Is Playing Guitar Good for Your Brain? 6 Benefits

man playing brown and black electric guitar

It is no secret that having a creative outlet enhances our well-being and allows us to better express ourselves. However, you may have heard some interesting information about playing the guitar that seems too good to be true. Is playing guitar good for your brain? 

Yes—there are scientific studies supporting the fact that playing guitar may benefit the brain. Playing guitar stimulates several parts of the brain at the same time, and it improves many left-brain skills that typically are not accessed when we use the creative right-brain. This activity preserves the brain for years, and may even ward off degrading diseases like dementia. 

Keep reading to learn more about how playing guitar is good for your brain. This article also covers some other brain boosting benefits of playing this particular instrument. 

Why Is Playing Guitar Good for Your Brain? 

Playing guitar is good for your brain in ways that build on one another. Playing guitar benefits your brain in the following ways: 

1. Guitar Stimulates Many Brain Regions 

Everything we do causes neurons to fire in certain regions of the brain. However, if neurons are not being used, our brains trim them away for good—this is what the old saying “use it or lose it” is referring to. 

Playing guitar causes neurons from nearly every region of the brain to fire, especially in the auditory, visual, and motor regions, the last of which is responsible for physical movement. This stimulation prevents you from losing several transferable skills, such as the dexterity that comes with plucking the strings, that you may not have honed otherwise. 

2. Guitar Improves Cognitive Functions

All of that stimulation that occurs while you play guitar includes the region of the brain that links the right and left halves. Due to this, you are doing more than using the more creative-oriented right-half of your brain. You are also able to use the rational left-half. 

The stimulation of the rational part of your brain generally improves some of the cognitive functions that this half controls. The functions that tend to be enhanced are your memory, coordination, intuition, and solving problems. 

Some guitar players even subconsciously improve these functions with other musical habits. They may commit information to memory by rhythmically chanting it a few times, for instance. 

3. Guitar Keeps Your Brain Healthy 

Since most of your brain is constantly active from playing the guitar, your brain will stay healthy for much longer than an aging brain of a non-musician. Studies have shown that this is the case. All of those healthy neurons prevent or reduce the degradation of any brain cells. This protects you from diseases like dementia or alzheimers that do just that. 

What Are Other Brain Boosting Benefits of Playing Guitar? 

For those who still are not sure if they would be interested in taking up the guitar, there are many other benefits in addition to the basic mental ones. The following advantages are some of the biggest extra brain-boosting benefits of playing guitar. 

4. Guitar Expands Your Social Network 

Whether you elect to take music lessons, join a band, or simply play in public places, new people will be drawn to you. These people will also be invested in music, so you should have plenty to discuss right off of the bat. 

Should you choose to make playing guitar your career, networking will be required, but again, the shared passion for music will help you connect with others. While you may not like some of these people, you might also meet your best friend or the love of your life. 

5. Guitar Relieves Constant Stress

Many guitarists have stated that playing is a great form of stress relief. It forces you to forget about the outside world and allows you to exist in a headspace of your own choosing. A Harvard study found that playing relaxing songs largely reduces anxiety and prevents high blood pressure. 

6. Guitar Connects You to Older Music

As amazing as playing your own music can be, playing older music also allows you to connect to those songs more deeply. Several musicians delight in learning how to play the songs that they have complex emotional attachments to, like nostalgia for the song that first played at their wedding.  

In Conclusion… 

Playing guitar is indeed good for your brain. Several scientific studies have shown that playing the guitar stimulates nearly all parts of the brain, and this constant activity protects your brain from losing skills or physical cells. These studies show that playing guitar is not just a creative endeavor, either, and it enhances rational skills like memory. 

In addition to the mental benefits, playing the guitar is also an excellent way to boost your social activity and to reduce mental and physical symptoms of stress. Many guitarists enjoy being able to express themselves both through original music and songs they feel strongly about. 

Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?

Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out a few of my favorite resources below:

The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings – A unique polymer coating makes these guitar strings last for months or even years at a time, making for an exceptional value. They provide the perfect mix of boom, range, twang, and brightness that acoustic music is known for. — CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

The Best Acoustic Guitar – Beloved by everyone from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot, the Martin D-18 is one of Martin’s most legendary guitars ever… It’s an excellent, premier quality acoustic guitar for bluegrass, country, folk, rock and more. This is also what I play myself — CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Chords, Tabs & Video Lessons for 100 Epic Songs – This free guide that I created for fellow guitarists gives you chords, tabs, and video lessons for the 100 best songs to learn on guitar… I spent many hours putting this guide together to help you get better at guitar, faster. — CLICK HERE TO GET IT FREE

Fingerpicking vs Flatpicking Guitar – Learn which picking style is right for YOU by exploring examples, history, and popular players of each style. Discover essential techniques and pros and cons of each approach. — CLICK HERE TO GET IT FREE

Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

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