My daughter who is 8, started learning guitar about a month ago. Lessons are once per week. She is loosing interest fast. When I asked her why she told me that the songs she is learning sound nothing like the song. She has learned a few chords, partial because her hands are small, and 2-3 songs. I don't want her to loose interest but am not sure how to help. Her teacher is a homeschool high school student with his moms help. Any advice would be really helpful.
If she is still interested in sounding like the song, that's good. Maybe her teacher is dumbing it down for her, whereas he shouldn't be.

When I was 8 what I knew about music from a student point of view, was that it sucked badly. It wasn't until high school that I got interested. That was when I learned the music I liked, that I wanted to learn.

Different sorts of students need different sorts of teachers.

Some people aren't cut out for music also. But if she wants to learn music like how it is actually performed, then get someone to show her that.

There is an initial big hurdle for guitar. I find that is easier with a sharper learning curve but immediate satisfaction of accomplishment, rather than smaller steps of easier yet much more boring stuff.

Maybe she needs to be older too. Different people are different.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 1, 2014,
It's only natural,It's a hard thing to learn at first,Specially at that age.If she looses interest just keep a guitar around and she may pick it up again in the future.You have to want to learn or you get nowhere.
Thanks for the advice. Would it be better to work on learning chords for a song or how to pick the melody? I have wind if that may help make her enjoy it more, but will it help her learn to play right. It seams most things I find online are all chords not melody. Who that be a who direction to go?
Learning to pick through some simple melodies is a good idea. I would mix that in with learning to play through chord progressions if she isn't doing that already. With only chords, a lot of songs sound the same and can get boring.

Is this electric or acoustic? If it's electric, learning some really simple lead lines to play (maybe even over some of her favorite songs) can be a lot of fun.

Jackson RR3 Rhoads and DK2M Dinky
Peavey 6505+ w/ Avatar 212 cab
Ibanez TS9, ISP Decimator, MXR 10 Band EQ
-Digitech RP1000
I agree learning to play some melodies is a good idea. Those tend to be more recognizable as the actual song than just playing the chords. I would still learn the chords though. It's the most fundamental part of playing a guitar.

One thing that may also help is playing along to the CD/mp3. In a lot of music the guitar is just one small part of the song, so playing only the guitar part may not sound a whole lot like the actual song even if you are playing it perfectly. Along similar lines Guitar Pro and/or TuxGuitar might be worth checking out. You can play along with those and even slow them down to make it easier. Some of the Guitar Pro files will even have the vocal melodies transcribed for the guitar. A lot of people now are using Rocksmith as well (similar to those Guitar Hero games, except with a real guitar)

If she likes to sing that can also make it sound a lot more like the song, although playing while singing also makes it more difficult (having to do 2 things at once)

Having a good teacher can help a lot too. Obviously I don't know anything about her current teacher, but I know a lot of teachers go way too heavy into music theory right off the bat, which really puts off a lot of beginners. Theory is certainly important but it's not something you need to extensively learn right away in my opinion.

A lot of it just depends on the person too, and even their age as others have mentioned. My first attempt at learning guitar was when I was about 9 years old, and I gave up after about 2 weeks. My 2nd attempt I messed around with it a little bit in high school but never took it too seriously. Now I'm 29 and I am really into guitar this time for whatever reason. Once I start playing I can't put it down. I look at the clock and somehow 3 hours have gone by. In a lot of ways I wish I had stuck to it when I was younger, but looking back I realize my heart just wasn't in it back then.

I'm certainly not saying to give up though. The first month or two are the hardest part. Once you get over that initial hump it starts to feel a lot more "second nature" and you can start tackling a wide variety of songs, which in itself can give you a lot more motivation.

Sorry I didn't mean to write a whole book.
She is learning on acoustic right now. I appreciate the help. Hopefully I can keep her interested long enough to get her hook. Thanks.
If she is like I was, she wants to know the exact voicings and rhythm of the instruments like are on the recording.

What's funny is that I used to bother earing these things out exactly. Now, all I care about is the basic gist of what gives it the character it has, because I'm gonna do my own thing anyway.
I'd try another teacher but maybe she just doesn't want to play, i started learning when i was 8 but gave up very quick and then started playing again when i was 16, just because she doesn't want to do it now doesn't mean she'll never do it, did you make you her take lessons or did she ask for them? Try another teacher first but maybe she just doesn't want to play
"Music Without Emotion Is Like Food Without Flavour"
Paul Gilbert
Try teaching her simple things yourself, then when shes ready try lessons again
Let her learn both the chords and the melody. Explain something along the lines of; that the chords support the melody and give it breath, while the melody tells the story. Something she can grasp.
The lessons were her idea. When she did not wanna practice we asked why, thats when she said cause they sound nothing like the song. My wife has been so with her to learn melody and practice together. It has been helping. All of the advice has helped as well. Thanks to everyone.
Ask her what songs she wants to learn or who is her favorite artist (Taylor Swift?).

Maybe she can learn one of those. Taylor swift's songs are usually in G. Very simple stuff. She can learn these herself. You look up the chords and sing along. Show her how to find the chords or print them out for her. the motivation has to come from her though.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Don't stress over it if she loses interest. Leave the guitar out where she can use it. She might pick it up sometime.

Kids often don't realize how difficult playing the guitar is. They think you learn overnite. They need to have success right away. Give her some music she can have success at but also stuff she likes.
Last edited by Virgman at Dec 3, 2014,