Learning Guitar as an Adult: What You Need to Know and Why You Should Do It

It’s never too late to follow your dreams, and that includes your musical ones. As an adult, you may feel like you’ve missed the window to learn a musical talent. Although you might not want to be a professional musician, picking up the guitar now can still be a great addition to your life.

Why Should You Learn Guitar as an Adult?

Adult life can be busy and stressful. With work and family eating up most of your day, it can seem impossible to find time or drive for a new hobby. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Learning an instrument can actually be good for your health. Playing an instrument can help your mind stay sharper as you age, reduce anxiety or depression, and even lower your blood pressure.

Medical benefits aside, learning guitar is also really fun. Guitar is featured in a lot of modern music, and being able to play songs you know is a great way to get involved with your musical education. Guitars are portable instruments that are a lot easier to gain access to than a piano, so you can learn to be a musician even if you live in a small house or apartment. You may have your own reasons you feel called to pick up the guitar; you should listen to them.

Should You Buy an Expensive Guitar?

Guitars come in many varieties, with many different price tags. If you’re planning on playing casually, you don’t need a particularly expensive instrument. That said, a cheap guitar can actually make it harder for you to learn to play; the strings may be too hard to hold down, the tuning pegs might not stay in place, and the instrument body might start to crack after extended use.

To save yourself money in the long run, try investing in a mid-range guitar. Look for something that is well constructed and has a good sound to it. If you aren’t sure which one to buy, don’t be afraid to ask your local music shop; they’ll be able to match you with a beginner instrument that won’t break down.

Do You Need a Tutor?

In the modern day, it’s completely possible to teach yourself an instrument without ever attending a class. Between written and video tutorials, you can find almost everything you need to know online. If you’re already comfortable picking up self-taught skills, there’s a good chance you don’t need a tutor at all.

Learning online doesn’t work for everyone. Some people pick up information a lot better in person; if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to sign up for a class or work with a highly rated private guitar teacher near you. A guitar tutor will be able to correct your hand placement and keep you from developing bad habits that get in the way of your playing later on. Group classes can also help you learn to play alongside other musicians – a valuable skill if you dream of joining a jam band.

How Much Should You Practice?

The amount that you should practice really depends on how skilled you want to be. Musical instruments aren’t like other skill sets; you may have the knowledge, but if you don’t have the muscle memory, you won’t be able to play. Consistent daily practice sessions are the easiest way to develop a skill. You can cut this down to once every other day or so, but if you find yourself practicing only once a week, you probably won’t improve very quickly.

Your practice sessions need to be frequent, but they don’t necessarily have to be long. Try starting with twenty minutes a day, and increase it to thirty minutes as playing gets easier for you. If you really love the instrument, you may soon find yourself practicing for hours at a time. Don’t push yourself too hard; you’re learning guitar to have fun, not to add a new form of stress to your life.

Finally, if you forget to practice for a while, don’t be afraid to pick up the instrument again. Just because you let your guitar sit for a month doesn’t mean you forgot everything; it just means your muscles need time to re-learn the motions. Start slow and build back up to your former session lengths; you’ll be back at it in no time.

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