Benefits of Learning to Play the Guitar
There has been a lot of research done into discovering the intellectual benefits of learning to play a musical instrument. Here of course, we will be applying this research to playing the guitar! The fact is that the more you learn and practice something, the better you become. No matter what the rate of improvement is, you still make progress.
When learning to play an instrument, you may consciously be thinking about enjoying the music and being able to play your favourite songs. However, during this process, your brain is also being trained to operate a certain way, which has lots of beneficial effects on the functioning of your brain, as studies have shown.
1. Improves Your Memory
A government-commissioned study has found that learning to play the guitar at school improves children’s behaviour, memory and intelligence. Researchers have found that it enlarges the left side of the brain, which helps students to remember a fifth more information when compared with non-musical pupils (article).
In this article, Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, found that the parts of the brain that control hearing, memory, and the part that controls the hands, all become more active. This leads to growth and a positive change in the architecture of the brain. These changes were also apparent in people over the age of 65.
3. Teaches You Discipline
Regular practice can take discipline, especially with areas that students find challenging. With persistence comes success and the development of discipline, which can then also be applied to other areas of your life.
Through discipline comes freedom AristotleAristotle
Learning to play the guitar is one of the best ways to teach discipline. Unfortunately, that is because it is often so frustrating to play well. You have to practice if you want to be good.
Practicing regularly will teach you how to fail and improve on your failures repeatedly. Discipline is an important life skill. Furthermore, many areas of your life can be enhanced by being disciplined and strict with yourself.
Playing the guitar is tough, and it requires a certain mindset. But this sort of attitude will help you be successful in many areas outside of music too!
4. Develops Social Skills & Teamwork
With a developed sense of hearing, musicians are able to pinpoint what others are feeling, just by the tone of their voice. Also, working and playing with other musicians teaches people to appreciate the value of teamwork.
5. Improves Your Math Performance…!
There is a definite relationship between music and maths (I studied music with maths for my degree at university). Research suggests that musicians process music in the same cortical regions that adolescents process algebra.
6. Enhances Your Coordination
Playing an instrument requires a certain level of hand-eye coordination, which is of course developed with practice. Reading guitar tablature and/or music involves your brain converting that information into specific motor patterns.
7. Increases Your Confidence & Self Esteem
It’s easy to set small goals in music, for example finishing a piece or just playing through to the end of a line of music, which when accomplished will give you a great sense of achievement.
Once you reach the stage of performing music in front of an audience, which takes a certain level of confidence to do so anyway, you reap rewards that can affect many other areas of your life.
8. Sharpens Your Concentration
Playing the guitar requires you to focus on a lot of aspects simultaneously, ie. pitch, timing, rhythm, fingering, etc. The more you practice your mental muscle of concentration, the easier it becomes.
Playing the guitar requires concentration. There are so many distractions in modern society that a few hours of engagement are a precious thing. Many people have forgotten how to concentrate because they are always multitasking.
Learning the guitar requires you to sit down and focus on one thing at a time. There are not many hobbies that require such dedication. The importance of the guitar in our lives can be immense. Learning to play the guitar is a relatively easy way of sharpening your brain.
9. Music Therapy & Self Expression
Playing the guitar can help you to relax and release the stresses of the day. As you progress with learning to play the guitar, you will develop your ability to accurately express and release your emotions through playing, which can be very therapeutic.
10. Playing The Guitar Is Fun!
Integrating all of these benefits into something that you want to do because it’s fun and makes you feel great, gives your life that something special that can’t really be found anywhere else.
11. Eye And Hand Coordination
If you can read chords and patterns, it’s good, but not enough to play the guitar. Your hands should be able to recreate the patterns on the instrument and pluck the right strings.
This is possible only when your eyes and hands coordinate with each other and work together. This coordination multiplies your ability to process things and makes you a better reader.
12. Goodbye To Anxiety
You may be one of those guitarists who get anxious before a performance, even though you can play well.
If that’s the case, playing the instrument for yourself will kick your anxiety out. You can express your emotions while playing the guitar. This includes anxiety, as well. Go to your room, grab your guitar, and pluck a few strings.
Even if it doesn’t sound perfect, it does reduce your anxiety.
13. Boost Your Confidence
You can’t experience it in your beginner days. But as you improve your playing skills, the quality of your performance increases.
You find yourself loving to perform at a small gig. You receive a few compliments and socialize better.
Such experiences boost your confidence and prepare you to face huge crowds or for any public speaking.
14. Strengthen Your Arms
Your hands might often hurt in the beginner stages of playing guitar. As time passes by, you’ll have to learn awkward (at first) hand exercises for better strumming.
This improves not only your guitar playing skills, but also the flexibility of your hands, particularly the fingers. Your wrists and shoulder blades become strong, as well.
However, this is a gradual process. So, don’t force too many exercises on your arms at once.
15. Relieve Your Stress
Ask any passionate guitarist, and they would call the guitar their ‘happy place’. Playing the guitar demands your complete attention and gives you an escape from the world.
Even a session as short as 15 minutes can lift your mood like no other. Humans function better when their minds are free of stress. A bad day?
Your guitar gives you a warm hug in the evening and makes you smile.
16. Become A Better Listener
Listening is pivotal when learning to play the guitar. Even a pro guitarist should listen well. Guitarists who don’t stick to a genre, and remain open minded, will be rewarded by better playing.
You’ll have to listen to your guitar recordings to rectify them in the next session. With consistency, you can recognize chords by ear, thanks to all the listening you’ve been doing from the beginning. Thus, your ears become sharp.
17. Get Over Heartbreak
Heartbreak is something that most people deal with in their lifetime.
Playing a music instrument like a guitar, can help lessen this awful feeling. It doesn’t happen overnight, but your heart gets healed eventually.
In the end, you will have a healed heart along with the new skill of playing the guitar. And maybe a few new songs too!
Playing the guitar energizes you, and you wouldn’t want to play by sitting lazily on your couch.
Standing and playing the guitar will help you lose weight, not as much as a gym session, but more calorie than you’d expect!
If we had to make a list of all the benefits of playing the guitar, they would be endless. Accompany your singing by playing a few chords on your guitar and hear the awesome music you’ve created.
19. Increases your creativity
Being adaptable and creative are excellent skills that you can utilize as both a musician and in your professional life.
One of the key benefits of learning guitar is that it is a creative process. Strumming your guitar, searching for licks and riffs can be some of the most interesting innovative experiences you can have. Moreover, there is always a great song waiting to found with the guitar.
As a discipline, creativity is an important element that can be polished while playing guitar and used in other life areas. Having an active mind, looking for exciting solutions is a valuable thing in the professional world.
Playing the guitar stretches your creative muscles. You are always looking for the next note, or chord, or fingerpicking technique. It is an exciting process that can stimulate your mind even when you aren’t holding a guitar.
20. Broaden your horizons
One of the best reasons to play guitar is to help expand your knowledge of music, and you will better understand the music you love.
Playing the guitar can introduce you to new cultures. The guitar accommodates many different genres of music that span the globe. Learning to play guitar will broaden your horizons and can give you a new perspective.
If you learn to play blues, jazz, rigid, or indie rock songs on the guitar, you are already consuming a wide variety of perspectives through various musical styles. Practicing different genres will improve your musical literacy.
Beginners can get frustrated because they have to learn tunes on their classical guitar. On the upside, by learning the classical guitar, you will likely become exposed to music genres like flamenco with which you may not be familiar.
21. Creates therapeutic experiences
Guitar playing can be a very calming experience. If you are looking to relax and be productive, you should start learning the guitar.
There are several mental health benefits to learning the guitar. Music therapy is a recognized clinical strategy for improving the quality of life for patients. Listening and playing instruments is an excellent way of calming down, focusing on an attainable goal, and reducing stress and anxiety levels.
22. Health Benefits of Playing Guitar
Learning to play the guitar is an excellent way of managing your stress. Many musicians compare practicing guitar to being in a meditative state. The therapeutic nature of practicing alone is one of the key reasons why you should play the guitar. They’re very few other activities that enable you to spend time alone and focus constructively.
23. Learning guitar introduces you to new people.
There is a fantastic social element to guitar playing, and you will probably meet many new people if you start playing guitar in public.
There is an important social factor in learning the guitar. It is challenging to learn an instrument in isolation. There are many helpful online resources, but these should not take away from the vital social element of music. When you pick up a guitar and begin to learn a few chords, you are instantly inducted into a community of fellow musicians.
One of the significant pros of playing guitar is the collaborative nature of music. You may meet new people at jam sessions, gigs, or in practice rooms. In the beginning, you may need a teacher. Leaning on other musicians’ expertise is a great way of improving your playing and meeting new people.
24. It is an attractive skill to have
One of the common, although relatively unimportant, reasons to play guitar is that it is a good skill to have if you want to show off.
If you’re still asking yourself, “Should I learn guitar?” this benefit should at least provide some level of motivation to learn. Without a doubt being able to play an instrument is an attractive skill. The guitar is one of the most romantic instruments of all time. You can serenade loved ones to your heart’s content. Being proficient in any instrument is an attractive quality. But the guitar holds a special place in history.
The mere fact that you are learning guitar is evidence of your curiosity and will to improve your life. Playing guitar is an easy way to impress your crush. Of course, you should probably make sure you can play a few tunes before busting the acoustic out at a party!
25. Improves your dexterity
The intricate plucking, picking, and strumming techniques you will learn will improve your coordination and dexterity.
There are many benefits to learning guitar, one of which may be to improve your dexterity. Guitar playing requires a lot of precise and complex finger and hand movements.
For some beginners who may be clumsy doing everyday tasks, playing the guitar can improve dexterity and coordination. However, your increased dexterity won’t come from occasional practice here and there. Practicing the guitar every day will increase dexterity the quickest.
Through practice, you will strengthen your ability to command your fingers to complete complex movements. Dexterity can be improved in other ways, but by learning to play the guitar, you are also picking up different life-changing skills.
26. Gives you a new appreciation for music.
As you dig deeper into the world of music and guitar, you will probably gain a greater appreciation for music’s value.
Once you have started to practice with your guitar regularly, you may begin to have a new appreciation for all the great music and musicians you have listened to.
Practicing can be intensely frustrating, especially when you try to replicate what you have seen great guitarists do on stage and on records you love.
One reason to play guitar that always comes up is the desire to be like Hendrix, Clapton, and other legendary guitarists.
As you learn more about the guitar, you will undoubtedly gain a great appreciation for the complexity and skill that goes into producing the music we all know and love.
27. A New Way to Communicate
Another reason to play the guitar is to learn new ways of self-expression and communication. By playing the guitar, you can express feelings that you can’t put into words. Music has always been a supreme form of expression. The guitar has so much room for nuance and interpretation. For many years musicians have used the guitar to rid themselves of anger, sadness, and frustration.
Playing the guitar is also a fantastic way to communicate joy. A well-placed chord can say a thousand words. Many guitarists will tell you that learning a new lick or a heavy riff is the best way to spend a few idle hours.
28. Boost Your Multitasking Skills
One of the key benefits of playing guitar is that you will develop your ability to multitask. At various times guitar playing will require you to read music, pick the right notes, strum to the correct rhythm, and listen to other musicians.
If you feel like you need to improve your multitasking skills, learning the guitar is a great place to start. The process of learning any musical instrument is multifaceted.
The more you practice, the greater your ability to perform multiple tasks will be. Being able to multitask is a crucial skill to have in many walks of life. This skill is crucial to develop in virtually all career paths, as a parent, and in busy periods of your life. Learning to multitask is also one of many reasons to play guitar as learning this skill will benefit you in multiple facets of life, not just in your musical efforts.
29. Benefits of Playing Guitar on the Brain
- Improves memory
- Improves the ability to execute complex tasks simultaneously.
- Provides a therapeutic respite from the everyday
- Sharpens ability to concentrate
- Exercises all parts of the brain
- Increases capacity to store and retrieve memories
30. A Sense of Accomplishment
One of the great benefits of learning guitar is the immense sense of accomplishment you feel when you finally nail a riff or finish a solo over a complex chord progression.
This feeling is tough to replicate in other areas of life. One of the most common reasons to play guitar for many beginners is the sense of progress and joy you can get from playing. And what makes it even better is the constant opportunity for accomplishment. As you practice the guitar daily, you will get better and better, continually learning harder riffs and songs.
31. Helps You Play Other Instruments
Learning the guitar can be an essential gateway to playing other instruments. After you have made a decent amount of progress on the guitar, you could move on to other stringed instruments like the bass, ukulele, mandolin, and even violin!
Playing the guitar will teach you the necessary skills: rhythm, tone, fingering techniques. This knowledge can be readily applied to many other instruments. As you branch out to play different instruments, you will also become a better guitar player. Practicing music theory will give you a keener ear and eye for playing your current instruments and others regardless of the instrument.
If you are a keen musician, you will be able to have lots of fun experimenting with the skills you have gained from learning the guitar.
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