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When should a child start playing?


Bangbang

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I have been teaching 2 grand daughters 10 and 12 as I learn ....really helps me doing this with my own playing. It is going good but now their younger sisters want to play too. One is only 6 years old. I thought about getting her a Squier Mini for xmas but I am afraid that she will get discouraged for several reasons. The guitar quality is one reason and the other is finger soreness.....which discouraged me when I was 12. What do you think?

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I think a Squire mini would be great. Put the lightest strings you can on them and lower the action as much as you can and I think the 6 year old might be able to handle it. If she can`t get into it. It will help with smaller fingered people. I wish there was this much selection when I first started.

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I have been teaching 2 grand daughters 10 and 12 as I learn ....really helps me doing this with my own playing. It is going good but now their younger sisters want to play too. One is only 6 years old. I thought about getting her a Squier Mini for xmas but I am afraid that she will get discouraged for several reasons. The guitar quality is one reason and the other is finger soreness.....which discouraged me when I was 12. What do you think?

 

Steel strings for a 6 yr old will definitely cause finger soreness, unless you can get the action

down to the point it starts to buzz.

Why not look for a 3/4 size nylon string classical guitar at first for her. These are light

and she doesn't need to plug it into an amp. Get her used to playing that, and then later get her a steel string

(acoustic flattop) or even one of those cute little F*nder "Hello Kitty" Squiers..with

the pink kitty kat on the pickguard.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan started learning guitar at the ripe old age...of 3.

 

Well some kids are born with "the gift" of learning music at a tender young age...ie: child violinists/

piano prodigies. Clapton was "around 13 yrs" (according to his autobiography that I just read) when

he bought his first guitar..a Hoyer made in Germany. It looked like a spanish guitar but had steel

strings and according to him ..(quote) "was quite painful to play" (unquote). The string action was

so high he could hardly press down on them., he couldn't tune it and when he broke the first string

he had to do without and learn to play (self taught) on 5 strings...

 

so "guitar gods" come from all walks of life and different life experiences.

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Well some kids are born with "the gift" of learning music at a tender young age...ie: child violinists/

piano prodigies. Clapton was "around 13 yrs" (according to his autobiography that I just read) when

he bought his first guitar..a Hoyer made in Germany. It looked like a spanish guitar but had steel

strings and according to him ..(quote) "was quite painful to play" (unquote). The string action was

so high he could hardly press down on them.' date=' he couldn't tune it and when he broke the first string

he had to do without and learn to play (self taught) on 5 strings...

 

so "guitar gods" come from all walks of life and different life experiences. [/quote']

 

I'll admit that's a bit young. AT the same time though? Don't see why piano lessons can't be started at the same time regular schooling is. Granted, the kid might not like me THEN, but later on in life....

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When I was around 7 I got a crummy yard-sale special 3/4-ish scale nylon-string acoustic (sold recently at my yard sale). The fretboard being rather wide discouraged me as I could not for the life of me finger a simple G chord and I ended up getting an early First Act POS (smashed a few years ago) to learn on shortly afterward. It had an even shorter scale good for my puny fingers. I then got bored, nothing to learn, and later tried trumpet and violin. I couldn't imagine myself in a marching band or listening to and playing classical music so my musical pursuits stopped by the end of 6th grade.

 

Then again, part of the problem was that my acoustic was a yard-sale special. The action was easy enough though.

 

Around the same time I attempted to learn piano (self-taught) and later (by 6th grade, when I was in orchestra) got an old Yamaha Electone organ. That too fell flat as my right hand was as uncoordinated as my attempts to fit in with those goody-two-shoes brats that the orchestra class was filled with.

 

A 3/4 classical might have a fretboard a bit wide for a 6-year-old's fingers. The Squier Mini Strat would be good because of the narrower fretboard. Have your kid try both and see which one she likes better.

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My stepson is 5 and started lessons this year. Bought him a 3/4 acoustic which he used until i got him a pee wee les paul. The pee wee needs to be tuned 3 half steps up to G because of the short scale. The teacher says he's learning stuff so i am keeping him going as long as the teacher feels he's learning stuff.

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Start them when they want to learn. Forcing a child to learn when they don't want produces drummers.

 

Eh, probably not. But IMHO a musical education is just as important as learning math and science. I also think that thanks to modern production, kids have a lot more options than they did 30 years ago. Even a cheap keyboard with smaller keys can be acquired for a very cheap price.

 

(Granted, forcing someone to learn math and science might not produce mathmeticians and scientists, but it's still good knowledge to have...)

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Start them when they want to learn. Forcing a child to learn when they don't want produces drummers.

 

Depends on how you "force them".:-k

 

 

I wanted to learn guitar the first moment I heard "Smoke on the Water" (I am 38 y.o. and it was my uncles Deep Purple, made in japan album transferred to cassette.)

 

Unfortunately, my parents rented me an acoustic guitar, bought a Mel Bay songbook and hired a teacher who didn't agree with that music style. I learned aura lee and michael row the boat ashore, and lost interest.:-({|=

 

Now, I am self taught, have no rhythm or timing (according to my wife). I am a failure, but still like to play.

 

So, if the kid wants to play a song, make sure you teach them the song they want to play. And keep at it until they get it right. Then, teach timing and rhythm etc.

 

That is my opinion.

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Having taught various ages between 5-65 years old from my experience it that teaching before age 10 is generally difficult. There are exceptions, but that is that - the exception.

 

Mentally, age 3,4, 5 etc... they can learn the basics of music, but there is a physical hurdle with those young ages.

 

Most kids have not developed the motor skills for guitar. Piano is easier at such a young age because most kids can press the key and make sound. You all know playing guitar requires pressing the string at the required spot and then picking and/or strumming.

 

I think 10 is a good age to start.

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I think 10 is a good age to start.

 

I agree.

 

I teach an after school guitar club and I've been doing it for a little over 10 years. I open it up to 4th and 5th graders, 9-10. I agree that much younger is too difficult for kids because they haven't developed the motor skill and finger strength needed to play guitar. Some of the 4th graders that I teach have a hard time with guitar. Sure, there are a few prodigies that may be able to pick it up earlier, but for the most part I would say no younger than 9. If I was teaching in a studio I would say 10. I have taught younger kids out of my home over the years as well, and it is too frustrating for both them and myself, so no younger than 9 for me.

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Steel strings for a 6 yr old will definitely cause finger soreness' date=' unless you can get the action

down to the point it starts to buzz.

Why not look for a 3/4 size nylon string classical guitar at first for her. These are light

and she doesn't need to plug it into an amp. Get her used to playing that, and then later get her a steel string

(acoustic flattop) or even one of those cute little F*nder "Hello Kitty" Squiers..with

the pink kitty kat on the pickguard. [/quote']

Sounds like a very good idea. Though, don't they make 1/2 size classical guitars? Wouldn't they be better?

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I did not force my stepson(he's 5) to start taking lessons, just asked him one if he wanted to, he said yes, so bought a acoustic and went from there. I have asked his teacher several times if I should wait a year or maybe even a couple years, he says no. He said while the learning curve can be slow sometimes, he is learning and is very interested in the lessons, so I take that as a reason to continue.

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I am going to stick with 10 and up. My 12 yearold grand daughter picks it up much faster than I do at 57.LOL My 10 year old is learning but at a much slower pace than the 12 year old.

 

Yeah that's what its like with me and my 10 (or maybe 11?) year old cousin. I'm 14 and I'm learning way faster than him. Then again I don't think he cares for guitar that much. I think he does it just to say that he can.

 

GC

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