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I"m forty, can I learn to play the guitar? Or maybe the piano? Which?

(24 Posts)
Youandmemillerscow Sat 28-Nov-15 12:23:36

Hi, I don't think I am unmusical but I haven't played an instrument in over 20 years! I used to play the violin, not too well I should add but I had lesson for a few years. I even took up guitar lessons in my twenties but found that my hands were too smal to play comfortably.

I rcently met a woman who plays the three quarter size guitar as she has small hands too. Would this be an option? Am I mad to even consider learning to play the guitar at my age?

How about the piano? I love both instruments but want to have a little bit of fun!

What would you do?

Mylittlelights Sat 28-Nov-15 12:25:20

You are never too old, piano might be better to try as you have not given it a go yet.

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-15 12:29:29

You might struggle to play the piano with small hands. I'd go for the 3/4 size guitar. Especially as you used to play violin and have already had some guitar lessons - you'll pick it up quicker. Plus guitars are much cheaper and they're portable!

I say this as a pianist who loves playing the piano btw!

CheekyMaleekey Sat 28-Nov-15 12:31:35

Piano. Small hands is irrelevant. It doesn't hurt your fingers, like guitar strings do.

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-15 13:11:38

Cheeky do you play the piano? Small hands aren't irrelevant at all.

Ferguson Sat 28-Nov-15 17:18:59

Do you HAVE a piano? If not, an electronic keyboard or digital piano might be a better option. Guitar is ALWAYS going to be physically demanding, much more so that a keyboard.

yeOldeTrout Sat 28-Nov-15 17:21:52

Having tried both, piano is far easier.
Treble clef (guitar) will be easy for you to pick up having done violin.

2madboys Sat 28-Nov-15 17:29:33

Of course you can! I've started learning piano in my forties.

Youandmemillerscow Tue 01-Dec-15 16:34:49

Thank you and apologies for not coming back to my thread in days! I won't admit that I nearly forgot I posted blush.

I went to a guitar shop today and asked about 3/4 guitars. They told me that using one is not a good idea due to the spacing does anyone know what this means? I haven't got a piano at the moment and we have rather little space but a good keyboard should work. Maybe I should try out both and see how I feel about each instrument?

I remember sore fingers from when I did a guitar class at a previous employer but that didn't bother me too much.

Could I ask why guitar is mire difficult? Thank you!

AnotherEmma Tue 01-Dec-15 16:38:09

I think both are difficult tbh. Could you ask the person in the shop what they meant about the spacing?

You could also find a good teacher for each instrument and ask for their advice. They might even offer you a trial lesson.

AnotherEmma Tue 01-Dec-15 16:38:20

(For free I mean!)

CoteDAzur Tue 01-Dec-15 16:42:41

I have learned to play both. Guitar is easier to learn than piano.

Having said that, you can definitely learn to play the piano state 40. I went back to playing the piano in my early 40s for the first time in 30 years and am happy to say that I am pretty good these days smile

It is not your age but how much effort you put into it. Practice at least for half an hour every day and you will be playing simple songs in no time!

CoteDAzur Tue 01-Dec-15 16:43:12

State 40? I meant at age 40.

thanksamillion Tue 01-Dec-15 16:44:50

My son has a 3/4 guitar and I fully plan to teach myself on it. Would you consider a ukulele as an alternative? If you have any musical experience they are really easy to pick up.

CoteDAzur Tue 01-Dec-15 16:45:15

"I went to a guitar shop today and asked about 3/4 guitars. They told me that using one is not a good idea due to the spacing does anyone know what this means?"

That would be spacing between the bars on the guitar. You don't want to get used to playing on one where they are spaced closer together than a normal guitar because you won't be able to play a normal one.

Maestro Tue 01-Dec-15 17:11:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnotherEmma Tue 01-Dec-15 17:50:46

"You don't want to get used to playing on one where they are spaced closer together than a normal guitar because you won't be able to play a normal one."

"However, if you're only ever going to be playing on your own 3/4 guitar, then there's no reason not to use one."


I think the person in the music shop gave you bad advice, OP. If they had asked a few more questions they would have found out more about why you're interested in a 3/4 guitar and would have been able to give you better advice. They also might have been able to sell you a guitar! So it was bad advice and bad salesmanship! #doh

CoteDAzur Tue 01-Dec-15 18:07:11

I'm with the guy. It is silly to learn to play an instrument so that you can only play the one you have at home.

I have small hands too and managed to play the guitar as a teenager. Even small hands (of an adult) learn to span the notes on a guitar.

How do you think children learn to play the piano? Not on a 3/4 piano.

blytheandsebastian Tue 01-Dec-15 19:13:55

Small/fine hands are unlikely to be much of a problem on either instrument unless you're planning to become a professional smile In which case your talent would make up for it anyway!

I played the piano to a high standard, and taught it, but couldn't learn the guitar at all. Nor could I ever really enjoy playing the piano - though some people love it. My DB, on the other hand, plays the guitar very well and does so with friends twice a week. Provided you become proficient, it's a much more companionable instrument.

It depends what you take to and what you enjoy, really. But you're never too old to have a go.

Ferguson Tue 01-Dec-15 23:08:36

If you do MN 'search' on my name +piano, keyboard etc I have done several similar replies.

Keyboard is always going to be easier than guitar, because ALL the notes are laid out on a keyboard; on a guitar you need to know which of the six strings is going to give you the notes you want, and the finger tip has the effort of holding the string down on the correct fret.

For a versatile keyboard you can't do much better than this:

Youandmemillerscow Wed 02-Dec-15 08:01:41

thanks fsmile for all the lovely replies, very positive and encouraging. maestro and emma that's what I was thinking, if I stay on a 3/4 I could just get used to it and stick with it. ferguson I remember you from a thread long time ago and I will check your recommendations! Thanks again.

On a different note, can anyone recommend a guitar shop in London or possibly am online site for. 3/4?

Footle Wed 02-Dec-15 08:38:52

Ukuleles are making a big comeback.

user1465211211 Mon 06-Jun-16 12:15:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Ferguson Sat 06-Aug-16 19:26:36

This is one of the best:

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