#1
I've been asked to just show my cousin who is 5 the basics but I don't know what to show what sort of stuff would you suggest. She got a guitar for Xmas and is strumming randomly and making up songs and singing but I wouldn't know where to start. I'm not a perfect guitarist by any means but could give it a go. Is it a case of twinkle twinkle little star?

I'm thinking 5 is to young for teaching.
#2
Sounds like it would be frustrating

Normally i'd say basic open chords, but that's not going to keep her attention. Easy melodies she'll recognize would be your bets bet like you suggested.
#3
What else is easy ish like twinkle twinkle could do seven nation army ok 1 strings and smoke on the water.

And if she still has interest in a few Months try easy chords maybe E Em and aM
#4
Open tunings can be really fun when you're first starting out. I remember going absolutely apeshit when my brother first tuned my guitar to open A and handed me a slide. Even though I sucked balls at the time this setup made it a lot easier for me to produce something hat vaguely resembled music and it sure as hell sparked my interest in the instrument

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#5
Quote by shwilly
Open tunings can be really fun when you're first starting out. I remember going absolutely apeshit when my brother first tuned my guitar to open A and handed me a slide. Even though I sucked balls at the time this setup made it a lot easier for me to produce something hat vaguely resembled music and it sure as hell sparked my interest in the instrument


...She's five. Then again open tuning might make it easier for everyone else to bear!

Yeah, ode to joy, twinkle little star, ba ba black sheep (pretty much the same thing), mary had a little lamb etc whatever she likes (I presume she's not into anything like the Chilli Peppers or Hendrix). I reckon she's a bit young, probably keyboard would be a better first instrument but what do I know.

Also "easyish": eye of the tiger, smells like teen spirit, star wars theme, hmmm these might be for a few years down the track.
#6
I'd say just show her nursery rhymes and whatnot. But TBH at 5 years old I doubt anything will be able to keep her attention on it for long, though she'll probably come back to it at some point. If she does like it however, then very simple chords will keep her busy. I wish the best to your patience and sanity.
#7
5 is a bit young in my opinion.

I have two kids, a boy (7) and a girl (10), both varying in maturity.

My daughter has been playing for 2 years and can play strummers (mostly country stuff). I just set her up a youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEdBHUl32ds
That doesn't really show case her strumming ability or more complex songs. That's just the latest one we recorded (she doesn't have finger picking down yet).

My son has been practicing for 3 month and can play power chords, multiple riffs, but only full songs that encompass power chords.

I tried to get both of them to start earlier 5-6, but 7-8 is about the right age if you ask me. As exciting as it, there are some limitations based on size of their hands, maturity and attention span.

Bottom line, the way i got my kids started, which seems the best, is have them do basic exercises for 15 minutes a day building dexterity and then teach them two finger power chords.

With two finger power chords, teach them a riff of a song, and they'll LOVE it. They think they're playing the whole song and keeps them going. Then just keep adding to it....

Sh1t like mary had a little lamb is no where near as fun as 80's pop and classic rock.
(wild thing, hit me with your best shot, jessies girl, iron man, rock you like a hurricane, smoke on the water)

Keep it simple and short at first. If you hammer down with chords and make their hands hurt for more than 5 minutes, you'll lose their interest.
Last edited by boyd98 at Dec 29, 2014,
#8
I started teaching myself guitar 3 months ago,.. (so I'm a total noob and may be wrong about a lot of things. About a month ago my daughter (6 years old) started learning. We started with lessons, but half hour lessons are just too long so I'm doing it on my own with a DVD and book set.

I totally agree with Boyd98. Keep it to 5 10 minutes. I think the Alfred's course is great so far. The lessons are 3-10 minutes.. which is all their soft finger tips can take in the beginning.. and the accompanying workbook lets them break it up in the beginning by drawing treble clefs and other things that they might find cool (if not, you can skip that)

Quote by BassBen93
I've been asked to just show my cousin who is 5 the basics but I don't know what to show what sort of stuff would you suggest. She got a guitar for Xmas and is strumming randomly and making up songs and singing but I wouldn't know where to start.


That's the best place to start!!!
Sounds like she's doing it perfectly!!

Don't underestimate how hard it is for a 5 year old to learn to hold the guitar. At first and DD and I would sit and she would just play randomly along to Laurie Berkner.. or just make up her own songs... often it was a game and I would have to follow her lead. (so much fun!!)

During this time (about 2 weeks. Maybe 5 "lessons") the only thing I taught was how to hold the guitar, proper thumb position, hold the pick right, strum the bottom three strings (she always hit 4 or 5 but I never corrected), to strum the first string, and to do a left-hand chuck. The only rule was she had to have proper form.. and since she was doing her own thing and loving it, she was eager to try and have proper form and she had a blast doing things her own way (with proper form).

And we told her that once she could hold it properly, we would stop keeping the guitar on the high shelf, and we would get her a stand like daddy's that she could keep in her room and play what she wanted.

Then we did the CD which started with your 3 -string chords. Rest, etc.. Now we're learning "Skip to my Lou".

We used to do 3 or 4 lessons a week.. now we do 1 or 2 a week because it's harder stuff. Now her fingers are getting tough again - I may encourage her to do 2 or 3 a week. But I'm always asking: "are you enjoying this? .. is it fun? do you want to keep doing this? Or we could do art lessons? Skating lessons? Go back to karate?.

The second she says "no more", I'll say, "No problem!" We can come back to it whenever, if ever, she likes.
But so far she's sticking to this .. if she gets through a year (too soon to tell but I think she will) it will be better than any other hobby she's ever had.

I'm thinking 5 is to young for teaching.


The only reason to teach a 5 year old is because they want it and they find it fun. (I would argue this applies to all ages).
If she's enjoying it, keep going. If not, stop. (Or risk ensuring that she will NEVER learn to play). Have modest goals. My daughter and I do lessons of about 3-7 minutes once every 3 or 4 days. That's all a 5 or 6 year old can handle. Both in terms of their finger tips and their focus.