Because playing guitar (or any musical instrument) requires a lot of time, practice, and patience to become proficient, it is natural for people to ask what the benefits of playing guitar are? Fortunately, there are multiple benefits to playing guitar!
The list provides the benefits of playing guitar and illustrates the various physical, mental, and social improvements playing guitar can introduce into your life! Let’s explore these benefits in greater detail below:
1. Reduces Stress
Playing guitar takes forces the person playing the guitar to concentrate on the task at hand to make music. Focusing on a specific task helps distract you from any worrying or anxious thoughts, thus helping to center and calm yourself.
Furthermore, familiar and or repetitive motions have been proven to help people with anxiety and stress calm themselves and refocus on the present, rather than being lost in existential dread.
Therefore, although playing a song may help calm one’s mind, focusing on a dedicated task like playing the A minor pentatonic scale for a few minutes can help ground oneself in reality.
2. Improves Mathematical And Literacy Skills
Although the educational benefits of playing a musical instrument are often dismissed, which may simply be termed a creative endeavor with limited holistic development, recent studies have found an apparent link between academic performance and playing a musical instrument like the guitar.
The reason is that the ability to read music, write music, and perform a song requires an intuitive understanding of patterns, which in turn speak to more extensive mathematical and creative formulas/rules.
In conclusion, like so many things in the natural world, manipulating sound into music requires a fundamental understanding/relationship with the laws of maths and physics.
This understanding and manipulation are further improved with the assistance of the “left-brain” and creative skills.
3. Improves Time Management
Becoming proficient at guitar requires hours of practice every single day. However, it can be easy to neglect creative endeavors because of our busy lives with school, work, exercise, and/or social commitment.
Therefore because playing guitar requires a level of commitment that other creative projects such as painting or writing do not, and being subject to structured lessons (either via a teacher or workbook), it is a perfect way to improve one’s discipline and time management skills.
Furthermore, joining a larger group such as a band or dedicated “jam sessions” requires teamwork, communication, and coordination. All of this emphasizes the need for time management to not disappoint others and maximize your practice sessions!
4. Improves Patience And Concentration
Further to time management is the fact that even the most naturally gifted musicians need the patience to improve their skills and maximize their practice sessions through intense concentration, self-reflection, and problem-solving.
When you introduce other elements into practice that require even more intensive forms of multitasking, such as singing or playing in a band, the need for patience, concentration, and teamwork is further compounded.
Furthermore, playing guitar is a way to improve one’s concentration and patience with regard to a skill/creative endeavor that you find personally fulfilling and motivating.
This movement toward self-fulfillment develops natural self-discipline instead of an external third party that enforces disciple with the threat of failure or punishment (such as a teacher or boss.)
5. Reduces Cognitive Decline
Whether you start playing guitar at a young age or much later in life, playing a musical instrument has been proven to reduce cognitive decline as people age.
Not only is there clear evidence to support this finding, but there are some studies that suggest that playing a musical instrument may reduce one’s risk of severe cognitive decline from conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Finally, the added benefit of socialization that typically comes with learning to play guitar, joining a band, or attending musical gigs helps older people engage with others.
Whereby the act of continuous socialization and support structures have proven to be effective in combating cognitive decline.
6. Improves Memory Capacity
Further to combating cognitive decline and improving mathematical/literacy skills is that learning to play guitar improves one’s memory. The reason is that playing a musical instrument requires a unique combination between muscle memory, musical memory, and knowledge of chord/note locations.
Furthermore, guitar players can never become complacent because there are so many techniques and complexities to becoming a proficient guitarist. Instead, they need to continue developing and learning new skills and committing these skills to memory through consistent and diligent practice.
7. Alleviates Pain
Although listening to music, playing music, and/or engaging in music therapy are proven methods of alleviating stress and anxiety, recent studies suggest that similar benefits can be applied to the alleviation of physical pain.
According to a study from the University of Utah’s Pain Research Center, playing guitar and/or listening to music effectively distracts oneself from an uncomfortable or painful physical sensation by channeling one’s thoughts, focus, and efforts into a pleasant experience.
While there are still a lot of studies that need to be conducted to verify these pain alleviation claims further, this is a promising development for those seeking natural and constructive relief from chronic pain.
8. Improves Heart Health
According to studies conducted across different universities and medical centers in the Netherlands, playing guitar and/or other musical instruments for approximately 100 minutes a day has proven to reduce one’s blood pressure and improve one’s overall cardiovascular health.
Not only is the physical act of playing guitar believed to improve heart health. A study from Harvard Health suggests that listening to music can help a patient recover and return one’s blood pressure to pre-operation levels after a cardiac procedure.
9. Is a Potential Career Path
While it would be amiss to suggest that playing guitar will result in platinum records and/or sold-out stadiums. Learning to play guitar is a viable method to make extra money outside of work and over the weekends or as a vehicle for expanding into other fields such as entertainment or education.
Therefore, whether you are a 9-to-5 office worker looking for a small injection of capital during your free time or a college student trying to secure some advance fees to pay off a student loan. You could join a band, play some solo gigs, or offer private guitar lessons to adults and/or children that want to learn guitar!
Otherwise, the transferable skills from guitar, such as a deeper appreciation and understanding of music, may make you a prime candidate to assist in larger musical productions, write for a newspaper/magazine as a music critic, and/or assist in a record/music store.
10. Lets You Socialize with Like-minded People
Because of the dedication and passion guitarists, other instrumentalists, and music fans have for music, playing guitar is an excellent way of meeting people who share similar passions and interests.
Although the best way to form connections with other musicians is to create a band or join an orchestra, simply attending guitar lessons with other people, attending casual “jam sessions,” performing in public or attending other performances is a sure-fire way to meet new people.
Alternatively, just bringing a guitar on a camping trip or picnic is an excellent method to set a laid-back mood and draw people to you while having an easy source of conversation.
Finally, learning guitar and other music is a fantastic way of exposing yourself to different cultures and bridging any social/language barriers that may exist between you and other people through music.
11. Boosts Your Confidence
As mentioned above, playing guitar allows you to meet a host of like-minded people, which can help boost one’s self-confidence and expand one’s social circle, which has the by-product of emotional support if/when needed.
However, the beauty of playing guitar is it has the independent and inherent benefit of improving one’s confidence by forcing people to set goals and attempt to achieve these goals through patience, practice, and self-determination.
This sense of accomplishment, which can only be achieved through hard work, helps improve one’s confidence, as even small and basic feats on the guitar can help people understand their potential and capabilities in all walks of life!
12. Allows You to Express Yourself
Whether you are a talented virtuoso or simply a casual guitar player, playing guitar allows you to create your own musical pieces, experiment with various chords/notes, or add your own personal rendition and style to popular songs.
Not only is playing guitar and finding a creative outlet an inherent good in that it breaks the monotony of everyday life and speaks to our innate desire for creative expression, but it is also a proven method of finding unique outlets for expression that other forms of communication do not allow.
Consequently, it’s not surprising that some of the most significant pieces of music have resulted from trauma, hardship, or deep inspiration/motivation from events in an artist’s life.
Therefore, playing guitar as a method of self-expression is not only crucial for your own development and healing, but it may be a way to reach out and assist others in a way that traditional forms of communication cannot achieve.
13. Improves Overall Health
Along with mental and cardiovascular health, playing guitar has overall health benefits that translate into improvements in everyday life and helps people learn other instruments.
Playing guitar helps with improving one’s dexterity and fine motor skills, making it an excellent skill for those that work with their hands a lot, either in their day jobs or in pursuit of other hobbies such as woodworking.
However, unlike other hobbies that require fine motor skills and the use of one’s hands, such as playing video games or typing, playing guitar requires intricate and precise movements, as well as varied wrist movements.
The replacement of varied and complex wrist movements means that playing guitar improves one’s overall finger and wrist health; this is particularly important as the introduction of repetitive movements via technology has significantly increased people’s risk of degenerative conditions such as carpal tunnels or arthritis.
14. Is Enjoyable
Last but certainly not least, playing guitar is an enjoyable hobby that promotes learning, creativity, expanding one’s music taste, and having fun. Whether you decide to enjoy guitar by yourself, with friends and family, or in a public space, the versatility and portability of guitar allow you to enjoy guitar the way you want to.
The individualism of playing guitar is further expanded in your relationship with the guitar. Whether it is a serious hobby that you want to use as a gateway into alternative professions or simply a way to pass the time during a “work from home” coffee break, the choice is yours!
Whereby no matter how little or how much you decide to play guitar, you are almost guaranteed to have a good time!
In conclusion, there are various reasons why playing guitar can help you in all different fields throughout your life. Therefore if you have yet to start playing guitar, are a beginner, or haven’t played guitar in a while, it is highly recommended you do so!