Why do Guitarists Wear Sweatbands?
The guitar is one of the most versatile and iconic musical instruments you can learn to play. It has become a symbol of the rock star but is equally at home in a bluegrass folk festival, or an indie arts house concert.
While most of us mortals will never achieve the skill of a Jimi Hendrix or an Eric Clapton, with practice and dedication, almost anyone can create beautiful music on a guitar. Get some inspiration with these 9 Awesome Quotes to Challenge Yourself (And Stay Motivated).
If you watch guitarists often, you may have noticed that many wear sweatbands, especially wristbands, as they play. There are a number of good reasons for this, and it may just help you improve your playing as well.
Dealing with Sweat
Sure, the greats make it look easy. But the fact is that playing, singing, and performing on stage can be hot work. Hot work means sweat. Sweat plays an important role in keeping your body cool, but excess sweat can be a problem.
Sweat running down your hands can make your grip on a pick slippery. Sweat running into your eyes can sting and definitely distract you from your playing. Having sweatbands can help keep your hands dry and your eyes pain-free.
But sweat does more than just distract you and make gripping a pick difficult. Sweat can also eat through the finish of your guitar. Over time, the salts in your sweat can eat through the wood and even metal parts of your guitar.
Think of how salt used on roads can eat through the undercarriage of a car. In the same way, sweat can eat away at your guitar. Using sweatbands helps keep sweat from reaching the finish of your guitar in the first place.
Convenience Is Underrated
It would be great if you could just focus on the music, wouldn’t it? But the fact is that there are so many things you have to keep in mind while playing, that it can be overwhelming. Your wrists and hands get tired or you set that pick down somewhere and now you can’t find it. Even when things are going well, it’s the little irritations that can wear you down.
On some models of guitars, the edge of the neck can be a bit sharp. It might not be a problem at first, but sliding your wrist back and forth for an hour or more can leave it raw and irritated. A wristband can cushion you from the friction and help you play better longer.
And if you’ve ever lost your pick and needed another one in a hurry, you probably know the feeling of searching for the next pick frantically. Some wristbands come with a small, zippered pocket, perfect for holding small items like picks.
Why not have things convenient when you need them so you can focus on playing?
Style Points Count
Let’s face it, the best players didn’t achieve recognition for their guitar playing alone. A flair for playing the crowd can be almost as important as your skill in playing the guitar. Whether your audience is a packed out colosseum or just the one person whose eyes you want to keep locked on you, knowing how to hold attention can be an important part of playing the guitar.
So for many players sweatbands aren’t just about utility, but about how they look. Wearing a sweatband might say that you’re working hard at this so they should pay attention. It might show off a particular color or look to grab their attention. Whatever statement you want to make, looking good while doing it is always a good plan.
There are lots of great reasons for wearing a sweatband while playing a guitar. But the most important reason is yours.
- Do you wear it to keep sweat down?
- Because it’s a handy addition to your gear?
- Because you like the way it looks?
- Or maybe just because you like wearing a sweatband?
The choice is yours, and everyone’s reasons are unique. Do what’s best for you to make the music live on.