Taking guitar lessons can help you in a myriad of ways. The satisfaction of being able to strum chords is palpable. Fingerpicking a song while someone sings along? A true delight. Ripping into a solo while a drummer and bassist keep the groove going? It’s the stuff of dreams. The pleasure that comes along with gaining six-string proficiency is visceral and uplifting.
But, aside from sheer joy, there are many other benefits.
Guitar Lessons and Smarts?
Many of us have heard that playing an instrument makes a person smarter. One psychology study at the University of Zurich shows measurable increases in IQ among musicians — seven points’ increase in adults and children. Evidence from this university research also shows that musicians’ and non-musicians’ brains display structural differences. The parts of the brain that deal with memory and fine motor skills grow larger for a musician. Much as weightlifting can grow the biceps and delts, taking guitar lessons can grow those parts of your brain. The architecture of the mental organ changes.
Whenever we learn an instrument, or practice an instrument, our coordination improves. Each of us has neural pathways that help us govern our finger movements, and we establish new connections and build new pathways as our guitar playing becomes more fluid.
Think of your body as a switchboard. Your fingers send messages to the operator. The operator patches these messages through to other parts of your body.
Your eyes read the notes and send information. Your ears hear the pitches and do the same. Your fingers feel the chord shapes, and you develop muscle memory. Each time this happens, your brain builds a stronger connection with your hands and your senses.