This story was originally published on teensinprint.com. Teens in Print is an inclusive WriteBoston program created to amplify the marginalized voices of eighth to twelfth grade Boston students.
I bet when you were younger you loved playing air guitar. Winding your arm back and strumming to the music in your head. So what if I told you, you could play for real? The real version is a tad bit more difficult but worth it.
I got into guitar because when I’d listen to some bands and artists I grew up listening they are pretty guitar heavy. The artists who I drew inspiration from include Slipknot, Deftones, and Beabadoobee. After going to a music program during the summer a few years ago, I got a guitar for Christmas because I fell in love with playing and learning about it. So I think it would be great to grow the community and help get others into it too.
- Build memory
Strumming, placing your fingers along the fretboard, and changing chords quickly are all things that build up your muscle memory. You may also improve your memory in general like reminders for your chores or homework. Along with that, you also will get better at remembering to play as long as you hold yourself to it.
- Helps improve mood
Playing guitar, much like petting your dog, triggers the release of a chemical in your brain called endorphins. This means the guitar can literally release stress. It is the ultimate unwinding thing. You create a special and personal bond with your instrument and music, which helps decompress.
- You can play your favorite songs
When you played your air guitar, it was most likely a song you enjoyed quite a lot. So why not actually learn to play it? Even if you’re not as talented a singer as Mariah or Whitney, you have to admit it’d be quite satisfactory to learn and know the ins and outs of the melody of your favorite song(s). Who knows maybe one day you could be like the guy Mac Demarco invited up onstage to play the riff of one of his songs onstage with him!
- Lowers blood pressure
Playing 100 minutes of music per day can significantly lower blood pressure. This can be especially calming and also be a very important health benefit in general, no matter your age.
- There are no limits
Of course, you can set a goal every once in and while to work towards, but you don’t have to. You’re not in a class, you’re not getting a grade, and you’re free to do whatever you please. It can be nice to know you’re exempt from deadlines but that gives you more to learn new things, therefore there’s no teacher to disappoint. I’d say you can’t even disappoint yourself since you took up this hobby for yourself and no one else, so what you do is at your own pace.