#1
Well, recently I've been having lots of little kids who've never picked up a guitar before wanting lessons. I can teach people who've been playing a little while, even a couple months, but these are little kids like 7 years old. Little kids have short attention spans, so it'd be harder to teach stuff to them, and I think they'd be harder to teach since they're so little. If you're older, you understand how things work easier.

Basically, what should I do? Where do I start with the little guys? Obviously, how to hold the thing, and the pick, notes on the fretboard, basic notation and the string names and parts of the guitar. Everyone should know that. But it's gonna take a long time to teach them, especially since they're 1)young and 2) never ever played a guitar before.

But when should I introduce the theory side of music? Lots of kids want to play and they don't want to learn theory because they think it's too hard. But the parents really want him to learn, and they'd make sure he'd practice and not give up after a couple weeks.

Any tips on teaching little kids how to play?

I'm gonna need LOADS of patience

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#2
Let them learn songs they like first and then teach them a piece of music theory that relates to what they play in that piece? I dono, 7 is pretty young unless they're dedicated and willing.
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#3
To be honest with you, you have actually just said i all yourself.

But i'd say this is one more idea you could learn. Get them actually listening to decent music too. Then they can find songs they like. Then you can say, look, if you want to play this song, you have to learn this much theory e.t.c.

Harder to teach, but easy to trick mould.
#4
The thing is though, I don't want to rip the parents off. Where I work, they charge 12 dollars a lesson if you're 15 or younger, and 15 a lesson if you're 16 or older.

12 dollars for 30 minutes is a lot, especially when the kid's taking the whole lesson just to learn 2 chords and the string names.

See, when I'm teaching a 12 year old kid, the first thing he asks me:

Can you teach me a song from guitar hero 2?
That, I can do. The kid knows what he wants to learn, and since it's a song, I can pick it up by ear pretty quickly and then show him how to play it.

But with little kids...they don't know what they want to learn. All they know is their parent wants them to learn an instrument, and since his sisters are doing piano, they want him to do guitar. I mean, if the kid doesn't have any interest in playing, he's not going to stick with it very long.
Quote by steven seagull
There are no boring scales, just boring guitarists.

Quote by convictionless
dude calebrocker, that first song on your list almost made me cry
11/10
you win my good sir

^ My For Mom cover

Check out my MP3s!!
#5
wow $12 for a half hour? i'm teachin this one kid for $15 an hour.
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#6
My guitar lesson are 30$ for a half hour!
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#7
I pay £7 for 20mins over here in England, that's roughly $41 for an hour in US. :/
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#8
$25 for 45 minutes here.

My instructor teaches a couple young kids. I don't claim to know very much about how he does it, but i do know that he teaches from a book specifically made for that. You may want to look and see what guitar books are available for young kids, and perhaps use one as a lesson guide.

One thing that I noticed during my own lessons, is that I got a lot more interested (and a lot more motivated to practice) once my lessons got to the point where I was learning recognizable riffs instead of just the generic crap like strum patterns all in the same chord. My point is, as soon as you can teach the kid with examples that he'll recognize, the more interested he's likely to be.
#9
Quote by Jim85IROC
$25 for 45 minutes here.

My instructor teaches a couple young kids. I don't claim to know very much about how he does it, but i do know that he teaches from a book specifically made for that. You may want to look and see what guitar books are available for young kids, and perhaps use one as a lesson guide.

One thing that I noticed during my own lessons, is that I got a lot more interested (and a lot more motivated to practice) once my lessons got to the point where I was learning recognizable riffs instead of just the generic crap like strum patterns all in the same chord. My point is, as soon as you can teach the kid with examples that he'll recognize, the more interested he's likely to be.


He's right, When I was around 8 I started taking lessons and I didn't like them until I actually learned songs I recognized then I wanted to go, but that was after my dad stopped taking me for not practicing, now its 7 years later and im nowhere near where I want to be with my ability.
#10
Im wondering this myself, Ive been debating the whole teaching thing for a while now, a few people are already interested, but I have no teaching experience whatsover.

Luckily a member of the family (only 11) asked me out of the blue so Im getting to learn how to teach without charging him a cent, but still....what to say and what not to say in what order and when is very hard to do.

He had never played a note in his life so I was at a loss, I jumped in with CAGED Major chords and left him to practice with them, as tryin to teach him how to play a song would be so difficult, I figured Id get him used to holding some notes and picking then get him onto a song he likes.

Hes memorised those 5 chords, and now Ive left him with the minors and tried to explain the theory behind them travelling to make barre chords but I was at a loss with that.

1 thing that I had to do was explain with the D major chord, why don't you play the E and A strings, my answer was that chord contains 3 notes, D F# and A, then explained where those notes were in the chord, and said you can play the lower A also but that creates a muddy sound and for now you want the lowest note to be the root(explained also) and from then on he understood what strings he should and shouldn't be playing, Finger position to mute is still ongoing.

So theory is good but only when needed as in that case, Im gonna wait until he can play a bunch and is interested in whats behind the music before getting onto the big stuff.

The main thing that ive noticed is the lack of questions he asks..incouraging him to ask questions is helping, so far thats all the advice I can give but it does make a difference, if you dont know what to tell them, ask them what they don't understand so far.

For one who has never played anything before, anything will help, keeping it simple for both of you is the best thing, and the main thing I keep asking him is why did you stop? to keep him playing.
#11
I've taught all ages and, I agree with what you said, it takes patience to teach young beginners. Ideally, if have a full schedule where you teach you can choose only those students that you enjoy teaching most and pass the others to another less-booked teacher. Most private guitar teachers probably can't afford to so choosy.

7 years is a good age to start guitar. Getting both hands working together, finger strength, etc. seem to come together around this age. Attention span is another story and is varies student to student.

It will definitely help to get the students in a book. I use and can recommend alfred's kids guitar course complete. Not scintillating but level-appropriate.

Remember, you are not only educating but providing structure for the student and the parents. This is part of what the parents are paying for and you need to cater to them. Younger kids may not have an attention span of a 1/2 hour so not a bad idea to end at 25 minutes and communicate with the parent(s) what was covered, assignments, etc. Written assignment records and notes in their book are good.

I like to picture my younger students about 10 years into the future. What kind of young adult will they be? Every kid has unique qualities and this exercise helps me visualize how guitar/music can hopefully be part of the person they will become. Good luck!

ps. $30/half hour in-store + online
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Last edited by firstnamestorm at Jul 25, 2008,
#12
you should try to turn them onto a lot of types of music (or just brainwash them to like one thing), but the reason is so that they have an inspiration to keep playing. when i was about 9 i tried guitar, but quit cause the lessons sucked ass and i wasnt really a fan of any music, so i never really played on my own time

also, get one of the starter books, i wouldnt use this as a bible, but go through the whole thing so they can get the basics. and teach them easy penatonic scales (only about one at a time), and get some backing tracks and let them improvise. and ask them for a song they want to learn