn't start playing until he was 30, and look at him now.

by Anonymousreply 1202/10/2013

[quote]It's never too late, OP. Itzhak Pearlman didn't start playing until he was 30, and look at him now.


by Anonymousreply 1302/10/2013

I took up an instrument at 50. Of course I had a few piano lessons as a kid (hated them), and I pretended to play an instrument in band during grade school and junior high (quit as soon as they actually expected me to know how to play a little).

The violin is great, because you can go so many different directions with it--everything to classical to Irish to zydeco, but I would really suggest you start with some piano lessons. An electronic keyboard is cheap, you can play it with headphones, there are a ton of great books out there, and good teachers are easy to find.

The reason I suggest it is that piano gets you going with both melody and a bass line almost right away, and you're doing chords the first month. Unless you start thinking in terms of the melody and the bass, it's much more difficult to go back and learn it after you get very far with an instrument like violin. 75% of what you learn on piano will transfer to any other instrument you eventually pick so it's not time wasted.

by Anonymousreply 1402/10/2013

There are some people who have 'it' and some who don't. I let me 12 year old nephew bang on my drums, after I showed him how to hold the sticks and what drums to hit. He played like he had been doing for years! After a couple hours he had clock-like timing and sounded like a pro.

You can learn OP. Find a good teacher to give you the basics and practice. Report back to us.

by Anonymousreply 1502/10/2013

It seems like there are always people who say that learning musical instruments, foreign languages and mathemetics as adults is such an awful challenge, but why should that be the case? As adults we process so many different bits of information per minute at work, use our minds in analytical ways that children don't, and are calmer and more focused. Why should this sort of learning be any different from say, learning to use a Mac after using Windows for 25 years? I'm 43, and would love to learn an instrument or a develop a deeper knowledge of German than the 3 years I took in high school, I hate to think I won't ever be able to.

by Anonymousreply 1602/10/2013

OP, I'm 35 and just started with the viola 2 months ago. I love it, and have been getting better every day. Don't put limits on yourself, like age, or you'll never do anything. I've got some info for you that you should save for when you're ready to get started:

The instrument:

Eastman strings makes very good quality student violins and violas for under $500. I'd highly recommend one. Don't get a more expensive one unless you know you'll be sticking with it. A good violin shop will have a trade-up offer if you buy from them & want to upgrade down the line. Try and find a violin shop near you and let them know your needs and budget, a good shop will work with you no matter what you're spending. If by any chance you're in Los Angeles, I can give you a recommendation.


Get on amazon & look for a violin pitch pipe (notes GDAE). You'll need it to tune. You'll need a shoulder rest, Bonmusica is highly recommended and available on amazon. You'll also need a mute if you live in an apartment or are sensitive to others hearing you play. "Ultra Practice Violin Mute" is a good one on amazon, it's a good heavy rubber than really mutes the sound. You'll also need rosin for the bow, but that usually comes with a new violin.


Some good books for beginner lessons are "Essential Elements for Strings" and "Suzuki". It's important to get a variety, because nothing will hamper your will to learn more than trying to learn music you don't like the sound of.


I found 2 amazing resources on youtube to get me going. I don't have the money for real lessons right now, so this is what I'm using. They're both great teachers. On youtube, look up & subscribe to: "violinlab" and "alison sparrow"

by Anonymousreply 1702/10/2013
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