It’s that time of the year again! International Guitar Month is an annual designation observed in April to celebrate all that is the ancient instrument. Although the instrument started taking shape sometime in medieval Spain, it made its first appearance in mainstream music sometime in the early 50’s, and has influenced and progressed every single genre since. If you never got the chance to learn how to play one, do yourself a favor! It’s never too late to exercise your mind and tap into one of the most creatively influential outlets to grace music throughout history.
Picking up the guitar doesn’t mean you have to drop $1,000 and spend extra time or money with an instructor. Consider buying a used one, figure out what sound you prefer (acoustic or electric) and you might find yourself spending no more than $100. Do you like country, rock, heavy metal? Figuring out what kind of genre you’d like to unfold creatively will also aid the learning process. It’s extremely rewarding learning how to play your favorite song, not to mention the amount of Youtube tutorials and guitar tab apps available make it extremely easily to self-teach.
The benefits or learning any instrument are remarkable. Like most creative outlets, learning the new hobby can relieve stress and tension. Music generally can stimulate the production of opiates and endorphins (hormones) which stimulates blood flow in our bodies. Playing an instrument also changes our cognitive process by improving our memory, problem solving, and it also enhances our hearing, touch, and sight. When we play an instrument, that triggers the brain, accessing both hemispheres, which overall changes how we think and pretty much who we are entirely. No other activity or art does this to the brain, which kind of makes musicians exclusively special.
You’re doing yourself a favor if you invest in a guitar, it’s a timeless instrument that’ll surely be a hit on your next camping trip! Waking up in the morning to the sound of someone playing an acoustic guitar is a dream. Learning how to play “Julia” by the Beatles just might be the stress relief you’ve been looking for this week! If you already know how to play, take your brain patterns to the next level and try writing your own material. Whether you’re a pro or a rookie, honor guitar month and pick up a guitar.
Jasmine Palacios is a performer/writer born in Dallas, TX. She studied at the Austin School of film, Institution Theater and Coldtowne Conservatory. With upcoming projects in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas, she's based herself in Austin, TX, pursuing all that is entertainment. Some of her biggest influences include Jim Carrey, Black Sabbath, and Paul Thomas Anderson!