Is 17 Too Late to Learn Guitar?

Learning to play the guitar is a dream for many people, regardless of their age. If you find yourself wondering whether 17 is too late to start learning this beautiful instrument, the short answer is no. It’s never too late to pick up the guitar and embark on a musical journey. In fact, there are numerous advantages to starting at 17 or any age for that matter. Let’s dive into the benefits, challenges, and tips for learning guitar as an older beginner.

Benefits of Learning Guitar

Learning to play the guitar offers a range of benefits that go beyond the joy of creating music. Whether you’re 7 or 70, the advantages of learning guitar are universal.

Cognitive Benefits: Playing the guitar engages your brain in a unique way. It stimulates memory, enhances concentration, and improves problem-solving skills. Learning and memorizing chords, melodies, and songs can significantly boost your cognitive abilities.

Emotional Benefits: Music has a profound impact on our emotions, and playing the guitar allows you to express yourself in a deeply personal way. It can be a source of stress relief, a means of self-expression, and a form of therapy. Playing guitar can uplift your mood, reduce anxiety, and provide a creative outlet for your emotions.

Creativity and Self-expression: Learning guitar opens up a world of creative possibilities. As you progress, you can experiment with various chords, melodies, and rhythms to create your own music. It’s a medium for self-expression and a way to communicate and connect with others through the universal language of music.

Overcoming Challenges as an Older Learner

As an older beginner, you may face certain challenges when learning the guitar. However, with the right mindset and approach, these challenges can be overcome.

Motivation and Commitment: Maintaining motivation and commitment can be challenging for learners of any age. As an older beginner, it’s important to remind yourself of your passion for music and the guitar. Set realistic goals, track your progress, and celebrate your achievements along the way.

Patience and Persistence: Learning any new skill takes time and effort. As an older learner, it’s crucial to embrace patience and understand that progress may come at a different pace compared to younger beginners. Be persistent, keep practicing, and celebrate the small victories that lead to long-term success.

Learning Resources and Support: Older learners often have access to a wide range of learning resources and support systems. Online tutorials, instructional books, and music communities can provide valuable guidance and inspiration. Seek out like-minded individuals or consider taking lessons from a qualified teacher to receive personalized instruction and feedback.

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

When learning guitar at any age, it’s essential to set realistic goals and expectations. Understand that becoming a proficient guitarist doesn’t happen overnight. Break down your learning journey into manageable steps and focus on continuous improvement rather than comparing yourself to others. Embrace the process and enjoy the incremental progress you make.

Benefits of Learning Guitar at Any Age

While it’s true that starting young can provide certain advantages, there are unique benefits to learning guitar at any age. As an older learner, you bring a wealth of life experiences, maturity, and a deeper understanding of music. Your dedication and commitment can fuel rapid progress and a profound connection with the instrument.

Tips for Learning Guitar as an Older Beginner

To maximize your learning experience as an older beginner, consider the following tips:

Finding a Qualified Teacher or Mentor: Engaging a qualified guitar teacher or mentor can provide structured guidance and personalized instruction. They can tailor lessons to your specific needs and help you avoid common mistakes.

Establishing a Consistent Practice Routine: Set aside dedicated time for practice each day or week. Consistency is key when learning any instrument. Even short practice sessions can yield significant progress over time.

Breaking Down Learning into Manageable Steps: Learning guitar can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Break down your learning into smaller, manageable steps. Focus on mastering one chord at a time or learning a simple melody before moving on to more complex techniques.

The Joy of Playing Guitar

Regardless of your age, playing the guitar brings immense joy and fulfillment. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of music, connect with others, and express yourself in a unique way. The journey of learning guitar is a continuous adventure filled with discovery, growth, and personal accomplishment.


1. Can I learn guitar without any prior musical experience?

Yes, you can learn guitar without any prior musical experience. Many successful guitarists started from scratch. With dedication, practice, and the right resources, you can develop your skills and enjoy playing the guitar.

2. How much time should I dedicate to practicing guitar each day?

The amount of time you dedicate to practicing guitar depends on your goals, schedule, and personal preferences. Aim for at least 15-30 minutes of focused practice each day. Consistency is more important than long practice sessions.

3. Can I learn guitar on my own without taking lessons?

Yes, it’s possible to learn guitar on your own through online tutorials, instructional books, and practice. However, taking lessons from a qualified teacher can accelerate your progress and help you develop proper technique and good habits.

4. Is it necessary to learn music theory to play guitar?

While learning music theory can deepen your understanding of music, it’s not necessary to play guitar. Many successful guitarists have learned to play by ear and through practical experience. However, some knowledge of music theory can enhance your playing and improvisation skills.

5. What type of guitar should I start with as a beginner?

As a beginner, it’s recommended to start with an acoustic or electric guitar, depending on your musical preferences. Acoustic guitars offer a versatile and portable option, while electric guitars are ideal for those interested in playing rock, blues, or other amplified genres. Choose a guitar that feels comfortable and suits your musical taste.


In conclusion, 17 is definitely not too late to learn guitar. Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, the benefits, challenges, and joys of learning guitar are available to everyone. Embrace your passion, stay committed, and enjoy the process of becoming a skilled guitarist. Remember, it’s never too late to start creating beautiful music.

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