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Beginner Guitar Lessons
can be Part of a Fun
Senior Activities Brain Fitness Program

guitar Learning beginner guitar lessons is one of the many relaxing and absorbing senior activities that baby boomers are discovering. This would be an excellent way to maintain good cognitive functioning as well as hand flexibility.

Acquiring knowledge regarding playing a guitar, or any musical instrument, exercises all aspects of your brain: sight, sound, fine movement control and perception. Brain fitness is just as important as physical fitness for seniors wanting to enjoy the later years of their life and learning how to play the guitar is just one way to do that.

Brain Fitness Program

As a challenging and creative activity, learning 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 involves keeping your brain happy and healthy by taking beginner guitar lessons with a group. This also helps seniors from becoming withdrawn and isolated from others.

Acoustic Guitars

guitar 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 and turn in order to adjust the sound or pitch of a plucked guitar string
  • Neck--this is the long, thin part of the guitar around which you curl your fingers and press down on certain strings which produce different sounds when strumming one or more strings
  • Fingerboard or Fretboard--the front part of the acoustic guitar which is divided by frets
  • Frets--confines guitar strings when you press them to provide a variety of pitches when strumming
  • Soundhole--the hole in the middle of the guitar which 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 also involve learning about chords, which is the way you place your fingertips on certain strings to produce 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. When an empty bar is placed in a line of music, this 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 and 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, but takes time, diligence and practice. This is where seniors can benefit from taking beginner guitar lessons: gently but consistently keeping those important neurons exercising and busily reconnecting to form new pathways will maintain good brain functioning and motor skills well into the later years.

If learning beginner guitar lessons in a group setting is not your cup of tea we have found a great program that will help you learn Christian Guitar!

However Christian music is not for everyone so we looked for a program especially for the senior person. Maybe you will retire soon and will have the time to relax and enjoy something new and different. Music is soothing to the soul. Read about this method Here!

More articles in our Activities For Seniors Series

Aging and Exercise
Brain Fitness and the WII
Oil Painting Techniques
Activities for Senior Citizens
Acrylic Art Lesson Plans
Growing Bonsai Trees

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