Am I Too Old To Learn Piano? 5 Answers from Expert Piano Teachers

Am I too old to learn piano

People of many different ages find themselves asking the question: am I too old to learn piano? No matter your age, playing the piano is a wonderful skill to have for a variety of reasons.

Studies have shown that playing music reduces stress and improves the memory. Playing an instrument in a group also leads to lifelong friendships, while refining communication and social skills.

If you’re wondering whether or not your age will stand in between you and all the benefits of playing the piano, keep reading. We asked five piano experts for their thoughts on adult students, from different age groups, learning to play the instrument.

“Am I Too Old to Learn Piano?” Get Answers Here. 

Is 20-30 Too Old to Learn Piano?

Liz T. – Piano Teacher in Brooklyn, NY

“Learning to play, or picking back up, the piano or keyboard in your 20s is a wonderful idea! Many students from a variety of fields enjoy exploring their creative side in addition to their professions. Diving into the piano is also a nice release from your busy work day.

If a student had attempted to play piano when they were much younger, but didn’t have the focus or patience, oftentimes this focus is much more narrowed as an adult, and the concepts are easier to comprehend when you’re between 20-30.”

What is Your Advice to Students in This Age Group?

“My advice for adults learning to play piano is to take a fun song you know, and start from the basics. Learn the melody with the left hand, then the right hand, and put them together. Practice a little bit each day, even if it’s for 15 minutes in the morning when you wake up, and 15 minutes before you go to bed at night.”

Is 30-40 Too Old to Learn Piano?

Rebecca K. – Piano Teacher in Vallejo, CA

“The 30-40 age is such a unique and frankly, exhausting time to live. I know- I’m there myself! Many of us have young kids, a job, and enough worries to fill a bank account (even when it feels like nothing else can). That’s why I argue that this age is the PERFECT time to start learning piano! Self-care is something we must practice, especially in finding something that brings you joy.”

What is Your Advice to Students in This Age Group?

“All piano takes is dedication, an instrument, and a little bit of time. You’re never too old to start learning piano; you may, however, get to a point where you regret not starting sooner!”

Is 40-50 Too Old to Learn Piano?

James F. – Piano Teacher in Charlotte, NC

“There is no age that is really ‘too old’ to learn to play the piano. However, there are lifestyle factors that typically get in the way of progress once somebody enters the workforce full-time.

Many of my adult students have struggled with balancing a professional career, a family, and their progress as a piano player. There are ways, however, for the disciplined student to overcome this.”

What is Your Advice to Students in This Age Group?

“I recommend practicing in 10-25 minute sets, two to four times a day. Three times a day or more is really ideal, as in – wake up a little bit earlier to practice, do another session as soon as you get home, and another one right before bed. With this routine, you will see progress.”

Is 50-60 Too Old to Learn Piano?

William P. – Piano Teacher in Waterbury, Connecticut

“Learning piano has no age limit. In fact, activities like learning piano can stimulate the brain, increasing the ability to recall information. There are physical benefits to learning piano as well.

By practicing fine motor skills in your fingers, piano students are keeping the muscles in their hands flexible. Having flexibility in your hands can combat arthritis and improve circulation in your fingers.”

What is Your Advice to Students in This Age Group?

“There are three things to keep in mind. The first is that music is like a language, and it requires time and patience to achieve steady growth. Secondly, physical problems such as arthritis or joint stiffness are only minor obstacles that can easily be overcome.

Lastly, learning an instrument should be seen as a simple pleasure in life and not a chore. Approach it as a time to explore your musical side!”

Is 70+ Too Old to Learn Piano?

Marie France M. – Piano Teacher in Waldwick, NJ

“There are certain advantages the 70+ student brings to the table. They are self-motivated which means no one has to push them to practice and they know what they want to learn, which gives the teacher a clear focus.”

What is Your Advice to Students in This Age Group?

“Elder students do have a higher percentage of physical challenges than their younger counterparts, particularly with eyesight and arthritis. I recommend having good direct lighting, and a magnifying glass in reach. Large print music is also a real plus.

Work in five-minute increments with a moment in between to massage the fingers and do a quick posture and relaxation check before going on.”

Next Steps for Learning Piano as an Adult…

When it comes to learning the piano, age is just a number! Now that you no longer have to wonder “Am I too old to learn piano?”, here are a few steps you can take to get started.

  • Find a piano teacher who has experience working with older students.
  • Not ready for private lessons yet? Try free online piano classes.
  • Commit to practicing everyday and take baby steps.
  • Remember to enjoy yourself! Piano lessons and practice should be fun.
  • Stay motivated by keeping the reasons you want to learn piano top of mind.

Whether playing the piano is an escape from the stresses of life, a goal you’ve wanted to pursue for years, or an exercise to help with the effects of aging, you won’t regret starting your piano-learning journey today.

Are you an older piano student with advice to share? Leave a comment below and share your tips!

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Most unique instruments to learn

Top 10 Most Unique Instruments to Learn

Unique instruments to learn

Tired of fitting into the status quo? Want to impress and surprise your friends with something different? If piano and guitar seem boring to you, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as we share 10 of the most unique instruments to learn from across the globe.

Top 10 Unique Instruments to Learn


Fun Facts About Bagpipes 

  • The bagpipe is a wind instrument that has been played for an entire millennium.
  • Although commonly believed to have originated in Scotland, historians believe it was first played in ancient Rome and Persia.

Finger Cymbals

Fun Facts About Finger Cymbals

  • Finger cymbals are also known as “zills.”
  • This set of four small, metallic cymbals is often used in belly dancing performances.


unique instruments to learn - the banjo












Fun Facts About Banjos

  • Not all banjos are alike – the instruments can have anywhere from four to six strings.
  • It’s now associated with country music, but the banjo was initially designed by the first African Americans.


Fun Facts About Harmonicas

  • The harmonica is also known as a French harp or mouth organ.
  • There are several different types of harmonicas, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass.
  • Because playing the harmonica helps promote deep breathing, it’s often used in physical therapy programs for pulmonary rehabilitation.

SEE ALSO: The 5 Easiest Instruments Perfect for Adult Learners


Fun Facts About Accordions

  • An accordionist performs by expanding the instrument’s bellows while pressing down keys with both their right and left hands to play the melody and accompaniment.
  • The accordion is commonly used in Brazilian pop music.


Unique instruments to learn - the harp












Fun Facts About Harps

  • The use of harps can be traced all the way back to 3,500 BC, but they gained popularity during the middle ages and renaissance period in Europe.
  • Harps vary in size – some are small enough to be played on your lap!


Fun Facts About Oboes

  • Oboe is pronounced “oh-boh” and it stems from the French word “hautbois.”
  • This woodwind instrument is most commonly played in concert bands and orchestras.


Fun Facts About Ukuleles

  • One of the most popular unique instruments to learn, the ukulele originated in Hawaii before making its way to the mainland.
  • Multiple celebrities have picked up the easy-to-learn instrument, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ryan Gosling.

SEE ALSO: 15 Awesome Musical Instruments You Can Make At Home


unique instruments to learn - bassoon












Fun Facts About Bassoons

  • Like the oboe, this woodwind instrument is common in orchestras and concert bands.
  • The bassoon is known for its wide range and its sound is comparable to a male baritone voice.


Fun Facts About Mandolins

  • The most commonly played mandolin has eight strings and was first designed in Italy.
  • Considered an easier instrument to learn, the mandolin can be heard in country, folk, and bluegrass music.

Learn any one of these instruments and you’re sure to stand out from the crowd. With the right teacher, becoming a pro at banjo or mandolin is easy. Need help finding a music teacher who is experienced in an unusual instrument? You can easily search for a qualified music teacher here.

If you know of any more unique instruments to learn, leave a comment below and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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how to make your resume stand out

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd

how to make your resume stand out

Whether you’re about to graduate or are on the lookout for a new employer, it’s important that you know how to make your resume stand out. Competition in the job market is fierce, but here are a few tips and tricks you can implement to give yourself an advantage over your peers.

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Use a Unique Resume Template

The number one way to make your resume stand out from all the rest is to make it look different than all the rest. If you’re still using the standard format your high school teacher taught you, your resume is most likely long overdue for an upgrade.

Rather than simply listing your education and experience in a plain and boring document, try using a unique and modern resume template like one of these from Design Shack. Consider adding a professional photo of yourself to the top to make it more personal.  

Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Another thing that is sure to impress a hiring manager is emphasizing your accomplishments. Capture your potential employer’s attention by highlighting what you’re most proud of on your resume.

Have you been a part of any specific, successful projects? What were the results of that project? Did you create something many people were impacted by? Did you lead a large team in doing so? Answering these kinds of questions will reveal what’s special about your unique work history.  

Keep it to One Page 

how to make your resume stand out with a unique template

Crisp and clean resumes are much more convenient for the busy, examining interviewer. That’s why keeping your resume to one page is a good idea. Hone down all of your incredible attributes to the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Instead of listing out every minor detail of the previous positions you’ve held, focus on the tasks and responsibilities that show you’re a good fit for the available role. With the little that you do write, your goal should be to express why you deserve to get invited in for an interview.

SEE ALSO: Resume Writing Tips

Include a Link to an Online Portfolio

Just because you’re limited on space in the actual resume doesn’t mean you can’t include a link to an online portfolio. A personal website is an excellent place to further discuss and display your accomplishments.

A few helpful hints – your online portfolio should not simply rehash everything you already listed on your resume. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show off samples of your work (if applicable) and share some additional information about yourself.

List a Second Language

Speaking a second language is a requirement for a growing number of jobs, and when it’s not an absolute must-have, it’s still very often a preferred trait. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, you should absolutely list them on your resume.

Still on your way to becoming bilingual, but not quite there yet? Don’t neglect this highly beneficial skill. You can easily take online language lessons to become a more proficient speaker and/or writer. A small investment in private lessons to improve your skills will be well worth the reward!

RELATED POST: How To Decide Which Foreign Language You Should Learn

Now you know how to make your resume stand out. By following these five simple guidelines, you’ll be one step closer to nailing an interview for your dream job. Good luck, and happy job hunting!

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Basic Guitar Chord Finger Placement for Beginners

Guitar Chords Finger Placement Post w/ Charts
For many beginners, learning easy guitar chords is a great way to get comfortable with your instrument. Chords are also the building blocks you’ll need to learn to play many of your favorite songs. Grab your guitar and dive into this essential guide to the basic guitar chords you need to know.

A chord is a group of notes that create a harmony when they are played together. There are two ways you can play a note on the guitar. You can produce a note by holding the guitar string down at a specific fret on the guitar’s fingerboard, or you can play the string open, without holding down any frets.

For these basic guitar chords, some strings will need to be fretted while others will be played open. Because some of the strings are played open, these chords are often called “open chords.” Open chords are often used in folk, country, pop, and rock styles of guitar playing.

Guitar Chord Charts & Finger Positions

guiter chords chart for left-hand fingersDon’t worry if you don’t yet know how to read guitar tabs or sheet music. Guitar chords are often written out in simple charts like the one on the left. The chart is a graphic representation of the fingerboard of your guitar.

The horizontal line at the top of the guitar chord chart is the nut of your guitar, the piece where the head meets the fingerboard. Each horizontal line below it represents another fret.

The six vertical lines each represent a string, from left to right EADGBE. If you are holding your guitar like you are ready to play, the string closest to the top should be the thickest string, the low E. As you strum downward, you will hit the A, D, G, B, and last the high E.

On this diagram, the three black dots indicate that you will need to press down three strings – the D, G, and B strings – on the second fret. The numbers at the bottom of the chart tell you which fingers on your left hand you should use to hold down the strings. Your left hand fingers are numbered one through four, starting with your index finger.

Ready to put it all together? Place your middle finger on the second fret of the D string, your ring finger on the second fret of the G string, and your pinkie on the second fret of the B string. Be careful to use just the tips of your fingers so you do not mute or muffle any strings. Strum slowly from the A string down one note at a time to make sure you are fretting each note cleanly and clearly. Congratulations, you just played an A chord!

Related: How to hold a guitar pick properly and Guitar vocabulary terms

 Guitar Chord Progressions

By learning how to play chord progressions, you will find it easy to learn to play many popular songs. A chord progression is just a sequence of chords, usually three or four, that is repeated throughout a song. The easy guitar chords in the chart below are commonly used in the progressions that make up many popular songs:

guitar chords chart with finger positions

For the first chord progression you will learn, you’ll want to start by learning how to play a C chord on guitar. Put your index finger on your left hand on the first fret of the B string. Place your middle finger on the second fret of the D string, and your ring finger on the third fret of the A string. Press firmly with the tips of your fingers and be sure not to accidentally mute any other strings. Strum slowly from the A string down and listen to the chord ring.

Next, you will need to learn to play the G chord. Place your index finger on the second fret of the A string and your middle finger on the third fret of the low E string. Place your ring finger on the third fret of the high E string. Strum from the E string all the way down.

The last chord you will need to know for this progression is the D chord. Place your index finger on the second fret of the G string and your middle finger on the second fret of the high e string. Your ring finger goes on the third fret of the B string. Strum this chord from your D string down.


C-G-D is a very common chord progression in pop, rock, country, and folk music. Practice strumming each chord for four counts and then changing to the next chord. Repeat.

Try to make the transition from one chord to another smooth and seamless with the rhythm of your strums. Play as slowly as you need to in order to keep an even tempo. As you get more comfortable playing these three chords, you can start to play faster.

Another common chord progression is A-Em-D. See if you can learn to play the E minor chord by looking at the chart above. Try strumming each chord for three counts before changing to the next chord. Repeat this until you are able to change chords smoothly and with ease.

As you begin to feel more confident playing each of these chords, try playing your own combinations to practice changing from one chord to another. Be creative and make your own chord progressions. Make sure that you feel comfortable switching from each of the above chords to any of the others.

How to Play Power Chords on Guitar

A power chord is a movable chord shape that can be played on different frets up and down the fingerboard. Essentially, you only need to learn one shape and you can play just about any chord. Power chords are commonly used in rock, metal, and punk music.

Power_Chord_Chart Finger placementTry your first power chord by placing your index finger on the first fret of the low E string, your ring finger on the third fret of the A string, and your pinkie on the third fret of the D string. Strum only the three strings that you are fretting. This is a power chord in F.

Keep your hand in the same shape and move each finger up one fret so that your index finger is now holding the second fret of the low E string. You are now playing an F# chord. The note that your index finger is holding on the E string is called the root note in this chord, and will determine the name of the chord that you are playing.

You can move this shape all the way up the fingerboard. You can also move each finger up one string, while maintaining the same shape to play power chords that are rooted on the A string. Get familiar with the notes on the E and A strings of your guitar so you know what chord you are playing.

Now that you know some basic and easy chords, it’s time to start learning songs! Try our guide to playing 5 songs using the chords you’ve just learned, featuring tunes like “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Royals.”

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Photo Credit: andyburnfield

11 Annoying Things People Say to Female Guitarists

Female guitarists rock just as hard, if not harder than some men, yet the things people say to us sound like they’re straight from the 1950s!

Ladies, women, and girls, here are 11 of the most annoying things I’ve heard in my years of playing guitar. Maybe a few will sound familiar to you too?

1. Is that for your boyfriend?

Why do some people find it so unbelievable that you’re carrying your own gear or shopping at Guitar Center for yourself?

2. You’re pretty good for a girl.

Would you tell another musician he’s pretty good for a man? Nope. Please stop saying this.

3. Are you the singer?

Because that’s the only thing you think women are capable of? Please go back to rock and roll history and study Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Kaki King, Nancy Wilson, or any of the other hundreds of women who have made their mark in music with an ax in hand.

4. Oh, you’re IN the band!

If you’ve ever had trouble being allowed in to a venue for your own show, you know just how annoying this one can be. This is doubly annoying when someone assumes you’re a groupie.

5. You should show off your body more and be sexier.

Because when I asked for feedback on my performance, I really wanted to hear about how I looked. Even young girls aren’t immune from this misguided advice. Please stop making female performers feel like their sex appeal matters more than their music. It’s just sad.

6. You only got that gig because you’re hot.

Like a meaner, more petty version of the last comment, this implies that any attention or success you enjoy as a musician is all thanks to your looks. Luckily, people will mostly say this one behind your back, so you only need to roll your eyes when you hear this through the grapevine. Then you can get back to crushing it.

7. Do you want to be in a band? We’re looking for a chick bass player.

Why would you want to work with someone who’s already objectifying you before they’ve heard you play a single note?

8. Let me explain your gear to you.

I just haul it around, set it up, play it, own it, and love it. So sure, please tell me all about my amp.

9. Wow, are you going to play that?

Nope, I just carry a guitar around for fun.

10. Chick guitarists are hot! Do you want to jam sometime?

Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, they don’t really mean “jam”.

11. I don’t usually like chick music, but you were actually pretty good.

For the love of music everywhere, please stop acting as if music made by women is in its own single genre. There are women who shred and women who croon, women who get down and funky and women who play smooth, sweet jazz.

The sooner people can stop treating female musicians as novelties and start hearing us for the talents we possess, the sooner we all can enjoy a more equal and exciting music scene.

Now it’s your turn. Ladies, what really grinds your gears? Share the most annoying thing someone has said to you about playing the guitar in the comments below!

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Spanish Vocabulary: When to Use Usted vs. Tú

What's the Difference Between Tú & Usted

Every language has its own intricacies that take time and practice to really nail down. Here, Spanish tutor Jason N. clears up the distinction between the formal and informal use of the word ‘you’ in Spanish…


Usted vs. : What’s the Difference?

 in Spanish is ‘you’ in English — but what about usted? In English, there’s not a great translation for usted. So what exactly does it mean?

In English, when we want to convey respect to someone, we use formal and polite language, such as ‘sir’ and ‘madam,’ and refer to people in authority positions with their titles, such as ‘doctor,’ or ‘professor,’ followed by their last name (e.g. Dr. Smith).

Spanish-speakers adhere to similar parameters when speaking to members of status or authority, but there’s also another common way to convey respect without calling someone by their professional titles. This is what usted in Spanish is all about.

When to Use Usted

Spanish is a language that highly values communicating respect and deferring to authority, therefore it makes a distinction that does not exist in English. Spanish-speakers use another word, usted, instead of tú, to address people of status or authority, the elderly, sometimes someone older than you, and often someone you just met, in order to convey respect to them. In romantic Spanish movies and novels, lovers will always refer to each other using usted to convey respect and appreciation.

Usted vs. Tú in the Real World

As your Spanish improves and you speak to people of all the different 24 Latin American countries, you’ll see that the use of usted varies considerably, not only from country to country, but from region to region within the same country.

By tuning in and observing each relationship, you can be more informed about whether to use  or usted. As you travel to destinations that speak Spanish, you’ll see the practical uses of these formalities yourself. When I lived in Costa Rica, I was surprised to notice that friends often refer to each other using usted, even if they have a very close and informal relationship.

I know many people who always address their parents using usted. This often signifies a more formal relationship between parent and child. That said, this also widely varies. For example, my ex-girlfriend was very close to her mother and spoke to her using always. In fact, her mother told me that she would be offended if her daughter spoke to her using usted, because it would make her feel not only old, but also distant to her daughter. On the other hand, many other Spanish-speaking mothers would invariably feel offended by their son or daughter if they did not address them in usted.

Another caveat is that in most of Central America and South America, Spanish-speakers use vos instead of , but this doesn’t matter as much, as they will always understand you in A Spanish tutor can help you learn more about vos if you are interested.

Got it? Here’s a handy graphic to reference:

When to Use Usted

Final Note

The good news is that Spanish-speakers will be so happy to hear you speak Spanish that they most likely won’t be offended if you fail to use the more appropriate one. The key here is not to worry much about it, as this can interrupt you from practicing. My best tip? Use usted when you’re in doubt, and tune into how Spanish speakers respond to you! As always, a Spanish tutor can help you if you’re confused!

JasonNPost Author: Jason N.
Jason N. tutors in English and Spanish in Athens, GA. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. He is currently attending the University of Georgia. Learn more about Jason here! 

Photo by Josep Ma. Rosell


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Basics of Guitar: What Should I Expect at My First Lesson?

452442203_065c368152_oExcited about your first guitar lesson? Not sure what to expect? Read on as Goodyear, AZ teacher David A. offers his advice on how to prepare, the basics of guitar you can expect to learn, and more! 


By the time I turned nine years old, I had spent six months begging my mom and dad to get me an electric guitar. When I finally had one, I was extremely eager to play it. The problem was, I didn’t know how. However, that was all about to change, because… I was about to have my very first guitar lesson!

The Big Day: The First Lesson

So today’s the day… Lesson number one with a TakeLessons guitar teacher! Perhaps you are feeling both excited and a little bit nervous?

First, let’s talk about what you need to bring to your lesson. In addition to bringing a positive attitude and desire to learn guitar (after all, you have been looking forward to this day, right?), it would be a good idea to bring your guitar, if you have one.

If you have an electric guitar, you will generally not have to bring an amplifier (“amp” in guitar-speak) or a guitar cord, as most teachers have these available at their studios. While no two guitar studios look exactly alike, it’s a pretty safe bet that you will probably see a guitar (or perhaps 10!), amps, assorted guitar effects pedals, music stands, and other guitar-related paraphernalia. In my case, I vividly remember walking down a flight of basement stairs and entering the strange-looking yet fascinating lair of my amazing guitar teacher. Although I had seen pictures of rooms like these in music magazines, I had never seen one in person, and this was definitely a magical thrill that, to this day, I still remember with joy.

What You Can Expect to Learn

At your first guitar lesson, be sure to let your teacher know which guitar styles interest you. This is important, as it could ultimately affect the method in which you learn guitar. Do you want to burn up the fretboard as a rock guitarist? Do you prefer the chord and scale sophistication of jazz? Perhaps country is more your style? Or even classical? With regard to style, another aspect to consider is whether or not you will want to learn to play with a pick, fingerstyle, or perhaps both. Just keep in mind that while different guitar styles can involve a variety of teaching methods and approaches, there is still going to be the need for you, the aspiring guitarist, to learn some necessary basics of guitar, like an introduction to the fretboard.

Your teacher will show you the letter names of the six guitar strings. There are guitars available with more than six strings, such as a 12-string guitar, but most people begin by playing a six-string guitar. If you bring your guitar to the lesson, you may learn about the different parts of the guitar, such as the neck, headstock, and bridge. Your teacher can also check to see that your guitar is tuned properly. On this note, if you have a guitar that has very old worn strings on it, it may be a good idea to put on new strings; your teacher can show you how to do this, or may even do it for you. Depending on the duration of your first lesson, you may learn some of the notes on the strings, or even some basic guitar chords. You can also expect to begin learning about proper fretting, picking, and strumming technique.

Having Fun With Guitar

The following is true: I still get a kick out of playing my guitar as much as when I was nine years old and just learning the basics of guitar. Whether you aspire to become a professional guitarist or play for a hobby, learning the guitar should be a fun and rewarding experience that you can enjoy for years to come. While learning the guitar does involve acquiring skills in technique and some music theory, with the right positive attitude and willingness to learn, you too can become an accomplished guitarist in your own right. It all starts with that first guitar lesson!

DavidADavid A. teaches guitar, piano, singing, songwriting, and more in Goodyear, AZ. He has performed in numerous and varied musical situations, including with The University of Maryland Jazz Orchestra and the Pavement Chasers Tribute to Adele. He currently performs as a freelance keyboardist and guitarist in the Phoenix metro area.  Learn more about David here! 


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Photo by jrsnchzhrs


5 Iconic Moments that Shaped the LA Music Scene

5 Iconic Moments that Shaped the LA Music SceneSome might say that Los Angeles couldn’t exist without music. While that is certainly true, there was a time when the music scene in the City of Angels had yet to take its form. Los Angeles has long been known as one of the hottest places in the United States for music, but it didn’t get that way overnight.

Defining moments throughout the city’s musical history not only helped make it a major player in the industry, they also illustrated the talent, creativity, and diversity of the LA music scene. From symphony to hip-hop and everything in between, Los Angeles has been at the frontier of musical greatness since the early 20th century. To think it all began when Trinity Auditorium hosted Los Angeles Philharmonic’s first show in 1919.

How Hollywood Played a Part

The LA music scene was heavily influenced by the presence of Hollywood, largely due to it being the home of the rich and famous. Naturally, this attracted many musicians and singers to the area, to live and work making melodies for the many motion pictures being released. The Hollywood Bowl amphitheater was built long before, but held its first concerts in 1922. It went on to later host many iconic artists, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, the Beatles, and Cher.

Radio Music’s Beginning and Ascent to #1

In 1922, the first LA radio stations emerged. Two of the first stations were KFI and KHJ, both AM-frequency channels. The start of these two stations was crucial to shaping the LA music scene because they broadcasted the songs of local musicians to Los Angeles. In the 1960s, KHJ became the nation’s most popular radio station by playing a fast-paced, top 40 countdown of hits. This was monumental because it turned the attention of the music industry to Los Angeles. It also showed that LA was a trendsetter in the industry.

The Palladium Opens

In 1940, the Hollywood Palladium opened with performances by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. This event led to a number of future shows in Los Angeles by similar jazz artists, making it one of the leading locations in the country for jazz performances. The Palladium’s historic opening night cemented the venue, and Los Angeles, as one the best places in the country for live music. The Palladium’s proud tradition still holds its place today as wonderful performances continue at its Sunset Boulevard location.

The Beatles Beat All

August 28, 1966, at Dodger Stadium: the Beatles are playing, and the crowd goes wild. The performance is their second to last concert ever, with their final tour ending the next night in San Francisco. The fact that arguably the greatest band in modern music chose the City of Angels as one of their last live performances displayed just how important the LA music scene had become. It also put the attention of the entire music world on LA for the night. With bands like The Doors, The Byrds, and The Turtles also achieving fame locally and nationally at the same time, this night made it clear that LA was the leading city in the rock n’ roll world. Whiskey a Go-Go, after all, had become one of the best locations for rock concerts in America. The Beatles’ concert confirmed that LA was the place where the best would come to play and where the most creative would go to achieve greatness.

Guns N’ Roses Plays at The Troubadour Nightclub

Guns N’ Roses formed and first played in LA. They put the city at the cutting-edge of heavy metal and hard rock, and that all began on June 6, 1985, when the band performed at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. Their energy, charisma, and downright insanity brought new life to the LA music scene and reasserted that the city was capable of cultivating any kind of music. Great shows at The Troubadour still continue, but that night was one of the venue’s most memorable.

NWA Releases the Album Straight Outta Compton

In 1988, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and the rest of N.W.A. released one of the most controversial albums ever: Straight Outta Compton. While a few of their songs led to radio bans nationwide and even got Dr. Dre’s recording company a warning from the FBI, the album did bring issues of racism, street violence, and drugs out from under the rug. Additionally, it catapulted LA to the forefront of the hip-hop universe and reaffirmed the importance of self-expression in music. It is undoubtedly one of rap’s most important albums, and it came right out of Compton.

These iconic moments have helped define the LA music scene in myriad ways. These events, and others, show the diverse array of music that has been created and played in LA. So many different styles of music came of age in LA and that tradition is being carried on by the eclectic mix of talented musicians that abound here today.

Photo by Alexis Fam


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