Playing an instrument can come with tons of great benefits, but not everybody wants to commit to a life of gigging, auditions, and performances. Some musicians would rather keep their instrument playing as a hobby just for fun. 

But can you still benefit from playing an instrument if you aren’t performing in concerts or going pro? Check out these eight benefits of learning to play an instrument and decide for yourself!

1. Improving Your Memory

Learning and playing an instrument requires a lot of memorization — from remembering how to produce specific notes to memorizing sheet music. Playing an instrument, even as a hobby, is a great way to help keep your cognitive skills sharp. 

2. Better Coordination

Whether you’re drawing a bow across cello strings, banging around on the drums, or strumming a banjo, instruments require a fair amount of coordination to play. The more you practice and play, the better your overall coordination can become. 

3. Boosting Your Confidence

Even “easy” instruments are difficult to learn, and as you progress, you’ll continue to encounter more challenging pieces to play. Learning to play an instrument and nailing specific songs will give you a great sense of achievement and help build your confidence. After all, if you can learn to play the violin, what’s stopping you from picking up other interesting skills or hobbies?

4. Learning Patience

Playing an instrument as a hobby can be a huge lesson in patience — especially if you’re self-taught. Nobody plays an instrument for the first time and is instantly good at it. Like all great things in life, instruments take a lot of time and practice. You’ll find yourself slowing down and being more patient as you try to master the instrument.  

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5. Stress Relief 

Both listening to and playing music can help reduce your stress levels. Picking up your instrument and playing for even just a few minutes can help you center and calm yourself. As a hobbyist, you’ll probably be even less stressed than a professional since you don’t have to worry about perfecting a piece on a specific timeline or have anxiety about an upcoming show. 

6. Giving Yourself a Creative Outlet

While you might follow guides and sheet music in the beginning, instruments provide plenty of opportunities to get creative as you hone your skills. Once comfortable, you can start improvising and tweaking your favorite songs or even composing your own music. You may feel even more free to get creative if you aren’t focused on perfecting pieces for gigs or performances. 

7. More Social Opportunities

Playing music can open new social doors for you — even if you don’t join ensembles or play in concerts. While starting out, you can consider music lessons and meet others learning the same instrument. Or, you can check social media and ask around for anyone just looking to jam with fellow musicians. It’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests and get those creative juices flowing. 

8. It’s Fun!

Wondering why you should play an instrument? You don’t need a specific benefit or reason! If it interests you and you enjoy playing, that’s as good enough reason as any. Finding an activity that lets you have fun can be just as big of a benefit as the others.  

What Is the Best Instrument to Learn as a Hobby?

Drums? Harp? Cello? Guitar? Saxophone? There are countless instruments out there, from string to woodwind to percussion. How do you possibly know which one to choose for your hobby?

There is no best or right instrument to learn as a hobby. Since hobby playing is all about self-enjoyment, you should choose the instrument you will be happiest playing. But consider the guitar, piano, violin, cello, or drums since you’ll likely find more instructors in your area or resources for learning these instruments online. Try to avoid more niche or difficult instruments like the harp, bagpipes, and accordion unless they really speak to you. 

Support Your Musical Hobby with CodaBow

Whether you’re picking up a string instrument as a hobby or hoping to dominate the global stage, find the best bow for your violin, viola, or cello at CodaBow. Our selection of high-quality carbon fiber bows can support players of all skill levels — from student to master. Find your match today and request an in-home trial.