At what age did you start playing an instrument?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by jkendrick, Jan 9, 2019.

At what age did you start playing an instrument?

  1. <6

    13 vote(s)
    9.9%
  2. 6

    9 vote(s)
    6.9%
  3. 7

    6 vote(s)
    4.6%
  4. 8

    9 vote(s)
    6.9%
  5. 9

    13 vote(s)
    9.9%
  6. 10

    7 vote(s)
    5.3%
  7. 11

    6 vote(s)
    4.6%
  8. 12

    12 vote(s)
    9.2%
  9. Adolescent older than 12

    38 vote(s)
    29.0%
  10. Adult

    18 vote(s)
    13.7%
  1. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

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    8. Guitar. My choice.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    I began taking clarinet lessons at about age 9. I liked it but didn't get too far, because my teacher was an elderly man who died a few weeks after my lessons began. The studio refunded our money for the clarinet rental and told us they'd call when they found a replacement clarinet teacher, but we never heard from them.
    A year later I started piano lessons. Those lasted for a couple of years but when I hit my teen years I lost interest. I began playing guitar in my mid teens, and that's remained my problem for the past half century.
     
  3. rednoise

    rednoise Member

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    When I was in 4th grade they had an assembly where we all watched a big band play, with each instrument standing up to take a solo so we could hear what they sounded like. You then had the opportunity to sign up for the school band. It was very exciting, and I ran home to tell my parents that I reallyreallyreally wanted to play the saxophone! So they went to the local music store and rented me a saxophone. Imagine my disappointment when I opened the case and realized I had remembered wrong - it was really the trumpet that had got me all hot. I was too embarrassed to say anything and ended up playing alto sax for about 4 years, also doubling (badly) on clarinet and flute.

    By 7th or 8th grade I had really gotten into the rock music I heard on the radio. There was a jr. high school dance where a local band played the heavy hits of the day, including some Cream and Hendrix tunes. Totally blew me away and convinced me I had to play guitar. It changed my life. I'm glad to have been exposed to the fundamentals of music in the school band, but it turned out that wind instruments weren't really a good fit for me, and the guitar fit me perfectly. And here I am, like 50 years later, and it still gives me the greatest pleasure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  4. clcwarlock

    clcwarlock Member

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    12 years old that was 1982, I just had to learn how to play Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and AC/DC.
     
  5. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

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    I started on clarinet in the 5th grade band.. it didn't take.
    Then I tried 4 string tenor banjo at 12 years old .. lame songs and teacher.
    Then at 13, I picked up a friends acoustic guitar: we jammed on NY " Down By the River" for hours. Started with private lessons at 13, up to 17. Still learning new things at 62 years old.
     
  6. middlechainringguy

    middlechainringguy Silver Supporting Member

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    I came late to playing music. Started fairly recently, in my 40s. So not on-point for the OP.

    However, I did watch my daughter learn piano -- she started at 6 and stopped taking lessons and performing at 17, but still plays for pleasure. What impressed me most was the way music taught her the relationship between effort and reward.

    As she became more proficient (and older), the interval between her effort and her reward stretched out. At the start it was nearly instantaneous, but 10 years later, it could take months to get the payoff ... and she was cool with that, because music had "trained" her that way.

    Such a valuable life skill.
     
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  7. The Axecutioner

    The Axecutioner Member

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    Started keyboards at age 11 and completely self taught learning what I liked when I liked.

    Started guitar at aged 22 and completely self taught learning what I liked when I liked.

    I still play both although I lean more to the guitar side now.
     
  8. TonePilot

    TonePilot Supporting Member

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    I was 54 so yeah, the instrument was my choice. It was electric guitar. Love playing very much and formed a band with my brother.
     
  9. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Age 13 is when I started getting serious about learning how to play the guitar; I voted as such :)

    My brother and I were given a little Magnus organ when we were 5 and 6 and we learned a few things from that (mainly chords)

    I was given an acoustic guitar when I was 10; never learned how to use it.

    Took music theory classes in HS from 15-17 years old. There was a compulsory keyboard class in the first year of music theory.

    I bought an electric tuner in my 20s and that really brought things together.
     
  10. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    Pre-kindergarten. Accordian. They kicked me out because I didn't learn to read music. I couldn't even read words, but I could play the songs. They still kicked me out. Then drums in Elementary school. Then stringed instruments at age 13 or so.
     
  11. Blahfingers

    Blahfingers Member

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    Started with forced lessons in recorder in school aged about 6 (and choirs).
    Hated it and cried a lot.

    Set me back a lot until I discovered guitar at 15 :JAM
    It's possible the early stuff (especially choirs) helped develop my ear but it didn't help my enthusiasm
     
  12. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    Six.

    Guitar. My choice.

    There wasn't anyone to provide me with lessons on an Air Force base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. So I wrote open string songs for a couple of years. The action on my guitar was too high to fret anyway.

    I didn't get lessons until we moved back down south. My choice. I learned Buckaroo, the boogie woogie, John Denver songs, House of the Rising Sun, stuff like that. I studied music more formally in later years.
     
  13. tweedster

    tweedster Supporting Member

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    So I ask, how old were you?

    13 when I first touched an instrument, 15 when I started playing every day.

    What instrument did you start with? Was that instrument your choice?

    At 13, A parlor Stella with a hole in its side and action a mile high. I played the bass line for Smoke on the Water and Paranoid. Obtained from a neighbor down the street. They bought it for their daughter, 5 years older than me. The hole was unexplained. It was also free.

    At 15, Borrowed Yamaha Nylon string guitars & Harmony hollow body.

    Were lessons your choice or mandatory?

    Never had the opportunity for lessons as a child/adolescent, due to discouragement/indifference from parents. At 15 I was at a religious boarding school, and secular music was prohibited. Learned ethnic folk songs (all in Am) on borrowed nylon string guitars and the Harmony mentioned above.

    Bought a Beatlemania vol. 2 sheet music book w/ chord symbols, and played forbidden music, quietly. Got a nylon string of a friend’s confiscated for a month for playing Pinball Wizard. Listened to When the Levee Breaks with headphones on, so I wouldn’t get busted. Got busted anyway. Read the same Eric Clapton music book at the music store every week, when they would let us out to the mall on Friday afternoon.

    Bought this guy, my first real guitar, @15, while I was thrown out of the dormitory for smoking cigarettes (1974). It already had the Gibson pickup and drippy repaint job. No wear marks though. I did that damage. And the stickers. And the Jumbo frets. No skunk stripe on neck. $150. All I had at the time.


     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  14. Phil the Kill Bill V2 guy

    Phil the Kill Bill V2 guy Member

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    Started playing alto sax in the school band at age 10.
    Started playing guitar right about when I was 13, about to turn 14.

    I can tell you that in 1966 learning electric guitar and rock songs was much more of a mystery. No internet then. Tab (which I still don’t use) was mostly used by folk style guitarists to learn fingerpicking. Books with Beatles songs were put together by some guy playing a piano who would write out a piano arrangement that often had little to do with the guitar parts.
    So I took lessons from an old jazzer who taught me to read music for guitar with the Mel Bay books.....and watched how older guys in neighborhood bands played Johnny B. Goode and Louie Louie.
    The first song I remember learning by ear was Play With Fire by The Stones. The verses are all Em for quite a while, so it wasn’t too difficult.
    ButI felt as though I had just invented the wheel.
     
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  15. rednoise

    rednoise Member

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    Your timeline sounds similar to mine. The first guitar lessons I took were at the local music store, who mainly sold pianos and organs ("Gee, Dad, It's a Wurlizer!") and rented band instruments. They were beginning classical guitar lessons, and I thought the etudes were deadly dull. Now I realize I learned some stuff there that I still use.

    The one book that I got the most of in the early days was "The Beatles Compleat". It had almost every Beatles song with the melody in standard notation, simple chord diagrams, and lyrics. They were all in the correct keys, and the chords were accurately named, so I could play along with the records. Another book that was a big help was Mickey Baker's Jazz guitar, which I'm glad to see is still in print! It wasn't very good as a tutorial, but it did show lots of cool, "jazzy" voicings and variants for any particular chord. And I recognized some of those voicings from my Beatles records. I have this idea that George Harrison also had the Mickey Baker book. I always wished I could ask him about that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  16. Rogan1990

    Rogan1990 Member

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    Age 9 - my dad plays guitar, I used to hate how loud he would play it, but then he got my older brother a guitar, and my brother never touched it.
    I was about 8 and I was really curious, so I started to play around on my brother's untouched guitar, had my Dad teach me some power chords and a year later he bought me my own Squier Strat once I could play it for real.

    From there I was heads down addicted til 14/15, then I fell into the teenage lifestyle of girls and partying, and barely played at all until I was about 20. Been back on it ever since, but don't have nearly the same time I had as a teen.
     
  17. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    I started drums in 3rd grade when I was 8. Got my first guitar when I was 12 or 13.
     
  18. The bear

    The bear Member

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    I started guitar lessons at the age of 9.
     
  19. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    My father made me take guitar lessons at five. I didn't want to, because back then, guitar was considered a faggy, cowboy instrument, and my friends all played the clarinet, which was considered to be a cool instrument for some reason, so I switched to clarinet.
    I went back to the guitar at 12, because I liked The Beatles, and taught myself how to play out of a Beatles book.
    We had a little organ downstairs, and I used to write little songs with it. I was always fascinated at that age (9) with the sound of the 4th resolving to the third.
     
  20. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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