About Me

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.

So why?

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!

  • Will

    Hey Anders,

    Just found your blog. I like hearing about your journey and I’m happy to find another late bloomer going for it. I’m 27 and just started to get serious about guitar in the past month.

    At this point, while I still feel clumsy, it’s a constant psychological battle against “am I wasting my time, I’m too old, I don’t have talent”, etc etc. Haven’t given up yet though, hoping I can make it to the 3 year mark like you.

    • Hi, glad you found your way here! I think an important part of staying motivated is finding something that keeps you going when you get into a negative spiral, when thoughts like those get the upper hand (which they do at regular intervals still, for me). For me it was recording myself playing covers and both seeing the progress and actually being quite impressed with myself :-).

      I need to update my profile, I’m at 4.5 years now. Don’t think I’ll ever quit now, I’ve gotten past “the hump”. Remember there’s no such thing as “musicians and non-musicians” as something you’re born with. 10 percent talent and 90 percent hard work as the saying goes.

      Starting late though, you’ll need to practice right since you don’t have as much time to spend noodling around. Without turning this fun thing into a chore, the right focus will cut corners immensly (in a good way). Find a great teacher when you feel you’ve come as far as you can on your own. Good luck!

      • Will

        Thanks Anders. I’m definitely erring on the side of too much structured practice than too little at this point. I figure that might be one advantage I have over your typical short attention span teenager ;). If it gets too chore-like I’ll adjust course.

        I’ve subscribed and will look forward to new posts.

        • In that case, don’t forget to have fun! :-). Play a lot of songs, don’t get too stuck in practice exercises.

  • Willy Maturana

    hej anders försökte skriva på diskant men gick inte, vi söker basist alt. gitarrist. kolla in myspace.com/gardenofbones för mer info.
    ha det bäst.

  • Hey there Anders,

    I really love your blog. Your recording tips are so helpful and make my life alot easier. It’s so nice to see a blog that focuses on both guitar playing and home recording. Keep up the great work, and thanks so much for putting this site up.

    • Thank you, positive feedback like this is what keeps me going! :-)

  • Alx Rogan

    I’m 37 and only started playing about 6 months ago. Really helpful to know that I can pick up new things that I’ve always wanted to do. Keep up all the articles and likes, I’ve found several great sites/blogs for guitarists just doing it to learn and have fun!


  • Peter Ahlgren

    Love your blog.
    Its nice to see that there are others starting to play at over 30 yo.
    Keep up the good writing man!

  • Mike Foster

    I just found this blog while searching for recording techniques and i’m blown away by the amount of knowledge on here uniquely specific to the kind of music I play and recording I employ. I’ve learned more in 24 hours than i have in the past 6 months! I really enjoy learning from the perspective of a musician in the same position as myself – a hobbyist on a budget. Your blog posts explain concepts from the viewpoint of a person learning a craft and I find i’m able to grasp things much easier that way.

    I’m 31 and have been playing for 17 years so i’m not really a late bloomer but I am new to home recording. Keep up the great work!

    • I’m always happy when I get encouragements like this :-). I’ll keep posting!

  • Allison

    Would you please provide an email address so we can send something about music in schools, which will not fit in this little box? Thank you very much!

  • drimacdaddy

    I’ve gotten a lot of help from your tips on utilizing VSTs in Reaper. The ‘fizz’ was killing me until i read your blog. My guitar fits in the mix much more realistically once i turned down the gain and put a driver in front. I am a really late bloomer…got my first guitar at 49. Bittersweet to find i have some ability…i should have started 35 years ago ;) Thank you for your time and effort.

  • Bob the guitarist

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