“Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It's transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's strengthening.” - Aretha Franklin
A lot of Brits play a music instrument.
Would you like to become one of them or become a famous guitar player?
You can learn guitar for fun, learn two or three songs, and impress your friends at a party. However, learning the guitar takes a lot of effort. It gives you an opportunity to let your imagination run wild, improve your ear, and even relieve stress. Whether you're looking for a free guitar lesson, online guitar lessons for beginners, or just want to learn how to play the guitar for fun, learning how to play guitar comes with a lot of benefits.
Develop Your Creativity with Your Guitar
You can’t really call yourself a guitarist after learning a few basic barre chords and buying a chord dictionary. You also need to be able to create a riff, improvise in a variety of different musical styles, and compose your own music.
You can work on your creativity from the second you pick up an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or bass guitar. The same is true for most artistic activities, you need to improvise a bit in order to learn and develop your own style. Whether you’re doing music, art, or dance, you should be encouraged to express your creativity and develop your own styles.
In a guitar class, your guitar tutor or teacher might ask you to improvise in front of the other students using a certain arpeggio, pentatonic scale, or a specific guitar chord.
If you’re teaching yourself, then you’re going to have to force yourself to do this kind of learning activity and improve several aspects of your guitar playing:
- Your ear
- Your breathing
- Your playing
- Coordinating your right hand and left hand
- Your technique
- Your creativity
If you become more creative with the guitar, you can even start creating your own songs and compositions for it. The more you practise improvisation, the more comfortable you’ll feel with it. Soon you’ll start being able to play solos during your performances!
Struggling to find your creativity?
You can always start with a bassline, a drumbeat, or a chord progression from a famous song to get you started.
Learning Guitar by Joining a Band
Teaching yourself how to play guitar can be good in the beginning when you learn to read tablature, tune your guitar, and use a plectrum or pick. However, this can become quite boring very quickly.
You can find yourself doing the same exercises again and again, not knowing how to play or how to progress. You can very quickly start becoming demotivated and consider giving up playing guitar. Of course, if you get guitar lessons with a guitar teacher or private tutor, this can still happen. However, you can always talk to them about it if you feel unchallenged or need a new approach like a group class so that you can learn alongside other guitarists.
Why not look for bands?
Music is there to be shared, whether with other musicians or an audience. It conveys emotions, allows us to forget about our problems, and gets us dancing...
Whether you want to play blues guitar, rock guitar, jazz strumming patterns, or a few power chords in a punk band, playing in a band will give you the chance to play concerts. However, you first need to put the work in. In fact, every member of a band needs to put in a lot of work.
As a novice guitarist, the simplest thing to do is join a band that already exists. This means you won’t need to organise recitals, practise sessions, the band’s calendar, or scheduling concerts, they should already have all of this sorted.
The problem when you first start is that it can be difficult to find a band that already exists and is looking for members. Guitarists are hardly rare and most bands will be able to choose from several different ones. You will, therefore, need to give it your all in the audition and make sure you're prepared before you go.
Before an audition, you should probably practise a couple of the songs that the band regularly plays. You’ll be less stressed and you’ll be able to show off all your skills as a guitarist.
You should also know that your level mightn’t necessarily be a drawback. You may find a group of beginners or intermediates who can help you progress at a lightning pace, as long as you also practise outside of the scheduled practise sessions.
Additionally, make sure you get a good feeling from the group of musicians you’re joining! Just like when choosing your guitar teacher or tutor, you need to feel comfortable with them, get along with them, and create an amicable environment between all members of the band.
Finding Your Rhythm by Playing the Guitar
Being a member of a band is a great way to work on your rhythm and timekeeping.
If you’re playing on your own, you can also use a metronome to keep time. In a band, you can also learn to keep time and the drummer will usually act as your metronome. Every instrument needs to keep time with the drummer. While you can practise keeping time on your own, you still have to follow the drummer when they’re playing. Not everyone has a natural rhythm, after all.
Someone who grew up with musicians or dancers will be more familiar with rhythm and will probably learn to play guitar more quickly than someone who didn’t. Someone with no musical experience will probably have to work on their rhythm, music theory, and scales.
Unfortunately, working on your rhythm isn’t as simple as playing a chord. While it’s more complicated, it’s not impossible!
You should work on your listening, listening to the tempo, the beats, and the time signature of each song you hear on the radio, TV, the supermarket, and even in lifts!
Here’s some advice for working on your rhythm:
- Tap your feet
- Count the beats
- Move your right hand in time
- Work with a metronome
- Play along to a song
- Play in a band
This can take some time, but you’ll eventually be as good at playing in time as Hendrix or Clapton!
What Are the Psychological Benefits of Being a Guitarist?
There are a lot of benefits to playing the guitar online, learning as a beginner, or playing with other musicians. Don't forget there are free guitar lessons and beginner guitar lessons online.
Playing the guitar can loosen up your fingers as well as provide the following benefits:
- Develop your memory: to learn a chord, play tabs, or practise new songs, you’re going to need to use some of that grey matter. You will learn to concentrate for longer periods of time and work on your memory while keeping your brain alert.
- Get rid of stress: practising an instrument is a good way to relax. You’ll need to be focused on learning to play the guitar to worry about work or your personal life. Stress is the cause of a lot of everyday problems: weight gain, loss of appetite, sleeping poorly, and even cardiovascular problems. Imagine being able to alleviate some of this by simply playing the guitar!
- Self-improvement: When you play the piano, you just have to press the key in order to play a note whereas when you play the guitar, you have to press down correctly on the string in order to play a note. This can take a lot of work. While not everyone learns at the same speed, everyone will come to a stage where they feel like they’re not progressing or they’re stagnating. You need to have a steely resolve in order to get over this.
- Enjoyment: just like with sport, playing the guitar can help release dopamine and endorphins, two hormones responsible for pleasure.
- Expressing your emotions: music is first and foremost an expression of our emotions, be them joy, melancholy, anger, or love. If you’re fed up, pick up your instrument and start strumming away, playing a riff, a chord progression, and you’ll start feeling better. Don’t think about it, just let loose.
- Meeting people: playing the guitar is also a great way to meet other musicians who share the same passion for music as you. Joining a band can help you make new friends and share a common interest.
So are you ready to start playing the guitar?