“Nothing is more beautiful than the sound of a guitar”…..Frederic Chopin.
“I can’t play guitar, but I can sure make it howl”……John Lennon.
Playing the guitar has many benefits for older adults. There have been studies that show there are numerous brain benefits to playing any instrument. Almost like exercising, playing an instrument exercises the brain to keep oneself sharp. Aside from that, it boosts heart health, reduces stress and anxiety, creates positive emotions and helps reduce any pain one might have.
The oldest guitars came from Persia some 3,500 thousand years ago. One of the most popular stringed guitars in medieval Europe was the Lute. Guitars were not the most popular instrument in the world until the early 1900’s.
There are three main types of modern guitars with the “Classical Guitar” being the most familiar. And of those, the “Spanish Guitar” is the most widely played. And there are a number of types of “Electric Guitars” that made their entrance in the 1930’s, having a major influence on pop culture. The loud, amplified sound of the electric guitar, played through an amplifier, had a key role in the development of both rock and blues music.
So by now I hope we’ve got you enthused about looking to purchase one. The look and feel of a guitar you will play is very personal, so you will want to visit a guitar or music store. You can find guitar stores in your area via Google, Bing or another search engine. Check to see if they also offer guitar lessons.
YouTube videos also provide another way to learn the basics.
There are two other small items you might want to consider, one being a guitar tuner ($30 - well worth the investment) and perhaps a plastic-covered Cord Chart, a visual of all the finger positions you need to take to create specific cord sounds.
And finally, there are two things you will need to learn to play any instrument; patience and the willingness to put in the time to practice. If patience isn’t really your strong suit, the guitar’s low-learning curve means it's probably the easiest instrument to learn and you can start making music you enjoy very quickly. Learning to play builds your confidence and gives you a way to express yourself.
Good Luck to you!