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Too old to start playing the piano?

  1. Oct 15, 2004 #1
    im 17 and i have a keyboard at home i used to do keyboards in yr 6 in school and went on to do it in yr 7 but the teacher was crap and was taking alot of money so i quit. but i really want to learn to play the piano. most of my friends play an instrument and they've been playing since they were like 6 or 8. do you think i should try now or will it be just a waste of time because it takes years to learn?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2004 #2


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    I don't think you're too old to learn to play the piano.
    It does depend on what level of proficiency you are aiming for, but if you are motivated and are able to self-study a lot you can go a really long way.

    Besides that, playing an instrument and makin gmusic is fun! The piano in particular because it's very versatile.
    When I take a break, I love to play on my keyboard (don't have room for a piano) and I usually can't stop for a few hours.
  4. Oct 15, 2004 #3


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    I agree that you're not too old to learn how to play. I began learning last year, after my 16th birthday. Prior to that, though, I had some previous musical experience. That might've helped. As Galileo has said, motivation and self-study are the keys to learning.
  5. Oct 15, 2004 #4
    I am 21 and have just begun to learn how to play the piano.
  6. Oct 15, 2004 #5
    I'm 25 and have been playing the piano for about 3 years. I can perform the 2nd movement of Beethoeven's Piano Sonata No. 8 with decent proficiency. I also have Chopin's Nocturne No. 2 in E-Flat (Opus 90) down pretty well. Both of those pieces have a pretty slow tempo. I also know a few other pieces, but have diffuculty the faster the tempo is. I am completely self-taught, although I did have a semester in theory which helped me to read music better. The way I learn a piece is by hearing it first and then translating the sheet music slowly. I cannot read on the fly unless its something incredibly simple.

    If its something you want to do to impress people or just because everyone else is doing it, then its not worth it. On the other hand, if you love the instrument as I do, then you are never too old!

    If you really decide to take the plunge, my advice is this: Practice as often as you can, ideally everyday, for about 1-2 hours. Get an instructor if possible. Find music which is simple but which you enjoy playing.

    Your are partially right in that if you are looking to become the next David Horowitz or Alfred Brendl, you are out of luck. To be a world famous concert pianist requires a pretty particular upbringing that 99.9% of the population doesn't get. But who cares? Its my hobby, its something I enjoy doing. I know alot of people are better than me, but its irrelevant.
  7. Oct 15, 2004 #6
    I started to learn at 17 as well- when I started making synth music and bought a synth/sampler- it only took about 2-3 years and I was comfortable playing complex improvised Tangerine Dream/ Berlin School stuff live-
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2004
  8. Oct 15, 2004 #7
    When you're so dead that you can't reach the keys..

    Let me know if you have any other questions;)
  9. Oct 15, 2004 #8
    Waow ! Depending on how much energy and time you put into it you are still talented :approve:
    The slower the more difficult ! Technics is nothing. You can get it pretty fast. Interpretation comes with maturity. Especially, Beethoven is difficult. Chopin is always fake improvisation, which makes it rather pleasant and not too difficult.

    Right, now I understand where you are :smile: In the right place for piano (or other forms of art by the way). Passionated, you cannot live without it anymore.

    Maybe you should give a try to jazz. Thelonious Monk uses vety few notes, which is noce for the beginer. I would recommend him, if you like to try strange, unusal, funny rythms.
  10. Oct 15, 2004 #9
    Welcome in the piano world !

    Once Picasso was reproached with the fact that it took him only 15 minutes to create an entire painting. He answered "But it took me 60 years !" When he began, he was able to reproduce so fast classical style. He quickly invented his own.

    So you see, it is true that developping art feelings takes forever. It takes the time it required you to reach your level. This is the only important thing : you play piano because you enjoy it inside, because only piano brings those feeling to you. This will get better and better with time. I am agreed that the level does not matter.

    Please, do not mention the terms "waste of time" and any other related to creative artistic activities in the same sentence :smile:
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2004
  11. Oct 15, 2004 #10
    Ha - i wanted to learn the piano too and guess what, A THREAD ON IT!!!

    I have played before (like 7 years ago) but want to know if i can still get to the level of the guy in Coldplay!

    Think it's possible anyone?? and if so, how hard do i have to practice then?
  12. Oct 17, 2004 #11
    it doesn't matter parents won't pay for the lessons and they don't think ill cope with As comming up.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2004
  13. Oct 17, 2004 #12
    I've played an instrument for most of my life, and in my oppinion it's about if you like to practice alot, and whether you have a balance in your life. Not if you've played it alot. I started to play piano when I was 16, and the first piece I made was Toccata& Fuge in D minor by Bach.
  14. Oct 23, 2004 #13
    You should have considered this matter more seriously before reaching puberty, what were you thinking?! :confused:

    Seriously now, it will only take a few minutes to master ‘chopsticks’ and from that point on the world should be your oyster. :approve:

    Good luck
  15. Oct 24, 2004 #14


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    This is why I love this website.

    No matter who you are, they motivate you to do whatever you feel like doing.

    Personally, an eager mind is never too old to learn anything.
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