Do you ever stop in the middle of your day and think about doing something different? Perhaps you are looking for something that makes life a little bit more interesting.
Maybe you’re looking for a hobby that would change you, just a little, or something that would even help bring out the best version of yourself?
Five years ago on a whim, I ordered a guitar off of Amazon using my accrued credit card points. When that beauty arrived in the mail, I was excited and a bit overwhelmed. After all, I had never played a chord in my life.
I began researching guitar tutorials on YouTube. After practicing at least 30 minutes every day, within a year I went from having no idea where the B string was to being able to play praise and worship with a room full of friends. Well, that and a little bit of U2.
Before I knew it, I was being swarmed by people who saw me carrying my case and sitting to play. Whether at a friend’s house or at a nursing home visit with the elderly, people would watch with interest and delight as my fingers swept over the strings.
It took me back to my days of Catholic College when boys would sit in the middle of the courtyard, guitar in lap, music pouring out of their instruments and souls. Girls in the surrounding dorms would open their windows and swoon.
What is it about the magic of a guitar that can lure us in like moths to a flame? I don’t know for sure. But when it comes to being single and dating, I don’t know many people who would turn that kind of magic down.
Still not convinced to hop on Prime and make the purchase? Here are twelve reasons why learning to play the guitar can improve your life (and maybe your dating life, too!)
1. Playing an instrument makes you interesting
Playing the guitar makes you interesting. No, really. Playing any instrument can draw interest from others. But because of the difficulty of the guitar, people are often fascinated by others who were able to master (or even semi-master!) the instrument.
2. Music is a tool to express yourself
Often times when we are going through something difficult or joyful, we struggle with articulating how we feel.
Sometimes strumming through a relatable song can help you convey how you are feeling. Playing music can make you aware of your own emotions. When it comes to relating to others, people enjoy engaging with those who are in touch with their feelings.
3. Your English and Math scores improve with music
This increase in knowledge is because you’re always practicing scales and chords.
Music theory was built on math and children musicians tend to test higher on English scores than their peers.
4. Music fills the awkward silence
Imagine a date where you’ve had a good dinner date and decide to head back to your apartment for a glass of wine before calling it a night. You’ve exhausted all of your carefully planned out topics of conversation and the uncomfortable silence is mounting.
Instead of commenting on how late it is, you casually retrieve your guitar from the corner of the room and break out in an acoustically chill rendition of Hey Jude. Music is not only a great conversation starter, but can also help fill the awkward silence of a first date!
5. Music gives you confidence
Learning any new skill is empowering. Polishing up a skill that involves music and a new form of expressing yourself will give you an even bigger boost! People are naturally attracted to those who are confident.
6. You’ll reap the emotional and mental health benefits
Learning and playing music helps improve your focus, cognitive skills, and can help you de-stress because playing is deeply therapeutic. The guitar has been proven to reduce both anxiety and depression in the people who are sitting underneath it.
7. Music gives you an opportunity to pray with others
Have you ever sat in a circle of people while someone leads praise and worship? There is a beauty in singing (which Saint. Paul calls “praying twice”) songs of worship while in community with others.
Praise and worship doesn’t have to exist solely within the walls of a Church or on a college campus. It can happen in the comfort of your own home and you can play whatever moves you in that moment.
8. Music helps you meet new people
Whether it be at work or walking out of Church on Sunday, your ability being able to play an instrument is sure to draw some interest.
“Really, you play?” and “How cool, what kind of music are you in to?” are just a couple of the questions that you’ll be peppered with. Not surprisingly, if you happen to be talking about the guitar around another guitarist, it probably won’t take long before you invite one another over for a low key jam session.
Once you’re confident enough in your new skill, you can even reach out and join a small band at Church. This will give you a chance to introduce yourself to an entirely new group of people.
9. Music makes you a well rounded person
There is something pretty awesome about a person who can go from playing a very sincere version of “Amazing Grace” to belting out “With or Without You”.
10. Music teaches you how to multitask
When you pick up the guitar, you’re not just playing music. You’re also accessing several different parts of your brain at once.
Reading guitar tabs, creating a chord shape with your hands, keeping time as you play – doing all these things at the same time stretches your brain and allows it to become more efficient at multitasking in other areas of your life. W
ho doesn’t love an efficient multitasker?
11. Playing guitar has social and professional benefits, too
Once you have confidence from learning how to play a rather tricky instrument, you may find that you have a new can-do attitude which will spill over at work and in your friendships. A single guy or girl with a go get em’ mentality AND a guitar in their hand? Watch out world!
12. Music can fill the empty space
Sometimes, regardless of our steadfast prayer and faithfulness, we can feel lost and alone. Often, after picking up my own guitar, within ten minutes of playing my soul would begin feeling renewed.
Even now, years later, I go to my beloved instrument when I need to work through things or talk to God in a way that I can’t when I’m just kneeling beside my bed.
Read more: How to Start a Conversation (the Catholic Way): Even More Ideas
Music can help the physical touch the spiritual. It can elevate and enlighten us.
And when we shine from within, we attract others to the light.