The Benefits of Learning to Play Guitar (and why you should at least give it a try)

Let’s do this with good old-fashioned pros and cons lists!


  • It’s a guitar. Guitars are cool.
  • Learning a few basic chords really doesn’t take long, and all that practicing and repetition is a great meditative stress buster.
  • Because listening to music is great, but playing it is another way to enjoy it.
  • Yes, your fingertips will hurt for a while. But when they stop, those hardened calluses will make it so much easier to be a guitar playing badass. Chords become so much easier when the guitar stings aren’t sinking into your soft, untrained skin.

I've got blisters on my fingers

  • Because learning a new skill, even if it isn’t fully mastered, makes you a more well-rounded individual.

  • Learning to play guitar is an exercise in persistence and determination, because you will most likely suck pretty hard at first. It will be frustrating, it will sound horrifying, and your strumming will be clumsy. You’ll have to learn to be ok with being a total beginner for a little bit. Some of us could benefit from sitting with this for a while, myself included.
  • Hearing music coming from your own fingertips the first time that it actually sounds like a song is pretty satisfying, especially after pushing through all that beginner stuff that I just mentioned above.

learn to play the guitar

  • Find a new appreciation for your favorite musicians after taking a glimpse into what musical talent really means.


  • It doesn’t take much to get started. An acoustic guitar and some other basic tools, and you’re good to go. If it doesn’t work out in the end, you haven’t investing anything that will be any kind of real loss.
  • Be the life of the party and impress people with your cool new ability. Or for the introverts like me, shut yourself up alone in a room, zone out, and forget the rest of the world while you play.
  • It can be a means of self expression.

Add your own pros to this list, because they won’t all be the same for everyone!


  • The only con on this list is that there is no instant gratification. Learning to play the guitar takes time and endurance. And really, this isn’t totally a negative thing.

A word of advice: Having lessons, at least in the very beginning, can be a great idea. Having an experienced player to help you get started can save a lot of time and frustration. I had private lessons for less than a year or so. In that time, I was coached on some basics that set me up for being able to figure out how to play songs on my own. I learned different strumming patterns, and a few things about music theory. You can get these things from sources like DVDs, but you can’t exactly ask questions in that scenario.

Lessons are not an option for everyone, and there are many choices for learning on your own at home. Everything from free online videos to full instructional DVD collections – it just depends on what you are looking for and what you want to invest in learning.

Happy strumming!

On the Playlist This Week


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