So, why learn to play the guitar when there are so many other things you could be doing? But, if you are reading this article, you are thinking about it, which means you are looking for the information you need to make a final decision.
Maybe you gave it a try in the past, and something about playing the guitar or its sound is drawing you back to take another look?
There are pros and cons to playing the guitar like anything else in life. Keep reading to get the complete picture of what’s involved before you make up your mind!
You can use the table of contents below to take you to the area that interests you. Click on the little box to open it and then click on the section of the article you want to read, or you can read from start to finish if you want the full learning experience!
What Is Holding You Back?
If you find yourself genuinely interested in playing the guitar, the most important thing to sort out is what’s holding you back?
It could be a fear of failure, especially if you have tried playing an instrument in the past. Maybe it’s the time commitment or the cost of buying a guitar and taking lessons.
Sometimes it’s good to look before you leap, so it’s ok to take your time and decide on your terms. I’m certainly not trying to sell you anything here, just offering you information and guidance.
Here are some of the things people consider when deciding if playing the guitar is right for them.
- Is the guitar hard to play?
- Will playing the guitar make me a happier person?
- Do I need to have talent to succeed?
- What if I fail?
- Is this the best time to learn?
- Will money be an issue?
Ultimately, these are all questions you have to answer, but here are some things that you might find helpful!
Keep On Reading To Learn More!
Advantages Of Playing The Guitar
Consider these advantages of learning to play the guitar. You may have reasons not listed here, which are even more valid. If you do, let me know what they are in the comment section below!
A Guitar Can Go Wherever You Do
It’s nice to play a portable instrument that you can take to a party, the beach, or wherever else you like with a minimum of fuss. An acoustic guitar will eliminate the need to bring an amplifier, cables, etc. Just put it in a case or gig bag, and away you go.
“Travel guitars” are best for airplanes, trains, etc. They are made to be small, and some even fold up to travel in a suitcase. Try doing that with a piano!
It’s Fun And Rewarding
If you enjoy singing or listening to music, playing the guitar can be incredibly fun and rewarding! The guitar can be your go-to activity to take the boredom out of those days that seem to drag on forever!
A Feeling of Accomplishment
There’s nothing like learning new songs to give you a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, and the guitar is the perfect instrument to make that happen. Once you get past the initial learning curve, you’ll look forward to honing your skill and taking your playing to the next level!
Improves Self-Image and Confidence
The more accomplished you become as a guitar player, the better you will see yourself as an individual. Playing the guitar is a great confidence builder that can give you the “push” you need to tackle some of the other things in life that you thought were outside your reach.
A Lifetime Of Happiness
The guitar has provided me with 50 years of happiness, and it can do the same for you! The more songs you learn, the more valuable the guitar will become as a tool to take you to your “happy place.”
Relaxation and Stress Reduction
Playing the guitar is like your little escape from whatever’s troubling you in life and a great way to deal with anxiety and mild depression. Just 15 or 20 minutes of playtime can improve a bad day and increase your overall productivity.
Enhances Your Appreciation Of Music
The more I learn about the guitar, the more I appreciate listening to the music that others have written. As you become a better musician, you will hear things that you never noticed or understood in songs, even if you have listened to them repeatedly over the years. This goes double for music you hear for the first time.
Helps To Express Feelings
The guitar can help you connect with some of your innermost feelings, and better express them to your family and friends. Music is a powerful emotional release, and playing or composing songs can put you in touch with your ability to be more outgoing and improve your emotional IQ.
Most people who do not consider themselves creative simply have not found the vehicle that will help them nurture it. The guitar will give you endless opportunities to create and rearrange the music you enjoy. As you develop your unique playing style and improvisational approach to music, your creativity will skyrocket to levels you never dreamed possible!
Sharpens Mental Status
Medical studies have repeatedly shown that music can sharpen your mind, improve concentration, and boost your memory! People who play music are significantly more likely to benefit than those who listen but are not musicians. Playing the guitar will turbocharge your brain, and you can begin noticing results almost immediately!
The guitar is one of the best ways to improve the manual dexterity of the right and left wrists, hands, and fingers. You don’t have to be a guitar virtuoso to develop joint movement that is quicker and more coordinated. Elderly guitar players have found it particularly beneficial to improve their activities of daily living.
For more info, see Playing Guitar With Arthritis: Overcoming Your Hand Problems.
Encourages Group Participation
Playing the guitar is one of the best ways to bring people together to have fun. It’s easy to become the “center of attention” by starting a sing-along at a party or at home with your family!
If you don’t sing, you can start a garage band and treat your neighborhood to some great dance music or give recitals as a soloist. The possibilities are endless, and there’s nothing more compelling than music to bring people together for a good time!
Disadvantages Of Playing The Guitar
There are some disadvantages to consider when deciding on making the guitar part of your lifestyle.
Takes Time To Learn
Like anything else in life, playing the guitar takes time to learn and adds one more thing to your schedule, which may already be routinely hectic. The guitar does have a learning curve that seems steep at first but inevitably becomes more fun than drudgery.
Depending on how accomplished you want to be as a guitar player, the guitar can be an “every so often” activity or a daily obsession.
Requires Commitment And Dedication
The guitar does require commitment and dedication, especially for new players. You don’t need to allocate a massive amount of time to the instrument each day to make good progress, but you need to play consistently. Create a practice schedule that gives you at least fifteen minutes a day, and stick to it.
Hand, Wrist, And Finger Discomfort
No matter how young a beginning player you are, you have to get your body accustomed to playing the guitar. New players have the biggest problem with fingertip discomfort, which requires the formation of calluses. Callus development happens in about a week or two.
It’s important not to play through hand, wrist, and finger discomfort, especially if you are an elderly player! For more info, see Fingertips Hurt Playing Guitar? – How To Stop The Pain!
Can be Expensive
There’s no doubt about it; playing the guitar can turn into an expensive proposition, especially if you buy a nice guitar and take private lessons. If you’re finding it challenging to fit into your budget, then you can always come back to the idea of playing the guitar when you are in a better financial situation. Maybe you can borrow a guitar from a family member or friend and teach yourself how to play.
Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)
If you like to buy “all the toys” that can go with playing the guitar, like amplifiers, and effects boxes, you might have shiny object syndrome. It’s ok to accessorize a little when you’re first starting, but be aware that too many shiny objects can distract you from the prime directive: mastering the basics of playing your instrument.
Don’t Let Others Discourage You From Doing What You Enjoy!
As you can see, there are many more advantages than disadvantages to playing the guitar!
The world is filled with people who have not made their dreams come true because they let others discourage them or quit when they were closer than they realized to achieving their goals!
To successfully learn to play the guitar, it’s essential to surround yourself with others that believe in your ability. Stay away from naysayers, doubters, and people filled with negative energy.
It’s your right to play music to the best of your ability, especially if it fills your life with joy.
Is Being A “Late Learner” Legit?
Absolutely! The is no age cutoff for learning to play any instrument, especially if you are doing it for your enjoyment!
I have taught students of all ages. The most important determinants of how successful you will be are your level of interest and commitment.
If learning to play the guitar is appealing, you should seriously consider giving it a try!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions I get asked about learning to play the guitar.
If your question does not appear here, please put it in the comments, and I will get right back to you with an answer.
Is It Hard To Learn Guitar?
Yes and no. When you first begin, you may find it difficult, but things get a lot easier after you learn the basics. If you practice every day, you should be very comfortable on the guitar after one or two months.
Many students learn all they need to know in their first year. The rest is just learning new songs and having fun.
Do You Need Talent To Learn To Play The Guitar?
Talent, or a natural ability to play music, can make things easier, but the “desire to succeed” is all you really need. Most of the players that are considered exceptionally talented have worked very hard to perfect their skills.
Can You Teach Yourself Guitar?
Absolutely! It is easier than ever to teach yourself guitar with all the online videos and educational websites. I took two weeks of lessons and then taught myself everything else I know today.
What Is The First Thing To Learn On The Guitar?
The best thing to learn first is how to tune the guitar properly. Never play a guitar that is out of tune! The next thing is the names of the strings and the notes in the first 3 or 4 frets.
After this, you should begin learning a few simple chords.
How Many Guitar Chords Are There?
There are literally thousands of guitar chords that you can learn, depending on your level of interest and time commitment. However, you don’t need to know more than a handful to get yourself started.
My sister plays and sings dozens of songs with just eight chords, and sounds great! Start with the open chords in the first 3 or 4 frets, and you can proceed from there if you need more.
Should You Start With Acoustic Or Electric?
That is up to you. Most beginners find it easier to start on an electric guitar because the strings are easier to push down. Please don’t start on a guitar that is very difficult to play because it will hinder your progress and discourage you from moving on.
Try a few guitars at your local music store to get an idea of what feels best, and you can ask for assistance from the sales team. Even if you don’t know how to play anything yet, strum it and press down on some strings up and down the neck.
I hope you found this article on “Why Learn To Play The Guitar” helpful to your decision process and that you will give it a try. You have very little to lose. You can always borrow a guitar or buy an inexpensive one and sell it if it’s not for you.
The advantages of playing the guitar can far outweigh the disadvantages. Don’t let others discourage you from giving it a try, even if you have tried before and given up. You can do anything if you want it bad enough! Remember, you’re never too old to give it a go!
Sometimes “how” to learn to play the guitar can be easier than getting started; you just have to “take the plunge!”
Tell Me What You Think
Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article, have any questions about learning to play the guitar, or want to give your point of view. I will be happy to help you.
- Were you aware of all the advantages of playing the guitar?
- Are any of the potential disadvantages stopping you from beginning? Which ones?
- What has stopped you from giving the guitar a try in the past?
- Has this article convinced you to learn to play? Why?
- Do you have any advice for others about learning to play?