5 Ways to De-stress With The Guitar

Relaxing, unwinding, de-stressing, call it whatever you want but using an instrument to it with can lead to getting your head back on straight.

For me of course it’s spending time with my guitar. It doesn’t matter the instrument you use, although it is a bit difficult to kick back in your recliner with a piano. Well, I guess a pianist can always use a keyboard and do the same thing. What matters is that it can be used to help you chill out.

For me chillin’ out does not necessarily mean picking or strumming something soft and cozy, it can also mean getting down right dirty and gritty. Below are some ways I find to use my guitar to ease the day.

1. The Recliner Relaxer - This is mostly used when the wife’s at home. While sitting and watching a show or just talking I’ll get my acoustic and kick back in the recliner. During commercials or between lulls in our conversations I’ll use open chords and use one or two finger picking patterns for them.

2. De-stressing the Blues - same as above but going through some simple basic blues patterns.

3. Go on a bender - For this I plug in and dial in some crude distortion. Nothing fancy. I just work scale patterns in different ways making the notes growl when bending the notes. I close my eyes and just let my fingers go where they go. I also use a drum and bass backing track to keep the groove for me.

3. No holds barred - I do this unplugged as well as plugged in. What I do with this depends on my mood. I think of a chord progression and use barre chords. If I’m feeling a little mellow then they are strummed nicely. If I’m bent about something it’s hard fast and mean.

4. Drop Down and Get Nasty - If I’m really stressed out I plug in, dial the amp in as dirty as I can get it and drop tune my guitar to “D”, banging out whatever my mind says to do. No patterns here but you’ll find one or two….or five pretty quick.

5. Clean It Up - Sometimes not playing is just as good. I find cleaning up my guitars rather relaxing. Polishing, changing strings and fiddling around with them all can bring a calming effect.

The key here, for me,  is to keep things simple and basic, don’t make it something you are going to stress out trying to play

I’m sure there are many other ways to relax with the guitar so help grow this list of ideas and leave a comment to share with others about how you use your musical instrument to relax, unwind and de-stress.

©2009 Curt Moye & Fred Russell Publishing, All Rights Reserved. This article can not be used without permission from the Author but feel free to link to it. To Contact the Author email curt@RockHouseMethod.com

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m78w said...

Great advice! I'll have to try these out the next time I need some chillin' time with the guitar.


sarge1875 said...

Thanks m78w, I'm sure there are other ideas out there, hope to hear of few from some of the other readers.

Gary Fletcher said...

Nice ideas Curt. My favourites are playing and singing a song or improvising some blues.