If You're a Guitar Player Over 30 Watch This Video!

There are practice mistakes that can affect anyone of any age when studying guitar. And then, there are those that are even worse when you get to be over 30 years old. In this video, I’m going to discuss the biggest guitar practice mistakes that you can make and how they are amplified when you get to be a little older...

One of the most often over-looked areas of studying a musical instrument is the student’s age. Depending upon how old you are, it’s quite likely that there’s going to be a different mind-set across the age spectrum. 

With this change in mind-set comes the consideration of a different approach when it comes to practicing guitar. Students who are 13 or 23 generally have a different range of goals compared to students who are 33 - 53, 63 or 73.

In this post I want to spend some time discussing the differences that I’ve noticed over all my years teaching guitar to players of all age classes. 

We’ll explore what it is that a guitar student who is over 30 might want to consider with respect to their attitude and their practice time.

There’s definitely a different mindset as we get on with age and so the approach to certain practice concepts might need to be considered a little more carefully.


The well-known Irish play-right, “Oscar Wilde” famously said that, “With Age, Comes Wisdom.” 

Now, that is a good statement, but what I’ve also realized is that with age also comes a lot more critical, “self-analysis,” when learning to play the guitar, (and in a lot of other areas as well).

But, the thing that you need to keep in mind here is that with age also comes a chance to become far more organized with your studies, (at least - more than a guitar student who’s younger might be).

Think about it like this, when you’re in those teenage years, or even in your 20’s there’s generally a lot less time management that’s going on with all of the hours in your day. But, as you get older, you’ll pay a lot more respect to the time that you do have, along with what you’re doing in it.

Schedule Time and Keep a Log
Time management will be a huge advantage for you when it comes down to organizing your practice time. 

So, make sure that you use this to your advantage. Schedule your practice time and keep a log of what you’re goals are for the hours that you do have. Use a Practice Schedule and apply your time in the most effective way. 

You Might Be You're Own Worst Critic
I’ve certainly noticed that older students are far more critical about themselves, and I also have seen older students tend to be a lot harder on their progress due to more intense, “self-analysis.”

As we get older, we tend to get far more concerned with “how we’re doing,” compared to a younger guitar player. 

This is often a really big issue, because anytime a student over-analyzes their progress, it’s usually for the worse, rather than for the better.

Now, this whole ‘over-analysis’ thing can end up causing some very difficult psychological effects for players to manage. 

And, you should manage them, because it can slow your learning curve.

But, there is a solution. And, it involves a four-step system:

This system is based upon your Attitude, combined with the constant pursuit of new knowledge. After that then comes the practice, ( a lot of it).

When combined, all together these three give you the performance that you’re after. 

The end goal is to reach the top of your game, which is the SKILL that you’ll need to be able to perform ideas at peak capacity! 

What Appeals to You?
The next idea that guitar students over 30 might wish to consider focusing on is the idea of their practice time as a time that they can zero in on what appeals to them the most as guitar students.

Think of it like this, when a student is a teenager (or in their 20’s), if they’re not 100% gung-ho and totally committed to becoming career musicians, then they’re generally just playing for fun and recreation.

Most of the time, their focus is placed upon learning how to play songs. And, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, remember, “With Age, Comes Wisdom.” 

And, as an older student of the guitar your goals will quite likely be focused in a different way.

As an older student, you'll likely consider your practice of guitar more as if it were an investment and as with any investment; you’ll want to get the most out of what you’re putting into it.

So, this will generally mean that as an older more mature student of guitar, you’ll probably want a plan of action when it comes to practicing. 

And, this will quite likely involve using a guitar method. One that covers material in a structured and organized way. You’ll want to make the most of your time and get the most out of your investment.

Well, up till now, you’ve probably noticed that “time” has been a pretty big theme of this discussion. 

And, that’s because younger players tend to rarely concern themselves (all that much), with time-frames.

A young teen or twenty-something player will be more likely to practice guitar for a while, and then they might sit around on social media, they jump over to the couch and play a few video games, they might go out for a coffee, or a movie with their friends and basically, time is their own.

But, when you’re older and you have more involved business commitments and a family, kids, grand-kids and all that… time becomes a lot more of a consideration. 

And, this is why it can be incredibly beneficial to work through every day’s practice session broken up into time frames.

Time frame management of your study topics will allow you to hit way more information and get a lot more done. 

I personally use a time-frame system that includes subjects I’m studying, the length of time I want to devote to each topic, the number of the days of the week I plan on working.

I track Tempo of each topic, I factor in my breaks for keeping my mind fresh, and I make sure that I know my subjects well enough to make a recording.

I also already know by now, that most more complex ideas that I’m working on will need at least 3-4 weeks to fully develop, so I always factor that aspect into my practice schedule as well. 

For many of you guitar students out there, over the age of 30 or 40 (or even if you’re in your 50’s or your 60’s), it’s important to understand that you’re going to have different life-styles and different levels of focus when it comes to practicing guitar.

You’ll have different commitments, there’s a possible factor of having things that affect your health. That might be something to consider, you could have concentration problems that you know you’re dealing with, or even other physical limitations.

Whatever, it is, you need to take stock of your life and your health, because as you get older they affect your ability to set aside the time that you need for practicing guitar the right way.

Even though it would be great if we could stay young forever, unfortunately that’s not a possibility. We all grow older and as the legendary American actress Betty Davis was famously quoted as saying, “Growing Old Ain’t for Sissies.”

So, take into consideration these tips I’ve shared in this discussion and use them to create a better approach to practice. One that fits your age and lifestyle in the best possible way.



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