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Learning a musical instrument when you're older.

I'm thinking I'd like to learn something musical.
Which is best as you're older?
Voice lessons or an instrument? If so which one?
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Comments

  • Electric guitar. no more to be said!
  • I’ve always liked the sound of the recorder.
  • Electric keyboard might be the story. Get a tune out without too much trouble and once you get to know the functions the keyboard does most of the work. You'd probably need a few lessons to get started.
  • cafcdog said:

    Electric guitar. no more to be said!

    I'm not sure about that.

    I was thinking mandolin or accoustic/spanish guitar.
  • Did you play when you were younger? I think it could be like anything you learn when you’re older. Quite tough. You’ve spent your whole life doing things in certain ways and muscle memory and how you are wired make it harder to adapt and open up to something new. You’ve just got to stick with it.

    I haven’t learnt a musical instrument as I’ve got older, but just drawing parallels with other things I have learnt

    Good luck with it whatever you choose
  • Which ever musical instrument, choose a teacher you are comfortable with, make sure that whatever you practice make sense to you and is fun, and as soon as possible collaborate with other musicians (practice can at times be a very lonely experience).

    don't ever compare yourself with anyone.

    And yeah...

    SLOW DOWN !!! (You will get there faster)

    Good luck !!!
  • cabbles said:

    Did you play when you were younger? I think it could be like anything you learn when you’re older. Quite tough. You’ve spent your whole life doing things in certain ways and muscle memory and how you are wired make it harder to adapt and open up to something new. You’ve just got to stick with it.

    I haven’t learnt a musical instrument as I’ve got older, but just drawing parallels with other things I have learnt

    Good luck with it whatever you choose

    I did play in a band but it's 40 odd years ago so I put no creedence to that.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  • Which ever musical instrument, choose a teacher you are comfortable with, make sure that whatever you practice make sense to you and is fun, and as soon as possible collaborate with other musicians (practice can at times be a very lonely experience).

    don't ever compare yourself with anyone.

    And yeah...

    SLOW DOWN !!! (You will get there faster)

    Good luck !!!

    Thank you.
  • It's easier to suggest what musical instruments you might enjoy learning if you give an indication as to which instruments you already play. You used to be in a band - what did you play?
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  • Ms AA learned the ukulele in her 50s. It helps that she's a very good vocalist but I have to say it's a pleasure hearing her practicing.
  • PS: And it's a lot of fun!

  • Some questions to think about:

    Which styles of music do you like?
    Which musicians do you most admire?
    Which songs would you like to play?
    Do you want to play by yourself or would you like to be part of a band/group/orchestra?
    Do you consider yourself to be a more rhythmic person or a more melodic person?
    Do you have limited space or unlimited space?
    Do you want to live up to some sort of image?
    How thin are the walls between yours and your neighbours?

  • Thank you all. I'm thinking about all you said.
  • Whatever instrument you chose, the best advice I can give you is this.

    5-10 minutes practice per day is far more beneficial than one hour once a week.

  • A few bits of advice I'd like to give. I've mentioned it before on here (probably, because I'm unwittingly a snob), but I'm a pianist and did a degree in Music. I've taught people here and there and also learned instruments as an "adult" - though admittedly with musical background beforehand.

    The first piece of advice, and this is particularly key imho and warrants a standalone sentence rather than being in the ensuing bullet points, is this: If you want to be good at an instrument, you must be willing to be bad at it first.

    Other stuff:

    - Personally I'd say instrument over voice, because it takes a *lot* of care to condition a voice whatever age, and I would think it's harder to do after years of acquiring mannerisms and pronunciations etc.

    - What music do you like? That might be a great guide as to what you want to play. For versatility, I'd say piano (classical, jazz and popular music incorporates keyboard instruments extensively, and that covers most bases). If rock/pop/metal etc is more your thing then electric guitar.

    - How much money are you willing to spend? Pianos are a very expensive up-front cost, for instance. You can get a good mid-range/general purpose guitar for probably £200... Classical instruments (strings/woodwind/brass) will have beginner/intermediate/advanced instruments and so you'd be shelling out on something new as you progress. Equally you'd have to pay for reeds potentially; or resin; or re-stringing stuff... worth bearing it in mind.

    - Do you want to teach yourself, or pay for a tutor? If the former, then guitar/piano (again!) are "easier" choices, as they're more ubiquitous and there's much less technique learning/embouchure practice etc. HOWEVER - I'd recommend getting lessons regardless.

    - Someone said some great stuff about ukuleles. If you go for it, get one that costs circa £100 and is a tenor, absolutely. It's easy to start on, and if you like singing, a great accompanying instrument. I taught myself how to play and it's fun to be able to bust out every so often!

    ---------------------------

    Ultimately though, this would be for fun, and that's worth bearing in mind as much as all the advice given in this post and the other ones too.
  • Harmonica.
  • 25May98 said:

    Whatever instrument you chose, the best advice I can give you is this.

    5-10 minutes practice per day is far more beneficial than one hour once a week.

    A bit like wanking then.

  • iainment said:

    cabbles said:

    Did you play when you were younger? I think it could be like anything you learn when you’re older. Quite tough. You’ve spent your whole life doing things in certain ways and muscle memory and how you are wired make it harder to adapt and open up to something new. You’ve just got to stick with it.

    I haven’t learnt a musical instrument as I’ve got older, but just drawing parallels with other things I have learnt

    Good luck with it whatever you choose

    I did play in a band but it's 40 odd years ago so I put no creedence to that.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Hoping for a revival then?
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  • If you are thinking of the Ukulele then there is a specialist shop in Brick Lane - Duke of Uke for all instruments and lessons. I have used You Tube for Ukulele tutors, the Ukulele Teacher has suited me.
  • Get a steel strung acoustic guitar. It's not hard to teach yourself a few basic chords.
  • iainment said:

    cabbles said:

    Did you play when you were younger? I think it could be like anything you learn when you’re older. Quite tough. You’ve spent your whole life doing things in certain ways and muscle memory and how you are wired make it harder to adapt and open up to something new. You’ve just got to stick with it.

    I haven’t learnt a musical instrument as I’ve got older, but just drawing parallels with other things I have learnt

    Good luck with it whatever you choose

    I did play in a band but it's 40 odd years ago so I put no creedence to that.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Hoping for a revival then?
    He's putting some clear water between him and @Henry Irving
  • Thanks all. I think I'll give the guitar a go.
  • All good advice above.
    Whatever you do choose, just give it the most important thing, and that is time.
    But when you can play a few bits n pieces, its so worth it.

    I can sit down with my guitar at home, electric or usually acoustic, and get lost in the playing, its a great way to unwind....theres a lot to be said for musical meditation.

    Good luck.
  • Greenie said:

    All good advice above.
    Whatever you do choose, just give it the most important thing, and that is time.
    But when you can play a few bits n pieces, its so worth it.

    I can sit down with my guitar at home, electric or usually acoustic, and get lost in the playing, its a great way to unwind....theres a lot to be said for musical meditation.

    Good luck.

    100% this.
  • LenGlover said:

    iainment said:

    cabbles said:

    Did you play when you were younger? I think it could be like anything you learn when you’re older. Quite tough. You’ve spent your whole life doing things in certain ways and muscle memory and how you are wired make it harder to adapt and open up to something new. You’ve just got to stick with it.

    I haven’t learnt a musical instrument as I’ve got older, but just drawing parallels with other things I have learnt

    Good luck with it whatever you choose

    I did play in a band but it's 40 odd years ago so I put no creedence to that.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Hoping for a revival then?
    He's putting some clear water between him and @Henry Irving
    I got it Len.
  • I’ve got some air drumming gear for Xmas.

    I always fancied trying to learn drums but didn’t want to go out and get a kit. At least this should let me know if I have any chance at the real thing?!?

    https://www.freedrum.rocks
  • It's already beens said many times, you must practice every day.
    I took up the guitar seriously two years ago when I retired and have had time to practice and it pays off.

    I'd also recommend the harmonica (harp), it's relatively easy to get started you can carry it in your pocket. Play the blues on guitar and you can match them both up ;-)
  • Whatever you do, don’t try the Tambourine, b’stard to learn. All that shaking and banging on yer head,knees,arse and elbow!
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