Is 30s too old to learn a musical instrument?

Rizific

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,801
Do people just suddenly become incapable of learning new things at the ripe old age of 30 or something?
 

oreomunsta

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,009
Do people just suddenly become incapable of learning new things at the ripe old age of 30 or something?
Well, I'm mid-20's, but speaking from experience on the internet, I think it's like Harry Potter.

On your 30th birthday, an owl appears to you with a letter. The letter is addressed from the Ministry of Aging.

You open it up, wondering what it could possibly say.

The letter has one sentence, but it says all you need to know.

"You can stop trying now"


I'm 95% sure this is what happens
 

hippopotamus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,499
Whenever an adult takes piano lessons in a movie it means that they are rocketing towards self-actualization.
 

Khezu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,063
I got a Guitar earlier this year but didn't have time to use it at all, however I have free time.

However a friend is trying to sell me a Bass Guitar.

I could never decide which I liked more, would it be a bad idea to try and learn them both at the same time? With the intent of only doing it 30 minutes a day on weekdays?
 

luffie

Member
Dec 20, 2017
384
Indonesia
One of my biggest regret (well, among many), is that I never followed through on learning an instrument in my life for one reason or another. In high school, I wanted to learn guitar, but the internet wasn't quite as useful back then as it is today, so the tools to teach myself weren't quite as plentiful. Later on in my 20s, I bought a drum set, and actually had a lot of fun trying to learn that...but financial burdens struck and I was forced to move, and had to sell the drum set to save on space and money before I really got past mastering using all 4 of my limbs.

Since then, I've just kinda forgotten about that, and most of my energy has been going into learning Japanese, which I'm still working on. That is making me hesitate taking on trying to learn an instrument again, but I just keep thinking to myself that we only live once, and if I don't think about doing it now, then when.

Then there's the problem that my thread title makes...my age...I'm afraid I'm too past my prime to even retain much, and it's not like I'll ever take it anywhere in my life other than a hobby. I'm still uncertain if I'd wanna go back to trying drums, or give guitar another try, or something else entirely. I guess I just wanted some input, and advice if anyone has been in a similar situation, and what'd did you end up doing.
Absolutely no, you can even become a top musician if you put in the effort, despite what some people say.
If that's really what you desire, go for it. Don't wait till you are 35 and look back wishing you had started back in 30.
What makes it harder when you are 30 is putting in the focus, and time. You have a lot of things going on, and sometimes even when learning, you are not focused. That's why it feels like kids learn faster, when in reality they just focus, because they have nothing else at the moment but learning that instrument.
Put in an hour a day or 2, treat it like going to the gym, you need some focus and discipline. And in no time, you will be able to play pretty well!
 

Kapryov

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,088
Australia
No, it's not. Not at all.
The main issue you will have is time, which is less of an issue when you're a bored teenager with a guitar.

I strongly recommend learning an instrument, it's very fulfilling.
However be warned that it may take a good few months before it starts to click, and even then you probably won't feel much confidence until a year or more in. Your first instrument is a bit of an uphill battle, but it gets much much easier with time. Find some time every day to practice and stick with it.
 

shenden

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,167
This is a mindset everyone needs to remove from their life. It's never too late to learn or do anything.
 

Aranjah

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,188
As much as everyone says no, I can't shake the feeling it is. Well, not too late to learn of course, but too late to do anything with it other than noodle around at home.
As someone who's wanted to learn drums since I was about 7 and didn't start until I was 30 because I kept thinking I was too old all through my teens and 20s (and as a kid I thought girls physically couldn't play drums, so I just kinda let it go when I got the initial no from my parents), my current personal hell is that I enjoy it so much and would even call myself passionate about it, but it's basically off the table as a career option (or even a side hustle). :/

I hope I'm wrong and that it's at least possible to reach at least the lower end of that skill level bracket, because that's my long-term goal (even if I still just mess around at home), but I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

But even if I'm right, it's still super fun, I'm not going to give up, and I recommend learning an instrument to everyone, regardless of age. :D
 

earthxsucks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
552
au
my girlfriend is 30 and just started learning the cello. she already knew piano though which i'm sure helped in some way,
 

Wag

Member
Nov 3, 2017
5,810
I’m 50 and am just taking up the piano. Why let age stop you from doing something if you enjoy it?
 

J_ToSaveTheDay

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,733
USA
It’s not too late but it requires more dedication than I think most 30-year-olds are willing to give.

It’s going to require time out of whatever routine or rhythm you’ve probably established by now and that’s likely going to be disruptive or uncomfortable, but if you’re willing to give it, then it’s not too late for anything.
 

KingFrost92

Member
Oct 26, 2017
504
Oregon
If you can spend an hour on it every day and noodle here and there, I think you'll be surprised how quickly you can pick that up. It'll feel like slow going for a while, but anything worthwhile does.

Go for it!
 

ChrisD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,022
My dad learned guitar at 49. As in, first guitar at that age. And I’d say he can play pretty well. Has always stuck with basic stuff in regards to chords and time, but he enjoys it all the same.

Just gotta put in the time and effort. You ain’t too old yet!
 

PKrockin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,220
What is it with this question and a select few activities? Does anyone say this about the vast majority of practiced skills?

I'm in my 30s, is it too late for me to learn parenting?
I'm in my 30s, is it too late for me to learn to drive a car?
I'm in my 30s, is it too late for me to learn to play strategy games?
I'm in my 30s, is it too late for me to learn cooking?
I'm in my 30s, is it too late for me to learn to have good sex?

I keep hearing this meme about children having a magical learning superpower, probably from some vaguely remembered popsci article headline about children's neural connections, and if you're old enough to have lost that your withered old melon can't possibly absorb anything. The way people usually tell me this, it's really kind of pathetic. All I hear is desperate justification for why they've not progressed in their personal goals and why they should never try.
 

Madouu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
104
30. Been learning for a couple of months, went from being unable to hold a guitar right to playing a few very easy song arrangements, it's super fun.

Now whenever I have a bit of free time, I go grab my guitar and play. No secret to it. Long ways to go but I'm enjoying it so far.
 

Mathieran

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,279
Yup.

When your young you have HOURS, when you're older...time is much more of a premium.

The thing is the basics needed to learn an instrument; muscle memory, actual brain memory, learning basic theory, etc its not as if there's this crazy drop when you're older. The basics needed,: your hearing...the nuanced (not pure speed/strength/reflex) maneuverability isn't a huge difference between when you're young vs older.

The ability to practice 12 hours a day tho? Absolutely. But if you can etch out time (remember, practicing daily for even a little a bit > practicing a shitload in bulk) you can get pretty good in not too much time. You aren't going to become a concert player, but play in a band/make your own music? Easily.
yep, when I was a teenager I had the lifestyle that was conducive to learning an instrument. I practiced at least an hour a day, but I would regularly play 3 or more.
Nowadays I pick up my guitar 1-2 times a month and have to put it down after less than half an hour.

and when you’re starting out it’s really critical to playing daily if possible until you get the basics down. Even if it’s just like 15 minutes of warm up practices and running scales.
 

NecroTechno

Member
Oct 25, 2017
286
geohell
Literally never too late. When you get older, the barriers to entry are time and breaking established habits to be able to practice. If you can do that, you may be surprised how quickly you progress.

Good luck, OP.
 

amoy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
697
Never too late bro, the first step is the hardest. Godspeed OP.

I always dreamed of learning to play acoustic guitar, but never committed to it. Any day now, I may just walk into a recycle shop and walk out with a guitar, then it will be a matter of playing it, rather than spend my free time browsing Era :P
 

Solace

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,006
I started learning Piano at around 30 and guitar at around 34. I am not great, but it is the ultimate stress reliever. The hardest thing is finding a period of time to practice. But, even 5-10 minutes on the busy days helps and makes me a tiny bit better.
I want to start learning Piano, this is like the biggest regret of my life! I am in my early 30s, so you say there is hope? lol
 

Mystic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,780
Going to be 30 here in a few weeks. Been wanting to pick up Piano for awhile now but just never get around to it.

Any good resources you guys recommend for learning Piano the first time?
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,016
Going to be 30 here in a few weeks. Been wanting to pick up Piano for awhile now but just never get around to it.

Any good resources you guys recommend for learning Piano the first time?
The piano subreddit has a pretty good FAQ, which includes a purchasing guide and a good amount of resources. The actual subreddit also has some nice info if you search around, and their monthly "Piano Jam" posts are a good way to find additional easy music to play (since they always include 1 beginner song).

For actually learning as a beginner, I personally found books to be the best way to go (learning from youtube just didn't work for me). I used and liked the Alfred Adult All-in-One book, but other common recommendations I saw when I started out were the ones from Bastien and Faber. Briefly looking at all three, there doesn't really seem to be that large of a difference between them, so all of them should work just fine.

The only youtube channel I actually really like in terms of teaching is this one. It has playlists for pretty much all beginner books showing you how to play songs in them, as well as providing additional information that isn't mentioned in the book itself. It works really well as a companion to the books.
 

Mystic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,780
The piano subreddit has a pretty good FAQ, which includes a purchasing guide and a good amount of resources. The actual subreddit also has some nice info if you search around, and their monthly "Piano Jam" posts are a good way to find additional easy music to play (since they always include 1 beginner song).

For actually learning as a beginner, I personally found books to be the best way to go (learning from youtube just didn't work for me). I used and liked the Alfred Adult All-in-One book, but other common recommendations I saw when I started out were the ones from Bastien and Faber. Briefly looking at all three, there doesn't really seem to be that large of a difference between them, so all of them should work just fine.

The only youtube channel I actually really like in terms of teaching is this one. It has playlists for pretty much all beginner books showing you how to play songs in them, as well as providing additional information that isn't mentioned in the book itself. It works really well as a companion to the books.
This is great, thanks!

Any advice on learning to read sheet music (I think that's the right term?)? I played Trumpet in band in grade school and never learned how to read music. I always had to write down letters above the notes to play it.
 

Pellaidh

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,016
This is great, thanks!

Any advice on learning to read sheet music (I think that's the right term?)? I played Trumpet in band in grade school and never learned how to read music. I always had to write down letters above the notes to play it.
All of the books start of assuming you know nothing about sheet music, so they do teach you that too.

In terms of memorization, I found this method to be much easier for me than just brute force memorization of every note. But at the end of the day it's just something that gets easier with practice, just like everything else.

For practice, this website is pretty good since it lets you customize pretty much everything (alternatively, this version has you identify notes based on the piano keyboard instead of names). The same site also has a bunch of other more advanced exercises available, as well as a decent overview of music theory in general.
 

RestEerie

Member
Aug 20, 2018
7,896
your capability to learn a new skill is correlated to your interest level, not your age.
 

Sailent

Member
Mar 2, 2018
1,470
Unless you are arthritic or have half a lung, or 100% deaf, I think it's possible to learn to play any instrument.
 

Mystic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,780
All of the books start of assuming you know nothing about sheet music, so they do teach you that too.

In terms of memorization, I found this method to be much easier for me than just brute force memorization of every note. But at the end of the day it's just something that gets easier with practice, just like everything else.

For practice, this website is pretty good since it lets you customize pretty much everything (alternatively, this version has you identify notes based on the piano keyboard instead of names). The same site also has a bunch of other more advanced exercises available, as well as a decent overview of music theory in general.
Thank you so much for all this. Going to actually make myself go through with it this time. Got a digital piano picked out and am looking at local teachers (Jesus that's expensive though, almost makes me want to try and self teach, but I could use the structure of having a teacher). Looking at picking up a Roland FP10. Don't want to buy used as my first piano.
 

Alcoremortis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
575
My brother started learning piano in his late twenties and he can already play stuff I can't and I started when I was 4.
 
OP
OP
Feb 15, 2019
379
I just wanted to provide a little update. Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but you folks here certainly helped me get the confidence to give this a try, and I was able my guitar today.



This was just the perfect price point for a beginner like me, and I love the look of it. Les Paul is actually from where I live, so I was also drawn to this style. It also reminded me of Yui's guitar from K-On, so that was a plus to me as well, hehe ^_^

I didn't get an amp yet, because I don't think I'll need that right away. I just got this gig bag, some picks, and a strap for now. I'll get the other accessories I may need later. I do wanna order a cable that I can use for Rocksmith though, cuz I did get that on the steam sale.

I'm starting completely from scratch, so if anyone has any other learning resources they wanna share, I'd love to see. I know there's stuff on youtube I can use, but if you have a channel to recommend, I wouldn't mind seeing it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
10,129
I’d like to learn keyboards so I can make sweet electronic music, but it’s intimidating. :(

Good luck OP, rooting for you.
 
Oct 28, 2017
8,273
I just wanted to provide a little update. Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but you folks here certainly helped me get the confidence to give this a try, and I was able my guitar today.



This was just the perfect price point for a beginner like me, and I love the look of it. Les Paul is actually from where I live, so I was also drawn to this style. It also reminded me of Yui's guitar from K-On, so that was a plus to me as well, hehe ^_^

I didn't get an amp yet, because I don't think I'll need that right away. I just got this gig bag, some picks, and a strap for now. I'll get the other accessories I may need later. I do wanna order a cable that I can use for Rocksmith though, cuz I did get that on the steam sale.

I'm starting completely from scratch, so if anyone has any other learning resources they wanna share, I'd love to see. I know there's stuff on youtube I can use, but if you have a channel to recommend, I wouldn't mind seeing it.


GOOD SHIT!