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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Guitar playing for adult learners

Three grown-up rules

Throughout my life as a teacher I have met and encouraged two types of adult learners. There are the children who take up a musical instrument, give up after a few years and come back to learning in adult life, and then there are those who never played as children and start to learn as adults.

Returning to play after many years does not mean starting all over again. Deep in your mind and in your fingers is a memory of your initial learning. Now as an adult learner you have the possibility to use your mature intelligence to pick up from where you left off and continue to build.

Starting to play from scratch as an adult is a different experience, especially if you have never played a musical instrument. But here too you have the advantage of a mature intelligence at your service.

For adult re-learners and beginners I would suggest bearing in mind the following:

Be clear about what you are trying to achieve, since you are extremely unlikely to become a virtuoso!

You can become a fine musician and a good player.

Your music and playing could and should give you a lot of happiness, relaxation and fulfilment.

1. Why are you doing it? Just because you can’t get your fingers round all the pieces you would like to play doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having a go and get lots out of it. Fred James, a great friend to me and my mentor when I was sixteen years old said something to me which I found difficult to understand at the time, but which I have grown to admire:
“ If something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly”.
This does not mean that you don’t try to play as well as you can, but it does help you to understand your limitations and yet appreciate and cherish the fine piece of music you are trying to play.

2. What you can achieve with your curiosity, patience and determination can help you understand, analyse and appreciate music. This will help you play more musically. You can improve your reading skills so you can play in small ensembles and guitar orchestras. You could even turn your hand to arranging and composing your own pieces.

3. How you could feel – a sense of fulfilment and completion should come with you developing your playing skills. This sense may have nothing to do with actually becoming a good guitarist, but everything to do with enquiring and exploring through your guitar-playing that great universe – music itself.

This has been my rough guide guitar playing for adult learners.

May 2011

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=531 .
© 2019.

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