How to Teach Your Child Guitar: 5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Guitar
by Frederik Nielsen, Apr 20, 2020 . 4 min read
Lockdowns are a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your kids. It’s also a great opportunity for them to drive you absolutely crazy because they’re bored.
Fortunately, there’s a quick remedy for that, you can teach your child guitar! It’s a great way to occupy their minds, bond with them, and give them a gift for life.
Who knows? Your little ones could be added to our list of kids with extraordinary guitar talent — and then you can, erm, take care of their gear sponsorships.
So with that carrot dangling in front of you, let’s look at how to teach your child guitar!
5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Guitar
Ambitions aside, teaching a young child to play the guitar is a bit different than teaching a teen or a 20-year-old. It requires slowly teaching them the basics, picking kid-friendly songs, and having a lot of patience.
Here are some tips that’ll make things more fun for you and your child.
1. Bust Out Your Best Solo
“Why bother learning guitar?” they’ll ask. “Because you can be a goddamn rockstar, kid. Watch this… ” and then you bust out that solo you’ve been working on for the past few weeks. It’s important to provide a solid incentive to learn the instrument, and what better way to do that than with some inspiration?
2. Start With Teaching Good Form
One of the most important things beginners need to learn is how to hold the guitar and maintain good posture. While that may sound boring to a child, it’s absolutely necessary for them to maintain focus later on. You won’t stand a chance of teaching them anything if their fingers, wrists, and neck are hurting after five minutes.
3. Move on to Warm-Up Exercises
“Are we ready to play yet, dad?” they’ll now ask. But there’s one more thing you need to cover before you can move on to the rock’n’roll version of Mary Had A Little Lamb (which has a wicked drop at the end, by the way). Show your kid how to properly warm up their fingers before playing so they can build strength in those tiny digits.
4. Teach Single Notes and Basic Scales
Okay, the moment has finally arrived. Time to jam! Even though you can’t skip theory completely, you shouldn’t dwell on it. That’ll only bore your child to tears and make them question your rockstar status. Teach them some practical single notes and scales so they can feel the music coming from their own hands.
5. Finish With A Simple Chord Progression
Once they’ve mastered playing single notes without it sounding like a cat being strangled, you can finish off with a simple chord progression. Don’t aim for more than two chords in one sitting. Make sure they become comfortable with moving their fingers between those two chords on the fretboard before piling more chords on to them. And don’t even think about teaching barre chords yet unless you want to hear swear words you didn’t know they knew.
When’s the Right Time to Start Playing the Guitar?
Some people would say that an optimal age for starting a guitar is 10, however, there are no hard and fast rules. You just need to make sure that your kid isn’t being overwhelmed.
If starting with the guitar seems like a daunting task, then why not try an instrument with fewer strings? You can teach them how to play the ukulele first and then let them graduate to the guitar later down the line.
We hope you enjoyed our article. When did you start teaching your child guitar? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.