Playing the Guitar is For Every Age – How Seniors can Deal With Joint Pain and Still Rock on

Image result for old man playing guitar

One of the things that never gets old and people keep doing is to play music. The magic that comes with playing every accord in a guitar is beyond words.  You simply cannot get enough of it.  So on you go through the years, playing the classics of your time and filling the atmosphere with harmony.

When you become older, there is definitively no intention of stopping.  You just love the feeling too much to stop.  You will be rocking it on the guitar until you die. Or unless your body says otherwise.  Because as this carcass gets older, it makes it more difficult for us to make any good use of it, including guitar-playing, sadly.

Seniors enjoy the expertise of playing guitar and are the delight of younger generations.  However, it is more difficult for them to get on with the rocking due to several ailments.

Lack of Motivation

Sometimes aging brings about depression.  This causes seniors to lack any kind of motivation to even move on.  They don’t feel there is any purpose on it or simply feel it is time to call it quits.

This is when relatives and loved ones come in.  Gather around grandpa for the holidays and ask him to play a tune or two for you all.  This will keep even the effects of any mental disorder in check.  It will also help your senior relative to feel loved and appreciated.

General Weakness

As we age, our body structure and functions become more and more compromised.   This causes general weakness, tiredness, and sleepfulness.  There simply is no time or wishes to play the guitar at all.

One way to beat tiredness is through short guitar sessions.  Seniors will probably no longer offer concerts but they can take small steps into rocking some tunes now and then.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and is very common among elders.  The term is actually used to refer to more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and other tissue.

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.  This happens when the tissue inside the joints breaks down.  When this happens, the bones have direct contact, causing pain and numbness when moving the hands, for instance.

Having hands in pain due to arthritis seems to make it impossible for a patient to even try to play the guitar.  To help alleviate the pain, arthritis gloves are a great option.  They enable you to overcome pain.  The best part is that they are really effective and not invasive at all.

You can find a wide variety of arthritis gloves, which do not seem to be very common but they are very helpful.  We suggest you check out Brace Access for top and affordable products.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disease.  This means that it only gets worse with aging.  There is no cure for the condition-only palliative measures and treatments.

A person with Parkinson’s disease cannot control the motor movement of their muscles.  This happens because the cells in charge of producing dopamine, die. Dopamine is a chemical that sends signals to the brain to control movement and coordination.

Seniors, and even younger ones, who suffer PD, usually have difficulty even lifting up a pick.  Techniques such as plucking or strumming become difficult, sometimes depending on what side of the body is being affected.

Medications that treat the disease can help improve these symptoms and make seasoned guitar players with PD get back on the chords.  Follow your physician’s instructions and prescriptions.  Music will become a good therapy in the mids of your ailment.

Options for Guitar Lessons

Options for Guitar LessonsSo, you want to learn to play the guitar.  Learning to play all starts with some lessons, even experience players take lessons to improve their playing and learn new skills.  There are a ton of options out there to learn to play guitar, but you need to find the right method that works for you.  Here’s a breakdown of the lessons that are available so you can choose what works for you.

Private Instructor or Online

For years most students learned to play by taking lessons from a private instructor.  Student and teacher got together a couple of times a week for half an hour to an hour and the student learned new chords and techniques.  This is one of the easiest ways to learn, it’s hands on and you have a teacher there to correct any mistakes you make.  The biggest drawback to private lessons is the cost, time and transportation back and forth to lessons.

Nowadays you have plenty of alternatives to getting a private teacher.  There are books and DVDs that have taught many people to play on their own time and at their own pace.  They can take time with the parts they are having difficulty with and breeze through the parts they find easy.

Today with access to the internet it makes finding guitar lessons even that much easier.  There are tons of online guitar lessons that you can find with a simple Google search.  You can find free lessons to high end instruction that will give you a certification from the Berklee College of Music.  Besides the sheer number of options technology has made the video lessons even better.  They have become interactive and the student can control the pace of the lessons and they have the flexibility on where and when you learn.

Options for Guitar Lessons Broken Down

Aside from the private lesson option, here are the options for guitar lessons broken down.

Books- Books will work if you’re comfortable learning independently, books can be used anywhere.  If you don’t have a lot of money to spend then books come fairly cheap but they aren’t very interactive and you have no resources if you get stuck or have trouble.

DVD lessons- Better than a book for hands on learners the lessons are laid out in front of you and you can stop and start where at any part of the DVD, but like a book there isn’t much in the way of support.

Online Lessons– This is probably the best and easiest way to learn guitar without private lessons.  There are a ton of sites that are dedicated to providing guitar lessons, they will take you through the basics all the way through to advanced lessons for experienced players.  You can find lessons for free on YouTube but if you really want to advance you may want to look for paid lessons.  Here is a sample of an online that you can find on YouTube to get you started.

If you are really serious about learning to play guitar there is no better time than now to get started.  Start with some online lessons and if you’re serious about improving your playing at some point you may want to graduate to private lessons.

Acoustic or Electric

guitar lessonsLearning to play guitar

Guitar is one of the more popular musical instruments that people choose to learn.  Almost all popular music features a guitar and aspiring musicians want to learn stuff they already like.  After you’ve made the decision to learn to play guitar you’re next decision is whether to play acoustic or electric. Is it easier to learn to play an electric or acoustic guitar?

Learning to play an acoustic

People opt for the acoustic guitar for a bunch of reason not the least of which is it looks cool.  Acoustic guitars look good just sitting in the corner of your room and they look good while you’re playing them too.  They can be played pretty much anywhere and you don’t have to drag an amplifier behind you to make them sound good.  If you’re lucky enough to be able to sing too an acoustic guitar goes very well with vocals.

If you’re just learning to play, the ability to be able to practice anywhere and hear yourself without an amp makes it much easier.  If you live near neighbors playing acoustic is quieter.  Now  if you want to play in a band, that will raise questions as to whether you will want to pick up electric in the future.

Learning to play an electric guitar

Just like playing an acoustic you’re going to look cool playing an electric guitar too.  However, playing an electric is a little more work.  You’re going to have to plug your electric guitar into an amplifier to hear it.  If you’re worried about noise, and you should be electric guitars can be loud, you can listen to yourself play with headphones.  You can play and practice without waking the neighbors.  That being said an electric with an amp is much louder than an acoustic, but if you want to play in a band, particularly one that has a drummer you will need an electric to get the volume you need.

If you dream of being Keith Richards and playing lead guitar, then electric is better than acoustic.  While learning, the acoustic is great to learn the various chords on but if you’re trying to play lead the sound isn’t rich or loud enough.   Electric allows the notes to be sustained for a longer period of time, making guitar solos sounding fuller and richer.

One big fundamental difference between the two types of guitar is the strength needed to play each instrument.  An acoustic is a little harder to play than an electric, the tension on the strings of the acoustic is tighter than an electric.  You’re going to have sore fingers when you are first learning and that’s a given, but keep on and regular playing will build up strength and it will get easier over time.