So you’ve started taking guitar lessons and you’ve learned how to play some of the essential chords. When you grip your guitar, you probably feel instantly cooler, and trust me, you should. While being able to play some sweet riffs on your ax will definitely make you the life of the party and boost your street cred, those aren’t the only perks of your new hobby. Here are five benefits of playing guitar.
1. Strum Away the Stress
No matter what’s causing you to feel stressed, spend some time playing your guitar. At the very least it will boost your mood and shift your focus, and before you know it, the stress of the day will subside. Once you get into your groove, you’ll feel much more relaxed.
According to a study from HELPGUIDE “playing music is like a mega-vitamin, engaging more areas of the human brain than any other activity. Music’s ability to help us shift thought patterns and moods, and even improve our physical well being is quite remarkable.” So next time you feel stressed, take it out on your guitar, not your loved ones.
2. Boost Your Brain Power
Learning guitar may not instantly make you the smartest person in class, but once you become a famous rock star that won’t matter anyway. Playing an instrument, however, naturally stimulates the brain. You’re focusing on reading music, learning chords, and doing several things at once.
Plus, in order to improve, you have to pay close attention to detail so you can correct errors and make adjustments. According to Medical News Today, based on findings from a study in Scotland, “people who practice musical instruments have sharper brains because they pick up mistakes in their performance and fix them more quickly than other people.”
So once you’ve learned to play some easy songs, you’ll not only be the envy of all your friends, you’ll also be smarter.
3. Pick Away the Pain
Have you ever noticed how playing or listening to music seems to take your mind off the things that are bothering you? This same strategy may work to alleviate anxiety and/or chronic pain.
An article in Men’s Health noted that based on a study from the University of Utah’s Pain Research center, listening to music can take your mind off and reduce pain—and what better music to listen to than the tunes you create on your guitar?
4. Heal Your Heart
While music (listening to, playing and writing) can certainly help you process your feelings and mend a broken heart, music actually has a positive effect on your heart from a medical standpoint.
According to Harvard Health, “music can help ease your recovery from a cardiac procedure, get you back to normal after a heart attack or stroke, relieve stress, and maybe even lower your blood pressure a tad.” So go ahead and sing your heart out, your body will thank you.
5. Practice Your Passion
This should probably be at the top of the list, but one of the most obvious benefits of playing guitar is that it’s really fun! Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, you probably started playing because you were interested, and you continue playing because you love it.
Playing music is fun, and it can expand your social circle and take you to unexpected places. Remember this next time you don’t feel like practicing, or get discouraged when you’re trying to learn a new song.
If you feel like you could use some extra help, find an awesome guitar teacher in your area.