By Guitar lessons in Edinburgh, Jul 1 2019 09:27PM
A strange topic for the guitar lessons Edinburgh blog, but mental health is becoming an ever more recognized problem in today's society. Whether general mental health has gotten worse than it used to be, or simply that conditions like depression and anxiety are being more widely and openly recognized, it's certainly something that is a great cause of unhappiness for a large number of people. Much of this can be attributed to thought: idle hands and a wandering mind. Worrying about the future, or fretting over the past is occurs when one is lost in thought. Pascal said "Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries". Being distracted or lost in thought leaves one at the mercy of whatever negative train of thought might occur. What does this have to do with Edinburgh guitar lessons? Practicing an instrument is one of the few endeavors in modern life that one can (and should, if good results are to be achieved) concentrate on fully. The practice of meditation is to not be distracted by thought, to focus fully on things in the present (in classic meditation this is usually the breath, sounds and sensations in the body). By no means is it a susbtitute for medititaion (if that is your goal), but really concentrating on guitar practice restricts the amount of negative and unwanted distraction we get from other activites. It's been mentioned on this blog before, but even a technical exercise can be a lot to concentrate on.
"Are both hands completely relaxed? Are you playing with true legato? Are you using the minimum pressure with the left hand? Are you using the very tip of the finger? Are you able to vary the volume at will, or place accents on any beat?". Given the options for how we spend our time, and the activities which allow our minds to be distracted, concentrated guitar practice can be a great way of avoiding negative thought patterns. And the obvious massive side-effect is that after all this concentrated practice you'll have improved at guitar! As always, check out www.guitarlessonsinedinburgh.com for everything more.