Mid-life crisis? Starting guitar in my late 50s

HowardW

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I've had a lot of drum sets. If you look at my sig line, one can see I still have several now. I like to find old sets, restore them, play them a while then resell them to an eager new owner.

Last weekend, while chasing down a lead on a vintage Gretsch drum set, I stumbled onto a 2002 Martin 000C-16RGTE. Solid wood, USA made, Grand Auditorium side. The price was surprisingly low, I'm not sure but I think the seller didn't understand the value. Or maybe the seller just didn't care. But the guitar was in mint condition. And the tone... wow! My son (who plays damn near everything) had taught me a few simple chords years back and as I strummed the instrument, I was swept back to jr high again, when I wanted to take guitar but my father's job took us to a small town without a guitar instructor.

I was looking for a Gretsch but I came home with a Martin. Yes, I bought it on a whim. I'll be honest, part of the reason I bought it was the price. I could easily sell it on Reverb and double my money. But... but... what if I could take lessons now? I have time, I have the money for lessons. Practicing a guitar is certainly quieter than drums! I have some music theory in my past, I took piano for years before moving to drums.

I haven't told my GF yet, because I don't want her to laugh at me (she doesn't always appreciate the amount of money I have tied up in my drums.) Maybe I'm just having a midlife crisis and being stupid. But I love the sounds of an acoustic guitar, playing something slow. And my musician son is encouraging me. But still: taking beginning lessons as I approach 60?
 

Swissward Flamtacles

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Do it! You enjoy it and already own that thing - not learning guitar would be a lot "dumber". :)
 

SteveParadis

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I've had a lot of drum sets. If you look at my sig line, one can see I still have several now. I like to find old sets, restore them, play them a while then resell them to an eager new owner.

Last weekend, while chasing down a lead on a vintage Gretsch drum set, I stumbled onto a 2002 Martin 000C-16RGTE. Solid wood, USA made, Grand Auditorium side. The price was surprisingly low, I'm not sure but I think the seller didn't understand the value. Or maybe the seller just didn't care. But the guitar was in mint condition. And the tone... wow! My son (who plays damn near everything) had taught me a few simple chords years back and as I strummed the instrument, I was swept back to jr high again, when I wanted to take guitar but my father's job took us to a small town without a guitar instructor.

I was looking for a Gretsch but I came home with a Martin. Yes, I bought it on a whim. I'll be honest, part of the reason I bought it was the price. I could easily sell it on Reverb and double my money. But... but... what if I could take lessons now? I have time, I have the money for lessons. Practicing a guitar is certainly quieter than drums! I have some music theory in my past, I took piano for years before moving to drums.

I haven't told my GF yet, because I don't want her to laugh at me (she doesn't always appreciate the amount of money I have tied up in my drums.) Maybe I'm just having a midlife crisis and being stupid. But I love the sounds of an acoustic guitar, playing something slow. And my musician son is encouraging me. But still: taking beginning lessons as I approach 60?
Way to go. Age is irrelevant. That guitar found you for a reason. Accept and embrace. Continuous adventures of learning is the key to staying young and engaged. I took up drums last year at 63 and I didn’t think twice. Who cares! Have fun and grow ahead.
 
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I've had a lot of drum sets. If you look at my sig line, one can see I still have several now. I like to find old sets, restore them, play them a while then resell them to an eager new owner.

Last weekend, while chasing down a lead on a vintage Gretsch drum set, I stumbled onto a 2002 Martin 000C-16RGTE. Solid wood, USA made, Grand Auditorium side. The price was surprisingly low, I'm not sure but I think the seller didn't understand the value. Or maybe the seller just didn't care. But the guitar was in mint condition. And the tone... wow! My son (who plays damn near everything) had taught me a few simple chords years back and as I strummed the instrument, I was swept back to jr high again, when I wanted to take guitar but my father's job took us to a small town without a guitar instructor.

I was looking for a Gretsch but I came home with a Martin. Yes, I bought it on a whim. I'll be honest, part of the reason I bought it was the price. I could easily sell it on Reverb and double my money. But... but... what if I could take lessons now? I have time, I have the money for lessons. Practicing a guitar is certainly quieter than drums! I have some music theory in my past, I took piano for years before moving to drums.

I haven't told my GF yet, because I don't want her to laugh at me (she doesn't always appreciate the amount of money I have tied up in my drums.) Maybe I'm just having a midlife crisis and being stupid. But I love the sounds of an acoustic guitar, playing something slow. And my musician son is encouraging me. But still: taking beginning lessons as I approach 60?
Youre
 
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Do it. It will make you a better musician and another good hobby. I picked up the Guitar in my mid-40s and have been playing electric in a band for over 13 years. I’m 60 now and still play drums well. When you get ready old it might be the only instrument you can play.
 

hefty

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This is a no brainer. Do it. I started bass a few months ago and I'm 50. Learning just for the sake of learning is worth it IMO.
 

drummer5359

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I started on bass and drums at the same time, age ten. I had a lot more natural talent on drums. Eventually in my mid teens I focused one hundred percent on drums and left bass behind.

At age forty eight I was in a pawn shop in DC buying a snare drum. One of the employees was hanging a bass on the wall and it caught my eye. I sat down and played bass a bit in the store. I was rusty, but still remembered the basics from thirty years before. I bought the snare AND the bass that day.

I spent the next few years becoming a "real" bassist. I bought a few nicer instruments and even gigged on occasion as a bassist.

But...

Drums are my true musical love. I am a capable bassist. In one band, I was the best bassist in the band, and I was the drummer. (The band's bassist was the third best bassist in the band.) ;) But I much prefer to play drums.

I always have kept amps in the rehearsal room in my basement. That way guitarists only have to bring their guitars. (Bassists are free to use my bass and amp if they want.) A few years back I stumbled upon a MIM Fender Stratocaster cheap and bought it to keep in the room just in case one of my guitarist friends stop by. Since it was there I decided to take lessons. These days I can play guitar, but I don't really consider myself a guitarist. It is helpful to have the theory though.

I'm sixty two, I was fifty eight or fifty nine when I started messing with guitar.

I say do it, it doesn't hurt.
 

Lazmo

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A Martin Grand Auditorium… who cares what you could trade it for. That’s just money… pffft.

Put the correct gauge new strings on it, get a setup if it needs it, wipe the strings down after every play, take your time, enjoy the new sounds and breakthroughs as they happen… enjoy the journey.

Having a nice acoustic is the foundation.

Ha ha…. just be very sure to add a Strat and LP at a minimum, later on.
 

Houndog

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I’ve taken lessons etc , have 2 very playable guitars but I just don’t get it .
They collect dust …
It’s very frustrating, I’m 56 ….

I wish you luck …
 

cruddola

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I've had a lot of drum sets. If you look at my sig line, one can see I still have several now. I like to find old sets, restore them, play them a while then resell them to an eager new owner.

Last weekend, while chasing down a lead on a vintage Gretsch drum set, I stumbled onto a 2002 Martin 000C-16RGTE. Solid wood, USA made, Grand Auditorium side. The price was surprisingly low, I'm not sure but I think the seller didn't understand the value. Or maybe the seller just didn't care. But the guitar was in mint condition. And the tone... wow! My son (who plays damn near everything) had taught me a few simple chords years back and as I strummed the instrument, I was swept back to jr high again, when I wanted to take guitar but my father's job took us to a small town without a guitar instructor.

I was looking for a Gretsch but I came home with a Martin. Yes, I bought it on a whim. I'll be honest, part of the reason I bought it was the price. I could easily sell it on Reverb and double my money. But... but... what if I could take lessons now? I have time, I have the money for lessons. Practicing a guitar is certainly quieter than drums! I have some music theory in my past, I took piano for years before moving to drums.

I haven't told my GF yet, because I don't want her to laugh at me (she doesn't always appreciate the amount of money I have tied up in my drums.) Maybe I'm just having a midlife crisis and being stupid. But I love the sounds of an acoustic guitar, playing something slow. And my musician son is encouraging me. But still: taking beginning lessons as I approach 60?
Dump the girlfriend, you're pushing 60 for Remo's sake! Mid-life was two decades ago! It ain't her money anyway. Nothing stupid there. My dad started piano lessons at 72 after a life of bricklaying. He could boogie with the best when he croaked at 91 back in 2019. You've got what very few ever get to do. It's called friggin freedom! If it came to a girlfriend or my music, I'll take on that knot-hole on the fence instead!
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I've made the exact opposite, played guitar and sang all my life, all the while (not so secretly) dreaming of playing drums. I only picked up drums semi-seriously in my early 40's.

Some of the 16 series of Martin &Co guitars are sleeper instruments. I own 2... And each hold their own against my more expensive models from other makes. So I got one of the very first D16 ever made with satin spruce top and weirdly enough, ash sides & back. A mighty fine instrument if there ever was one. The other one is also a dreadnought, HD16 with vintage laquer finish, heringbone binding and rosewood sides & back.

That second one was bought on a day I was in a shop, trying out a much much more expensive D-35 (always wanted one of those) that didn't sound as good at all... As acoustics go, you gotta try them all because you never know wich one has aged well, wich had the glue solidify and the wood dry in the right way, wich adapts well to your climate etc... I tried the moderately priced HD-16 and fell in love. Nevermind the re-sellability/desirability/collectibility factor, I go for the tone...

Good on you for expanding your musical horizons and kudos on doing so with (what I presume to be) a great instrument right off the bat. Have fun and Post a vid of your progress. I'd be glad to give pointers if asked, god knows I've received a lot more than I can give about drums on this fine forum. Happy to give back if I can...
 

HowardW

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Here's the practice room now... you'll notice the drums are off to one side, as if they're staring at the guitar as a newby interloper.

If the drums could talk, I can imagine the conversation:
OLD GRETSCH: what the f***?
NEW GRETSCH: it's got strings!
GUITAR: hi there, I'm new.
OLD GRETSCH: we don't care!
LUDWIG: Howard moved me off the floor to make room for her, now I'm stuck next to the Slingerland.
SLINGERLAND: stop bitching Bill, you've got most of the room on the rack!
GUITAR: but can't we have fun together?
OLD GRETSCH: hell, I barely get any play time now! If he's adding a new instrument, NONE of us will get play time!
NEW GRETSCH: (sobbing) the honeymoon's already over!
LUDWIG (whispering to SLINGERLAND): Bud, I know we've had our differences, but one guitar leads to more!
SLINGERLAND (whispering back): exactly! I get it, 'enemy of my enemy' and so on!
OLD GRETSCH: it's the 4 of us against all of her!

And the drums silently conspire against the lonely guitar... :icon_lol:

practice room.jpg
 

DanRH

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I started about six months ago and I’m 67. Got a bass and the expanded that to guitar. Progress is slow but you have to stick with it. I’m finally feeling comfortable changing chords but I will say, some chords look impossible. Others terms to stick with it and it will come. I’m still waiting…
Oh,
37BE031B-365C-48B4-8B20-618D27E25594.jpeg
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and G.A.S exists in those worlds too.
 


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