Why you should learn to play guitar? For many of us, our decision to learn guitar is not something we ever thought about too hard. It was almost as though it was made for us.. we just knew that it was something we had to do. For other people though, it’s something they will need to find some logical reasons to do it. Here are some of the best reasons why you would want to learn to play electric guitar.
It will make you smarter
Studies have shown that kids who learn musical instruments do better in school. An interview with over 1000 CEOs and congressmen found that over 90% said that playing a musical instrument helped them “develop character and leadership skills”. It’s not to see why.. learning a musical instrument will improve your concentration, your hand eye coordination, and makes you think for yourself.
It’s a good way to connect with other people
Playing guitar can seem like it might be a solitary activity.. and when you just feel like chilling out on your own, it can be. But it also provides so many chances to meet new people, and make friends that last a lifetime! Playing in a band, jamming at jam sessions, having a bash at an open mic night all get you out of the house, socialising and having fun. Even when you leave the guitar at home, simply being a guitar player will give you something in common with other guitarists, and players of other instruments besides. I don’t know of a single guitarist who doesn’t owe some of their strongest friendships to the instrument.
A guitar is an excellent songwriting tool
If you want to write your own music, you will find it much easier to do if you have the grasp of an instrument. And the best instruments for this are guitar, and piano/keyboards. Both instruments allow you to play both chords, riffs, and single note melodies. They also let you easily sing over the top of what you are playing.
It’s a great way to blow off steam
Playing guitar can relax you – in those times when you are too tense or angry to relax, it can also be extremely cathartic. Way back in the 17th century (some 250 years before Leo Fender built his first guitar amplifier) the poet/playwright William Congreve knew this already, writing that “Musick has charms to soothe a savage Breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.”
Learning Electric Guitar will help you play acoustic and bass guitar
The electric guitar and acoustic guitar are basically the same instrument. There are differences, of course. Acoustic guitars tend to have heavier strings, and less upper fret access. They also don’t really get the same sweet singing tone of an electric guitar plugged into an overdriven amp. However, you can play the same notes and chords on the same strings and frets, provided they’re both tuned the same. A bass guitar is also similar to an electric guitar. Basically, if you take the bottom 4 strings of an electric guitar, tune them an octave down, and put them on a much longer neck, then you will have a bass guitar. The left hand technique is much the same. Bass guitarists often use fingers instead of a pick, however knowing the guitar will make the bass easy to approach.
It will challenge you
Playing guitar is difficult. Even when you become good, there is always something new to tackle. Learning to play guitar involves finger strength, wrist strength, a great deal of coordination, a good ear, a little bit of reading, and a head for what you’re playing. And somehow you have to combine all of those things to create something that communicates a thought or a feeling, and that speaks to people. Every new chord, every new song, every new piece of theory and every new approach to constructing melodies and phrases that you master is a real and substantial achievement. This is part of what makes playing guitar such a deeply rewarding pursuit – the satisfaction that you feel when the work you put in turns into results.
It will give you a creative outlet
Playing guitar lets you express creative energy and emotion. It gives you a way to share it with an audience – or not, if you’d rather not. Either way, it’s a wonderful tool for self expression, and for creative experimentation and for pursuing musical ideas.
A guitar is easy to transport
You can carry a guitar with one hand. An electric guitar fits easily in even a small car, in either the back seat, the passenger seat or the boot, with plenty of room to spare. It can be packed in a case with all the cables and accesories you need packed in there as well. You can walk down the street with it, or catch public transport with one. There are even guys who strap them to their back and ride a motorcycle with one. Try that with your piano or your drumkit!
It’s so much fun!
A friend of mine likes to remark that playing guitar “is the most fun you can have with your clothes on” – although, I guess, that’s not always strictly necessary. It’s hard to explain just what it is about playing guitar that can make you feel so damn great. But it’s a great activity that you can enjoy throughout your life, and that will comfort you in the bad times and keep you happy in the good. There’s something about it that just puts a smile on your face. Give it a try!
Teja Gerken, a fingerstyle guitarist with a unique blend of folk, classical, jazz, and world music, has made significant contributions to the guitar world. Known for albums like ‘On My Way’ and ‘Postcards’, and as a co-founder of Peghead Nation, he brings his expertise from intimate venues to global stages. At Fretterverse, Gerken offers deep insights into diverse fingerstyle techniques and musical fusion.