tunebook 23 tunes.
I started learning to play music at a relatively late age (in my 50s).
I started on clarinet, then became hypnotised by Irish music, and picked up the whistle so that I would be able to play in sessions. That dream is starting to come true, and now I’m learning pipes (Gordon Galloway) as well. I would call myself an intermediate player. (I lurk on the edge of sessions with my whistle, listening and learning tunes quietly by ear.)
Anyone that is thinking of learning to play an instrument but thinks they are too old: just do it anyway. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you just have to plod along and practice, and then you will end up like all the other people who have had to plod along and practice, no matter what age they are!
A few years later (2019):
It’s interesting to read what I wrote above when I first joined.
(Had to give up pipes due to injury, now whistle only.)
I did keep plodding along, and I now play in fast sessions regularly, play for dancers a few times a week, feel like I really belong. My current goal is to fill in all the missing notes in the tunes I have almost got, and get up to speed in reels for ceilidhs and Contra…. aaarrghh.
Playing music and working away at it steadily has transformed my life.
Two key things for me: listen, listen, listen (your listening will become more and more sophisticated and transform your playing), and keep playing at home no matter what….
Just for the record, it took me six weeks to get my first tune (the South Wind). I sat and listened in sessions for about five years before I had any tunes nearly up to speed (they were the standard hornpipes). Now I can get most of an uncomplicated tune in the course of hearing it three times in a session (if necessary I check a recording at home, dots as a last resort: not that I hate dots, just that they don’t come naturally to me).