#1
I've been teaching a 9yr old to play guitar. So far I taught him how to play "Happy Birthday" and how to read guitar tab. He just wants to learn how to jam. I dont want to teach theory to a 9yr old, I want him to be interested in guitar not like its calculus. Any ideas for easy songs and other beginner stuff for a 9yr old. Thanks
#2
The only way you turn theory into "calculus" is if you don't teach them from the start, which in turn makes it feel alien compared to regular plunking.
#3
Ask him if he likes any bands or artists. If he says something like Nsync, teach him some of that. Transpose chords from their songs for him. More likely than not, his favorite artist will be a pop star/group. Don't discourage him.
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#4
Teach him to read basic sheet music. It'll help him more later.
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Thanks for the advice. I'm going to put it, along with your other advice, into a book, the pages of which I will then use to wipe my ass.
#5
I always prefer learning theory to songs that I'm interested in than just learning theory. Maybe you should try that approach, and show him what scales to use where. The best place to start learning to jam is on blues, so show him how to play the blues a bit. You're not being a good teacher if you don't teach them what they want to learn and help them grow, you're just holding them back and, assuming you're being paid, taking their parents money.
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#6
^ agreed. Teach the kid what he wants to learn in as fun a way as possible for him.
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#7
Guys, come on. You don't teach a 9-year old advanced theory and standard notation; I'm 19 and the latter of the two confuses me!

Teach him fun stuff. If he wants to be a virtuoso, good for him, but explain to him that he'll have to practice his butt off if he wants to do that.


It is very likely that this is just a phase and will pass soon. I don't mean to imply that he will never want to play and be good, but the ability to take the instrument seriously enough to reach that level will not come until he's older.


If all else fails, teach him some Blink.
#8
I taught a 9 year old kid once. Pain the friggen ass. It took him a month to get the power chords in Boulevard of Broken Dreams somewhat smooth. I taught him some open chords for a couple weeks, then he complained to his mom it was boring and quit. Meh.
#9
Teach him triad chord progression. aka 3 chord rock and roll. he can learn good rhythm skills and jam at the same time.
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#10
I suggest Species Counterpoint, he'll thank you later.

I think it's a combination of what everybody said. Ask what he likes and cater to his tastes. If he tells you he wants to be a great virtuoso some day, yes teach him some very basic sight-reading. But if he just wants to have fun with whatever, I'd suggest letting him do it.

Afterthought: in Europe they've got 12yrs olds touring around the world in classical competitions(some earning like $10,000 for #1) - tho as an American, i think it's kinda twisted, I'm just saying don't underestimate the little dude http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGTfDf4b5oE
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#11
Well it's good to teach him what he's playing, not just to play it because it will get him farther later on. Although I know you don't just want to sit down and cram theory down his throat, at least incorporate it into the playing and teach him what he's playing. I started guitar when I was 8 and theory's been involved in a lot of my lessons if not all, and I'm thankful because my playing is fairly versatile and I understand what I'm doing, so I can improvise and try new stuff on the spot knowing it will sound good.
#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Guys, come on. You don't teach a 9-year old advanced theory and standard notation; I'm 19 and the latter of the two confuses me!

Teach him fun stuff. If he wants to be a virtuoso, good for him, but explain to him that he'll have to practice his butt off if he wants to do that.


It is very likely that this is just a phase and will pass soon. I don't mean to imply that he will never want to play and be good, but the ability to take the instrument seriously enough to reach that level will not come until he's older.


If all else fails, teach him some Blink.

I'm not saying teach him advanced theory, I'm just saying teach him some theory. But completely leaving theory out isn't a good idea, and teaching him how to use a Dorian Mode or something like that will probably benefit him a lot later on.
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#13
Teach him the A, D and E Chords then teach him the 12 bar blues a couple of lessons later when hes got the hang of the chords.
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#14
I'm guessing the kid can't even do power chords yet, so why would he need to learn theory? Maybe teach him the note names, but not much else. If he gets good at chords/power chords then you might want to start teaching him basic theory.
#15
Quote by shortyafter
I'm guessing the kid can't even do power chords yet, so why would he need to learn theory? Maybe teach him the note names, but not much else. If he gets good at chords/power chords then you might want to start teaching him basic theory.

In any other form of music lessons, the first thing anybody learns is how to start reading standard notation. I don't understand why it has to be different for the guitar.
#17
Quote by CowboyUp
In any other form of music lessons, the first thing anybody learns is how to start reading standard notation. I don't understand why it has to be different for the guitar.

Guitar has tab. It's a lot easier than standard notation. I'm not saying that theory is bad, and standard notation is a good thing too. All I'm saying is that the kid is 9 - he probably just wants to rock out to some Green Day. I don't see the problem with simply getting him playing first then easing him into theory.

Quote by ouchies
What I do when I teach is teach a little bit of both. I give them one short piece to read and I teach them open chords.

I like this idea.
Last edited by shortyafter at Apr 19, 2008,
#18
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Guys, come on. You don't teach a 9-year old advanced theory and standard notation; I'm 19 and the latter of the two confuses me!


Any kid who starts to learn a classical instrument at that age, and lots do, will learn standard notation - it's not that hard. It'll probably take them longer to pick it up than it would for someone who is older but it will benifit him more if he learns it now.

And you could teach him basic theory then as he gets older make it more advanced so he never feels really out of his depth which could happen to him if you started harder stuff without the basic stuff (and which happens to alot of people on here).

Quote by bangoodcharlote
It is very likely that this is just a phase and will pass soon. I don't mean to imply that he will never want to play and be good, but the ability to take the instrument seriously enough to reach that level will not come until he's older.


But if you teach him well now he could become a ROCK GOD. And that would be awesome.
#19
simple thing that got me into scales.

Pentatonic major scale while playing a few power chords.

Show him the scale. Give him the lesson to learn it (but do other things so he dosnt get bored). If hes got it by the end of the lesson let him play it at whatever tempo he feels he can do while you play a few power chords behind it.

If you have a drum machine use that to so it feels/sounds like an actual song.

When i first started playing guitar my teacher did this and i thought it was awesome haha.

Just one more thing. Does he use his own amp or do you let him use yours? One of the better things about going to my guitar lesson was that he had awesome amps that sounded realy good. It was like an incentive to keep going just so i could hear that awesome distortion.
#20
Quote by 12345abcd3
Any kid who starts to learn a classical instrument at that age, and lots do, will learn standard notation - it's not that hard. It'll probably take them longer to pick it up than it would for someone who is older but it will benifit him more if he learns it now.

Actually kids learn much faster than adults. My 7 year old sister started to play an organ a year ago and she reads sheet music way better than me(I learn theory at school and with my guitar teacher for 1 and half years).
#21
My daughter's 9 and she's just started to learn guitar.
What I do is I leave guitars and other instruments laying around the house for my kids to pick up and mess about with at will. Occasionaly my daughter will ask me how to play a particular tune that she's heard and I'll show her. She can now play quite a lot of tunes, though she can't play chords, just single string stuff at the moment, but I'm steadily getting her interested in playing barr chords, and once she's mastered that, I'll get her interested in playing true chords.
Up to now she can play Iron Man, Smoke on the Water, Gimmie Some Lovin', Wild thing, Louie Louie, Sunshine of Your Love, You Really Got Me and part of War Pigs, and she's only been trying for a few months.
She can also hold down a standard 4/4 beat on a kit and makes up tunes (which she repeats over and over again) on the keyboard all the time.