There are more and more scientific studies showing how playing a guitar (and by extension any musical instrument) changes and benefits one’s brain. The advantages of studying music have long been touted, but some of the new findings are particularly interesting.
Nashville journalist Jordan Taylor Sloan recently reported how a guitarist’s brain chemistry differs from everyone else’s.
According to Sloan:
- Guitarists have the ability to synchronize their brains while playing, giving them the capacity to read each other’s minds. The areas of the brain that deal with music production and social cognition are responsible for this synchronization.
- This ability to synchronize is linked to a guitarist’s intuition, which is more developed than most people’s.
- When guitarists shred, they shut down the brain region that also shuts down when achieving big-picture goals. Guitarists transition from conscious to unconscious thought in this manner.
Sloan also notes that guitarists usually get a better handle on a song by watching someone else play it (due in part to their intuition and spirituality) rather than reading sheet music. Do any guitarists out there relate?
10 Additional Reasons to Learn Guitar
There are many other benefits to playing guitar, besides those already mentioned. Will Levith wrote an article (10 Scientific Reasons You Should Play the Guitar) for Men’s Health in January that outlines scientific reasons for learning to play the guitar.
His reasons include:
- Pleasure. Playing and listening to music can make you feel good. According to a study from McGill University, hearing (or playing) music triggers a release of dopamine in the brain.
- Stress relief. Various studies confirm that stress can be reduced by playing a musical instrument.
- Pain relief. Studies show that listening to and playing music can take your mind off of pain.
- Brain development. Playing the guitar can help you sharpen your mind and curtail mental decline in the future.
- Lower blood pressure. People who practice music for more than 100 minutes a day have a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure than those who do not.
- Meeting people. Music is a social activity, and it can help you meet more people, especially those of the opposite gender.
- Make more money. People that begin learning a musical instrument at an early age are more likely to invent, patent, publish and build businesses.
- Foster creativity. Musicians are creative even when they’re not playing their instruments. Performers visualize music in terms of shape and process it as a form of practice.
- Improved exercise. Music can make exercising and working out less exhausting. It’s more than just background noise after all.
Hold on a second, I thought you said that there were 10 things!?
In the interest of keeping this article PG, let’s just say that the missing point has a lot to do with point 6.
Do you play guitar or any other instruments? If not, has this article convinced you to get started?