5 Reasons to Pick Up a Guitar

5 Reasons to Pick Up a Guitar

Many people wish they could play a musical instrument, but just never seem to get around to it. Some of you may even think you’re too old to start learning. Of all the instruments out there, the guitar has got to be one of the most accessible. It’s also relatively easy to get started with. It might take a little bit of effort, but there are lots of benefits to be had. Here are just 5 reasons you should pick up a guitar today.

1. Relieves stress

We have more than our fair share of stress in our lives.

We already have more than our fair share of stress in our lives.

We all know that stress is bad for you. We also all have more than our fair share of it in our day to day lives. There’s a lot of evidence out there to show that playing a musical instrument is good for you. In fact, making music can actually lower your blood pressure and decrease your heart rate.

When you’re learning a guitar (or any instrument for that matter), all of your focus is on what you’re doing at that particular moment in time. It’s like a form of mindfulness. You’re no longer thinking about your day to day problems, you are, quite literally, concentrating on the task in hand. There’s nothing better to do after a bad day at work than pick up your guitar and play your troubles away!

2. Develops co-ordination

Playing guitar helps develop coordination

Playing guitar helps develop hand-eye coordination.

A key part of playing the guitar is hand eye co-ordination. Strumming with one hand whilst fretting notes with the other all helps to develop good motor skills and muscle memory. This can also benefit you in other areas of life where good co-ordination is required. It can be particularly useful for the very young.

Children, for example, can really reap the rewards of playing guitar as it can help speed up their overall development and give them skills that they can use throughout their life. That isn’t to say that you won’t enjoy these benefits if you are older. Age is irrelevant when it comes to playing the guitar. You’re never too old to learn.

3. Improves your memory

Learning guitar just might improve your memory.

Learning guitar just might improve your memory.

Playing guitar can benefit your brain and your memory. When you learn new scales, chords and songs, your grey matter gets a really good workout. The more you absorb new information into your brain, the easier you’ll find it to retain that information. Just like the motor skills we mentioned earlier, this benefit is not limited to playing your instrument. Musicians can find it easier to pick up new skills in other areas, learning a new language for example. On top of all this, playing guitar can even help improve your IQ!

4. Gives you a creative outlet

It’s great to be able to express your emotions and show your creativity through guitar playing. Music is as much about emotion as it is about technical ability (more so in some respects). Having a creative outlet to get lost in can really help improve your overall quality of life. If you have somewhere positive to channel your feelings, it can really help lower your stress levels (see reason 1).

Being artistic can also help when it comes to ‘thinking outside of the box.’ People come up with all sorts of interesting ideas and solutions to problems when they’re concentrating on something creative, such as playing an instrument. If you’re struggling to overcome an issue, go play your guitar for a bit. You might just have a Eureka moment!

5. It’s fun!

If nothing else, play guitar for the sheer joy of it

If nothing else, play guitar for the sheer joy of it

This is probably the most important reason to pick up a guitar. It’s really enjoyable to play music, no matter what the genre. The sense of accomplishment you get from being able to recreate one of your favorite songs is immense. Jamming with other musicians is also great fun, whatever your ability. When you listen to music, your brain actually releases a chemical that makes you happy (dopamine). Imagine how happy creating your own music can make you. Science aside, the guitar is probably one of the most fun instruments you can play (apart from the Ukulele maybe!). After all, who doesn’t love a good old sing along?

Why Haven’t YOU Picked Up a Guitar Yet?

Have you always wanted to play guitar, but have been putting it off for one reason or another? If so, tell me about it in the comments section below. Maybe I (or other readers) can help address some of your concerns (lack of money, time, etc).


Certain scientific and medical claims were made in this article, so I think it prudent to provide a few sources to back up those claims:


Written by 4Guitar.co.uk

Guest Contributor

4Guitar.co.uk aims to provide quality articles, in depth and impartial reviews, as well as guides to all things related to playing the guitar. Go visit them over at http://www.4guitar.co.uk/



11 replies
  1. Nelson Fogerty
    Nelson Fogerty says:

    It’s awesome that you mention that learning to play the guitar can help enhance your mental abilities. I want my son to do well academically, so I’m considering having him enroll in a guitar class. I’m going to search for a good guitar class that he can attend.

  2. Taylor Anderson
    Taylor Anderson says:

    I like how you pointed out that learning guitar can help build motor skills. My older brother has been thinking of playing the guitar. Do you have any tips for finding a great teacher in his area?

    • Guitar Answer Guy
      Guitar Answer Guy says:

      Hi Taylor. Sure, a couple things I can recommend:

      1. Find a teacher that teaches the style you ultimately want to play. So, if your brother wants to be a Metal player, he’ll get bored very quickly if he picks a teacher that plays primarily acoustic fingerstyle.

      2. Be sure the teacher truly understands beginners. Many guitar teachers SAY they teach beginners or “all levels” but actually toss beginners into the deep end and/or lack the patience for a true beginner.

      3. Ask around, and try to get personal recommendations (for teachers) from other guitarists, if possible. Since your brother probably doesn’t yet know any other guitarists, this one may not apply, but I like to list it anyway.

      4. See if the teacher he’s interested in will offer a free lesson/evaluation. Back when I gave guitar lessons, my first 30-minute lesson was always free–to ensure the teacher (me) and student were a good match. Not all teachers can or will do this, but look for it if you can.

      5. If your brother is wanting a more “formal” music education, meaning he wants to learn music theory, sightreading, composition, etc. then make sure the teacher actually knows those topics (maybe check to see if they have a formal music degree). Sounds obvious, right? Well, when I was young, I told a potential guitar teacher that I wanted to work on music theory and sightreading, and he assured me he’d teach me those things. For months, I took lessons from him and he conspicuously always avoided teaching me theory or sightreading–saying I “wasn’t ready yet.” Turned out, he actually didn’t know music theory nor sightreading. I wasted hundreds of dollars and months of time being strung along by this fraud.

  3. Amy Winters
    Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for pointing out that learning to play the guitar will give your brain a workout and improve your memory, which can make it easier for you to learn new skills. My son really wants to play the guitar, so we’re currently figuring out the budget and trying to find a teacher. I’m glad to hear that learning this instrument will benefit him academically!

  4. Benoit Tis Music
    Benoit Tis Music says:

    One of the consistent elements that we find by those who we think of as creative geniuses is that they almost always play a musical instrument at which they are self taught (relatively speaking). This was pointed out to me in ” The Greatest History Lesson John Taylor Gatto.” It makes sense in light of your article that those individuals would also develop greater motor skills and muscle memory, as well as better overall emotional well being.

  5. Bethany Birchridge
    Bethany Birchridge says:

    I like that this mentioned that learning guitar can really speed up a child’s overall development. It’s so fascinating that good motor skills and muscle memory can be obtained by playing guitar. My older brother has been thinking of picking up the guitar, so I think he’d love to read this article!

  6. Amanda Drew
    Amanda Drew says:

    I like how you say that having a creative outlet will let you improve the quality of your life and that learning the guitar can do that. Recently, I’ve been a bit purposeless because I don’t have too many hobbies right now. I’d like to pick up a new skill. I’ll have to find somewhere that I could get guitar lessons from.

  7. Smith
    Smith says:

    Awesome article, thanks for writing it! I’ve been thinking about learning to play guitar for a few years now. I really want to, but I’m afraid to invest in a guitar (and maybe an amp too) when I’m not sure if I’ll have the time or be able to stick with it for the long term. What should I do?

    • Joe
      Joe says:

      I had wanted to play guitar for years and I kept putting it off. I finally bought myself a guitar last xmas for around $400. I am quite poor so this was a descent amount of cash for me. It has been one of the best values ever for me. If you average out that $400 over the number of hours I played it this last year its probably a couple of cents per hr of use. Easily the cheapest and some of the best entertainment ever. If cost is your concern just look for a lower cost quality instrument. Like a nicer Squire or Epiphone.

      • Guitar Answer Guy
        Guitar Answer Guy says:

        Thanks for the comment Joe. I love these kinds of stories, and I’m glad you were able to make that investment. Indeed, nowadays you can get a pretty decent guitar for around $100 – $200. The quality can be hit-or-miss in that price range, but advancements in manufacturing have resulted in an overall increase in quality and consistency (compared to what you could get for a similar price 20 years ago). On the other hand, you can get some really great beginner electric guitars for just under $300 too.


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