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Is playing guitar is good for your mental health?

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by gustavowoltmann, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I haven't achieved anything :/
     
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  2. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    Like most things, its all good until its not. Not good to put yourself under pressure, be overly critical of your playing or obsessive about gear. It should be a way to connect with people but again you don't need to be around selfish, bullying aholes who want to work you to the bone and rip you off.
    When all is said and done though there is little else more satisfying than playing an instrument for its own sake.
     
  3. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is for me
     
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  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It's not a cure for any diagnosable condition, but it can be a help.

    Part of it has to with it playing music being, to an extent, an "automatic" activity (when it comes to playing stuff you already know, as opposed to learning something new or writing or improvising) that certain parts of your brain can handle while its more conscious, "think-y" parts can wander. It's essentially meditation. Doing any repetitive activity that takes skill but not necessarily constant conscious effort can have this effect. I think it's similar to how spending time in nature is supposed to be helpful, because the environment (lots of different, sights, sounds and smells, a need to be constantly aware of your footing, etc.) engages your "here and now" brain, allowing your more abstract brain to sort through things uninterrupted).

    Of course, playing music can also be an expressive, cathartic experience that makes for a good vent.

    Making an effort to leave your space and engage with other people has mental health benefits, so jamming, rehearsal, gigs etc. will fit into that.

    It's also good to feel like you're competent at something. I read an interview with a guitarist (I think it was Steve Vai) where he said that playing guitar and having some level of competency with it was one of the few things that gave him a sense of dignity and self-esteem in a time and place (i.e. being a teenage boy in high school) where that was in short supply.
     
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  5. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Most definitely. I've always said I believe it kept me out of reform school. As an adult, its my way to relax and feel good.
     
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  6. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

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    Yes
     
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  7. kohoutec

    kohoutec Tele-Meister

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    it's good for mine. Whether my playing helps anyone else's mental health is questionable though :)
     
  8. clayville

    clayville Tele-Meister

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    It certainly is for mine, and has been for decades.
    I broke my right arm up near the shoulder in February, just before stuff hit the global fan, and not being able to play for many months - those months - made the social restrictions and isolation even harder. I'm more or less fine now but boy did I miss it, right when I needed it most.

    And: Anyone here who hasn't already read This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel J. Leviton should do so - terrific book that looks at the neuroscience of brains under the 'influence' of music in clear, accessible language.
     
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  9. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes.
     
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  10. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    As I get older I find guitar playing keeps me more rythmic in my thought process because it is a continuum of thought, and each thing I play reminds me of the next part that is coming up. This bleeds into my thinking in a strange sort of way and helps my memory in general when I struggle to put ideas together. It's a ***** getting old. Music helps!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
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  11. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Haha, well you asked!

    They have a ton of live recordings both at YouTube and archive.org.

    Also check out:
    https://mermen.net/

    Some of their older CDs are out of print. One of my favorites of all time is "The Amazing California Health and Happiness Road Show" which is more heavily produced than all their others and has a cinematic feel.

    For recent ones you can still buy, I'd recommend "The Magic Swirling Ship". "A Glorious Lethal Euphoria" from about 1995 was their biggest hit ever as far as I know. "Food for Other Fish" is one of the best guitar albums I have ever heard. Even their Christmas CD is pretty good!

    https://mermen.net/albums/the_amazing_california_health_and_happiness_roadshow/
    https://mermen.net/albums/the_magic_swirling_ship/
    https://mermen.net/albums/a_glorious_lethal_euphoria/

    Here are a few of my other favorite YouTube moments.



    Prairie Prince guest drums


    Jim also likes his feedback


    He has composed some really beautiful tunes... here's another one from when he still had hair. Actually, he's growing it back now.
     
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  12. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    yes but it's bad for grammar.
     
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  13. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    yes
     
  14. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’m counting on it!
     
  16. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    That's not how I see it at all, not even a little bit. That sounds more like watching TV or playing a video game to me.

    I practice to achieve the skills to create something and/or to express myself. I don't see it as any kind of escapism.
     
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  17. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    If your ADHD, it can help you unwind from indecisiveness. Helps me make better decisions.. Watching or listening to the news, especially if it is tense, it very therapeutic to be moving my fingers on the fingerboard. It is almost like I understand more, while playing. If I was a Lawyer or a Cardiologist, I'd be pacing with my guitar like I was on a hunt. Keep it with me, ready to noodle play on a dime.
     
  18. CJM3309

    CJM3309 Tele-Meister

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    I play for fun as a hobby. Just holding a guitar eases my mind and makes me happy. It has from the start. Something about the wood, craftsmanship and what can be done with one that draws me in. I might not be any good, but it's an escape for my mind and a challenge. That is why I've never worried about the money spent on it. I see it as a productive hobby that challenges my brain and provides stress relief.
     
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  19. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    It's all sort of relative for me. I think 'm better off playing than spending a lot of time doing something less
    constructive. By way of explanation, in my extended social circle, I have associates who in turn, spend a lot of their time on internet sites that lean towards extreme political views, a neighbor who seems to spend all of his money on fantasy sports/gambling, and another who invests a lot of time in a garden scale railroad layout.
    Not to disparage these other hobbies and interests, but I think I'm happy just playing guitar, regardless of my level of achievement. If that seems weird, well, I'm weird...
     
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  20. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for sharing. I am just coming in from a coldwater surfsession in Denmark. Perfect timing.
     
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