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Thread: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

  1. #1
    Forum Member Plugger's Avatar
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    Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    So last night I was talking to a guy who says that there a a rash of mid-life crisis guys buying electric guitars who have never played before (but always wanted to, or something) -- sort of analogous to the mid-life crisis Harley phenomenon.

    Said I'd never heard of it -- all the mid-life crisis guys I know are playing guitars they'd had stored away in attics for 25 years -- these guys all used to play (some of them pretty well, too).

    So am I behind the curve (as usual)? He was saying I could clean-up doing weekend workshops teaching these guys (my main qualifications being a) I am already able to play guitar, and b) I am already middle aged (WTF?!?).)

    This doesn't sound like a serious business proposition to me (although I imagine there could be some scope for a good comedy sketch or two), but the basic premise underpinning all this has got me intrigued.

    Is there suddenly a rash of 40- and 50-somethings going down to the music store and buying their first axe?

    -Mark

  2. #2
    Forum Member juniorspecial's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Oh, yeah!

    Doctors, Dentists and Lawyers seem to be the folks I run into when I go to Elderly's. When I lived in Palo Alto, it was computer geeks who were at Gryphon's checking out the nice Martin's and Sage's.

  3. #3
    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    While I did play acoustic since the early 70's, I finally started "collecting" guitars (and my first really good guitars) starting about 5 years ago... Mid-life crisis - maybe partly, but more because I finally was financially independant and my (new) wife supports my music purchases - hell, she bought most of 'em for me...

    I can finally afford some nice stuff...
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Forum Member FenderBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    WOW!
    Reading this thread is so bizarre!
    Honestly......
    I was in the guitar store today (Saturday) and I asked myself, "What are all these middle aged guys doing here buying guitars?"
    No kidding.....

    ...but personally, I think that "middle aged crisis" label was invented by a bitchy, female head shrinker who, after mistreating her husband for decades found him gone one morning and didn't want to accept even part of the responsibility for his abrupt departure.....


    .....Then again...where would we be without LABELS?????

  5. #5
    Forum Member clayville's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Maybe they're just mid-life crisis returning guitarists... sold off all their stuff years ago when they got a 'real' job... or their parents hauled the Epi in the attic out to the curb for a garage sale when the nest finally got empty and they moved to Florida... maybe the pursuit of money has proven unsatisfying (or, alternately, rewarding) and they're returning to their roots in the arts.

    Cheaper than sports cars (barely).

  6. #6
    Forum Member chuckocaster's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie
    my (new) wife supports my music purchases - hell, she bought most of 'em for me...
    damn, i gotta find me one of those.
    "don't worry, i'm a professional!"

  7. #7
    Forum Member Dr Fene's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    why call it a crisis?

    It's probably more self indulgence than anything, like buying a £1000 camera when you are never going to use all the features, just great to have a £1000 camera!


    ..trouble is it is so hard learning ANYTHING new over 40!

  8. #8
    Forum Member Plugger's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by clayville
    Maybe they're just mid-life crisis returning guitarists...
    There are lots of guys like these, and some of them are (or were) pretty good musicians... the thing I'm surprised to hear is that there are supposedly all these mid-life guys buying guitars who have never played before...

    -Mark

  9. #9
    Forum Member Plugger's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Fene
    ..trouble is it is so hard learning ANYTHING new over 40!
    Exactly. Learning to ride a Harley is probably hard enough, but learning a musical instrument from scratch?

    -Mark

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    Forum Member mgade's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Huh? Are you talking to me? Are you talking to ME?

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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    o.k.,so maybe im not the best musician in the world...but i played as a teenager,put the axe away for a few years,and then one night i saw a good local group that inspired me to pick up the guitar again.being a little older i can spend a bit on musical instruments when i want to.yeah,also got a 66 pontiac hot rod and a sports car to drive every day,2 grandkids to spoil and a wife thats still hot...lifes been good to me so far...

  12. #12
    Forum Member Plugger's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mgade
    Huh? Are you talking to me? Are you talking to ME?
    Yes, I am. Turn on your hearing aid!

    -Mark

  13. #13
    Forum Member mgade's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plugger
    Yes, I am. Turn on your hearing aid!

    -Mark
    WHAT??



    ( :lol )

  14. #14
    Forum Member moonpie's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I'm too young to have a mid-life crisis.
    If you leave the house, you're just asking for it.

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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Maybe Its that crappy drop D tuned stuff thats out today,at least the hair bands of the 70's and 80's could play thier instruments,I cant even listen to what the kids call rock now and im only 38.
    Maybe Im having a premature crisis,But when you can go see Dio at 58 and he wipes the stage with blink 189,its kinda comical,
    I saw him at the warehouse in clarksville TN,He opened for blink,and when blink took the stage after about 3 songs everyone was leaving,
    Bet they wont take a midlife rocker out again.Dio's guitarist,
    Craig Goldy was really good and Dio's vocals were excelent,and he hung out with all us old kids after the jam,

  16. #16
    Forum Member thetallcoolone's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I'm in a constant state of mid-life crisis, probably since I was born!
    I just don't havet the dough to fuel it.
    There's someone in my head but it's not me.

  17. #17
    Forum Member telecast's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Yes, it's true. And their wives should rejoice! The top ten reasons why guitars make up the best mid-life crisis:

    10. Guys with guitars are cool.

    9. A guitar is cheaper than a 'Vette.

    8. If they're at rehearsal, they're not at a bar.

    7. When on stage, getting hit on by a hot babe is statistically less likely when you're 55.

    6. Most old guys won't crank the amp. (present company notwithstanding)

    5. It's good for their libido.

    4. Focusing on guitars makes a bad combover much less likely.

    3. A properly chosen guitar and placement can hide middle-aged spread.

    2. You can keep him in the basement by saying his band doesn't sound 'ready' yet.

    And the number one reason:

    1. It's better than becoming a drummer.
    A friend in need is a good reason to screen your calls.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Ayns's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I found myself in a bar holding an acoustic "buskers night" a couple of years back. Lots of expensive 4wd vehicles parked outside, lots of 50+ professional guys inside carrying guitar cases. When the guitar cases were opened, out came vintage Gibsons (Hummingbirds, J45s etc), Guilds and Martins, nothing less. Vintage, mind you

    Apart from the guy hosting the night, they were all "beginners".

    No comment, just fact ;)

  19. #19
    Forum Member Guitar Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I don't know if I fall into this category or not, but I started playing in my late teens. I noodled around though college and got fairly serious about it in my 20s. I was never sure I was good enough to make it in a band, but did go on some failed auditions, and regularly sat in with a band for a few songs on a weekly basis (my best friend was their guitarist).

    When kids came along in my 30s I played only infrequently as my guitars kept moving around the house (finaly ending up in a closet) to accomodate the growing family.

    Several years ago I decided it was time to break things out again. Since that time I have bought/traded guitars numerous times. I have also started to take lessons again from a top local teacher. I have also sat in with another friend's band, attended a couple of OA jams, and still hope to maybe gig on some type of basis.

    I play because I just love the damned thing. Sometimes it's frustrating and I wonder if I'll ever get it, but sometimes it falls in to place and that provides the drive to keep going.

    Geezer rock ain't so bad.

  20. #20
    Forum Member RedRoom's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Midlife crisis? Not here.

    My wife and I had a family very early on. Three wonderful daughters. Food, clothing, braces, cars, college. I could not afford to pay attention for many of the last 25 years. When I was 19, I would have loved to play guitar or have other hobbies…but Pampers and formula were more important. Don’t get me wrong, I never missed a thing…it has been a blessed life. My wife and I never sacrificed…we prioritized.

    As years have gone by, things have gotten much better financially. I can now afford a guitar or two, and not have to worry about making payments to the orthodontist. I took up guitar 3 years ago…many years too late to ever be any good. I have no aspirations other than just having a good time, and playing acoustic at church now and then.

    It is fun, relaxing, challenging, and fulfilling now and then on the rare occasions that I play something that sounds almost good.

  21. #21
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by FenderBoy
    ...but personally, I think that "middle aged crisis" label was invented by a bitchy, female head shrinker who, after mistreating her husband for decades found him gone one morning and didn't want to accept even part of the responsibility for his abrupt departure.....
    Can I have an AMEN brother!
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  22. #22
    Forum Member FenderBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by telecast
    Yes, it's true. And their wives should rejoice! The top ten reasons why guitars make up the best mid-life crisis:

    #7. When on stage, getting hit on by a hot babe is statistically less likely when you're 55.
    :ahemWell........I'm not so sure about that...statistically, I suppose...

  23. #23
    Forum Member FrankJohnson's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Tried to play in High school - couldn't afford ANYTHING

    gave it up until I was 36
    bought a cheap electric and then a better one and learned a little more.....found I was in a mindset to allow learning more and tinkered, toyed with, bought and sold (buy and sell) lots of stuff trying it out and trying to find what "I" want/can afford. (Still working on the afford thing)

    almost seven years later, my wife calls it a problem, but supports most of it. If I was doing High-end stuff, she would be more pissed than she is now on most purchases.

    Some she does like though, and a few have worked out for me.

    I'm not quite mid-life (or at least I hope not anyway).....but don't deny that I hope it helps me feel younger.

    Still -
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by telecast
    Yes, it's true. And their wives should rejoice! The top ten reasons why guitars make up the best mid-life crisis:

    #7. When on stage, getting hit on by a hot babe is statistically less likely when you're 55.

    I still have a llittle time on this one......

  24. #24
    Forum Member telecast's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankJohnson
    Still -
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by telecast
    Yes, it's true. And their wives should rejoice! The top ten reasons why guitars make up the best mid-life crisis:

    #7. When on stage, getting hit on by a hot babe is statistically less likely when you're 55.

    I still have a llittle time on this one......
    Me too! You don't think I'd have posted that about someonw as young as ME, do you? I still have a good 8 years to go.... ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by FenderBoy
    Well........I'm not so sure about that...statistically, I suppose...
    Yeah, well, just keep telling yourself that! :rl
    A friend in need is a good reason to screen your calls.

  25. #25
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I started playing guitar to meet girls. By the time I was good enough to be gigging, I was married. Playing guitar has been both a source of joy and deep agony in my life. About 5 years ago I found myself auditioning for band after band after band and only being offered the ones I didn't want. I got serious about playing at the ripe old age of 42 and have worked very hard since then to improve so that I might get the auditions I wanted. I suppose the timing is right if you want to call it a mid-life crisis but all of a sudden, the effort seems to have paid off. I am busier now as a guitar player than I have ever been, and I'm enjoying it more than I ever have. I have also become a total gear whore with more guitars and amps than I'll ever use so I'm beginning to thin the herd and selling off a good 2/3 of my collection. I'm going to use the money to buy a few very select pieces that I will probably die with. I want the best at this point in my life, crisis or not!

  26. #26
    Forum Member moonpie's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tele-Bob
    Playing guitar has been both a source of joy and deep agony in my life.


    yeah, hard to tell sometimes if it's a blessing or a curse

    but something keeps us going :blbros

    kinda hard to type with a squirrel helping me
    If you leave the house, you're just asking for it.

  27. #27
    Forum Member frank thomson's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    i think it's great that that is a *result* of MLC.....

    EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY GUITAR.

    at least they were smart enuf to choose guitars over hogs!:lol
    Imanidiot.

  28. #28
    Forum Member Dr Fene's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by frank thomson
    i think it's great that that is a *result* of MLC.....

    EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY GUITAR.

    at least they were smart enuf to choose guitars over hogs!:lol

    Amen Frank and double amen Mr tele-Bob!!

  29. #29
    Forum Member Guitar Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    TB - I'm five years behind ya. Better start looking over your shoulder. LOL

  30. #30
    Forum Member Strummin' Ronin's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    that's me

  31. #31
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Ha! We will jam! yes!

  32. #32
    Forum Member Constellation80's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Well being I'm only 24 I can't really relate to you guys. But I do share your passion for guitars. After reading all this theres 2 things I hope I never do. 1) Give up and put my guitar in a closet. 2) Close my mind to certain types of music. I hope someday I can have the ability to play every style.
    But as for the mid life, picking up the guitar now thing.. All I can think of is the fact you never know long your gonna live. So why not? So if your 36 and a 20 year old can play rings around you big deal.. that 20 year old might only live to being 21 and you might live to 80.
    And i was wondering maybe do you think so many midlifers are now picking it up.. cause there so many geeezers still rocking out on tv? So they see this and think.. hey I still have a chance ? eg the rolling stones

  33. #33
    ZoneFiend photoweborama's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I'm sort of one of them. but I fit the other profile, where I played when I was a kid and pulled them out again later. I'd love to teach these older guys just starting out the "Photoweborama method of guitar teaching"...

    Basically, put on some distortion, go straight for the Barre chords and play something familiar, like Smoke on the Water.... To start, that is... when you can play something that rocks right from the start, then it's much easier to keep playing.

    but Then again, there is another side to it. If they buy these great guitars and then find out how hard it is to learn when you just start out, they will end up in the closet, and in a few years we will all have a fresh supply of hardly used high end guitars for CHEAP!
    The Best Guitar Photos On The Net!
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  34. #34
    Formerly Tele-Tubby TT100's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I started playing at about 12. Acoustic until I was about 25. Six more years and I hit a period where I put guitars down, got sober, changed jobs and moved across country (south to north), got engaged, moved back south, got married, started a family, changed jobs again and thanks to my new boss who is a guitar nut, bought a Les Paul at 45 and am rehearsing with a band. I'm 47 now and ready to make it happen. I'd like to get to the place where I can gig occasionally with other 9 to 5er's and leave an audience wih smiles on their faces.

    I missed the whole spandex-hair metal thing in the '80s as I was into alternative and punk.

    No crisis here, just rediscovering the thing that gave me peace, joy and true re-creation. The guitar.

    TT

    PS. Nice looking 'bird there Plugger! Nothing says "Baddass" like a Firebird. I had a FB V for a while and they're great guitars.
    On SmartPhones:

    "Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But That only permitted other men with machines to enslave them." Frank Herbert.

  35. #35
    Forum Member Skip's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    not a crisis here... just can't play golf like I used to (back) and always dabbled in guitars..now I can afford them and I like having them around as my sons pick them up and play and really that is a blast... I am enjoying the intellectual, emotional, physical, and combined creative challenge of guitar. As you all know you can learn something every day and the challenge is always there to improve and grow... can't get old doing that


  36. #36

    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Back when I could hardly walk and hardly talk my uncle walked in with a few of his friends and some guitars and amps on a cold winter January Saturday. He pulled a Blonde 335 dot neck out of the case and a 57 Strat that he just bought, and complained he had to pay the guy $100.00 because he wouldn't take $75.00 LOL !! Played till the moon went down (and a bunch of beers downed!!) !! I have been hooked ever since.Learned to play and taught my younger brothers how to play, then stopped playing for about 5 years. They got better than me and one got a Gold Record now.So now I am beating myself up trying to catch up !! But until I catch up to them I still have more and better guitars than them,Well almost LOL . I don't know why they call it mid life crisis when you buy what ever it is you want.I call it a crisis when you CAN'T buy the things you want !!!!

  37. #37
    Forum Member Guitar Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    [QUOTE=Constellation80] Give up and put my guitar in a closet.

    I didn't give up, but even the best laid plans can go south. I had a room in my house that was supposed to be forever dedicated to my guitars. That works great when you have no kids and plenty of spare room. Add a couple of kids and family responsibilities, and time and dedicated rooms just evaporate before your eyes.

    I still played, just not every day, and sometimes unfortunately the guitars could sit untouched for weeks.

    I do regret that I let those playing years slip away, but I've also got three great kids who do well in school, sports, activities, and all have an interest in music. Now as they are getting older it is becoming somewhat easier to have time to play, and I'm using every bit of it I can grab.

    And as the kids grow, low and behold, my dedicated space has returned.

  38. #38
    Forum Member EJG's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plugger
    Is there suddenly a rash of 40- and 50-somethings going down to the music store and buying their first axe?

    -Mark
    That would pretty well describe me. Actually, I did play a *little* when I was 14 or 15, but I never got anywhere with it (not that I've gotten any good now that I'm older).

    I have fun with it. And it led my son to pick it up; he's 17 now and getting pretty darn good.
    Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
    --Albert Einstein

  39. #39
    Forum Member Constellation80's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    I tottaly understand where your comming from guitar ray. It sounds like you didn't give up. You just had to prioritise> it's just I've meet quite a few guys latley even my age. That have simply given up. they have sliped there guitars under there bed or what ever and have forgotten about them for 30 years. And I think it's kinda sad. I know one older gentleman who bought a Les paul in the 50's. And literally hasn't played it since the 60's. When you see the poor guitar it's literally just covered with decades of dust
    Heck I even got my 1959 Harmony stratotone. Thats like brand new, Cause they guys son gave up on it in the 60's and it sat in his garage the entire time. So he sold it to me for 100$ bucks when he was cleanin out his garage. Even workin my self I have a hard time finding time to play, I just hope Ill allways pick it up when I can

  40. #40
    Forum Member sabby's Avatar
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    Re: Mid-life crisis beginner guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratoblaster 63
    I don't know why they call it mid life crisis when you buy what ever it is you want.I call it a crisis when you CAN'T buy the things you want !!!!
    :yay :yay

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