Benefits Of Learning Guitar As A Family

Whenever I watch families play a musical instrument together, I can’t help but feel envious. It has been on my bucket list to learn the guitar with my mother and father and two younger sisters in all honesty. I can say that we are technically a musically inclined family since my parents met in a choral competition. However, none of us have tried using instruments in the past.

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The opportunity knocked on our door only during the lockdown. A day before it was announced, my sisters and I decided to fly back home to Minnesota to isolate at our folks’ farm. We had no neighbors nearby; every food supply we would ever need could come from the property. So, we figured it was the best place to stay while the coronavirus was causing problems here and there.

The first few days back on the farm was quite exciting. We planted some seeds and harvested fruits and vegetables. In the mornings, we would help Dad clean the barn and then return to the house to help Mom prepare lunch. My sisters and I always passed out after dinner because our bodies were still getting used to the physical labor that we had all forgotten after living in the city for years.

Once we got over the initial shock, though, and we managed to stay up past 7 P.M., the nights became boring. Although my parents had a TV, no one honestly wanted to hear about the pandemic repeatedly. Thus, I suggested that we should perhaps learn how to play guitar as a family.

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To my utter delight, everyone agreed, even Mom and Dad. When I bought the guitars in a local store, the owner said yes to giving us online lessons, and that’s what we have been doing three nights a week for a couple of months now.

These are the benefits that we have gathered from this musical experience.

It Is Fun To Learn Something With The Entire Family

As a filial daughter, I am used to being the student and my parents being the teachers most of the time. They are older than me, so they naturally have more wisdom to share than I do. I have zero complaints about it, considering their teachings have rarely put me in a tight spot.

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Despite that, I realized during our shared guitar lessons that it is fun to learn something with my folks at the same thing. We all started from the base up, and everyone became a student. If one of us didn’t get a chord, we would compare notes and teach each other. It was inarguably like being with friends but better.

You Find Another Activity To Bond Over With

Since we are a close-knit unit, my family and I tend to like similar activities. When someone cooks, every member has a role in the kitchen, be it chopping, organizing, stirring, or even throwing out the trash. If someone is doing yard work, everyone else does the same. Our parents have this cheesy belief that “the family that can do everything together will always stay together.”

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Learning the guitar is another activity that can boost our familial bond. We are a music-loving bunch, after all. Being able to produce music with anything other than our voice boxes is a welcome change. I can already foresee Dad looking up new songs to play with us whenever he gets the chance. It is something we may never grow tired of.

It Somehow Makes You Smarter Collectively

The most challenging part of learning the guitar is using one hand to hold a few strings while the other strums them. I used to think that music gets produced when you do the latter in a single way, but I understood that several patterns could make it happen. Slowly but surely, our skills improved, and our hands could already do two different things at once.

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It allowed me to realize that learning a musical instrument can make you smarter. After all, both sides of your brain need to work at the same time. You must be logical and creative to guarantee that your fingers are touching the proper strings and producing the correct sounds. It sharpened our memory and hand-eye coordination, for sure.

Final Thoughts

Life has never been more colorful for our family. Almost every night, we allocate an hour or two to learn how to play the guitar. The tunes coming out of our respective musical instruments are not always flawless since we are all beginners, but we are progressing at once. Our current goal is to play Canon Rock by Jerry C., which has the right amount of complexity to challenge our brand-new musical talents. I am uncertain about how long it will take us to learn it, but I am positive that it will happen in no time as we enjoy the process.

 

 

Quarantined And Bored? Learn To Play The Guitar!

 

 

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If you haven’t got any clue about musical instruments, but you suddenly feel the urge to learn, can you imagine strumming the guitar while your friends sing along around a bonfire? Indeed, playing the guitar can be challenging but truly fulfilling at the same time. If you would really love to learn it, then you’re reading the right article, and this is the right time! If you’re one of those who’ve tried it before, but it didn’t work the first time, do not fret. You can learn almost anything if you just put your heart into it.

Before Starting Your Lessons

Starting something new can be daunting and overwhelming, but so is the pandemic that we’re facing right now. It can be depressing to be quarantined at home doing nothing new. So learn to play the guitar and break that sadness even just for a little while.

We’d like to break up the steps as simply as possible. Our aim here is to help you understand so you will gradually feel confident and ready for the next step. Keep in mind, though, that learning guitar, just as learning any new hobby, can be a struggle at times, and guitar is not something that people know for their natural skills. It takes practice, hard work, and persistence. So go ahead and make mistakes, but keep practicing. We learn through errors, so embrace them!

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Choosing A Guitar

The first step is, of course, deciding to use a right-handed or a left-handed guitar, as the strings and other main features will be set up according to the guitar you choose.

If you play with the righty, your left-hand holds the strings and the right strums. When you play this way, videos and other resources that you use are most likely organized the same way because most people play with the righty. It is also easier to learn, as your left hand is better at fine coordination. Playing the left, on the other hand, means that your right-hand holds the strings and the left strums.

Once you’ve decided which hand you will use to play, it’s time to choose what type of guitar you want to own (or you can always use the one you already have).

The acoustic guitar is a type of guitar that doesn’t need an amplifier and is much cheaper compared to the electric guitar. It can play different sounds, and it also doesn’t need to be plugged in and doesn’t need power for you to be able to use it. It is affordable, and it’s absolutely perfect for beginners and even experts. This is the recommended option, particularly because you can conveniently bring it along with you.

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The electric guitar needs you to buy an amp to be able to play. It is more expensive, although its strings are more comfortable to hold down. It’s also less painful to the fingertips. Remember that the amplifier requires that it should be plugged in to provide power to the guitar. Because of the whole amp and wire package, it is bulkier to bring along.

If, however, you can’t afford to buy a new one, you can always use the old one that you have, or visit the thrift shops and look for a second-hand guitar that suits you. When you’ve found a used guitar that’s usable and perfect for you, make sure that all strings are intact, without rust, and no damage in all areas of the instrument. I suggest you use your old guitar or one from the thrift shop. The COVID-19 outbreak has taught us, among other things, to learn to prioritize and spend wisely.

The Basics

Here are the parts of the guitar that you need to be oriented with.

Frets are the lines that segregate the fretboard. When your hand is holding down the strings, they’re holding close to the frets but not on top of them.

Tuners control the looseness or tightness of your guitar strings. They are turned to keep the strings sound the way they should.

Chords are the hand placements that you need to learn to be able to play the guitar. G, A, E-minor, and C are only some examples of chord names.

The soundhole, located in the middle of the guitar, is what produces the amazing sound of your guitar.

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Final Suggestions

Remember to be patient. Only then will you be able to improve and learn the skill. Take short breaks. If you’re starting to hate what you’re doing, it means you’ve been over-doing it. Don’t try too hard. It’s okay to take a pause – a few minutes or a few hours of your day – is fine. After the break, when you’re all refreshed, go back to practice.

Additionally, you can look for other resources, such as the Internet, to learn more about the guitar. If you’re bothered about something, know more about it on the web. Finally, have fun!

 

 

 

 

Tips On Choosing The Best Contest Piece For Your Next Battle Of The Bands

The 2019 Battle Of The Bands featured the best musical acts, and it was a night to remember. Everyone was so full of energy. Some played mellow songs while some rocked the audience’s lives. But one thing made several acts stand out, and that’s the song choice. If you are planning to join the next battle of the bands, here are some pointers that you need to remember. 

Find The Song That Fits Your Voice

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Believe it or not, singing a song that lands on your voice range is the best way to go. It will ensure that everything will sound how it should be, even if you put some adlibs on it.

However, if there are times that you find one that goes beyond your comfort zone, you may opt to change its key. As a side note, do not lower your song more than a full step, as it might only sound a little dragging.

Catchy Melody

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One of the things that judges look for in a presentation is your impact on your listeners. The best way to go about this is by choosing a song with a memorable, catchy, and singable melody. It should resonate with your audience and leave them emotional and inspired. Let this factor compliment with your dynamics and range. 

Maximize Your Strength

Aside from the range, another thing that you should consider is the style. If your voice fits one genre better, then maximize that. You have many chances to experiment with singing other kinds, but when joining a contest, go for your strength. 

At the same time, you may also choose your song depending on your ability. If you’re more apt singing those with incredible runs, then look for songs with this feature. But if this is not your strongest suit, maybe you can do more with your vibrato and dynamics. Other individuals are more comfortable performing ballads while others prefer beat songs. 

There are various things to consider when selecting the best song for your band battles. Be sure to take all of these into account and plan your performance as much as possible. Complement this with regular practice, and you’re on your way to stardom! 

Learn Guitar Online And More While You’re Stuck At Home

Quarantine

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Bored and frustrated during this COVID-19  lockdown, or are you finding ways to forget about the pandemic? Then perhaps it’s time to learn something new. There’s a range of online classes on the web to load up on some fresh ideas and insights about anything and everything. Reach out to your inner soul and allow your brain to exercise its cells. Some classes are free, and some may be more costly than the others, but it depends on your budget and your commitment.

Dance. Test your flexibility and your moves by taking online dance classes. Maybe you can open YouTube and check out the types of dances available there, and then when you enroll online, you are now sure of what you want to learn. If you’re going to enhance your party moves, then take hip-hop classes. If you prefer relaxation and stretches, ballet would be perfect. James Whiteside, Isabella Boylston, and Misty Copeland are famous ballet dancers who have opened an online class for those who love to start learning ballet or those who want to polish on their turns and tiptoes.

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And who knows? There might be a classy 50 something beautiful woman who’s willing to teach online aerobics class!

Foreign Language. Spanish, Mandarin, French – choose your wild. Practically almost every language in the world is available for learning online. The lockdown is the most suitable time to enroll. These will keep our chaotic and frustrated minds get interested in something that will perhaps benefit us in the future. Who doesn’t get the chance to speak with a Chinese business person at some point in or lives? Business English courses are also available.

Guitar. Strumming the guitar would be nice if you can get them to sound romantic or simply in sync. Guitar lessons online are varied. There’s classical, modern, and instrumental. There are also songs sung by celebrities that you can learn to tweak through your guitar, particularly those from Christina Aguilera, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, and Tom Morello. Other instruments you can learn through the web while you’re quarantined are the piano and violin.

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Cooking. I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with the Food Channel. From ordinary pancakes and French toast to the restaurant-worthy cuisine, you have several options to choose from. Even Chef Gordon Ramsay teaches an online cooking class, including the basics like using the knife and other kitchen tools that we thought we knew how to use. Wolfgang Puck, Dominique Ansel, and Gabriela Camara are also teaching their cooking style online.

Writing. Writing poetry is one of the most popular online classes that are offered throughout the year. But if you’re not into poetry but just want to write life or fiction stories, there’s also something for you. Search the web and choose from the various forms of writing – scriptwriting, modern and classic poetry, and creative writing are taught by certified teachers and professors who are willing to share their expertise in this area. If you’ve always dreamed of learning from the best writers like Shonda Rhimes and Dan Brown, then you’re willing to pay a little later.

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Photography. There has to be a camera lying around in your home, one that you can put to use if you decide to enroll in an online photography class. If you don’t have one, however, you can start the course using your smartphone. You’ll just need to learn the basics of photography, when to capture the big moments, and how to focus on something magnificent. You won’t have a hard time learning it, especially if you’re already skilled at editing your phone pictures. You might even take photos of the calm and peace in the outside world.

 

 

Five Common Mistakes Guitar Beginners Make

The 2017 Guitar Artists Convention once again unifies music lovers out there with guitar displays and fantastic performances from talented artists. Music truly is a universal language everyone understands. With this, people who love music would often attempt to learn to play instruments and live their passion. However, for beginners, they can develop bad habits that impede their progress. That’s why learning early on the common mistakes they make is beneficial for their holistic musical education.

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For people who are starting to play the guitar, there are many harmful habits beginners can develop. Here are some of the common mistakes they often make:

  • Incorrectly Handling The Guitar

Certain features of the guitar can help your body to fit in the guitar’s shape and avoid it slipping away while you’re playing. When you’re placing the guitar on your lap, use the curve of the guitar to fit comfortably in your thighs and the other barely cupping your ribcage. Your elbow must link with the top corner of the guitar distant away from the neck so it will not slip away from your body. Also, avoid tilting your guitar towards you so you can see the finger placement when you’re playing, it can form a lasting habit.

  • Using Too Much Pressure

Using too much force in playing can only lead you to feel tired quickly. Your wrist and your thumb can get hurt as well. Injuries can happen if you’re playing in the wrong position. Instead of using too much force, adjust and position your fingers while keeping a light touch. In this way, you will produce a more beautiful and cleaner note.

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  • Attempting To Learn Songs Quickly

Beginners would often get too excited and play songs quickly. This habit can lead to bad techniques that can be hard to break for a long time. Play at a slower speed first so you can focus on the right finger placement and doing correct techniques. Practice creates permanency. Practice slowly so that your technique will be flawless and accurate.

  • Practicing Inconsistently

In playing instruments, muscle memory plays a huge part in honing techniques because playing guitar is a motor skill. Consistent repetitions will help familiarize chord placements and make your actions feel smooth and automatic.

  • Ignoring Music Theory

Understanding music theory is hard, and you will need patience for it. But it can lead you to a deeper and broader understanding of music.

Changing Guitar Strings

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People usually go through a phase in life in which they do not want to ask for help from anybody. Most of the time, it takes place during the teenage years. That’s when we think that we know things as much as the adults do and go about our days believing that until an awful situation brings us back to reality.

In my case, I settled back to reality as a teenager while I was working on my guitar. My parents bought a brand-new one for me when I turned 16 years old because I said that I wanted to be a rock star. I would get lessons every week, and I was genuinely getting good at changing the chords and playing some songs. However, a string snapped one day. 

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My dad offered to drive me to the nearest guitar store, where an expert could replace it for me. Too stubborn for my good, though, I insisted on buying the string only and doing the replacement by myself. In my mind, I already watched a lot of people do it online, and it seemed pretty easy, so there was no way for me to mess it up.

Well, the thing is, I did mess up from the moment that I took the wrong string. I did not want to tell my parents about it because I wanted to seem perfect in their eyes. However, I blanked out after a whole of trying to put one string in a guitar, so I ended up bringing my guitar to the store eventually.

To help you avoid making the same mistakes that I did, here are a few tips when changing your guitar strings.

Pick The Right Thickness

The guitar strings come in different thicknesses – that’s how you get various pitches when you are playing. The thinner it is, the higher the sound it makes. If you replace that with the thickest string, the sounds that they are supposed to produce may be different.

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Get The Right Tools

When your goal is to replace your old strings, you will need a pair of scissors, the strings, and the string winder. You cannot attach the new string on the guitar with your bare hands because metallic strings are difficult to work with at times. That is especially true if you are trying to make them taut.

Ask For Help If You Need To

My final advice is for you to get an expert to change the strings if you feel lost while doing it. I know how protective you may be of your instrument. You probably even get angry when a relative tries to touch the case of the guitar. However, instead of making yourself loopy because of those strings, you better hire a professional to get the job done for you.

Final Thoughts

Do you love playing guitar more than doing any other activity in the world? That’s cool – we are on the same boat. The secret to being able to make beautiful music with this instrument, though, is ensuring that the strings are always in perfect shape. Not only will you be able to prevent any snapping when you do that, but you may also avoid having the string snap near your face.

Good luck!

 

Taking Care Of Your Guitar

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When I was a teenager, I could not be found without my guitar. It was always next to me, strapped on my back, or sitting on my lap. Sometimes, I would even make room for it on my bed at night, especially every time I would feel lonely.

During that period, I could not think of a better best friend than my guitar. I was allowed to take it anywhere. Every time I would play it, a crowd would gather around and listen to me. It prevented me from befriending ill-meaning folks as well, which made my parents support my hobby.

If I can be honest about that time now, though, there is one thing that I didn’t – and still doesn’t – like about owning a guitar. It was the fact that I had to take care of it more than a pianist would ever need to do with their piano. Still, I had no choice but to do it because buying a new guitar was nowhere near my to-do list, and it honestly felt good to see its case shining.

If you have recently acquired a guitar and are yet to familiarize yourself with it, here are a few tips to take care of your guitar.

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Wipe The Body

The first thing that you need to do is get a microfiber towel to clean the body of the guitar. The reason is that your hand produces oil all the time to keep it from being as rough as sandpaper. If you rest it on your guitar, though, you can undoubtedly see fingerprints on the case once you lift your fingers off. Without sounding like a total germophobe, there is no way to guarantee that bacteria will not spread through those fingerprints, even if they are yours. If you do not also want to entertain that possibility, you should start cleaning your guitar now.

Check The Strings

It is typical for the strings to snap on a guitar, no matter how expensive they may be. The constant strumming and tuning can wear down the line and cause it to break, after all. However, the snapping string can be a health hazard, especially if it happens when the guitar is so close to your face, and the broken line can practically hit your eyeball. To avoid that, you should examine every string regularly and replace the old ones before they snap.

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Make Sure To Fine-Tune The Guitar

Another part of taking care of your guitar is fine-tuning it. The instrument is quite sensitive, in the sense that moving it around can nudge the knobs on one end and make it sound like a tin can once you start playing.

I know that this task is challenging for new guitar players, but you can find tutorials that will teach you how to tune your guitar. Some apps can guide you, as well.

Final Thoughts

It is not crazy to want to look after an instrument that you may have relied on more than anyone for a long time. So your guitar has sentimental value, and you cannot let go of it – that’s not shocking at all. If anything, it feels good to know that you care enough about your guitar to read this blog.

Cheers!

Why Even Non-Musical Folks Love Jamming Sessions

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Every month, my friends and I look for bars and restaurants where acoustic singers play. They do not have to popular. In truth, they can even cover other people’s songs, and we feel happy about it. When they have an open, we volunteer to sing while accompanied by the guitar as well. It is like an unspoken tradition that we all follow.

In such establishments, though, musically inclined folks are not the only ones you will find. Some people bob their heads to the music; others can merely clap or sway their bodies when the music plays. “Music listening is one of the most enigmatic of human behaviors,” wrote Thomas Schäfer, PhD, and co-authors in a study. “The enthusiasm for music is not a recent development. Recognizably musical activities appear to have been present in every known culture on earth, with ancient roots extending back 250,000 years or more.”

If these non-musical folks get invited to sing on the stage, though, they refuse profusely. And I have always wondered about that, you know? “If you love jamming sessions so much, why don’t you want to join in the fun and let people hear you sing?”

Upon talking to one of those non-musical folks, I have understood a few things.

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Acoustic Songs Soothe The Soul

Sharam Heshmat, PhD, wrote, “Music has the ability to evoke powerful emotional responses — both chills and thrills — in listeners. And this capacity is universal.”

Acoustics refers to songs that are played using a guitar, box, or drums. The sounds cannot fill an entire room like a piano; you may even need to plug it to an amplifier. Instead of a melody, you will typically hear beats.

While some people may not find that entertaining, a lot more individuals think that acoustic songs soothe their souls. One of the possible reasons is that the steady beats may align with your heartbeat, and it can make you feel good.

People Want To Understand The Song Lyrics

As mentioned above, acoustic singers in bars and restaurants tend to cover the songs that others have released. The genre can be anything, from ballad to rock to pop and everything in between. You may never hear about covers topping the Billboard charts or becoming more famous than the original. However, people still go there instead of buying albums at the stores. Why?

Well, most songs these days are layered with technology at some level. Sometimes, the producers add instruments; other times, they auto-tune to “fix” the singer’s voice. Although that is good for the market, the lyrics are not always audible. Thus, music lovers feel the need to listen to the acoustic versions of the songs, regardless of the original singers sing it or not.

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Everyone Wishes To Have Fun Without Getting Whacky

Wanting to have fun is a normal part of life. That is especially true if you have had a long week, but club hopping is not your cup of tea anymore. You want to go to a mellow place where you can drink, eat, and listen to good music without getting crazy.

Most of the time, people can find that mix in restaurants with acoustic players only. Rather than getting drunk on alcohol, after all, they can get lost in the songs. They can also meet like-minded people and perhaps become best friends.

Final Thoughts

Music is one of the many things that folks from different walks of life enjoy together. Sometimes it even moves us to tears. R. Douglas Fields, PhD, wrote, “Many types of music can move people to tears; blubbering in the balcony is iconic in opera. The phenomenon of crying sparked by music is an interesting, but little-studied behavior.”

No matter what your reason is for going to the acoustic bars or restaurants, you should continue doing it, especially if it makes you happy. 

Cheers!

Why I Almost Stopped Learning How To Play The Guitar

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Playing the guitar is one of the hobbies that I have picked up during a summer break in high school. None of my relatives or friends are musically inclined, so I have not been influenced by anyone. However, I love listening to guitar solos more than anything, so I have made time for it.

The thing is, there were many times when I thought of giving up my dream to play the guitar properly. It was like my motivation faded. Shahram Heshmat PhD, wrote, “Motivation is generally described as the force that drives us to pursue a goal (the desired outcome). Motivation is a starting point for all choices (e.g., careers, spouses, hobbies).” And I almost lost that. Here are a few reasons that you may be able to relate to.

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My Fingers Hurt At First

Most players deal with hurting fingers when they learn how to play the guitar for the first time. It is supposed to be one of the sacrifices that you need to make if you love the instrument. You can feel it from day 1 when you press the strings on one end and strum on the other end.

The tips of your fingers sting when you are not learning; they hurt some more when you press the strings again. It is as if you are trying to open a wound in the same areas. No matter how normal it may be, hurting fingers can genuinely make you think twice about playing the guitar.

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I Did Not Like My Callouses

Callouses come after all the pain that you go through for the first time. The raw skin hardens over time, building something like intangible protection for the soft skin. Thus, even if you play the guitar for hours every day, you may not ever need to worry about your fingers hurting again.

Although that should be a positive effect of having callouses, let’s not forget that I have a professional career, too. Playing guitar is a hobby – I don’t make money out of it. I work in the guest relations biz, which entails that e, I get too self-conscious and don’t want to extend my hand sometimes.

Learning Some Songs With Complicated Guitar Arrangements Got The Better Of Me

When I was learning how to play the guitar, I thought it was one of my hidden talents. I watched tutorials for songs that only had three or four chords and a little strumming. It made me feel like I could play anything after that.

Well, the complicatedness of some songs brought me back to reality hard. One day, I was an acoustic star. The next day, I was a guitarist-wannabe who could not even get through the first verse of a song without messing up. I knew that it was 100% my fault for skipping steps, but it made me want to stop playing altogether.

Susan Biali Haas, MD, advised, “The next time you feel unmotivated to do something that you know you are called to do, push past the lack of inspiration and just go do it. Notice what happens.”

Final Thoughts

Did I end up avoiding guitars?

Nope. I continued learning how to play the guitar once I got over the issues mentioned above. I went back to square one, studied all the basic chords, and practiced songs gradually. As for the callouses, I stopped worrying about them after a while. It even came to my advantage at times, considering it turned out to be an excellent conversation starter.

As for you, continue to encourage yourself that you can do it. Beverly Engel, LMFT, wrote, “Self-encouragement is believing in yourself and in your ability to overcome your limitations and handicaps. Self-encouragement is focusing on your strengths, positive attributes and skills instead of your weaknesses and limitations.”

Why A Therapist Recommends Playing Guitar To Mental Health Patients

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Having a therapist for a sister, I know how difficult this profession can be. After all, your job is to assist individuals in dealing with conditions that no one – not even the professionals with decades of experience – can offer a long-term cure for. Since the illnesses of the patients are incomparable to common colds, diabetes or even cancer that has a physical manifestation, every treatment tends to follow the trial-and-error method. Meaning, if exercise 1 does not work, you move on to exercise 2. If that cannot provide relief to the person’s troubled mind still, you opt for exercises 3, 4, etc.

When all else fails, my sister tends to recommend learning how to play guitar to the patients. At first, I could not fathom the logic behind it. I was like, “Hmm, so can it be any form of a guitar? What about the brand, does it matter, too?” Such questions undoubtedly earned a frown from the therapist in the family, but she did enlighten me on why playing guitar can be beneficial for mental health patients.

1. It Promotes Calmness

The #1 triggering factor for most psychological disorders is stress. You can effortlessly acquire it when you need to study nonstop for your final exams, your boss announces that the business is doing well and so they will have to terminate people, or you are already old enough to get married yet you don’t even have a prospective partner. When various stressors hit you from all directions at once, you may not be able to contain the situation, and the stress activates your condition.

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Now, based on a 2005 study, making music in a recreational manner is said to reduce the stress level of the musicians at a genomic level. What it entails is that the effect of playing guitar can regulate the genes that are responsible for making you respond to stressors. Thus, once you practice using the instrument for at least an hour every day, nothing may bother you again, psychologically speaking.

2. It Improves Brain Function

“We’ve seen when you sing or play an instrument, it doesn’t just activate one part of your brain,” said Dr. Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. of the National Institutes of Health. “A whole constellation of brain areas becomes active. Our response to music is separate from other interventions such as asking people to recall memories or listen to another language.”

Any mental disorder that you have heard of (e.g., depression, anxiety, anorexia, mania, etc.) may have different symptoms and manifestations, but they are all the same in one respect. Each of them affects the normal brain function of an individual and alters their ability to make sound decisions, remember significant things, and understand real situations.

Playing guitar, nevertheless, is an activity that therapists suggest as new researches show that it can counter all those negativities. For one, music can sharpen your memory and increase your mental alertness. It also allows the blood to reach various parts of the brain, which helps you to feel more alive than ever. You will also be able to accomplish multiple tasks at once without getting overwhelmed. The more you practice with the instrument, therefore, the more your psychological health may improve.

“It actually modulates levels of the feel-good hormones dopamine and opioids in the brain, says Dr. Daniel Levitin, Ph.D., neuroscientist, musician, and consultant for Fender’s guitar-learning app Fender Play.

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Source: flickr.com

3. It Encourages You To Socialize More

Have you seen buskers in the subway or on a sidewalk? These are typically the random musicians who sing and play their instruments in public. All the passersby are welcome to stop by to listen to them, dance, and even give some monetary donations. When you look at the situation from afar, it is as if everyone knows each other due to the way they sing and have fun together.

In reality, it is this kind of openness that most – if not all – mentally troubled people do not possess. They tend to isolate themselves from the world; that’s why no one can reach out and pull them out of the darkness immediately. They refuse to talk about their issues in front of their loved ones as well. Nonetheless, everything – including the emotions that you have bottled up inside – may come out through playing guitar. After all, music is a language in its own right, and you don’t always have to hear the lyrics to figure out the feelings of the musician. “Phone calls and digital communication, with friends or family members, do not have the same power as face-to-face social interactions in helping to stave off depression,” says Alan Teo, M.D., M.S., lead author, assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University, and researcher at the VA Portland Health Care System.

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Source: publicdomainfiles.com

4. It Is An Excellent Form Of Distraction

Furthermore, being able to play the guitar is beneficial in times when you know that your condition is active. Considering you are already aware of your triggers, then you can tell when your anxiety or depression, for instance, is about to come. At that moment, you can reach for your guitar and start playing any song that comes to mind until your nerves calm down.

Using music as a form of distraction is more effective than smoking or doing drugs. As mentioned above, the tunes can travel to the parts of your brain that nothing else can go to. It will work even if you know that you are trying to distract yourself.

Final Musings

I hope you won’t take this advice as an excuse to avoid seeing a therapist. The truth is that you still need to talk to one to be able to know other forms of treatment that might also work for you. Music therapy is beneficial for some but not for all. Nevertheless, you are free to try playing guitar for healing purposes and seek the same perks above.

Good luck!