So your child wants to learn to play guitar?
If your child wants to play an instrument, and especially if they want to learn guitar, it’s an excellent choice.
Learning to play music can help them develop and grow, explore music styles, discover new possibilities, and enrich their cultural background.
But is it easy to teach guitar to a child? How do you find guitar lessons for beginners? Will children’s guitar classes help?
How should they learn, and how often do they need to practice to improve? How long will it take before they’re strumming away on an acoustic guitar and play blues chords?
Your child has decided that they want to learn how to play guitar.
And you roll your eyes and think, ‘my child wants to become a guitarist, what do I do?’
How should you help them? Do you need to find some beginner guitar lessons?
Is it really a good idea?
As a general rule, usually it’s the parents who encourage children to pick up a musical instrument, but if the impetus has come from the child, so much the better.
Begin learning guitar
This shows they’re motivated and eager to learn to play guitar, but before you decide they’ll become the next Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix, here are a few things to think about.
For a child, learning to play guitar has many benefits:
To be comfortable holding the guitar, your child should be at least 6 or 7 years old. No matter how interested they are, there’s no point in trying to teach them how to read music, play power chords, or how to tune the frets on their first guitar if they’re still too young.
Essentially, you need to wait until they have enough muscles in their hands before you find a music teacher, even if you can buy different sized guitars for different ages.
Another important criteria is to make sure your child will be able to pay attention for at least the 20 minutes needed to practice regularly and improve their guitar playing.
Clearly, before you buy a new guitar it’s important for a child to know what kind of music they want to play, just like any other artist – do they like classical music, or acoustic, or maybe the sounds of an electric guitar?
There are 3 kinds of guitars:
In addition to the musical tastes and age of your child, you also need to look at the different sizes of guitar:
Guitar lessons will help your child develop the skills necessary to play music, but the skills learned will also serve them well in later life:
Playing guitar is a skill for children
To answer the question – why teach children to play guitar? What’s the point of guitar lessons for kids? The answer seems obvious to many parents.
Guitar is a relatively good beginners’ instrument, both for its easiness to learn and its price.
By learning to play guitar and taking regular classes, children learn, get a chance to meet new people, can share their passion with new friends, and enrich their world.
By learning how to concentrate and practice regularly, children test their willingness to learn and determination. They learn how to focus their thoughts on the music and avoid whimsy.
Learning guitar helps improve a child’s concentration
It’s for these reasons that we say guitar helps children develop.
In order to benefit from everything guitar has to offer, as well as buying their first guitar, it’s best to sign your child up for lessons with a professional teacher. Teachers will often run specialised lessons for kids, suitable for beginner guitarists.
There are many ways to get guitar lessons for your child:
Classes will help give children a good theoretical base and practical experience playing the guitar, as well as a grounding in music theory. You learn the basic parts of the guitar, including the fretboard, tuning, and how to place your fingers on the neck. With their music teacher, children will learn about the chords, strumming patterns, and tabs and start to learn different techniques like licks, barre, and fingerpicking.
Basic knowledge of music theory and playing guitar will help your child to progress to playing other pieces of music and conquer more advanced techniques and playing, including skills like jamming, playing solos, and writing their own songs.
A guitar class in generally about 45 minutes to an hour, once a week.
It is recommended not to have kids take guitar lessons any more than this as it is better to keep classes short and regular, and guitar practice and playing consistent.
In addition to what they learn with their guitar teacher, children can practice every day or every other day, 15 minutes at a time.
The frequency of guitar lessons should be adjusted based on the skill and level of each guitar player.
But most of all, staying motivated is the most important thing for a child trying to learn guitar.
Of course, learning any instrument, including guitar, can be difficult at the beginning, especially for those who live with the budding musician.
We’re often asked, how do we avoid all the annoying noise that comes from learning to play the guitar?
Claim back your sleep!
Designate a specific time for your child to practice guitar between lessons: just 10 to 15 minutes of regular playing practice is ideal, for both your child’s budding skills, and for any listeners.
If you live in a house, there shouldn’t be any trouble defining a specific space and time to make music – everyone can learn to respect others and their tastes.
If you live in an apartment, and practicing guitar runs the risk of annoying all of your neighbors, warn them that your child will be taking a guitar course and practicing and agree a specific time. If possible, try to practice in an area that will limit the sound or find somewhere outside the apartment to practice. If it’s an electric guitar, your child can also plug their headphones into the amp and leave everyone else in peace.