Can Banjo and/or Guitar be learned later in life?

Can Banjo and Guitar be learned later in life?

Yes, it can be learned.

The problem when learning at almost any age, especially later in life, is that we compare ourselves to the best of the best.

· I want to play banjo like Earl Scruggs, but it isn’t going to happen.

· I want to play lead guitar and be in a famous band, but it isn’t going to happen.

For years I have been a closet player. I would not play in front of people.

I played many songs, but as I now know, I was not playing them well. I certainly was not playing with good timing.

Several years ago, I decided to take a 6-week course in Bluegrass jamming. There were about six adult learners that signed up and showed up for the class. It was a real eye-opener.

We all were in the same boat, adults who never played in front of or with others. It was a tough inner fight to go to the class, stay at the class, and show up for the rest of the classes. I am glad I did. One lady never returned after the first class.

Later as the classes progressed, the instructor said it was interesting to watch us the first couple of sessions. Some people had to be reminded to breathe. That was me for sure.

As we progressed, it became easier. I even led one song and sang a couple of bars. I won a prize for stepping out of my comfort zone.

After the six weeks were complete and we graduated, I felt as though I was ready to go out and jam. The problem was that there were few places to go. I live in Texas, not a lot of Bluegrass jamming going on.

Over the past several years, I have noticed an interest growing in Bluegrass music. I have heard of several jamming groups but never attended.

Recently I moved to a new community; they have a Bluegrass band that plays within the community. They have weekend driveway gigs periodically, and I have met several members of the band. I was invited to jam with a couple of members of the group.

Wow! Even though I had gone to and graduated from a jam class, I was not prepared for this, but I thought I was.

They were very supportive people; they had all been beginners at some point. I had learned only the basics of jamming etiquette. I was still not prepared to jam and stay on time with others, but I was learning. I now attend weekly jam sessions with two of the band players. 

I have attended an actual jam session at the county courthouse.

This jam session was an awakening for me. The group meets on the steps of the courthouse every Saturday morning, weather permitting. At my first visit, about 15 musicians showed up, 6 or 7 guitar players, three fiddle players, a dobro, and several other instruments, all there to play bluegrass music.

I was the only banjo that day. I again had trouble breathing but stayed to see how their jam worked. We were in a large circle, some people standing some sitting. I had a stool and sat.

As we progressed around the circle, each person turned to suggest a song for the group to play. I told them, Cripple Creek. I could barely get the melody out of my banjo, but I made it through my first song.

Everyone, there was accommodating and had good words for my continued playing with the group.

I watched and listened and tried to keep my banjo in time with each song I heard. There were many songs I did not know, and I had to sit there and not play. I found this the same problem for other players; I wasn’t the only one.

I went back the next week and got through two songs, not my best playing but better each time. This group with varying members has been playing at this venue for over thirty years.

If you are an alone player or closet player, I highly recommend finding others to play along with and jam. Having internet access to songs and practicing along is good but getting out with real people is the way to learn and advance.

I have also restarted the guitar. I played in high school many years ago. I plan to take my guitar to jam sessions soon.

I am now in my early 70s and can’t wait to go to my next jam session.

Do you have a later-life learning experience to share?

Do you have a system to record Life experiences?

“Life is a collection of experiences, people met, and books read” – according to Jim Rohn

Have you heard of and followed the extraordinary life and business philosopher, Jim Rohn? 

I have read his books, articles, listened to tapes, and attended his seminars. 

One article captured my attention and prompted a change in my behavior many years ago.  

Jim Rohn talked about the habit of writing down daily life experiences. He described his early journaling as a process of continuously writing things down all day long so that he wouldn’t forget the thought of the moment. 

He wrote on scraps of paper, napkins, post notes, anything he could find. Then he put them in a drawer. He then described having a drawer full of information that was not neat and was hard to organize.

We all want to remember and save ideas of the moment. Many of us either forget the idea later, or like Jim Rohn, we have a great collection of paper scraps with notes.  That was me.

Jim Rohn changed and thought it best to journal, in a sense, all day long. He started keeping a notebook at his side to jot down notes and thoughts of the moment.

I decided this was something worthwhile and started carrying a notebook with a daily date and began writing whatever thoughts I had that seemed essential to keep. Some days hardly anything. Some days I filled two pages. 

My books are messy and not organized, but I have a chronological method of getting experiences on paper. Generally, each month I go back through the past one or two months looking for ideas’ thoughts, or things that still seem significant.

I talk to people who want to start journaling but don’t know-how. This method has been working well for me. I have taught it to others.

I have books of my life experiences, and I attest to it –“Life is a collection of experiences, people met, and books read.”

Start keeping a daily running book of life, and you will be astonished at how you and your life can be changed and influenced.

Make 2022 your best year yet!

Let me know your thoughts.

What trait makes a good salesman; Ingenuity, Persistence, Never stopping?

Some years ago, I had possibly the best Receptionist/Gatekeeper in business; she understood and could stop nonessential salespeople from getting through. One day our Receptionist/Gatekeeper brought me a package. It had been hand-delivered.

In the package was a T-Shirt from my alma mater — — Indiana Institute of Technology, and a note from the salesman requesting an appointment and comment that he hoped I appreciated his effort to get my school T-shirt. He said he would call in a few days.

I graduated from IIT in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, the idea that this salesman had gone to the trouble to get me the shirt was unique, and I liked his style.

At that time, I instructed our receptionist/gatekeeper that I was impressed by this salesperson and would take the call. After researching his company, I was pretty sure I would not need his services.

However, I would listen to him and then, if possible, direct him to a referral.

He never called!

I thought this salesman had ingenuity, the quality of being clever, original, and inventive.

How many times have you had seemingly good salespeople not follow up? Good selling or bad selling?

12 ways to gain trust and move to the next step of the sale.

In the sales process, there are seldom “one call” sales. Most sales are made after a sales cycle of 90 days or longer. There are several factors that need to be addressed, especially when pursuing a new customer.

•        First Contact:

You need a compelling opening headline in an email to get the prospect to open it. If the email is opened, you need a compelling opening and introduction to get the prospect to read the email.  Ideally, you need the email to be short and brief.  The prospect needs to digest your information to see if he/she wants to read further.  Provide a giveaway or some useful information. 

Do not ask for a sale or purchase of your product. Allow an opportunity to get off your email list.

Do not be surprised if you get no response.

Do not ask for a sale or purchase of your product. Allow an opportunity to get off your email list.

Do not be surprised if you get no response.

•        Second contact:

You need a compelling opening headline in an email to get the prospect to open it.  If the email is opened, you need a compelling opening and introduction to get the prospect to read the email.  Ideally, you need the email to be short and brief.  The prospect needs to digest your information to see if he/she wants to read further.  Provide a give-a-way or some useful information. 

Do not ask for a sale or purchase of your product.  Allow an opportunity to get off your email list.  

Do not be surprised if you get no response.

•        Third contact:

Are you getting the picture now?  You need to repeat the process again, and again.  Always being careful to not sound salesy but provide bits of information about you, your company, and the problems you can solve.   And always provide useful information that they can use or information they can request.

•        4th through 12th contact:

Do this for up to 12 contacts. Basically, do the same thing over and over. Try and write 12 compelling headlines and short information emails. Then sequence them out. Potential customers have contacted me after the 12th contact and tell me they just then saw my email contact.

The selling game and sales process has always been a game of numbers.  Prospects today continually hide behind voice mail and most companies have given up on front door gatekeepers. How are you supposed to get to them?

Many salespeople give up after the first or second contact attempt. We used to rehearse our telemarketing skills for the phone. Now we need to be better at attention-grabbing through email and absolutely be ready for the eventual first live phone or face-to-face contact.  We need to be ready to pack information into 10 minutes or less. then proceed to the next step.

This process of 12 or more contacts seems daunting.  It works if you pick the correct prospect audience to buy your products.  There is a lot of noise in the marketplace, especially salespeople trying to get the buyer's attention. 

Build your list and begin.

3 things completed before 12/31/2021, that can guaranty a great 2022!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

More than 95% of people going into a new year do not have written measurable goals. 

Most of us have heard this bit of goal setting “Wisdom” and still don't have written goals.

So, now is the time to begin looking toward the New Year 2022. 

  1. Set an appointment with yourself for 30 – 60 minutes this month.  Get blank paper or a blank computer screen and begin writing your thoughts and ideas for accomplishment next year.  This first attempt at goal setting doesn't have to be neat — just take time to think about and write your ideas and thoughts down.  Most beginning sessions are quite messy and unorganized.  Put this information away in a place you won't forget where it is, so that you can retrieve it early November.   
  2. Set a 2nd appointment with yourself for 30 – 60 minutes early November and get your list out.  You will be amazed at the progress you will have already made toward thinking about and planning your goals for next year.  Begin subtracting, adding and modifying your original list. 
  3. Set a 3rd appointment with yourself near the end of December.  Many people like doing this during the holiday season when they are not working and can take time to really think about goals. Make your list as neat and useable as you like, put it in a place to retrieve it often.  Do not be afraid to change or add goals, this is a work in progress, it may never be complete. 

Why do this? 

Because if you use this method every year and set a tracking system and measure progress, you will see goals completed. 

Try for yourself and get into the 5% group of people who write and strive to achieve their goals. 

Make 2022 your best year yet!

How will you finish the year 2021? Will you be happy or sad? Will you be building New Year resolutions early for 2022?

Here are four tips to think about:

  1. What happens if you do not meet goals?
  2. Why not choose to end each day being drained?  Know that you gave it your all.
  3. Do not work through the rest of the year making excuses.  Get up, get out and keep moving.
  4. Simplify your life and surroundings to be able to focus and get results you want. 

You will find next year even easier to set and achieve your goals

Constantly remind your children that they are unlimited!

Remind your children constantly through your words. They are unlimited – that they can have anything, do anything, and be anything they want. 

Remind them to speak of what they want and to focus on that.  When they say they do not want something, ask them what they do want.  Always bring them back to what they want. 

Embrace each of your children as being unique individuals.  Rejoice in their freedom to express themselves. 

Allow them to think and learn their own lessons and know within yourself that everything is unfolding for them correctly.

Keep moving forward in this never-ending journey, helping them grow and prosper into being their own self.

Here are 6 reminders for setting, reviewing, and achieving Goals.

  1. Be positive, express goals positively.
  2. Set specific goals, set times, dates and deadlines.  This provides for measurement and knowing that progress is being made.
  3. Prioritize goals.  When working on several goals set a priority order.  Work on the most important and accomplish them, then work on the others.
  4. Write goals down.  Keep your goals in front of you as much as possible.  This may be one of the most important points to achieving goals.
  5. Figure out small achievable parts of goals to work on.  Working on and achieving smaller pieces of a goal gives a sense of accomplishment and forward movement to the overall goal.
  6.  Set goals that are realistic and can be accomplished.  Above all set your own goals and set time frames that you are able to accomplish.

In this new COVID world, we need to try and focus on keeping up with goals and personal progress. To err is human; to edit, divine.

I hope this and the next years are really your best yet!