22 Reasons To Learn Guitar
If you play the guitar, you already know how good it makes you feel right? But did you know there have been a number of scientific studies performed on the effects of guitar playing? Some of the results might just surprise you, keep reading to find out why playing the guitar is so good for you.
It’s not just a great way to pass the time, playing the guitar really does have proven benefits that will cross over into your daily life. Here are our top reasons to learn guitar.
1. It Can Help You Relieve Stress
Playing the guitar calms the body and mind. There have been numerous studies done that all prove that playing guitar lowers blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety and depression. In fact, playing guitar for just 15 minutes has been known to reduce levels of stress. This is because playing guitar takes all of your concentration which means you can’t be thinking of your cares or worries whilst playing the guitar.
2. It Improves Concentration Skills
Playing the guitar means you have to concentrate and like any practised skill, it becomes a habit over time. All of which will crossover into other areas of your life. This means you’ll find you have an increased level of concentration in whatever you do.
3. It Improves Your Memory
There’s a lot to remember when playing the guitar, chord shapes, the position of notes, strumming/picking patterns, the list goes on and on. The more you need to remember, the more neural pathways your brain creates. These pathways help to improve your memory which also crosses over into other areas of your life.
4. It’s Proven To Help Ward Off Dementia In Later Life
Those same memory making neural pathways that buildup in your brain will also help in later life. There is growing evidence to suggest that learning to play the guitar can help to lessen the degree of degenerative memory loss in later life.
5. It’s Great For Hand To Eye Coordination
Playing the guitar successfully, means using your hands and eyes together simultaneously. You need to make the chord shapes with one hand while strumming the rhythmic tempo with the other hand. This eye to hand coordination increases your ability to process information and allows you to be more dexterous too.
6. It Builds Stronger Arms
Guitarists build muscles in their arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers just by playing the guitar. It’s a gradual process, but over time, and with regular guitar playing sessions, your arms and attached muscles will become stronger.
7. It Boosts Your Confidence
As your playing skills improve and you start to show others your achievements, you will find you enjoy performing in front of others more and more. These experiences give you a boost in your confidence and you’ll find that you feel more comfortable in many social engagements.
8. It Helps You Develop Better Listening Skills
To become a good guitarist, you’ll need to improve your ability to listen and really listen well. Over time, you’ll be able to recognise chords just by hearing them because you spend a lot of your time listening to music. The guitarist that listens to many different genres greatly improves their own musical ability and widens their musical taste at the same time.
9. It Can Actually Make You Healthier
Playing the guitar energises the guitarist which in turn creates a healthier outlook on life in general. You’ll find you will improve your posture when playing guitar as well as having more energy for your day to day activities.
10. It Can Have A Positive Impact On Your Social Life
Whether it’s playing with other musicians, talking to the guitar shop staff, discussing various genres or artists, or just having more confidence to talk to people in general. You’ll find you have far less difficulty talking to others once you become a guitarist. Plus there have been social studies  in which the guitarist really was found to be more attractive purely by holding the guitar.
11. It Helps You Develop Skills Necessary To Become Successful
Not just in the music business, we can’t all become rockstars. But guitarists have the ability to work hard and study on their own. They are also patient and persistent and not afraid of hard work plus they are creative. All qualities that transfer into any business venture, which means an individual that has been playing the guitar for some time, is more likely to succeed in any business venture they participate in.
12. It Makes You Happier
A recent study  found that just listening to music makes you feel good by releasing the feel good hormone dopamine into your brain. Think how much happier actually playing that music will make you.
13. It Can Help Cure Insomnia
According to another study , listening to or playing music and by extension, guitar, releases oxytocin which aids relaxation. If you’re relaxed, you’re more likely to sleep better than if you’re stressed. So playing the guitar will help you to sleep better. This is probably why mothers sing to their babies to soothe them to sleep.
14. It Enhances Verbal Intelligence
Yet another study  found that 90% of children that took music lessons scored higher on verbal tests. Learning to play the guitar is comparable to learning another language so it’s only to be expected that verbal communications would improve as well.
15. It Increases Your Creativity
Musicians and guitarists in particular, picture chord shapes, scales and arpeggios in their mind which gives them a unique ability when problem solving in general. Guitarists actually develop ways to look at problems in a multidimensional way. This helps in creating new and better ways of dealing with whatever problems life or our careers throw at us.
16. It Promotes A Healthier Immune System
In another study , scientists have discovered that playing the guitar, or any instrument, increases levels of immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that helps to fight viruses and improve the immune system in the body.
17. It Introduces You To New Cultures
Playing the guitar exposes you to all kinds of different geographical and cultural influences. There’s Latin music like Flamenco, classical music from Europe, Jazz, Blues, Indie, Rock, Punk and any of the other multitude of genres of music all available to the guitarist. Guitarists can and do take pieces of every type of music and incorporate it into their own playing style. Thus giving the guitarist a unique perspective on the cultures of other people.
18. It Is A Great Way To Express Yourself
Some people find it hard to describe their emotions in words, and stay locked within their own thoughts. The guitarist has a unique way to express the way they’re feeling, through music. We can play happy tunes, exciting tunes, the blues, and many other musical forms to demonstrate how we are feeling without the need for words.
19. It Helps You To Develop Multitasking Skills
The guitarist needs to read music, change chords, strum or pick the strings while listening to other musicians and possibly singing at the same time. If ever there was an example of multitasking, it’s playing the guitar and once you can master all of that, transferring that skill into everyday life will be a doddle.
20. It Improves Your Overall Dexterity
Playing the guitar takes lots of practice, every day for at least an hour a day. That time spent practising guitar is also improving your dexterity. The ability to control the fingers of both hands simultaneously is a useful skill for life which can take many years to master. You can learn how to achieve this ability while enjoying yourself on your guitar.
21. It Gives You A Sense Of Satisfaction
Unlike the Rolling Stones song, guitarists can get satisfaction from learning and remembering a piece of music that’s taken time to learn. Obviously anyone with any hobby can achieve a similar satisfaction but we have a tune we can play forever once we’ve nailed it. And nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction like remembering a particularly taxing piece of music.
22. It Sets You Up To Learn Other Instruments
Learning to play the guitar will give you the skills needed to play other stringed instruments like the ukulele, mandolin, banjo and even the bass guitar. That sense of rhythm, tone and the confidence to work across the fretboard will all be transferable onto other instruments. You often find guitarists that play banjo, uke and mandolin because of the similarity of skills needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is definitely worth learning the guitar. Apart from the obvious benefits of being able to play a cool instrument, scientists have discovered there are many health benefits to be gained from playing the guitar. Including better memory retention in later life and less likelihood of dementia symptoms, reduced stress levels, better sleep patterns and better posture to name but a few.
Playing guitar is good for your brain. Scientific studies have shown that learning how to play the guitar increases the neural pathways in the brain. This improves memory and helps to ward off dementia in old age.