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is it too late?

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This is actually one of the topics my neuropsych presentation touched on, and it's something very fascinating to me. I'll give you the short answer so as not to bring in discussion of broca's area, synaptic pruning, mylenation, or gray matter and white matter and a whole other slew of babble.

Short answer, yes, you can still learn an instrument, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. However, you DEFINITELY would have had an advantage starting at an earlier age, and by that I mean around 7 or 8, and who the fuck knows what they want to do at that age(rhetorical question)? To be fair, it's generally any time before and during adolescence but whatever.

Point is, you're good, and the world needs music, so I say you should do it. And besides, like someone else said, it's art man. If you can make it sound good, doesn't matter how fast you can shred. Hell many shredders can't put together a single decent melody at all.

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I started totally late, and now I write a site about it:


Don't let anything discourage you. Your brain is still very capable of learning new stuff. Certainly can't hurt to try! Really, why not?


Speaking of your site, I follow it a lot because I like your writing. I've been waiting for your next article, any word on it?

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Speaking as a trombone player who did start at that young age, I can safely say that I no longer have the skills to play the piano. XD

If you want an instrument with no finger coordination, the trombone is your best buddy.

However, that comes with a caveat... you have to be PERFECT with your arm/wrist combination; otherwise you sound like a drunken sailor. (which is pretty cool, especially for jazz)

But seriously, it's never too late to learn an instrument/enjoy music. You don't have to be JJ Johnson or Joseph Alessi - just have fun with it!

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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.

It's not that we think you're serious, we think you're making fun of us.

But anyway, thanks for the feedback on it. sorry about my reaction to it, I just don't react well to sarcasm sometimes.

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Anyone can cook - I mean play! Anyone can play.... LOL! Seriously though. I've only been playing piano for a little over five years, and now I'm going to college for music! I wasn't very good the first 3 years until my music pastor told me to play for the choir. (Dang arrangements!) They weren't easy. At all. They were pretty dang hard! But because he pushed me (and pushed and pushed and pushed) now I can play new arrangements for the choir without even having to look at them ahead of time. This also helped my sightreading in other areas of music. Lessons and practice pay off. Seriously, do or do not there is no try.;-) Push yourself and you can play anything well.

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I know it is possible to learn, but is it possible to catch up with the ones who have been playing all their life?

The age you start doesn't determine how well you play an instrument. How you practice and your determination to learn new things does. Granted, even with poor practice habits, if you play often enough for a long enough period you'll end up learning to play some things pretty well, but if you want to excel, it take more than that.

Anyway, it's certainly never too late. I didn't start playing the drums until my first year of high school when I was 14. I didn't pick up piano until about two and a half years ago when I was 21 or so, and I'm just now starting to learn guitar at the ripe old age of (almost) 23. So again, it's never too late.

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