“If we were professional athletes, our careers would be over”
By Jon Liebman
Week of September 30, 2019
How old were you when you started playing bass?
Maybe you were just a kid. Or perhaps you were in your teens or 20s. Getting a head start on learning an instrument is never a bad thing. Today, after all those years, or even decades with the instrument, you’re likely to have at least something to show for your efforts.
But what if someone doesn’t start on the bass until they’re in their 50s or 60s, or even older? Is it too late for them to learn something useful, and create an enjoyable experience for themselves?
Of course not!
The topic came up in my interview with Andrew Gouché, published this week. During the interview, Andrew (who just turned 60, by the way) had some very encouraging and inspiring things to say about latecomers to the bass.
“You gotta love it, he says. “That will help you when you get discouraged,” no matter how old you are when you begin.
“Everything is hard,” Andrew continues. “Everybody sucks when they first start out.” But the more you keep at it, he says, things will eventually become easier.
Think about it. A 50 or 60-year-old, presumably, has a lot more maturity and discipline than a 15-year-old. Anyone that picks up a bass for the first time at an older stage in life does so because he or she wants to learn and grow. People in this situation are likely take of a “let’s figure this out” approach. No pressure, just fulfillment and enjoyment.
Interestingly enough, an increasing number of the signups to our bass school here at FBPO are people – mostly men, but a fair number of ladies too – in their 50s and 60s, who have always wanted to learn to play the bass and now have the time to do it. I love the comments and feedback from my students, telling me how much they’re learning from our courses, and how much they’re enjoying their newfound ability to groove on the bass!
“If we were professional athletes, our careers would be over,” says Andrew. With the bass, though, it’s never too late to start. “You can 50 or 60 years old and start playing bass.”
How about you? Are you a late starter to the bass, or know of someone who is? Leave a comment below and let me know your story.
In the meantime, check out my interview with Andrew here.