The Surprising Benefits Of Learning How To Shred

Is there anything cooler than a rock star playing a killer solo in front of a crowd of screaming fans? The short answer is no. There’s nothing more impressive, sexy, and just plain awesome than someone who knows how to make their guitar sing. Past rock gods like Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen are now synonymous with the instrument, and current rock royalty like Gary Clark Jr. and Danielle Haim are slowly taking over. The image they strike on stage and in our cultural consciousness is why you picked up the guitar in the first place—to be as cool as your rock ‘n’ roll heroes.

But as you continue your practice, improving your ear and dexterity each day, you’ve begun to realize that the guitar isn’t just a tool to make you look cool. It comes with a surprising list of benefits that affects all aspects of your life.

The Guitar As A Mood Booster

At first, your practice is absorbed by the nitty gritty details. You’re busy learning the individual notes, the correct position of chords, and learning how to put it all together to make a sound that doesn’t resemble a drowning cat. It can take a while, but eventually everyone gets over this first hurdle. This is your first lesson in perseverance, which delivers the gift of satisfaction in your progress. It’s hard not to feel pleased and proud when you realized how far you’ve come from your first, shaky days at the frets.

A Mood Booster

Once you start to understand the sounds you can make with your guitar, your instrument will become a creative outlet for your emotions. Studies have shown regularly playing your guitar can release endorphins (the feel good hormone) that relieve stress and improve your mood. It’s like a cheap form of therapy!

Your Practice Improves Brain Power

A sense of accomplishment won’t be the only thing you gain as you develop your skills. Playing the guitar will also significantly increase your cognitive abilities. It’s not just the guitar! Recent studies have found playing any kind of instrument on a regular basis has the power to stimulate and shape your brain to be a better version of itself. As you continue to play the guitar, the areas of your brain used to process your instrument grow. As a result, you’ll see an improvement in your fine motor control, as coordination between your eyes and hands increase. The way you store and process information is also enhanced by a dedicated practice, which improves your reading comprehension skills, ability to recall information, and even the number of your IQ!

Guitar Is A Social Instrument

There’s no rules controlling the way you play the guitar, but there’s a reason why so many guitarists team up with keyboardist, drummers, bassists, and even more guitarists to form a band. Music is an inherently social pursuit, and people have bonded over it for centuries. When you find a friend or group of musicians to play with, you’re social skills will sky rocket. No longer the drummer of your own beat, you’ll be synchronizing your playing style with those around you, which has the added benefit of improving your listening skills too.

Unfortunately, finding a group of like-minded musicians to play with isn’t always the easiest. If no one in your social circle plays the guitar (or any other instrument), you might not know where to start. In which case, like most other areas of your life, it’s time to turn to the Internet. With a quick click of your mouse or a swipe of your finger, you can find a community of musicians in your very own neighbourhood. You can sign up for group music lessons, join in on a community jam session, or attend fun and interesting musical events.

Not sure where to get started? You can find all of neighbourhood’s latest events at Long & McQuade, where they’ve put the best musical performances, workshops, meetings, and lessons in one convenient spot for you and anyone else searching for community. Finding similar people has never been easier. All you have to do is navigate these events by location and sign up for your first one.

Once you start playing with other musicians, it’s up to you whether or not you want to tell them you started playing because you wanted to look cool. Maybe impress them with the fact that you picked up the guitar because of the mental, emotional, and social advantages. The fact that you look pretty rad while reaping these benefits can be your little secret.