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is it too late?

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This is more directed to the musicians on the site, but heres the thing.

I never EVER played an instrument, my elementary school had no music program, and when I got into a school that did, we could never afford an instrument. Now I'm a senior, and I have never held an instrument. Chances are, I won't be able to afford one until after college, or at least for 2 years of college.

I feel as though everyone I have met or known of who could play well has been playing since childhood. I know it is possible to learn, but is it possible to catch up with the ones who have been playing all their life?

Has anyone here started really late?

Is it any more difficult to learn late than to learn as a child?

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Unless you're planning to do this for a living (which would be unlikely given your situation) this is a stupid question.

This will sound cliche, but it's true: the moment you start wondering how good you can ever become, you've already defeated yourself.

If you want to learn to play an instrument, learn to play. Who cares how good you may or may not be? Push yourself, and if you're commmitted more often than not you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish no matter your age or background.

I would also advise looking into music lessons at college. They can count for credits and such.

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I started playing piano around my junior year of high school. I'm not "as good as" those who have been playing much longer, but I'm decent. Who knows, you might have some untapped musical ability down there somewhere...go for it. :)

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Unless you're planning to do this for a living (which would be unlikely given your situation) this is a stupid question.

This will sound cliche, but it's true: the moment you start wondering how good you can ever become, you've already defeated yourself.

If you want to learn to play an instrument, learn to play. Who cares how good you may or may not be? Push yourself, and if you're commmitted more often than not you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish no matter your age or background.

I would also advise looking into music lessons at college. They can count for credits and such.

thanks for the feedback, I am not particularly considering playing an instrument as a career, but I was just wandering if it was even worth bothering with it by now. I know I have a natural inclination with music, ( I process music differently than most people, I can "see" music in a sense.) I just wasn't sure if I missed my chance at being any better than just being able to play an instrument like I missed my chance with pretty much everything else.

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Typically, starting out when you're young puts you at an advantage, but there are plenty of other factors in play that determine skill than the age at which you begin to learn.

Out of curiosity, what instrument are you interested in learning to play?

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I didn't start playing any sort of instrument at all until my senior year of High School, and I don't really feel like that hindered me at all. Just pick an instrument and start learning, as long as you can give it some practice time in regular intervals you'll be fine.

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Typically, starting out when you're young puts you at an advantage, but there are plenty of other factors in play that determine skill than the age at which you begin to learn.

Out of curiosity, what instrument are you interested in learning to play?

Well, I;m not really sure what I'm able to play. My ability with any finger work is limited because I can't really hold my hands and fingers still very well. (it takes me forever to write things manually, even than I am the only one able to read it.) so I need something with very limited fingering.

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Well, maybe if you want something with "limited fingering" you should give a (valved) brass instrument a try. although, I think you should really go for whatever instrument that you like the sound of the most---you'll be most motivated to play and you'll enjoy playing it more. I think the finger jitters you say you have might disappear with your mind focused on making music.

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If you have the will to stick with it, and not be discouraged easily, then go for it. But remember, it will take time to actually learn; anyone who has gotten any level of skill can tell you that.

Remember, if you choose to do it, do it because you are in for the long haul, not on a whim.

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I'd recommend voice, but you said an instrument. Something that doesn't require strenuous or highly-coordinated fingerwork. What do you think of the trombone? I'd recommend percussion and French horn next, though beware that the horn is a pain in the ass to learn.

And: it's never too late. Starting young means you get more practicing time in, and practice is the only thing that makes a good performer. A good teacher and an hour or two of practice (something I've been neglecting as of late) every day is enough to catch up to most people in a few years.

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The best jazz bassist I know (other than professionals) has only been playing four years. He's playing the pants off people who have been playing for ten to fifteen years.

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Go for it!

You're still quite capable of learning and instrument and becoming very proficient. In fact based on some freinds of mine, people who pick up an instrument later in life tend to get through all of the basic stuff much faster than those that start very early. As with most things, though, how much effort you put in will dictate how good at it you end up being. So definately give it a shot.

I agree with the other guys in that you should learn the instrument you like the sound of. Listen carfeully to the kind of music you like and try to identify what about it you would really want to play. That should help you pick an instrument. I doubt the hands jittering thing will be a problem. There really aren't too many instruments where you have to sit with your fingers perfectly poised. my hands shake all the time and it has never been a problem on any instrument i've tried to play.

and lastly , I echo whoever said look at lessons in college. If you go to the music professors, often they will take on students who are no tmusic majors if they have time. and even if don't, they will be able to point you to someone else who can help you out. And as you seem worried baout the cost, ask about renting from the university. Most universities have instruments that they will rent to students on a semester by semester basis, and its usually very cheap. (The music department here at Virginia Tech charges marching band members 1 dollar, and not much if any more to non-members.)

Good luck

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This is more directed to the musicians on the site, but heres the thing.

I never EVER played an instrument, my elementary school had no music program, and when I got into a school that did, we could never afford an instrument. Now I'm a senior, and I have never held an instrument. Chances are, I won't be able to afford one until after college, or at least for 2 years of college.

I feel as though everyone I have met or known of who could play well has been playing since childhood. I know it is possible to learn, but is it possible to catch up with the ones who have been playing all their life?

Has anyone here started really late?

Is it any more difficult to learn late than to learn as a child?

I'll say this, music isn't a sport, its an art. Its an expression, its not about how good you are unless your making a living doing it. Go learn some instruments, see how you are, if you enjoy it, keep doing it. I have friends who's fathers are fabulous musicians who didnt start until their thirties. Its never to late (unless we're talking about the violin for god knows what reason)

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The most important thing you can do if you're trying to learn an instrument is to find someone to help. Hiring a teaching is best. However, there is great value in having a friend to work with. If they play the same instrument, you can pick up pointers and little nudges in direction. If not, you can still play music together. Keeping in time and tune with someone helps train your ear solidly. I mean, you can learn an instrument on your own with books and online guides, but, as with learning anything, human interaction is key.

After all, you may be one person playing one instrument, but music is not a solitary endeavor.

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You're not even 20 yet. So if you live until your 80, think about it, you could have been playing something for 60 years if you really wanted to.

... just saying.

... seems like plenty of time for catch up.

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Has anyone here started really late?

Is it any more difficult to learn late than to learn as a child?

Depends on how talented you are. Drop $100-$200 on a beater guitar and start playing. You'll be surprised how much you can improve in a couple years.

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Wow, you're helpful.

Also totally being sarcastic. xD

What is it with people? I say these things that are so obviously outrageous and you guys think I'm being serious. :tomatoface:

The point that I'm sarcastically trying to make is that it's never too late to get into music. You can be 70-years-old with terminal cancer and can still find enjoyment and fulfillment (and perhaps even a natural talent) by learning to play an instrument.

Yes there's all that stuff about people starting when they're little and becoming musical prodigies and all that crap, but really, you'll get out as much as you put in. If you try an instrument and find that you can pick it up without too much difficulty, then you'll have no problem in 'catching up' so long as you practice practice practice.

My previous post was outrageously sarcastic because a question like 'is it too late?' just seems so silly to me. If you've got the inclination like you say you do, then honing your skills will take no time at all, no matter how old you are.

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Agreed. Its never in any way too late to get into music! Hell, I was almost through college 7 years ago, picked up an Alesis QS 6.1 synthesizer and found out I had an ear for it. Never had one bit of training... learned all of my music theory from collecting / listening to film scores and ended up scoring short films in film school with that synth. Eventually I got into software sampling and now I compose music and do audio professionally for games. NEVER TOO LATE. Pick up an instrument and start playing... you might surprise yourself. The hardest part is learning the software, programming, and mastering skills to make your music sound pro.

Rich

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I'm gonan echo what's already been said int he thread: go for it. It's never too late to learn. There's some genetic factors (like finger/hands/breath coordination), sense of rhythm, hearing pitch, stuff like that that you don't have that much control of how well you are when you start, but most things can be learned to some extent. Besides, you say you ahve some sense of musical that goes beyond casual listening. Good for you, make use of it with an instrument. Try several.

Good luck!

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I've gotta ditto what just about everyone in this thread has said so far. Though I'm gonna make my own personal addendum to what a few of you have said:

Yeah, go ahead and get yourself a beater guitar/rental instrument/whatever. BUT if after a few weeks of playing you decide that it's something you want to keep doing, start looking into getting something a little nicer. The nicer the instrument you're playing with, the easier it will be to learn. Or as my piano tuner once told me, "A musician is only as good as the instrument he practices on." Also, it will sound better and motivate you to practice more.

I started out on a crappy little electronic Casio keyboard and a $50 Yamaha practice guitar. My brother started on a rental cello. They worked just fine starting out, but both of us eventually hit a wall and got discouraged. Once we upgraded our instruments, both of us started making major improvements in our abilities.

Also: Quality =! Expensive. One of my favorite guitars only cost me $250 brand new.

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I'm going to rip-off everyone's statement and say this: It's never too late to learn anything new. Hell, there was a kid I knew who only been playing for four years and was freakin' amazing (damn Asians. Eh, he had an ego however.)

I dunno a good beingerner insturment besides the keyboards/piano. You could try a string insturment like the violin but the violin's so damn hard to learn from time-to-time.

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