Whether you plan to start teaching guitar professionally or just want to teach your own children, teaching kids to play guitar is different in many ways from teaching adults. Choose an instrument that fits the child and start with simple, fun songs that the child already knows and will enjoy playing.
Keep your focus on fun and worry about music theory later. To teach kids to play the guitar, start by deciding on an acoustic or an electric guitar, then choosing the right size for your child's age. Once you have everything, set up a dedicated practice space, help your child tune the guitar, and start with some single notes and basic scale work. To learn how to teach your child fun songs for the guitar, keep reading! This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
You can find child-sized versions of both acoustic and electric guitars, and beginner's models typically will be roughly the same price.
Talk to the child about what kind of music they enjoy and want to play. This can help you choose between acoustic and electric. Kids who are more into rock music typically will want an electric guitar. Electric guitars can be easier to play than acoustic because the action is lower.
Since there is less space between the strings and the fretboard, little fingers don't have to work as hard to play.
With electric guitars, you also have the option of plugging headphones into the amp for silent practice. This can be helpful if First Part - From Beginning Of Mark Olfs Guitar Method to Page #29 - Mark Olf - Sounds Of The Guita are concerned about disturbing neighbors or other people in the house.
Get the right size for the child's age. If the guitar is too large for the child, playing will be frustrating. Guitars are typically measured by scale. Start with the size recommended for the child's age, but don't be afraid to go up a size if the child has larger hands or is taller than average.
A full-size guitar is appropriate for children 12 years old or older. Get necessary accessories. To start playing a guitar, your child will need several picks, a metronome, a tuner, and probably a capo for simplified chords.
Get these accessories together and let the child help pick them out. Having fun accessories will help motivate the child to play. You can download metronome and tuner apps Baby Doll - Soft Cell - Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: Live a tablet or smart phone. If you're going to use these, make sure the child will have unlimited access to the device whenever they want to practice.
Try a beginner's kit. A number of major guitar manufacturers, such as Gibson and Fender, put out beginner's kits that come with all the necessary accessories you'll need to get the child started playing guitar.
Many of these kits also come with a First Part - From Beginning Of Mark Olfs Guitar Method to Page #29 - Mark Olf - Sounds Of The Guita or DVD that includes a few beginner lessons and some songs.
Buy the guitar in person. No amount of research substitutes for holding a guitar in your hands and trying it out for yourself. While you don't need to spend a lot of money, if a child actually wants to learn guitar you need to buy them a quality instrument — not a toy.
Do some research beforehand so you know generally what you're looking for, then go to a retailer that specializes in musical instruments. Avoid buying the child's guitar at a discount store or pawn shop. You may save some money, but you can't guarantee you're getting a quality instrument.
You also won't have the benefit of educated and experienced staff to assist you. Method 2. Set up a dedicated practice space. Keep the child's guitar and accessories in a specific spot with a sturdy, comfortable chair and other materials they'll need for practicing. This is an easy way to help the guitar become a regular part of the child's life. Find a spot where the child won't be interrupted frequently and will always have some quiet time to practice their guitar.
Tune the child's guitar. When a child is just beginning I Cant Stand Up For Falling Down - Elvis Costello - This Is Tomorrow learn the guitar, don't bog them down trying to teach them how to tune the guitar.
You can start by doing it for them. Explain what you're doing and impress upon them the importance of keeping their First Part - From Beginning Of Mark Olfs Guitar Method to Page #29 - Mark Olf - Sounds Of The Guita in tune. Show the child how to hold the guitar correctly. To start, it will probably be easier for the child to learn the guitar sitting rather than standing. Find a sturdy, straight backed chair that is low enough for them to sit with both feet firmly on the floor.
Help the child make friends with their guitar. A guitar can be an intimidating instrument. Encourage the child to play around with the guitar, tapping on the body to hear echoes and plucking strings at random.
Especially if the child is really young years oldthey may not be ready to start with actual music right away. Just let them play around and experiment, maybe creating their own "songs. Have patience. A child may not be able to grasp the concepts you want to teach them as quickly as a teenager or adult would. Even some basic knowledge may be unknown to younger children.
Remain calm and be prepared to explain even the simplest terms and phrases. Instead, number the child's fingers. Let them write the numbers on their fingers in washable marker. Work on single notes and basic scales. Spending a lot of time on scales and theory can cause children to become bored.
But you still want to spend some time explaining how the notes are found on the strings and how they relate to each other. Most kids have an attention span the same number of minutes as their age — so if you're teaching a 6-year-old, keep this kind of instruction to 6 minutes and then move on to something else.
Teach basic strumming patterns. Coordinating the right and left hands can be one of the most difficult things for any beginning guitarist — especially children. A basic down-strum is the easiest pattern to teach, and there are plenty of songs kids can play using this pattern. If the child is more interested in picking the guitar and playing single-note melodies than playing chords, they still should have a handle on strumming techniques.
Demonstrate how a note sounds slightly different on a down-strum than an up-strum. Simplify chords. Many chords are too difficult for small, uncoordinated fingers to play consistently. Use simplified versions of chords that only require one or two fingers so the child can play them easily.
Look for a pattern that only requires one Double You - With Or Without You (Special Remixes) two fingers. Watch out in particular for chords that require the pinky finger.
The pinky is the weakest finger, and a young child's pinky may not be developed enough to press the string cleanly. Demonstrate how to correctly put away the guitar. A child will feel more ownership and responsibility for their guitar and their musical education if they know how to properly maintain their instrument.
Make sure the child has a quality case and get them in the habit of storing their guitar when they're done playing for the day. Method 3. Skip traditional songs. Instead of grinding through traditional songs, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," that contemporary kids probably don't care about, go for songs the child is familiar with and already loves. Ask the child what kind of music they enjoy. Have them list off some of their favorite songs.
The more you can include songs the child already enjoys, the easier learning to play will be. Use simple riffs from classic rock songs.
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