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We’ve all heard the excuses for why you’re not picking up the guitar.

One excuse that we’ve often heard is that it’s too late to start playing. Whether it be due to age, health, etc. you’re convinced that you’ve missed your shot to learn how to play guitar. Luckily there’s people like us, who are here to tell you that it’s not too late. Once you get over the mental hump of thinking that it’s too hard, you’re too impatient, your hands are too small, etc. you can really start digging in and focusing on mastering the skill.

Here are a few reasons how guitar can benefit your health:

1. It Stimulates Your Brain

Let alone guitar, learning any instrument can stimulate your brain and make you sharper. Playing an instrument requires you to use different parts of your brain, mainly the visual, motor and auditory parts, to work simultaneously. Just the simple act of listening to music forces your brain to become active. According to TED-ED (TED Talks), learning an instrument is a fantastic workout for your brain.

2. It Relieves Stress

Everyone knows that music can evoke emotion. But have you ever thought of music as a stress reliever? If you think about it, it’s a rather simple explanation. Music is made in a variety of tempos and tones. You can easily tell an aggressive song from a relaxing song. As a matter of fact, music can actually increase or decrease the rate at which your heart beats. So, if you’re feeling stressed out, and your heart is racing, put on a song that you know relaxes you and zone out, take it easy.

3. You Become More Coordinated

The guitar isn’t strumming it self. As mentioned before, when you’re playing guitar, you’re making your brain perform more than one action at a time. Guitar is more than a melodic instrument, it’s also a rhythmic instrument. Focusing on keeping time while playing the guitar can be a challenge, but wait until you start singing and controlling your breathing while playing. That’s the true challenge. However it is possible!

4. Strengthens Hands and Wrists

You’ll soon realize that guitar can be a physically taxing exercise. Stretching for certain chords and running patterns can really wear out your wrists and your fingers. Although, while it can be somewhat of a pain at first, with a little practice, you’ll be nailing those patterns and hitting those chords, thus establishing a core strength in your hands.

5. It’s an Emotional Release

I touched on this a bit before, but playing guitar can lift your spirits. Finally getting the hang of a song you’ve been working hard on is a fulfilling feeling. It’s no simple task, and once you’ve conquered it, you’ll surely feel the sense of accomplishment. Aside from the technical aspects of guitar, and how they can make you feel good, playing the instrument can serve as a terrific emotional release. The obvious is in songwriting. You can craft all your feelings into a beautiful song. You can say exactly what you want and back it with the musical voicing of your choice. It’s your melodic journal. And if you aren’t the wordy type, there’s just as much emotion in the orchestration of the music.

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