Guitar is a very popular but tricky instrument to learn.Kids and Adults of all ages are drawn to the guitar for many reasons.Our favorite rock stars wailing away, the cool unique tones created by legends like Clapton and Hendrix, down to the colorful guitar bodies and shapes of the instrument that makes us all want to just grab one and start strumming.But not so fast!!
Not everyone is ready to rock out quite yet.So how do you know if you or your child is ready to start strummin’?
Most guitar teachers won’t take on students until they are at least 7.Guitar takes some serious coordination.You must be able to hold the proper strings with up to 4 fingers in one hand while strumming with the other and then change back and forth.Can your child tie its own shoes? Draw within the lines?Snap their fingers?
What exactly are you looking for in music lessons?Do you want your child to read music?Guitar is usually not taught on the music staff but rather in chord charts and tablature, as this is the easiest way to learn the instrument.While you can certainly use guitar lessons as a means of learning music theory, note reading would not be high on the priority list.However, if you want your child to understand some basic music concepts, it’s doable thru guitar lessons.
As I stated earlier, Guitar is not the best instrument to present an intro to music theory on but if the child has already had piano lessons or other music lessons, you can certainly build on that knowledge thru guitar lessons.
As with any instrument, it takes practice to get good at the guitar.It can take years of practice to make the guitar sound good. If the child is committed to practicing at least a few times a week and the parents are committed to being part of that process, it’s worth a shot.It’s not all about age, rather commitment and enthusiasm.
While guitar is super cool and fun, if you are looking for a good 1st instrument for a child under 7 or 8, I always recommend the piano.The piano is laid out in an easy to understand pattern and children and adults of any age can have instant success.