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Am I too old to learn to play bass?

Updated: Jun 21

bassist playing the bass guitar

Well, let me assure you that age is nothing more than a number when it comes to mastering the bass guitar. Whether you're a seasoned musician looking to expand your repertoire or a complete newbie with a burning desire to lay down some funky grooves, it's never too late to embark on this musical journey.

What are some common stereotypes between age and learning to play the bass guitar?

When it comes to music, there's no expiry date on passion and creativity. Just look at some of the legends who picked up the bass later in life and went on to conquer the music scene.

Sir Paul McCartney, the iconic bassist of The Beatles, didn't start his bass-playing journey until he was in his late teens. And need we mention the legendary Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, who began her bass escapades in her early twenties? These musical luminaries prove that age is merely a footnote in the symphony of talent.

As an adult, you bring a wealth of life experience and a unique perspective to your musical endeavours. Your years of listening to diverse genres, attending gigs, and appreciating different musical styles provide you with a rich tapestry of inspiration.

Moreover, the patience and dedication cultivated over the years enable you to embrace the learning process with a steadfast commitment. Who says wisdom and rockin' out on bass can't go hand in hand?

Another advantage is your increased focus and goal-setting abilities. You understand the importance of setting realistic targets and breaking them down into manageable steps. With this level-headed approach, you're poised to make steady progress and achieve your bass-playing dreams.

Let's address the elephant in the room: time constraints. We get it – adulting comes with a hefty schedule packed with work, family, and various responsibilities. However, learning the bass doesn't have to be an all-consuming pursuit.

By carving out dedicated practice time, even if it's just a few minutes a day, you'll gradually build your skills and make steady progress. Remember, it's the quality, not the quantity, of your practice that matters.

Additionally, as an adult learner, you may encounter physical limitations and challenges in developing hand coordination. But fear not! With the right techniques, exercises, and a pinch of patience, you'll soon find your fingers gliding effortlessly across the fretboard.

Lastly, don't fall into the comparison trap. It's natural to wonder how your progress stacks up against younger learners, but remember that each musical journey is unique.

Embrace your individual path, celebrate your victories, and surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow bass enthusiasts who lift you up.

So, whether you're picking up the bass in your twenties, thirties, forties, or beyond, embrace your age as an asset, and let the rhythm guide you towards musical bliss.

How do you find the right mindset to learn the bass guitar?

Learning any new skill, including playing the bass, requires a positive mindset. It's time to banish any lingering doubts and unleash your inner bass maestro! Believe in yourself and remember that age is just a number. Embrace the joy of learning and let your passion guide you on this musical adventure.

Cultivating a growth mindset is key to overcoming challenges and making progress as a bass player. Instead of fixating on perceived limitations, focus on your potential for growth and improvement. Set realistic goals, both short-term and long-term, and relish in the satisfaction of achieving them. Remember, every small step forward is a victory to be celebrated.

Surround yourself with a community of like-minded bass players who share your passion and enthusiasm. Seek out local jam sessions, join online forums or social media groups, and connect with fellow bass aficionados. By engaging with others who are on a similar musical journey, you'll find inspiration, support, and valuable insights to enhance your learning experience.

Practice makes progress, but it's important to approach it mindfully and with purpose. Develop a consistent practice routine that suits your schedule and allows for gradual improvement. Break down complex techniques or songs into smaller, manageable parts, and dedicate focused practice time to each aspect. And remember, don't forget to have fun along the way!

As you embark on your bass-playing adventure, remember that your mindset can be the difference between merely playing the bass and truly becoming a bassist. Embrace positivity, foster a growth mindset, surround yourself with a supportive community, and practice with intention.

What approaches and resources can you use to learn the bass guitar?

When it comes to learning the bass, you'll be glad to know that there's a treasure trove of resources at your disposal. Whether you prefer the traditional route of in-person lessons or the convenience of online tutorials, there's something for everyone.

Local music schools and private lessons offer a structured and personalised approach to learning the bass. Qualified instructors can guide you through proper technique, music theory, and help you develop your own unique style. Plus, the interactive nature of in-person lessons allows for immediate feedback and tailored guidance.

In the digital age, the internet has become a rich source of learning materials for bass players of all levels. Websites and platforms such as YouTube, BassBuzz, and Scott's Bass Lessons offer a vast array of video tutorials and lessons covering various genres, techniques, and skill levels. The flexibility and accessibility of online resources make them a convenient option for self-paced learning.

Embrace the power of technology with bass learning apps and software. Apps like Yousician, Ultimate Guitar, and Fender Play provide interactive lessons, practice exercises, and even gamified learning experiences to keep you engaged and motivated. Additionally, there are software programs such as Guitar Pro and Bass Tabs that offer comprehensive tablature libraries, allowing you to learn your favourite songs at your own pace

As an adult learner, you have the freedom to choose a learning approach that best suits your needs and preferences. Some thrive in a structured environment with clear guidance, while others prefer a more self-guided and exploratory approach. Don't be afraid to experiment and find what resonates with you. Remember, learning the bass should be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

The beauty of the bass is its versatility across a wide range of musical genres. Whether you're into rock, funk, jazz, or reggae, the bass has a place in every genre. Explore different styles to expand your musical horizons and find the ones that resonate with your musical soul. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and embrace the groove of various genres.

With an abundance of learning resources and a flexible approach, you have the freedom to choose the path that best suits your learning style and preferences. So, whether you opt for in-person lessons, online tutorials, or a combination of both, the world of bass is at your fingertips. Embrace the resources available and let your bass journey unfold with excitement and rhythm. Get ready to unleash your inner bass maestro!

How do you overcoming the challenges of learning the bass guitar as an adult?

As an adult learner, you may face physical challenges when starting your bass journey. Building hand strength and dexterity is crucial for playing fluidly and effortlessly. Incorporate exercises such as finger stretches, hand grip exercises, and fingerpicking drills into your practice routine. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of these exercises to strengthen your fingers and improve coordination.

Time management is often a hurdle for adult learners with busy schedules. However, with a bit of creativity and dedication, you can carve out time for regular practice. Identify pockets of time throughout your day, whether it's during your lunch break, in the evening, or even during your commute. Remember, consistency is key, so aim for shorter practice sessions if long chunks of time are hard to come by.

It's easy to fall into the trap of self-doubt, especially when comparing yourself to younger learners or more experienced bassists. Remind yourself that everyone's journey is unique, and progress is measured individually. Focus on your own growth and celebrate small victories along the way. Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow musicians who understand the challenges and can offer encouragement.

Don't hesitate to seek support and mentorship as you navigate the challenges of learning the bass. Engage with other bass players, both online and offline, who can share their experiences, offer guidance, and provide a sense of camaraderie. Look for local bass clubs, forums, or social media groups where you can connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the instrument.

Learning any musical instrument takes time, and the bass is no exception. Embrace the journey with patience and perseverance. Recognize that progress may come in small increments, but each step forward brings you closer to your musical goals. Stay motivated by setting realistic expectations, breaking down complex techniques into manageable parts, and celebrating the milestones you achieve along the way.

Overcoming challenges is an integral part of the learning process. By focusing on building strength and dexterity, managing your time effectively, tackling self-doubt, seeking support, and embracing patience, you can conquer any obstacles that come your way. Remember, every note you play brings you one step closer to becoming the bass player you aspire to be.


Let's lay the age debate to rest once and for all. Age should never be a barrier to pursuing your passion for music. The stories of legendary bassists who started later in life and made their mark on the world stage are proof that your musical journey knows no bounds.

As an adult learner, you bring a unique set of experiences, dedication, and a love for music that is unparalleled. Cherish the advantages you have gained through the years and harness them to fuel your bass-playing dreams. Every note you play and every groove you create is a testament to your passion and determination.

Remember, the journey doesn't end here. Your bass-playing adventure has only just begun. Stay curious, continue to explore new genres, techniques, and styles.

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