We play guitar to make music. There are other benefits to playing guitar besides making music or the fact it’s a hobby you enjoy. The guitar has benefits to both the mind and the body that you may not realize. Here are several ways the guitar benefits you.
You’ll burn calories by playing the guitar, but your weight determines this amount. A person that weighs around 200 pounds (90 kg) burns about 182 per hour of calories playing. If you weigh less, you won’t burn as many calories. Your calorie expenditure increases when you stand up to play your guitar. There aren’t as many benefits when sitting down as you’re not using as many muscles. You could burn over 200 calories or more on stage. If you’re playing on stage, you tend to move around a lot. The calories you burn on stage will be higher than if you standstill. Guitar playing is also good for the arms as it can strengthen the forearms as well as the wrists.
Improves Your Creativity
Playing the guitar is a creative activity. If you want to stimulate your creativity, play more guitar. You have to think as you play, and this stimulates the creative side of the brain. For example, you may have to come up with a catchy riff to a song you’re writing. You may have to try several riffs to find one that works. This is a creative process you need to go through and engages your brain and make you think.
Your creativity skyrockets when you play any original material. playing covers can work in this regard, too. You may end up changing the songs a bit to fit in with your own style. This would also be a creative process as you need to think of ways to make the song your own. You might be strumming a chord progression. You end coming up with many different ways to play the same progression and get creative with it.
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Boost Hand Flexibility
When you play guitar, you’ll improve your hand flexibility. This occurs in a slow manner over time. As you improve on guitar so does your flexibility. You’ll find that you’re able to do longer hand stretches on guitar if you keep playing. The fingers get flexible, and you’ll develop wrist as well as forearm strength by playing often.
To get the most benefits you want to warm up before you play anything complex and cool down afterward. You can do this by performing finger exercises. This helps improve your flexibility and hand strength. Your fingertip toughens up as well after calluses develop.
If you have a lot of stress in your life, play more guitar. When you sit down with your instrument, you’ll find that stress melts away. You get lost in the moment as you play and this helps calm you. If you have a stressful day, grab your guitar, and start playing.
Many people turn to the guitar to deal with stressful issues in their life. Perhaps you’re having problems at work or a bad breakup. Your guitar is there to help you deal with stress. Think of how good it feels to play a shredding solo or to riff on some cool sounding chords. You can feel the stress drain form you, and you get lost in the music you’re playing. If you feel anger or frustration, reach for the “axe”.
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Reduces Negative Thoughts
Playing the guitar can help you reduce depression or negative thoughts in your life. If you’re feeling down music can lift your spirits and put you in a better frame of mind. Music is motivational, and it can help you when you don’t feel at your best. If you feel down, the guitar is your best bet to begin to feel better. Music soothes the soul and brings out the best in you.
If you’re in a bad spot in life, write a song about it. The creative process of writing the song could help you deal with all the negative emotions you have. You’ll be better set to deal with the issues troubling you. Playing guitar allows you to deal with emotions. Think of all the heartfelt songs out there. Many of these songs help people through bad spots in their life. Music has a way of bringing us together. Use the guitar to help you deal with your feelings in a constructive way.
Improves Your Memory
Playing guitar is an excellent way to boost your memory. You need to memorize things such as chords, scales, fingerings, and solos. This takes a lot of work and requires good memorization skills. On top of this, you may also work with many music genres that need you to engage your memorization skills.
Not only do you need to memorize theory aspects of guitar playing but you need to memorize songs. Think of all the songs you have in your repertoire. It took a long time to learn those songs and then to memorize how they go. You have to review material all the time to keep it fresh in your mind. You’re always going to use your memorization skills when learning as well as playing guitar. Your fingers learn where to go, and we call this “muscle memory.” You engage your memory skills a great deal when you play the guitar.
Young people often pick up the guitar as a way of fitting in or being “cool.” Teenagers or younger children can experience a lack of confidence in themselves. Playing guitar helps you break free of that self-doubt and gives you more confidence.
Think of how other people view guitar players. Some guitar players today are icons, and we look up to them for their amazing talents. This can be a big boost to someone that lacks confidence. As they get better on guitar they may be more outgoing. This helps them with their lack of confidence in a constructive way and improves it. People want to be around guitar players and musicians in general. We can all relate to music. Anyone can gain more confidence in themselves by playing the guitar.
You need to listen to music and pay close attention to it when you play guitar. You have to pick up on things such as chord changes or techniques like bends and slides. All this requires that you have excellent listening skills. Playing guitar is an excellent way to improve your hearing.
Think of all the times you need to learn a song. You listen to the guitar parts several times. This engagement with the song requires that you open your ears and listen to the song. You might be listening to a riff over and over as you practice it. All this active listening is improving your hearing as you engage with the song you’re trying to learn. As you get proficient, your ears can pick up on small changes such as a note that’s out of tune, for example. Professional guitar players can listen and hear where the notes are on the guitar and play the song. This comes from years of practice and improved hearing.
Enhances Hand And Eye Coordination
Your eye and hand coordination improve when you play guitar. You need to sync both hands to play the guitar. The rhythm hand must be in sync with your fretting hand, so you keep the beat. You use your eyes to follow along as you play as you may jump from one position to the next.
You start out with poor hand-eye coordination when playing the guitar. This improves over time as you get better. Think of all the songs that you know. You mastered those songs through memorization and with proper hand and eye coordination. You use your eyes to visualize where the notes, chords, and other aspects of the song are on the neck. You then sync this with your hands and put the whole song together. For example, you “visualize” where the open D chord is and then form it with the fingers and play the chord. The eyes and hands have to work together.
Keeps You Learning
You’re always learning new things when you play the guitar. You start off by learning simple chords and a scale or two. Once you have played for a while, you begin to master whole songs. The learning never stops when it comes to guitar playing.
Think of all the genres there are in music. Within those genres are specific guitar styles you need to know. You need those skills to be proficient at playing that genre. There may be certain songs in that genre you wish to learn. All this takes time and requires you to consume a vast amount of material to play the genre in a professional way. Some players spend their entire lives with one genre and always pick up new things along the way. You’re always experimenting and trying new things on the guitar. The learning process never stops.
Takes You Away From Your Comfort Zone
Guitar playing requires you to take risks. You’ll get out of your comfort zone when you play the instrument. You may want to go on stage, and that requires a lot of confidence. You’ll need to master the music if you want to perform live. This process takes time and forces you to do things you might not want to. You might have to do this if you want to be a musical performer.
If you’re in a band, you might have to pay a cover song you don’t like. You have to learn it as it’s popular at the bar you play at. You might not want to play that song, but you have to learn it anyways. You may want to learn a new genre of music with your band that is hard to play. You have to take a step forward to do what it takes to learn that material. To play guitar well, you know that you may have to do things you don’t want to do. For example, you have to practice long hours to master songs. This may be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to see success on the guitar.
Helps With Multitasking
When you play guitar you often have several tasks on the go. For example, you might be learning a song to play with your band. On top of that, you might be practicing your fretboard tapping runs as well as how to play a flamenco song. You’re doing all these tasks during the same practice session.
Think of all the tasks you perform as you play guitar. You have scales to play, chords to practice, songs to go over. You may be looking at sheet music while listening to that song as you play along to it. You may have a practice schedule where you have specific things you need to get done during that session. You need to manage your time to ensure the tasks get done. This requires you to do several things at once.
Creates Fulfillment By Completing Goals
When learning to play guitar you often have goals you set for yourself. You’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of playing by reaching those goals. By setting goals this forces you to do what it takes to get better. You have to motivate yourself, which engages your brain. When you have something you want to do on the guitar, you need a goal to help get you there.
For example, let’s say you have five new songs your band wants you to learn in two weeks. You set yourself a goal of learning a new song each couple of days. This is an example of setting a goal for yourself. Once you finish, you get the satisfaction of playing those new songs live with your band. Think of how good it feels to practice a song you like over and over again and then play it without mistakes. You set a goal of learning that song, and you have accomplished that task. It’s very rewarding to learn things on the guitar.
Playing the guitar is good for your social life. You’ll be out doing something that you love. You may have friends that play the guitar as well. Playing an instrument allows you to meet people that care about music. For those that have trouble connecting with others, music is universal. It’s a great way to share what you care about with others.
If you go to music school, you’ll be meeting other players and teacher that love music. You might be in a music store discussing music with those around you. You could be online in a music forum and discussing guitar topics. If you play in a band, you’ll meet audience members and strike up friendships with your band members. This does wonder for your social life. You’re sharing something you love with others that care about the guitar as much as you do.
Improve Your Self Discipline
When you want to learn the guitar, you need to practice. You have to set aside time to play every day if you want to get good. This forces you to have some self-discipline and control over your life. Playing the guitar takes a lot of effort, and you have to control your urges to do something else.
You need to set a positive mindset. You have materials you need to get through. You want each practice session to be a successful one so you have to motivate yourself to do the best you can. By setting up a schedule and sticking to it, you’ll have a lot of success on the guitar. All that you need is the right frame of mind and to use yourself control. You need to remove distractions like the television or your phone. concentrate on playing and nothing else. This focuses your mind and your energy toward learning to play the instrument.
It’s clear to see that playing the guitar is more than making music. There are several benefits for the body and mind when you pick up the guitar. Playing the guitar is a great form of self-expression, and it’s an instrument that can heal you. It feels good to play the guitar, so never stop learning. Enjoy the experience of guitar playing each day.
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