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Arthritis and Playing Musical Instruments

Published: 2010-06-22 - Updated: 2016-05-25
Author: JD

Synopsis: Playing a musical instrument can provide immense health and well being benefits to those people suffering from arthritis.

Main Digest

Whilst a lot is written about the various forms of arthritis, and treatments, it is less widely known that playing some sort of musical instrument can provide immense health and well being benefits to those people suffering from arthritis, and many other conditions.


If you have previously played a musical instrument then now might be a good time to either pick up the instrument that has been gathering dust, or to buy a new one. Playing any musical instrument will help to improve dexterity, and strengthen the fingers and other muscles.

There are many different types of musical instrument to choose from, ranging from a harmonica or mouth organ, that can be kept in the pocket and taken with you wherever you go, to electric guitars with enormous amplifiers.

If you used to play an instrument, and want to treat yourself to a new one, many of the traditional manufacturers are still producing the same or similar models to those of years gone by, so there may be some brands that you are familiar with. Brands such as Fender and Gibson are well respected in the guitar world, and provide a model for all abilities, musical styles and budgets. Some of the more recent modern companies produce very capable guitars at lower prices. Hohner, Lee Oskar, and Suzuki are well-respected harmonica brands.

Harmonicas are very cheap to buy, and even signature models can be purchased for a few pounds. A good place to start is a combined package offering a book or DVD/CD and a harmonica. This ensures that the harmonica is the right key, and the sounds on the DVD/CD are the same. These can be purchased online from dedicated music sites and auction sites, as well as from music shops. Music shops will be the best place to start if you are new to musical instruments, as specialized advice will be available, and you will be able to purchase the right package for your needs.

Harmonicas are easy to play and learn, and there are many famous harmonica players to aspire to. Players like John Paul Jones, Mick Jagger, Sonny Boy Williamson, Paul Oscher and Sonny Terry are good people to learn from, and there are also many online resources.

A music shop will also be the best place to purchase a guitar.

The advice available will ensure that you choose the right guitar. There are many types of guitars available, and many models to choose from. A good place to start is to either define a budget and stick to it, or to choose a model that you are familiar with and see which one feels the most comfortable and suitable. Whilst it is tempting to maybe purchase a guitar online, unless you have tried the model, and can be sure that it will be set up to your needs, it may be a false economy. However, depending on the cost savings, there may be bargains to be had online. Once you are more familiar with guitars, and know exactly what you want from a guitar, and perhaps can perform some basic maintenance, then buying online is less of a risk.

Whilst most people will be buying to a budget, there is no denying that the opportunity of choosing the perfect guitar is an enjoyable one. Sticking to a budget will allow you to sample many different types of guitar. The type of guitar that you will choose will depend on the type of music that you wish to play. If you want to play along to Metallica or Iron Maiden, a Spanish acoustic guitar isn't going to be suitable. Similarly, if you wish to play the folk songs of the 1960s, a Gibson Les Paul and a Marshall stack isn't the right choice.

Wanting to emulate your heroes is a great reason for wanting to learn an instrument, and nailing that tricky solo is a fantastic feeling. Whether you aspire to play like Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan, there is a guitar and amplifier to help you achieve these aims.

Learning to play the guitar can be a frustrating time, but it is very rewarding. Once you have mastered a few chords, you will be able to play many songs. With a few scales and other techniques, you will be soon be playing the solos and licks of your favorite guitarists. Learning with a friend, or playing with a band will quickly improve your playing. Playing harmonica in a group or with other musicians will mean that you get better and learn more.

Playing regularly will help with dexterity and mobility, and may help combat the effects of arthritis and other health conditions. Why not have fun, maybe relive your youth and feel better

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Cite This Page (APA): JD. (2010, June 22). Arthritis and Playing Musical Instruments. Disabled World. Retrieved October 28, 2021 from