The benefits of music therapy are becoming more and more acceptable and apparent, with schools, charities, and health organizations using playing the guitar to manage a person’s stress, enhance their memory, improve their communication and motor skills, and help them feel more able to cope with life.

Playing the guitar can be seen as a form of mindful escapism, a way to create space between an individual and their busy mind. Playing guitar, and music, in general, is beneficial to our overall well-being and mental health in other ways, too, including the development of a greater sense of personal achievement.

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Top Reasons to Learn the Guitar

Playing guitar is not only an extremely satisfying and rewarding hobby but also an excellent outlet for your creativity and passion for music. The guitar, in fact, is one of the most popular musical instruments to take up. It has several amazing benefits, both physical and mental, which translate into other areas of your life as well.

Helps to Improve Motor Skills

Get yourself a personal guitar tutor if you are keen on improving your hand-eye coordination. For example, while playing chords, it is extremely difficult for beginner guitar players to coordinate and precisely position their fingers to produce the desired melody.

smiling man on guitar
Playing the guitar has immense psychological and physical benefits for the average human being. | Image credit: Akshar Dave ? on Unsplash

Learning to play the guitar requires very specific muscle movements that your body is not accustomed to. Improving your motor skills through learning to play guitar translates to other activities in life like knitting, martial arts, and sports.

Helps in Brain Development

Playing the guitar stimulates those parts of the brain responsible for cognitive and muscle memory, which, in turn, improves concentration and memory. The initial learning curve can be difficult for beginners, which is why you must exercise your ability to concentrate and memorize things to get better at playing the guitar.

Helps to Fight Stress and Express Emotions Better

Music can be a cathartic experience in music. And, playing the guitar can give you the best avenue for free expression. This freedom to express your emotions that comes with playing the guitar has many health benefits as well. For example, it helps to lower blood pressure, decrease your heart rate, reduce stress, and lessen anxiety and depression.

Helps to Build Self-Discipline

In your effort to get better at playing the guitar, you get to build discipline because the path to improving your guitar skills requires a lot of discipline and dedication. Moreover, playing the guitar, especially if you play it well gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. This is the ultimate confidence booster.

How to Play Guitar Creatively

Did you know? All of us are innately creative, even if we don’t feel it all the time. Playing guitar helps us to reconnect with our creativity. This, in turn, helps us express our authentic self, enabling us to get into our Flow. Whether it’s writing an original music piece or reworking a song for your covers band, the guitar is unparalleled when it comes to unleashing your creativity.

Many guitar players seek to develop their musical creativity by signing up for guitar lessons for beginners. Others search for the music of their favourite bands for cool riffs and guitar ideas and play them over and over. However, the latter may not really help you to learn musical expression. Spend your time, instead, on understanding the two most critical elements required to create emotion in music:

  1. How great guitar players and musicians ‘think’: Determine WHY guitarists choose the specific notes and musical ideas that they do. This is something that you cannot learn if you simply copy the “notes” of your favourite songs and guitar solos. Rather than just playing the same notes as other musicians, you must spend time thinking about the musical emotions you want to express, and what specific musical choices you need to make to achieve that goal. Once you gain this level of musical creativity, you will develop your own unique sound as it relates to the ideas and emotions that come from your mind.
  2. Why certain musical elements create very predictable emotions: The best musical artists will generally make decisions in their music based on the goal of influencing the emotions of the listeners in a specific way.

    Without this ability to intentionally express your unique emotions in music, you will be limited to merely playing the musical ideas of others.

Creative Writing tips
Playing the guitar helps your creative juices to flow. | Image credit: Ramdlon on Pixabay

Translate the Ideas in Your Mind into Guitar Playing Ideas

Once you have compiled your list of raw ideas, get ready to organize and translate them into actual music (guitar playing, improvisations, and songs) on your instrument. To do this, you will need to rely on your mastery of aural skills, music theory, guitar playing technique, and your ability to integrate your guitar playing skills together via songwriting techniques. The more developed your guitar playing skills are, the more accurate you will be in converting your original idea into the final musical result.

Playing the Lead Guitar

By its very nature, music is best enjoyed when it is shared. Naturally, when you learn to play the guitar, you would want to get a band together and perform on stage. Here is how to go about your search for joining a band to play guitar with.

Search for Musicians Around You

  • Group Music Lessons: Sign up for group guitar lessons if you want to know other musicians who share your interests and are working on similar things as you.
  • Local Rehearsal Rooms: Rehearsal spaces are usually the best places to go looking for band ads.
  • Local Music Stores: This is another great way to find local musicians who are actively searching for people to join their band.
  • Guitar Teacher: Teachers might have a student or know someone else who would make a good jam buddy. They might even help you organize a ‘jam night’ with other students.
  • Open Mic Nights and Jam Sessions: Going to open mic nights is the best way to meet people in your local music scene without having to actually play an instrument.

Online Search for Musicians

  • Facebook: Post an update or a video of yourself and get the word out on Facebook. You can also look for local musician groups on Facebook pages to see if anyone there’s interested there.
  • Website Listings for Musicians: A variety of websites offers you the option to either browse different bands’ listings or post your own ad for bands to look at. Going online will also allow you to narrow your search based on your specific preferences or requirements.
  • Upload Your Own Music Videos: Put your talents up on display for the world to see and appreciate. In your videos, remember to mention that you’re actively looking for a band to join so that other musicians can see your musical talent and determine whether you’d be a good fit for their band.

Playing Rhythm on Guitar

For a beginner guitarist, it is absolutely essential to develop a sense of good rhythm. This will help them play chords better and also to express themselves with confidence and play with fluidity. Here are a few easy tips to help develop your sense of rhythm.

The Metronome

A great tool for developing rhythm, a metronome enables guitar players, especially a beginner, to start at any speed that they are comfortable with. The best online guitar lessons will always recommend the use of a metronome for beginners to help you feel very clearly where the beat is.

metronome musical notes
Use a metronome or a drumbeat to improve rhythm accuracy while playing the guitar. | Image credit: Rachel Loughman on Unsplash

Some metronomes even allow you to hear a different sound on the “one” of each beat in a measure. When using a metronome for guitar practice, it is fairly easy to measure your progress by using the numbers on the metronome. For a beginner, it is recommended that they increase the speed in increments of 4 bpm (beats per minute).

The Drumbeat

Practicing your timing with the drumbeat is particularly enjoyable if you plan on playing with other people as the drumbeat is much closer to what you will hear in a band setting. And, of course, the whole set-up sounds more musical as well.

Meter, Downbeat, and Counting

The idea of meter is knowing how many counts or beats are in a measure and how those beats are to be divided. The downbeat is simply the first beat in the measure – the “one”. When you are counting in music, you are constantly counting the number of beats in the measure, at least as a working definition.“One two three four” is the count-off for a song, where the agreement is reached how fast everybody playing the song will be counting. Counting in music is done a few different ways, mostly with the body.

As we have now seen in this post, there are many ways in which playing the guitar improves our mental health and overall wellbeing. However, the greatest way it helps us grow is by connecting us to each other. Playing the guitar can help introduce you to new friends. The simple act of pulling out a guitar at social gatherings and parties helps to bring people together. So, start your search for the best guitar classes near me today!

Find guitar classes near me here on Superprof.

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.