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Hankthetank
05-02-2009, 02:56 AM
I was wondering what an appropriate age is for a child to start taking guitar lessons. I have, soon to be, 5 and 7 year olds that see me playing my uke and want to play. I will go to my local music store and see what their thoughts are but I just thought I would pose the question to you all.
For those of you with children you play, what age were they when they started to learn? Or for those of you who have been playing all of your lives, how old were you when you started playing?
thanks!

UkuEroll
05-02-2009, 08:28 AM
I have had experiance of teaching young children to play, but to be honest it wasn't a good one, as it seemed not to be the childs choice but the parents, trying to keep an under 5 concentrated, is almost impossible.
It has to be fun fun fun, but I found that it was more like a chore to some of them, if the child shows real interest, it dosn't always follow that they want to pratice.
We bought our son a guitar when he was 7 and it sat in his room untill he was thirteen and realized it was a cool thing to do ,then he started asking me to show him stuff, now he shows me. The biggest thing I would say would don't push.

Hankthetank
05-02-2009, 12:36 PM
Thanks for the advice. We went to the local music store today as my 7 year old said she really wanted to take lessons. We signed her up for a lesson and asked if it was something she really wants to do. She said yes. If she doesn't like it, then we are only out $20 for the lesson. If she enjoys it, then we think about investing in a guitar.
As long as she enjoys it, we are ok with that. But we did tell her not to get discouraged as it would be tough in the beginning, but the more she practices, the better she will get. We went through the same thing with reading at the beginning of the year. If was difficult at first, but she reads like a champ now.
Thanks again for the advice. We will see what happens.

cpatch
05-02-2009, 06:32 PM
If possible, make sure they use a small-body, nylon-string guitar with the action set low to minimize frustration.

josuegroundhog
05-02-2009, 07:15 PM
I find myself in a similar situation. I want to impart music on my offspring but in a completely effective manner without developing resentment.

My story:
My parents made me take piano lessons as a kid. I hated it.

They made me take band when I went into the 7th grade and my mother wanted me to play flute. I hated it.

Apparently a few weeks into the year my band director (Mr Denton) noticed my attitude and one day suggested I fill the empty tuba chair. I came home with a tuba and my mother was quite beside herself. Suddenly tuba seemed pretty cool.

I turned 13 or 14 and wanted to play bass guitar so my buddies could start a band. My parents came home one day with an upright bass and let me borrow an electric from a guy at church. They also loaned me their old record collections and let me start exploring music.
They gave me rides to a local guitar shop where I got to hang around and do odd jobs and learn licks from the regular jam sessions.
Meanwhile, they constantly raided my room for "inappropriate" and secular music and discouraged me from playing rock and blues. They bought me a stereo and constantly told me my music was garbage and I was playing it too loud.

Somewhere in there I got pretty hooked.

My research:
I read a lot and I listen to tons of music. I enjoy reading biographies of musicians while exploring their music. In my readings I have noticed certain patterns... Fundamental early knowledge of music (grow up going to gospel singings, mama sang in a nightclub, daddy played the old piano, etc) and parents who tried to make you do something better than waste your life playing music.

My plan:
I plan to completely inundate my kids life with music. I always have something playing. If my kiddo comes in and says "Daddy, I don't like this song can we listen to _______?" I'm totally on board.
I also have musical instruments everywhere. We have guitars, a piano, an organ, ukulele, basses, bagpipes, drums, etc. (But no toys. I figure a toy guitar with buttons on it will never teach anything about playing guitar.)

BUT:stop:

This is the important part.

When my kid hits about 14, 15, 16 and (hopefully) is really trying to learn and play music while dreaming of being a rockstar, I plan to completely discourage this behavior.
"TURN THAT CRAP OFF AND GO MOW!"
"CUT YOUR HAIR AND GO GET A JOB!"
"YOU KIDS AND YOUR MUSIC THESE DAYS!!!":old:
etc.
and all the while, I will be paying for lessons, going to concerts, recitals, soundproofing my garage, buying new amps, posting on oboeoverground.com and everything else to provide a solid base for musical learning.



In short, give the kid every opportunity to grow up with it but when they rebel, and they will rebel, let them rebel by playing music.:music: Music that you hate:rolleyes:

Check back with me in about 14 years. If this works I'm gonna write a book.

unluckymum
05-09-2009, 12:14 AM
My son has been learning since age 8 through his school, he is now 12 and loves to play. I have found tho that if they are given pieces that they HAVE to learn then the fun goes out of it. He has more fun composing his own ! Not sure if this link will work cos Im new to this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19DYtU_hDH4

Hankthetank
05-09-2009, 05:56 AM
Well, she just finished her first lesson and is still smiling. They went over how to hold the guitar and how to strum a few simple chords. She said she is looking forward to her lesson next week.
She had fun and that is what I am happy about. Thanks everyone for the advice and insight. :shaka:

seeso
05-09-2009, 06:19 AM
Very cool! :D

spazus_maximus
05-12-2009, 04:41 AM
Thanks for passing the love of music on to your kids....I am currently struggling with the similar concerns....My daughter is 7 & doesnt really want to work at the Uke.....so in an attempt to make it enjoyable...this is what i did....

I asked her if she wanted to make a song with me & she said "yeah...but how can i ?...I dont know how to play anything"....so i got out my Boss 4 track digital recorder....

1st track ... I started a simple rythym on the djembe & she followed along on the gourd drum.

2nd track....I strummed uke & she made bird noises

3rd track...was total space..lol....she plucked random notes on the uke & made the most gawdawful sounds on the keyboard

4th track was the lyrics(with vocal fx)....mostly about boogers & her pet hamster cocoa mellow....

Adjusted the volumes of each track & pumped it through the stereo for the rest of the family & they all loved it & most importantly she was proud of her efforts!

within 20 seconds of hearing the finished tune......."Next time I come over can we make another song?"

Ukulele JJ
05-12-2009, 07:53 AM
Kids as young as 3 have started lessons using the Suzuki method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_method).

I think it all depends on how they're taught, and what's expected of them. For a very young child, simply getting them to take the instrument out of the case and hold it (more or less) correctly is a big step.

JJ

BBcakes
05-31-2009, 02:22 PM
My son is 10 1/2 and is begging to play the guitar. He also wants to learn the drums. The only instrument he has really played is the flute in school, but doesn't care to play it next year. He just wants to rock out!:rock:

Told him I can get him a starter uke and he can learn with mom...but I'm not selling him. He said, "No Mom, I want to play an acoustic guitar to start." Geez, :rolleyes: more research for me because I don't know crap about guitars!

KC8AFW
06-02-2009, 04:04 PM
My son is 10 1/2 and is begging to play the guitar. He also wants to learn the drums. The only instrument he has really played is the flute in school, but doesn't care to play it next year. He just wants to rock out!:rock:

Told him I can get him a starter uke and he can learn with mom...but I'm not selling him. He said, "No Mom, I want to play an acoustic guitar to start." Geez, :rolleyes: more research for me because I don't know crap about guitars!

Here's a list of 3/4 size guitars. The smaller body is easier for a 10 year old to manage. I have a Baby Taylor Mahogany and its about the size of a baritone uke. I would suggest the Squire or the Yamaha. I think the Dean is a decent starter as well (especially for the price).

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Travel-Acoustic-Acoustic-Guitar.gc

BBcakes
06-03-2009, 06:59 AM
Here's a list of 3/4 size guitars. The smaller body is easier for a 10 year old to manage. I have a Baby Taylor Mahogany and its about the size of a baritone uke. I would suggest the Squire or the Yamaha. I think the Dean is a decent starter as well (especially for the price).

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Travel-Acoustic-Acoustic-Guitar.gc


Thanks for the link! You've saved me a ton of time. ;) I"ll share this with him tonight. :smileybounce:

WhenDogsSing
07-03-2009, 05:51 AM
My dad played guitar and he would never get after me when I'd get it out and plunk around. So, he made the gift of music available to me but didn't force me to learn, he just let me go my own way. That was one of the greatest gifts he ever gave to me, the gift of music.

I agree totally with cpatch in his recommendation to start children out on a nylon string, small body instrument with low action.

Regarding smaller guitars for children that meet the above recommendations, I bought a Yamaha CGS-102 1/2 size classical guitar at the local guitar shop that is absolutely a great beginners instrument for children. It only cost $100. but is a very well made instrument. The action was nice and low straight from the factory and it has a pleasing tone, not loud. It is nylon strung. I changed the strings out on mine from the EADGBE guitar tuning to ADGCEA tuning which I think sounds better.

Hope this helps...:)