With only one month of summer left, you only have so much time to kick the season into high gear. If you’re tired of wasting the hotter months doing nothing new (and you don’t have the budget to leave Toronto to go on a globe-trotting holiday), then consider the benefits of learning the guitar. Nothing is cooler than the guitar; and better yet, picking up the instrument will fill your free time with something other than Netflix binges.

If you’ve never taken a music lesson in your life, than the idea of picking up the guitar in adulthood can be intimidating. There’s a lot to take in when you’re just starting out. Even the most basic things like individual notes and chords can be overwhelming, but don’t worry. Keep in mind that every single guitarist before you has once been in your very position. Not even Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame was born knowing the guitar. The most competent guitarists in the world started with absolutely no knowledge and had to build-up their expertise through hard work.

You’ve heard the old adage that practice makes perfect, and there’s reason for that. Dedicated training will improve your performance in any activity that you pick up and that includes a musical instrument. Constant practicing is the only way you can one day sound like Page. Every minute counts, even if it’s just to hammer out the few beginner chords that you know until you have the hand strength to move onto more complex chords, so you should use every opportunity to tool around on your guitar.  Consistency is also important, so be sure to find time every day to pick up your guitar and rehearse what you know.

Having your own guitar will make practicing that much easier. With access to your instrument 24/7, you can find time to train whenever the mood strikes you. Whether you practise every day when you get in from work or in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep, having your own guitar makes learning it that much easier. But finding a guitar that you like for a reasonable price can be difficult if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for. Toronto is a mecca of music stores. From the Danforth to Bloordale, each neighbourhood has at least one guitar shopclaiming to have the best selection. But if you’re looking for quality, look no further than your local Long & McQuade guitar shops in Toronto and the GTA. Their guitar shops are favourites amongst local guitarists, as they have everything from high end electric and acoustic guitars to entry level options (with buy, rent, and even rent-to-buy options), amps, pedals and any repair part you may need. Their professional staff of fellow guitar players will be able to answer any of your questions you have as a new musician, and you can conveniently sign up for guitar lessons at any one of their 63 locations.

A new guitar and some quality lessons mean you can pack away your air guitar. Better yet, your new hobby will make sure another summer won’t pass you by again with nothing to show for it. Ditch your Netflix account, get off the couch, and accomplish something new this summer.  Learn the guitar and surprise your friends when you pull out your acoustic Taylor at the cottage campfire and start up a sing-along.