Can you forget how to play guitar? [Re] learning guitar at an older age

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  October 15, 2020

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Can you forget how to play guitar?

I started playing again for two months after not playing a single note for about 8 years. I just didn’t feel like it for a long time after the umpteenth band fell apart.

It is still very disappointing, although my fingers can still do it all, they are just a lot stiffer than before. I also suffer from finger burn, especially in the little finger of my left hand.

Can you forget how to play the guitar?

Now I have started a new blog and I have found the energy in it to pick it up again.

Perfect time to see what I can still do! That’s why I took this track that I found again and immediately checked if I could still play it, especially the finger tapping part.

But, all in all, it’s not all that bad.

Today I want to look at a video I’ve recorded in 2007 and I recorded it on this Santucci Treble Bass.

The Santucci Treble Bass I sold along the way I guess somewhere because I really didn’t feel like playing anymore after one of my bands fell apart (again!).

So recently I found a passion to continue to play guitar again and it’s been pretty hard to get back into it.

I don’t have the speed I remember that I had so my fingers want to be playing fast but they just can’t anymore and the stamina of my fingers that’s the hardest part of it I think.

I want to play licks very fast for longer periods of time to practice again but my hand just starts cramping up and hurting so then I have to stop and play something more simple.

I’ve been having some success lately with triplet licks on one string to speed it up again so I’ve been practicing that for a while.

And now I wanna see if I can still play the song that I used to record so let’s get into it:

I think you forget how much you practiced it before you were able to play it.

Another hard thing is playing the notes is one thing but making sure that you use proper technique is something you also forget.

Making sure other strings don’t make a sound when playing is something to relearn, making sure your finger placement is spot on and coordinating left and right-hand timing is also hard to get back into.

I think a lot of guitarists underestimate it and it’s really important to be able to mute the strings while you’re playing, even when you’re using both hands with finger tapping.

But, you can relearn some stuff you did 13 years ago, even though you haven’t played for like eight years straight.

And I picked up the guitar now a little less than two months ago so it does come back pretty fast I think.

You relearn playing the guitar pretty fast. It’s like riding a bike.

Also check out these best guitars for beginners if you want to get started again as well

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:

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