Taking beginner guitar lessons is a relaxing and absorbing senior activity… that baby boomers are discovering. This is an excellent way to maintain good cognitive functioning. As well as hand flexibility.
Learning to play the guitar, or any musical instrument, exercises all parts of your brain.
It stimulates your … sight, sound, fine movement control and perception.
Brain fitness is as important as physical fitness is for seniors. Those wanting to enjoy the later years of their life and learning how to play the guitar is t one way to do that.
Brain Fitness Program
A challenging and creative activity, beginner guitar lessons contributes to maintaining brain fitness … into your 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s because:
- it requires concentration
- it is not something mastered overnight
- it contains room for continuous improvement
- it engages most of your brain’s cognitive systems
- it is highly rewarding
- it is a social activity which can be learned in group lessons
- it improves memory skills
- it may lead to a second career
The brain loves to be stimulated at any age by intellectual pursuits and socializing. Good retirement advice… keep your brain happy and healthy by taking beginner guitar lessons with a group. This also helps seniors from becoming withdrawn and isolated from others.
The lightest and easiest guitar to learn to play is an acoustic guitar. It does not require amplifiers or any electrical devices to be played or heard. Inexpensive, beginner acoustic guitars cost as low as $100 up to $400. Depending on the materials used in constructing the guitar.
Basic parts of an acoustic guitar include:
- Tuning keys. Tuning keys are those silver pieces which jut out from the slender end of the guitar. They need to be turned, in order to adjust the sound or pitch of a plucked guitar string
- This is the long, thin part of the guitar. You curl your fingers and press down on certain strings. This produces different sounds when strumming one or more strings
- Fingerboard or Fretboard. The front part of the acoustic guitar which is divided by frets
- Confines guitar strings. When you press them to provide a variety of pitches when strumming
- This is the hole in the middle of the guitar. It projects sound (the reason why acoustic guitars do not need electric amplifiers)
- Bridge–a small piece placed under the area where strings are attached near the base of the guitar
Beginner guitar lessons involve learning about chords. This is done by the way you place your fingertips on certain strings . This produces the sound indicated in a piece of written music.
Tips about guitar chord names include:
- chords are named by the letters A to G
- an “m” after a letter means that the chord is a minor chord
- a “7” after the letter means that the chord is a dominant chord
- a letter without ‘m’ or ‘7’ means that the chord is a major chord
Chords are always written between two vertical lines: | | which are referred to as a “bar”.
One bar is said to have four counts.
However, if two chords are placed in one bar, then each bar has a two-count duration.
An empty bar is placed in a line of music, indicates that the guitar player needs to repeat the previous chord.
An example of three, four or five-chord songs you can learn by taking Christian guitar lessons are:
- Jesus Loves me
- Amazing Grace
- Rock of Ages
- Blessed Redeemer
These are songs of my childhood years. I have fond memories of singing in a group setting with others in Sunday school and church. I see this as a good beginning to going on to other types of music as well.
Learning the chords used in guitar playing is not difficult. It takes time, diligence and practice.
This is where seniors can benefit from taking beginner guitar lessons. Gently but consistently keeping those important neurons exercising. Helping to reconnect to form new pathways. This will maintain good brain functioning and motor skills well into the later years.
Maybe you will retire soon and will have the time to relax and enjoy something new and different. Music is soothing to the soul.