I have been playing guitar for 25 years now. I reckon that I played my guitar around 90% of the days since I started and it is one of my favorite things to do.
Recently, as I have started to bring my guitar teaching online, I have reflected on why I started playing guitar in the first place. What are the reasons that I continue to play today? Why might you want to think about learning guitar or another instrument?
It’s my belief that someone who has learning in their life is happy, and someone that has none will be lacking something.
With guitar, I am always finding songs that I want to learn or techniques that I find interesting. I watch other guitar players on YouTube, follow people on Twitter, buy guitar magazines and study my favorite players.
This means that I always have something that I want to learn. And when I am learning it (even when slowly), then I’m happy!
2. Enjoying my own company
There are times when I am on my own. And that’s not a negative thing. Honestly, that’s the best thing ever. If you give me a half day by myself in the house, I know how I am going to spend it.
My wife always says “oh, he loves nothing more than his own company” and I nod and instantly I am thinking of how if you just give me a guitar and a few hours of solitude, I will be the happiest man ever.
This is related to the point above, but when you can get so engrossed and so absorbed in something that time stands still, then you are effectively turning off from it all.
I often play guitar for what I think is 20 minutes and my watch tells me it has been 2 hours. This means that I haven’t been thinking about my other problems in the world, the bills I have to pay or the relationships that I have. I’m just playing guitar. And during that time, my brain can focus on just that thing. This is similar to meditation and I really enjoy that aspect of being a guitar player.
4. Using my imagination
This takes a bit of time. Anyone who is excellent at golf will really enjoy the game, but for me I am taking 10 shots where it should be 3 – and that’s no fun!
But once you get some familiarity with guitar, then there is such a permutation of possibilities with 6 strings, 12 frets, the fingers and thumb of my right hand and all the musical note lengths and pauses. It’s an infinity of possibilities – and it’s so exciting to start finding something new.
5. Helping others
I have been a guitar player for a long time and a teacher for years also. I have given guitar lessons to beginners and to really good guitarists and to be able to help others to learn is a real privelege for me. I’m lucky to have 12,000 students who have taken my courses and who send me messages, questions, comments and thank yous every day.
For this, I am so grateful. It’s amazing to have connection to people who have passion and curiosity about the same things that you do and great to have conversations with people from all over the world.
What about you?
I wonder if you’re reading this what your reasons are for playing the guitar or thinking about learning it. Please share in the comments below. I always love to hear from you.