I started playing guitar four years ago. I am 37 years old. Why did I start so late?
First of all, it’s not strictly true I started four years ago. I actually started when I was 12 and got my first acoustic guitar (which I still have) after my grandfather who had died years earlier. Along with the guitar I got a couple of books with chords, and a few simple songs. At 15 I tried learning some chords and the songs from the books, it went so and so. I played for a couple of weeks, then put the guitar down a couple of months. This continued until about 25.
Between 25 and 33 I almost didn’t play at all. I had given up completely on actually being able to play guitar. But since the age of maybe 18 I had wanted to play an electric guitar. At 18 I once got to try an electric with distortion in high school, and it was just the coolest thing ever. During these years I even dreamed occasionally of playing electric guitars, always with distortion.
At 33 I finally decided on getting an electric guitar. It dawned on me during the summer vacation, and a spent a few weeks researching what guitar to get and bought it the first day back. It was so weird, it was like all of the years of noodling suddenly just flowed out of my hands and I could (sort of) play the intro riff from Ain’t Talkin about Love within a couple of hours.
I set out to have playing guitar as a hobby without demands. I told myself that I would be happy if I could learn to play just one song. Since I’ve done some covers I’m really proud of, learned a lot of music theory, learned recording and mixing and started writing some songs of my own that at least a few people on forums I frequent have said sound really good. I’ve far exceeded my hopes and expectations, but being a competitive person I’ve set new goals and am really fighting to not set them too high and spoil the fun.
Why did I wait so long?
The simple answer is fear. It’s fear of failure. What if I would spend a lot of money and time on something that people would just laugh at? I’ve always had the idea that you are a musician or you’re not. And I was clearly not. I had the notion than an electric guitar and an amp was very expensive, so that didn’t help either. None of my friends or family play any instruments. It took me four years of focused playing before I could say to people that I can play guitar…
I hope this blog might help someone with the same inhibitions as me just pick up the instrument and try. I promise you it’s not going to kill you!