#1
Dear Guitarist,

I realy want to teach my son to play guitar, is it okay to teach it at 6.
Which one is better, teaching him Electric Guitar or Acoustic Guitar?

i found a quite good article Kids Electric Guitar or Kids Acoustic Guitar , that article said that it easier to teach a kids an electric guitar.

what do you think guys?
need your advice?
Do you also have a resource/articles related with kids guitar?

thnx in advance


Kids guitar resource:
http://kidsguitar.blogspot.com
#2
it get em a 3/4 sice acoustic or something, i suppose

acoustics encourage chord work, which is great
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#3
Quote by nura1200
Dear Guitarist,

I realy want to teach my son to play guitar, is it okay to teach it at 6.
Which one is better, teaching him Electric Guitar or Acoustic Guitar?

i found a quite good article Kids Electric Guitar or Kids Acoustic Guitar , that article said that it easier to teach a kids an electric guitar.

what do you think guys?
need your advice?
Do you also have a resource/articles related with kids guitar?

thnx in advance


Kids guitar resource:
http://kidsguitar.blogspot.com


But does he feel the same way?
#4
Acoustic has higher action and bar chords are harder to play and requires more strenght. I recommend starting on electric.
#5
My son will be 6 in March, so he's a little younger than your fella. I think to get him to learn first and foremost, it needs to be fun and interesting. And that's really up to him. If he's just making noise to start with, so what, as long as he has a smile and enjoys it great. Always finish off with allowing him to do whatever he wants.

does he ever play with your guitars. I know my son will mess with my electric and just loves making noise with the whammy par and pedal. So I'll be starting my son on an electric. Also, bear in mind an electric is easier to play and so will be easier on his little fingers.
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#6
the person two above is exactly right

the action would suck, and my little brother learned guitar at a young age and the strings being harder to push down, his little 7 year old fingers started to bleed. plus you can still teach chords on an electric.
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#7
I would go electric.. if he were older I'd say go w/ acoustic.. but at that young age.. electric would be far more enjoyable.. plus he can kick on some distortion and feel like a rockstar !!

that will keep the interest peeked !
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#9
If he's interested go for it! I started learning violin at 6 Just don't be as scary as my teacher was - when we were about 8 my mate actually wet himself in our lesson because he had only practised 4 days out of 7 - she was one scary lady!
#10
I say 6 is a fine age to teach. I'm teaching my 8 yr. old brother at the moment as he has been interested in Guitar for quite sometime. My 15 mo. old daughter is going to be a musician alright. I was playing guitar and my buddy was playing his mandolin, just jammin one afternoon when she grabbed her toy xylophone and just started jammin with us. She then ran over to the piano and just started hitting random notes while watching us. I think as long as the interest is there, go for it. I mean people start swimming lessons, dancing, karate, etc. at a young age so why not music? The earlier the better. It becomes more affluent the earlier you start.
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#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Be sure not to force him into uncomfortable stretches; that may damage his fingers at such a young age.


This, his muscles and body is still in a growing phase. Any Forced stretches now; which inevitably will happen with small hands, can result in damage.

Maybe you can find a small scale guitar for ur son to learn to play on.

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#13
i would start on a classical guitar for about a year and learn bluegrass music. Then you can move up to electric and play punk and rock. that is basically what i did and it worked really well
#14
of course it is okay. in fact, the younger they get started, the better they will be as they grow older.
#15
go to youtube and search "your baby can read"


now im only 22 with no kids of myself.. but i do have a buddy (22) who has 2... so i tried it out on them..

and it works. i swear to it... i made my own little activity and saw that they can memorize word shapes.. and will begin to break down the words phonetically later.


so why not teach them music along side that?

we know that music in early childhood helps the kid lifelong.. smarter in school all around, mainly in math.

i plan on giving my kid a similar music life as me (piano from birth, lessons at 5. drums at 3, violin in elementary school, guitar in high school/college.. from there ive picked up banjo, mandolin, trumpet, harmonica.. others) ill start with piano and drums really early.. and let him/her choose which of my instruments theyd like to learn.


honestly man... id say 6 is perfectly fine.. later than id start.

really its all on the kid... will he sit and practice? is he as interested in this as you? is he smart enough to get the concepts of music? (please teach him theory)
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#16
I've been teaching guitar on and off (more on, though....) for 20 years. It is my belief, and one echoed by my classical guitar instructor, under whom I studied to earn my degree, that the muscles and bone structure in the hand are not *generally* developed enough to cope with the demands of guitar until around the age of 8. I never once took a student younger for that reason. My experience with 8-year-old students is sufficient for me to believe that any younger is really pushing it. My daughter is nine now, and wants to learn guitar. I'll probably start her this summer. I refused to start her too early.

By the age of 8, I recommend starting on a 3/4 size classical guitar. The frets are wider and farther apart, allowing a greater margin of error in terms of exactness of finger placement, though at the cost of having to reach a little further. Nylon strings are easier to press down than steel strings by a considerable margin. The transition from classical to steel strings is, once the hands develop strength, and the pads of the fingers toughen up, a pretty easy switch. Going to electric from there is a breeze. Starting on an electric, and then having the student transition to some form of acoustic/classical guitar is often very discouraging.

If you want to get him into music *now* (which would be great), give him some musical experience by way of piano (you can use an inexpensive electronic keyboard), or even recorder. (kids love 'em) Also, look into what programs are available through the school system in your area. My daughter receives violin instruction through her school, as an extra-curricular activity. (provided by an outside source that we have to pay for, of course, but it includes weekly lessons, orchestra experience, and instrument rental)

We figure that with the background that our daughter has now, through these experiences, she has a very good ear, can read in treble and bass clef, can use her left and right hands independently, and has the idea of pressing strings down over a fingerboard.... she'll take right off on guitar once we get her going on it.

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#17
Quote by axemanchris
I've been teaching guitar on and off (more on, though....) for 20 years. It is my belief, and one echoed by my classical guitar instructor, under whom I studied to earn my degree, that the muscles and bone structure in the hand are not *generally* developed enough to cope with the demands of guitar until around the age of 8. I never once took a student younger for that reason. My experience with 8-year-old students is sufficient for me to believe that any younger is really pushing it. My daughter is nine now, and wants to learn guitar. I'll probably start her this summer. I refused to start her too early.

By the age of 8, I recommend starting on a 3/4 size classical guitar. The frets are wider and farther apart, allowing a greater margin of error in terms of exactness of finger placement, though at the cost of having to reach a little further. Nylon strings are easier to press down than steel strings by a considerable margin. The transition from classical to steel strings is, once the hands develop strength, and the pads of the fingers toughen up, a pretty easy switch. Going to electric from there is a breeze. Starting on an electric, and then having the student transition to some form of acoustic/classical guitar is often very discouraging.

If you want to get him into music *now* (which would be great), give him some musical experience by way of piano (you can use an inexpensive electronic keyboard), or even recorder. (kids love 'em) Also, look into what programs are available through the school system in your area. My daughter receives violin instruction through her school, as an extra-curricular activity. (provided by an outside source that we have to pay for, of course, but it includes weekly lessons, orchestra experience, and instrument rental)

We figure that with the background that our daughter has now, through these experiences, she has a very good ear, can read in treble and bass clef, can use her left and right hands independently, and has the idea of pressing strings down over a fingerboard.... she'll take right off on guitar once we get her going on it.

CT


^ + 1 to all of that.


Teaching a six-year-old to play guitar is very hard, and from what I've experienced the success rate is very low. six-year-olds generally don't have the patience, desire, or determination that's necessary to play the guitar. I will say though that out of the many many young students that I've taught, I do have one success story. I started a kid out when he was six, and he is now quite a good guitarist. ( he's about 13 now). the important thing to know though is that his parents were both musicians, and were very involved with his development. they started him on piano at age 4, so he already had that going for him. His parents would make sure he practiced every day, and would be there with him every time to help guide him. since they were competent musicians themselves they were able to make it work for him. he was also very motivated by their praise and support. again I must stress this is a very unique situation. every other kid I thought that was that young did absolutely horribly.
when a parent brings in a six-year-old, I almost always refused to teach them unless I know that the parents are willing to be heavily involved themselves. and I have to say a half-hour is a hell of a long time to teach an impatient uninterested six-year-old.

that being said........... good luck !
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 12, 2008,
#18
if he's interested, then yes. My dad never forced it on me, but just played all the time, and there was always one lying out, so I just picked it up naturally.
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#19
I agree with axemanchris. Classical guitar is the way to go. Nylon strings are the smoothest on the fingers by a long shot. - Not too sure about the muscle bone development thing. I have a piano my kids bang on and I teach them a little guitar but only if they want to know. -otherwise they just go for it and have fun making noise.
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#20
If your son really wants to learn give him a go but if he doesn't practice your wasting your time and money.
#21
if he really wants to learn, go for it, musical education is great at any age.

however if he is uncertain and not keen, don't push it, as if playing guitar becomes a chore instead of something fun to do, he'll naturally want to stop as soon as he can.

and personally i would start with acoustic.

acoustic guitar tends to cater for more simple tastes, and the chord knowledge that goes with it is invaluable for any budding guitarist.

good luck!
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#22
Quote by les_paul_01
i would start with acoustic.
Agreed. Unless your kid is impossibly cool, he's not going to want to wail about on an electric, not that he could for quite some time, anyway. Acoustic is a bit harder, but that's a good thing; it's like putting a weight on a baseball bat while you practice hitting or running in the sand (from experience, that's brutal).
#23
I would think a small classical guitar would be a good choice. Simple, cheap, doesn't require an amp, and barre chords aren't exceedingly hard.

To me it seems fine to teach a little kid to play, but try not to force it on him if he doesn't like it. And make sure you teach him stuff he wants to learn, not what you want him to learn. It seems obvious, but some people might not think of that.

Edit: Maybe you could just teach him to play ukulele for now. It's more size-appropriate and a little easier. And it still has most of the benefits of learning guitar.
Last edited by werty22 at Dec 13, 2008,
#24
My son started when he was 2, but we never actually taught him to play so to speak. He'd been showing a major fascination for my guitars (as in hauling ass in their direction and trying to play them if we didn't scoop him up in time) for some time, so we just got him one of those $20 kids acoustics from Walmart.

But we never tried to teach him or pushed it on him in anyway. We just left it around the house for him to grab if he wanted to. He just gradually assimilated it, and by the time he was 4 he could string a tune together pretty well. But around that time, he had it figured out that he could never sound like me (not sure if that is a good thing, ha) on his little acoustic, and started growing frustrated with it. So for his 5th birthday, we got him an Ibanez micro (nice little guitar, and only about $130), and gave him my old practice amp. Well, he was thrilled with it, and played a lot, and started getting really surprisingly good for a 5 year old. Still never gave him any lessons, I just let him figure it out, and would maybe give him a little tip from time to time.

Our younger son, who is 18 months has been showing the same fascination, so we gave him our older son's old acoustic.

So, I'd say for a 6 yr old, I think it's a little early for actually giving him lessons. But if you want to get him a guitar and just let him discover it himself, I think it's a great idea. Just listen to your gut as to when the right time is to start giving him some tips, and then later some lessons.
#25
Yeah make sure hes gonna practice it regularly but I say go for it its easier to learn the younger you are
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#26
first off, do not force him to do it. if he feels forced he will not enjoy it and in the end that is what music is all about.

second, be encouraging but let him develop on his own. everyone is different and learns at different paces so don't expect him to be a shred god by the time he is 12, he may still be struggling with grasping open chords.

third, make it enjoyable. a 6 year old doesn't care about the modes of the melodic minor scale, he would rather play along to his favourite songs.

finally, try to open him to a broad range of musical styles from zappa to dream theater and beyond, but also encourage him to be tolerant of others musical preferance.

on the acoustic vs electric, while an electric would be a good choice for him to enjoy playing, an acoustic will teach him to be more aware of the notes he is playing and if he continues he will develop a much more accurate technique.

my opinion is get him a nylon string acoustic, they are easy on the hands and are forgiving on notes and chords. but if you get him an electric make him learn on the clean channel so my previous paragraph still applies.
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#27
Good idea about the ukulele.

Also, little kids generally don't have a sense of cool or uncool. They just like stuff or they don't. To them, most of 'em would be just as happy - or even happier - learning something by the Wiggles or Hi-5, or a simple melody for Jingle Bells than something by System of a Down or something...

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#28
If you feel that he is dedicated, go for it.
If you buy him a guitar tell him that you don't want it sitting in the corner.
but at the same time give him freedom to practice when he wants to.
If he has it in him, great!
If he doesn't, o well...
There's no use spending your time on something you aren't mean to do.
If he starts now he'll have about a 5 year head start on most kids.
Buy him a Zepellin album or something to inspire him.
#29
Quote by HeatMaster22

If he starts now he'll have about a 5 year head start on most kids.
Buy him a Zepellin album or something to inspire him.


And given that he won't achieve much in the first three years, that five year head start won't mean much once he and his peers are about, say, 12.

I don't think a Zep album will inspire a five year old any more than a Wiggles or Hi-5 album. My kids now are discovering the likes of Green Day and Billy Talent, but they're between 6 and 10. When they were five-ish... Hi-5 was the business. My oldest *loves* ABBA. Go figure. Older people are inspired by Zeppelin. Little kids don't care.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#30
I have yet to meet anyone younger than 14 that can really grasp the mental aspect, but I havn't met everyone.
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#31
It is better for a kid to start out on a piano. It is easier for them to produce sound on a piano, and it is easier for them to play notes on a scale. Guitar involves more coordination and harder finger movement, so it would be tougher for him to learn on one. On a piano, all he has to do is press down on the key. Start by letting him just bang around on the piano. Believe it or not, that enhances creativity. Later on, teach him how to play Hot Cross Buns.

If he likes piano, and wants to learn guitar, teach him when he is about 9. That is when I started, and I did fine. Get him a cheap classical guitar first, that is the best thing for a young kid to learn on. If he likes it a lot or if he really wants an electric, get him a Squier starter pack.
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#32
Quote by HeatMaster22
If you feel that he is dedicated, go for it.
If you buy him a guitar tell him that you don't want it sitting in the corner.
but at the same time give him freedom to practice when he wants to.
If he has it in him, great!
If he doesn't, o well...
There's no use spending your time on something you aren't mean to do.
If he starts now he'll have about a 5 year head start on most kids.
Buy him a Zepellin album or something to inspire him.



No he won't have 5 years ahead.

He won't learn anywhere near the speed compared to someone that has control over objectively learning stuff that is "Correct", and that is not.

It's an exponential thing, and starting a few year earlier will have little effect in the end.

Quote by les_paul_01
if he really wants to learn, go for it, musical education is great at any age.

however if he is uncertain and not keen, don't push it, as if playing guitar becomes a chore instead of something fun to do, he'll naturally want to stop as soon as he can.

and personally i would start with acoustic.

acoustic guitar tends to cater for more simple tastes, and the chord knowledge that goes with it is invaluable for any budding guitarist.

good luck!


Acoustic guitar is far to big for his hands.

Even I have limitations on acoustic compared to electric, and my hands are fully grown.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jun 12, 2009,
#33
Ask him which he would prefer, it will give him the feeling that he is in control and he is not being forced upon it and is therefor more likely to keep it up and progress I think.
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#34
Despite what anyone may have said, I believe you should teach him acoustic first. And no that's not too young to start... that's when my dad started teaching me.

Anyway here's why: Since acoustic has higher action and thicker strings and such, if he ever gets good, the transition from acoustic to electric will make it seem like he can play wayyy better all of the sudden because the action is so much lighter. Also, chords are where every guitarist should start (imo), and acoustics are great for chording.

Anyway, I started off on like a 3/4 size Yamaha acoustic when I was 7, and I still have it today. Sometimes I even play it because it still sounds good.

Finally, acoustics are generally less expensive for something of good quality than electrics, plus you don't have to buy an amp. This way, if your son doesn't enjoy it then you aren't wasting a lot of money. But give it a shot... even if he doesn't enjoy it now, maybe he'll pick it back up as a teen or something like that. Most of all make it fun for him though

good luck
#35
Quote by lt22
Despite what anyone may have said, I believe you should teach him acoustic first. And no that's not too young to start... that's when my dad started teaching me.

Anyway here's why: Since acoustic has higher action and thicker strings and such, if he ever gets good, the transition from acoustic to electric will make it seem like he can play wayyy better all of the sudden because the action is so much lighter. Also, chords are where every guitarist should start (imo), and acoustics are great for chording.

Anyway, I started off on like a 3/4 size Yamaha acoustic when I was 7, and I still have it today. Sometimes I even play it because it still sounds good.

Finally, acoustics are generally less expensive for something of good quality than electrics, plus you don't have to buy an amp. This way, if your son doesn't enjoy it then you aren't wasting a lot of money. But give it a shot... even if he doesn't enjoy it now, maybe he'll pick it back up as a teen or something like that. Most of all make it fun for him though

good luck


But if you learn on an acoustic, you learn a totally different vibrato, no bending techniques, and miss out on a few "less essential" techniques as well.

bending an vibrato are 2 which require quite ammount of time to learn well.

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#36
If your son doesn't want to learn, then don't force him. I would recommend acoustic because you can play it w/o and amp so you don't want money. Also, get a smaller version because I doubt his hands are big enough to play on a full sized one. Oh and you might want to teach him to recognize notes ie. he can identify if a note is G or A. If he learns to play according to ear, He'll be a lot better off
Last edited by CodChick at Jun 12, 2009,