by Marco von Baumbach
Since brains are challenged in so many ways when learning how to play a musical instrument, many experience benefits that go far beyond just learning to play the instrument. The skills you gain while learning the guitar will not only be valuable to you as a guitarist, but they have many practical applications to other areas of your life as well. Here are 5 important life skills that you develop by learning the guitar:
- You learn responsibility, discipline and perseverance:
Everyone who has attempted to learn the guitar knows that you don’t succeed overnight when just getting started; it takes consistency and hard work to become great. If you aren’t motivated for daily practice and being persistent over a long span of time, you simply won’t see great results.
Therefore, if it is important enough to you to master the guitar and you are ready for putting in the hard work, you will earn many rewards for it. If you do this, it will not only be beneficial to your guitar playing abilities, but will benefit you in any other endeavor you choose to embark on.
- You learn how to organize and use your time:
Let’s say you grab your instrument and start playing something easy. At first, you might avoid the most difficult tasks and tell yourself that you will do them later. Often you won’t if you leave your practicing open and do not have a practice schedule in place. In order to progress faster on guitar, you will find that it is critically important to be organized with your time and also focus on these difficult tasks. Time management, organization and prioritizing in order to get better at the guitar are all life skills that are also pertinent to school, work and much more.
- You learn to listen:
When practicing by yourself, you need to train your ears in order to analyze your playing and detect flaws. By doing so, you will learn to listen better to yourself. Additionally, when playing music with others, you will not only learn to listen carefully to each other, but you will learn when it’s time to stop playing and when it is your turn. If you apply this way of communication in other areas of your life, you will find a positive increase in the quality of your social interactions and relationships.
- You improve logical thinking and mathematical skills:
Reading music requires you to think logically and mathematically in two key areas:
One is playing and reading rhythm, starting with simple quarter note measures, up to odd meters with complicated rhythmic ideas, containing triplets and dotted notes with a variety of tone durations. Not only is this a challenge to be playing it, but it also increases your ability to think in logical and mathematical terms.
Math is also included in music theory, where you may find it amongst other things in scales and chords, which can be build up by the same logic rules in different keys.
- You increase your concentration and the ability to make fast decisions:
As I mentioned complicated rhythms above in #4, I want to drive this point a bit further from another angle. Not only will you increase your mathematical skills, but in order to play these rhythms properly, you will need to pay a lot of attention to your playing. It requires focused practicing. In real guitar playing you will add some chords and melodies on top of it and you may come to the conclusion – without me mentioning it – that it will take a high level of concentration in order to play flawlessly, especially on advanced speeds.
When improvising, concentration is also a necessity, especially when playing together with others, because you need to listen carefully to one another. Furthermore, you will need to make fast decisions on what to play next, since the music is continuing and you will not have the time to take a break to think about what to play next.
My goal with this article was to show you 5 important skills you will develop by learning guitar and how practical they are in your life. This is simply an overview and there are many more benefits to learning a musical instrument such as an increase in creativity, reduction of stress and, most important of all, having fun! Regardless of listing and going into full detail of all of these benefits, learning guitar will always have a positive influence on your life.
This article was written by Marco von Baumbach, guitar teacher in Wuppertal, Germany.
If you are interested in learning more about the author, check out his website about Gitarrenunterricht in Wuppertal