That’s a question you might be asking yourself if you’ve never played an instrument before.
It can be difficult to know in advance, but with a bit of introspection and research, you can make your mind up.
Obviously, you are interested in playing guitar. And you want to make the right choice before buying because you don’t want to spend too much money or invest your time in something you might not be good at.
That’s totally understandable. Ask yourself: “why do I want to play guitar?”
If it’s just to impress people or because you don’t know what else you should do, then guitar is certainly not for you.
Let’s see how you can decide if guitar is really for you.
1. My Story
In order to understand what actually brought me to write this article, I will tell you a bit about my story, and why I chose to learn guitar.
The first time I picked a guitar was in 2006. I was in High School, on the grass, talking with my friends. One of them had a guitar, and started playing. I was amazed by the fact that all the people was looking at him, and some were even singing with him.
That sudden surge in popularity struck me, and I wanted to me like him.
By then, I was thinking that playing guitar would bring me girls and make me popular, but I was dead wrong.
Popularity doesn’t come because you know a few chords on an instrument. In fact, a lot of popular people don’t know how to play an instrument.
Fortunately, I had other motivations to start playing guitar. I had always been interested in making music. I found fascinating that people could actually sing and play at the same time, and make everyone around them sing and clap along.
And when I actually tried to play, it was so hard that I actually thought it would take me years to get to a level where I could sing while playing.
Did it stop me? No. I was excited. I found the challenge worthwhile because it would bring me joy to be able to do that. I wanted to be able to make people sing along and share the emotions. That was mainly why I bought my first guitar.
Years after, I don’t regret a single second.
And while I thought I had no other reason to start playing guitar, I discovered and opened myself thanks to music.
I was a shy guy, in my early twenties. Being able to play in front of people was a hard task for me, but I managed it because I loved music.
I learned so much about fear. I actually became more confident and self-assured.
2. Your Goal
So what’s your big reason to start playing?
- Music is your passion and you can’t live without it
- You want to share great moments with other people (friends, family, fans…)
- You have a few songs you would like to learn, play, and sing
- You want to be like your idol, play on stage and tour the world
- You love the way the instrument (acoustic or electric guitar) sounds
- You want to have a hobby that enhances your creativity and finger dexterity
- You want to be more confident in life
There could other reasons I didn’t mention here. Feel free to share them in the comments below.
3. Music is your passion
Well, if music – or guitar – is your passion, then start playing. With passion, everything becomes easier, and you will progress more quickly than people not passionate about the subject.
Also, you will notice that picking up your guitar will take zero effort, because you will love playing. In fact, it will become like a second nature to you.
All the more reason, if you already know how to play another instrument.
Do you have trouble determining if music is truly your passion? Well, think about how you feel when you see someone playing music. Think about the people you saw playing on stage, on TV, or video clips.
Do you feel fascinated just by watching them or listening to them? Do you want to become like them? Those feelings mean something: music is definitely your passion.
4. Sharing great moments with other people
You can have a great time playing music while you’re with your friends, family, band members, or with people enjoying what you bring to them. Of course, there are tons of different ways to enjoy life, and music is not the only one.
However, music makes people close to each other, and unifies. To illustrate my point, let me quote John Denver:
Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.
― John Denver
5. Learning, singing and playing songs
This point could actually be mixed with the previous one. But if you enjoy learning and singing songs, you will enjoy playing them on the guitar.
It’s already great to know the lyrics of a song. But the feeling you’ll get after learning your first song on the guitar will be absolutely amazing.
6. Be like your idol
Who doesn’t want that, at some point of his (or her) life? Whether your idol is a musician, actor, or real-life hero, this person can be a source of inspiration and motivation to you.
Therefore, if you idolize a musician (or singer), you certainly want to resemble her (or him). And that’s a natural feeling.
Finding a source of inspiration makes people greater. There’s no shame having an idol or life model. And you can become one to others.
7. The Guitar Sound
A lot of people love the way the guitar sounds. Are you one of them? Then it makes it easier for you to start playing the instrument.
Now, some other questions: what’s the best guitar sound for you? The electrical guitar, the steel-string or the classical one?
Deciding upon that will determine on which instrument you will begin playing. It’s better to ask yourself that question now, even if you can buy another instrument later. And of course, your taste in music can change.
8. Enhancing your skills and creativity
Everybody knows that: playing an instrument develops your creativity. If you want to become more creative, and if you’re an artistic person (painting, drawing, etc.), you might consider playing the guitar as another way to express yourself and your ideas.
In the case of guitar playing, it also increases your finger dexterity. It doesn’t come in one day, but you’ll notice it after one or two years of playing (it depends on how much time you devote yourself to learning).
9. Developing your confidence and self-assurance
I’ve heard many stories of people becoming more confident thanks to their passion. It could be anything: arts, cinema, music… If you’re passionate about something, you will find that difficult things become easier through your interest.
The same thing happened to me. And it can happen to you.
A lot of people pick theater as a way to overcome their social anxiety.
But if you prefer music over theater, why would you do that? With music, you will be able to perform on stage as well, and interact with the public. You will be able to play in front of your friends and family, and before total strangers.
And you will notice after some point that your fear will decrease. How great is that?
10. Time and money
Time always comes as an excuse for not starting a new activity. It’s true that everybody is busy, have their own schedule, and it can be hard to insert another hobby among all the other things you have to do.
But think about your goal. Do you really want to play guitar? Then, you will make time for it. It could be only five minutes per day. It doesn’t matter, as long as you enjoy those five minutes.
Also, money can be tough sometimes. If you don’t have any money right now, I would advise you to wait before buying a guitar. Some guitars can be cheap, of course. And you can find good second-hand guitars sold on classifieds web sites like craigslist. It’s really up to you and what you want to accomplish.
So… Did you make up your mind? If yes, I’m happy I could have helped you.
Otherwise, if you still ask yourself the same question “Is guitar for me?”, then I would advise you to go to a music shop and actually try a guitar. Or ask a friend or family member who has one.
If you want to know what kind of guitar you should buy, I have made an article answering that question right here.
And here’s a video that can help you choose a guitar:
After you’ve done that, go back to this article and read it again. Spend some time thinking. Watch some videos with people playing the instrument. Go to a local gig, or a big concert. Ask for some advice around you.
I’m pretty sure you will find out if guitar is really for you.
Thank you for reading this article and ask your questions below, if you need more advice.