The Many Health Benefits of Playing Guitar
It isn’t cliche. It’s true. It’s scientifically proven, even, that playing guitar has a lot of health benefits. Playing guitar is good for your brain. Playing guitar is good for your body. Playing guitar is good for your soul (and emotional health). There are a lot of studies out to support it with SCIENCE now, too.
So here are some of the ways playing guitar will improve all of that:
- Reduces The Effects of Stress
This is good all around, right? We hear about stress as the silent killer all the time.
LiveScience.com shares Suzanne Hanser’s summation of the health benefits of playing an instrument. Hanser is the chair of the music therapy department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. “Research shows that making music can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, reduce stress, and lessen anxiety and depression. There is also increasing evidence that making music enhances the immunological response, which enables us to fight viruses.”
The American Psychological Association reports the same citing that music can be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery. It also literally reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases production of the “antibody immunoglobulin A and the natural killer cells that fight off viruses and boost the immune system’s effectiveness.” Next time you’re feeling the pressures of life, pick up your guitar and start playing. You will feel better, and maybe you won’t get sick or have a heart attack.
- Lifts Your Mood
How many times have you heard someone say “Music is my therapy,” or “Music is my church.” There is a reason for that. Music can boost your mood. The sounds and vibrations themselves are therapeutic and can be used to treat pain. Being creative and emotionally expressive is therapeutic. Completing something new is healing and boosts confidence. Whether you play music as a hobby or as a professional, you will feel better. Or, simply listen. That works, too.
- Improves Brain Function
One of the benefits of playing guitar, and playing an instrument in general, is it improves your brain’s cognitive function no matter what. Numerous studies report playing music enhances a child’s development and prevents dementia in older adults.
One of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s otolaryngologist says listening to or playing music provides a total brain workout. “Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it.” It also improves long term memory recall, jump-starts creativity and improves eye hand coordination.
By the way, an oto-laryng-ologist is fancy for ENT, or an ears, nose and throat doctor.
- Boosts Confidence
Part of this is up to you. Because, if you give up and don’t actually learn to play, then it won’t boost your confidence. But, if you do practice and learn, you will be so proud of yourself as you succeed one song, one chord and one riff at a time. Learning any new skill is good for your brain, but learning to play an instrument is completely different engages a different part of your creative mind. Ultimately, as you continue to learn and grow, your self esteem will grow as well. Achieving “little” successes and “little” goals, leads to greater successes and accomplishments, setting a pattern of reinforced positive experiences. Positive experiences build more positive Some think you could have more success in love, too.
- Connects You With Other People
You’re a rock. You’re an island. We get it. Having alone time is important, and practicing alone is therapeutic. But hanging out with people is important, too, especially people you get along with. Music is a unique way to connect with other people in a distant or intimate way, whether you chat favorite guitar riffs, the best and worst bands of all time, or you’re jamming around the bonfire. All you have to do is go to a local open mic to experience this. (Don’t let one bad open mic turn you off from finding other music lovers in your community, though.)
There you have it, the benefits of playing music, and in our case, playing guitar, are never ending. Playing guitar is essentially good for everyone from the inside out, no matter the age, from children to adults. Music truly is a unique gift in this world that we can all embrace alone and together.
If you want to get started, download the Fret Zealot app or on your computer and explore all of the ways you can tune, practice and play. Here’s a list of chords to get started, and you can download our free beginner’s guide here.
Fret Zealot fits almost any guitar with any neck length, and we have a new Fret Zealot for ukulele available as well.
Explore our store and pick up your guitar or ukulele and play!