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Old 03-25-2023, 09:59 AM
Matthew Sarad Matthew Sarad is offline
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At 67. I'm way better than I was at 17, 27, 37, 47, and 57.
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Old 03-25-2023, 05:17 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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My lovely wife, who met me when I was in my fiery twenties, says that now in my mid-sixties I am the best I've ever been. The studio calls haven't eased.

Country veterinarian James Herriot told a tale of a border collie, Jock, who was a passionate car chaser. He would chase the departing cars, including Herriot's, down the length of his farm's country lane dodging, vaulting, and weaving around obstacles, and reach the end with a canine smile and pure joy in his eyes at a job well done. At one point in his life he sired a litter of puppies who stayed on the farm for a full year. As soon as the puppies could run, Jock taught them to chase along with him. From that time on during the year, each time Herriot visited the farm, as the chase happened, he noticed as certain frantic look creeping into Jock's eyes as he tried to stay at the front of the pack during the chase. At the end, though he would have won the race, his tongue hung out off his lolling head and his eye's asked, "Am I going to be able to keep this up?"

Eventually the farmer sold off the pups to other farmers. The next time Herriot visited the farm, as he left, Jock chased him down the lane with gusto, vaulting the obstacles and dodging. At the end, the smile and look of pure joy had returned to his eyes once again.

I've felt like this story is a good analogy to my lead playing. I went through my period of competition and came out the other side. If need be I can still play as quickly as I could at my fieriest but I find my joy in other forms of expression.

"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

THE MUSICIAN'S ROOM (my website)
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Old 03-25-2023, 06:37 PM
s2y s2y is offline
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43. It's ok. I'm divorced and have two boys whenever I'm not at work. Free time is at a premium at the moment. Should get better in a few years when they're more behaved.
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Old 03-25-2023, 11:43 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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About 12 years in and still a beginner. I’m 47. [emoji23]
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Old 03-26-2023, 05:13 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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Originally Posted by Golffishny View Post
Youth loves a power play, a seasoned player knows how to score.
A great way to put it Golf.. perfect!

Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
Me too, Ray! Almost all of the replies posted so far tell the tale of so many of the CoolCats here, more comfortable and in touch with their playing now more than ever before, and that makes me smile ear to ear.

Even with the physical changes that come along as we age, we carry on enjoying this gift we have.

The comment that keeps making me look back to my beginnings as a guitar slinger is this….”so, how FAST are you?” Or “I’m still pretty fast” Or “I’ve lost a lot of speed over the years.” So many of that specific sentiment has surfaced throughout this thread.
I had completely forgotten this to be the de facto measurement of guitar prowess in the 1960’s. If you weren’t considered “fast” by your peers, you were nobody! Bahahaha😂😹😂

And here we are, sixty years on, better players than we ever were before. More tactile, more melodic, supremely(mostly)confidant how to coax music from this elegant instrument.
We are the luckiest people in the world!

frank d.
The bar does tend to move don't it?

Experience really is the best teacher, and everyone's path is different. The important part is we're all still on the journey.

There's always something new to look at trying.

Gibson SJ200
Taylor Grand Symphony
Taylor 514CE-NY
Taylor 814CE Deluxe V-Class
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Alvarez DY74 Snowflake ('78)
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Old 03-26-2023, 08:09 AM
jpmist jpmist is offline
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Being self taught, 50 years later I'm as good now as I've ever been. Thanks to a decade of copying Mark Knopfler and a small awareness of the CAGED system my playing and understanding of the fretboard has pretty much peaked.

I pick up chords of most country or rock songs I try out by the 2nd or 3rd replay. I can transpose on the fly when I shift the capo up or down. At times I'll marvel watching my hands and wonder how they seem to go where I intend them to without consciously directing them. In short I've worked out a playing style and technique that works for me and I enjoy.

That said, I'm certainly no master at it and I still don't read tabs or know much music theory but I'm happy with where I've ended up after 50 years and fingers crossed on keeping it going as long as I can.
Larrivee OO-05, OOV-03, OO-44R & Strat
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Old 03-26-2023, 08:25 AM
ghostnote ghostnote is offline
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To simplify: I know more, so I sound better.
In reality, my physical skills are deteriorating with age - just like everyone else, I might add. You can improve your technique, but you can’t make yourself younger.
I have no complaints about any of it - it’s life.
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Old 03-26-2023, 08:42 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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I've never been particularly musically gifted, but I've always loved it. I played a LOT from when I first picked it up at 18 through about 28. I was a pretty good electric lead player, a barely OK rhythm player, and couldn't sing to save my life. But I was curious, social, and played out a lot, was always finding other folks to play with in one context or another. Barely played at all for about 30 years, but they got waaaay back into it about six years ago at 57-58.

And today at almost 64, I'm playing better than I ever have. A MUCH better rhythm player than I used to be - I play lead with less dexterity than I had in my youth, but more taste and restraint, I can do a little bit (emphasis on LITTLE) of blues fingerpicking now. And I can almost sing, or let's say I can now sing well enough to enjoy it - I used to nearly make myself wretch! I'm basically a home player now, which has led me to a much greater percentage of my playing being acoustic, but I'd have to say on balance, I'm playing my best right now. And loving every minute of it.

My best isn't great in any relative sense, except relative to how I've played getting to this point. So, I can't complain - playing more, loving it more, and playing at least as well as I ever have. Makes me a happy almost old man... Not to mention the many other blessings my life has bestowed on me, enjoying making music is a huge bonus!

"It's just honest human stuff that hadn't been near a dang metronome in its life" - Benmont Tench
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Old 03-26-2023, 09:39 AM
leew3 leew3 is online now
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At 66 I'm playing better than ever. In my 20's I was rarely sober when playing so have to assume that it wasn't as good as I'm able to do now!
"I go for a lotta things that's a little too strong" J.L. Hooker
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Old 03-26-2023, 04:07 PM
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Pura Vida Pura Vida is offline
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Self-taught, early 50s. My playing is ok for what I do. My learning / improving competes against other activities, so I'm not sure I'll make a lot of progress anytime soon, but that's ok.
"It's only castles burning." - Neil Young
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Old 03-26-2023, 08:19 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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I turned 65 just shy of two months ago. The best thing to affect my playing was getting my first Martin in 2011, a 2011 M-36. By 2015 i was pretty much playing acoustics full time vs the prior 35 years playing electric. The string tension alone was a huge culprit in my physical abilities over the last eight years, but the rewards IMO are worth it.

Owning a Martin led me to a weekend at Fur Peace Ranch where I met another player who lived nearby and brought a huge range of styles into into world.

The result is that now I can fingerpick Dust In the Wind five minutes non stop and follow it with Dear Prudence, and then go wherever my song list leads me. Today it was Tiil There Was You followed by When I'm 64. Yesterday it was Is There Anybody Out There/Nobody Home followed by Goodbye Blue Sky. And other days it's Willie and Merle or Lyle and Glenn Campbell. Or maybe La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong followed by Sinatra's That's Life. Strangely I no longer feel the need to learn the solo to Heartbreaker (which btw I heard tonight at dinner - it's still a killer solo (not the scribbly stuff, but where the full Zep band kicks in and Page goes and nails a solo that's just cooler than cool)).

Anyways... (sorry for the Zep tangent)... If it wasn't for the Martin I would have never gone down that fingerpicking road. And as I play for a minimum of 30 minutes daily I find I'm playing better than I ever have - as long as I play daily. But if I skip a few days I need a full day to get back in the groove. Lesson? Play for at least 30 minutes, or more, daily.
Pura Vida

2011 Martin M-36
2016 Martin GPC-35E
1992 Takamine EF-341C, great for campfires

85 Gibson Les Paul Custom
82 Gibson SG
96 Fender Clapton Stratocaster
91 Fender Deluxe Telecaster Plus
86 Fender MIJ E-series Stratocaster
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Old 04-01-2023, 08:07 PM
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SalFromChatham SalFromChatham is offline
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Great post Frank.

I feel my playing is at its best… because it suits me where I am now.

I don’t read music, and I’ve never been a shredder. I’ve always been the King of Getting 80% There.

Anyways, I just feel comfortable playing now. I get better when I play with my friends, and … I don’t know… the guitar is really the only place now where I like where I am and I am where I like.

Cheers my NJ brother.
i got tired of updating my guitars.
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Old 04-02-2023, 05:27 AM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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Mid 50s here. It is better than it's ever been. I am way more in touch with my abilities, limitations, and the things I'd like to do than I've ever been. I feel fatigue at times and maybe a touch of carpal tunnel if my technique gets bad. I look over my shoulder at Father Time every now and then, but otherwise I'm good to go. I'm more creative and less lazy about my playing that I've ever ben as well. Good times ahead I hope. I certainly don't waste time the way I did when I was younger.
Alvarez: DY61
Huss and Dalton: DS Crossroads, 00-SP
Kenny Hill: Heritage, Performance
Larrivee: CS09 Matt Thomas Limited
Taylor: 314ce, 356e, Baritone 8
Timberline: T60HGc
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Old 04-02-2023, 07:15 AM
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TBman TBman is offline
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I just turned 68 and I turned in my red S some time ago,

I haven't been able to memorize full tunes for some time now, but I'm able to enjoy learning new things as long as they aren't too fast and too difficult - it just takes a bit longer than it used to.

Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C
Furch Yellow
McIlroy A20
Pellerin SJ CW

Cordoba C5|Cordoba Fusion 12 Ochestra CE
and a few others
My Celtic playlist
My nylon playlist

Allegretto Op. 59:
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Old 04-02-2023, 09:02 AM
Matthew Sarad Matthew Sarad is offline
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Posts: 109

I'm writing songs for my electric band.
Learning more tunes with the blues band.
Honing my mando chops.
Just bought a house in the mountains.
At 67, I have lots more living to do.
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