It's never too late to start a garage band

Nov 15, 2011, 9:40 a.m.

There is no easier way to time travel back to a happy moment in life than with music. Our favorite songs keep us emotionally vibrant, and playing music is even more energizing. Thinking of getting back into playing with a band or playing for the first time? It might be easier than you think.

Fake It 'til you make it

To start forming your band, all you need is one instrument. Don't just say you're going to get a band together, get out in the garage or basement and start playing. Once music is on your mind, like-minded people will be drawn your way.

Forever young

If you need lessons or pointers, it's never too late to learn. Find a local music teacher, look up a phone app or Internet video, or pick up some books at the library and practice a little bit, every day. Besides having fun and challenging yourself, there's an added benefit: Studying music will keep your mind sharper.

According to a study published in the APA journal Neuropsychology, older adults who have learned to play an instrument score higher in cognitive tests. Those who play music longer score even higher, but the smarts stay with you even after you quit playing.

It takes two, baby

If you know just one other person who plays an instrument, chances are you'll be well on your way to forming a full-fledged band through networking. But take it from one of today's popular bands the White Stripes--a musical duo consisting of just a drummer and a guitarist/keyboardist--sometimes all it takes is two. You can always go acoustic, as well.

Garden party

Ready for your first concert? You don't need a venue or to sell tickets. Just host a summer barbeque and turn it into a jam session. Chances are, people you know are musically inclined and you never knew it.

Come together

The important thing is, don't take yourself too seriously. Bands are for fun and enrichment, not egos. When you're playing, no matter how it sounds or if you're making mistakes, smile! That joy will grow, resonating out to your band mates and audience. As an unknown author wrote, "play the music, not the instrument."

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