I Want To Be A Rock Star: Is Your Child Ready To Learn The Guitar?
Starting your child in guitar lessons.
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments to learn. Why? Because most of our popular music is centered around the guitar. It’s no wonder kids are wanting to learn to play the guitar, they want to be just like their favorite musicians. But when is your child ready to learn to play the guitar? Is it as “easy” as it looks to play the guitar?
When is the right age to start your child in guitar lessons?
Although there is no correct age to have your child take guitar lessons you should keep some things in mind before enrolling them, just to make sure they aren’t in over their head. Our skillful guitar teacher always recommends children being at least 7 or 8 years old, because unlike the piano, you will need to be able to handle your instrument. Young children playing the piano is possible because they do not need to carry, hold or wrap their fingers around the instrument; like they would have to be capable of doing while playing a guitar.
Even if your child seems mentally ready to learn to play the guitar and they are mature enough to sit through a 30 minute lesson each week, if they are not able to physically handle their instrument it will not be worth the time and money…. yet. If your child is wanting to learn to play the electric guitar you will also have the gear to be working with as well. You child will also have to be able to string and tune their guitar. They would be taught how to do that of course, but they should be able to do that during the week as well.
What to do before taking guitar lessons.
If you do have a child that is wanting to take guitar lessons, but they are too young to start taking lessons you don’t have to put your child’s music education on hold. Students who take piano lessons for a few years before taking guitar lessons are able to learn the guitar at a faster rate than children who have not had any music training. If you do have your children take piano lessons before they are old enough to learn the guitar it will help them in the following ways:
They already know how to read music.
They understand musical terms.
They are able to keep tempo and rhythm.
They understand about tone and dynamics.
They should know a good amount of Music Theory.
All of the above takes time and practice. So to already have so much knowledge and skills available to you, it will make learning the guitar a much simpler task. In the end being able to play multiple instruments is great anyways.
Becoming great at the guitar.
If your child is ready to take guitar lessons and they are old enough to start, what is expected for your child to succeed and become great at playing the guitar? One of the most important things to becoming truly great is PRACTICE! Even though you will start out as a beginner learning to play the guitar and the music seems simple, the more you practice the faster you will excel and the faster you will be able to learn more complex pieces of music.
While you practice make sure that you are also working on your technique. It’s true, “it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it that counts.” If you are playing the guitar using the wrong technique then it is doing you a disservice and will take you longer to unlearn and then relearn using the correct techniques. If you want to be great at the guitar, practicing your technique will help you with speed, accuracy, tone, tempo, rhythm and dynamics.
Make sure that you are also learning music theory. Not every music teacher teaches music theory, but it is very important if you are going to truly understand and become great at playing an instrument. The guitar is no exception to this rule. Music theory helps you in many ways, you will be able to read and understand what a piece of music is supposed to be playing like. Learning music theory you will be able to write your own music. The benefits of having a great music theory education is priceless and will help you become a better musician.
Is it too late for me to learn to play the guitar?
Learning to play the guitar is a wonderful thing and whether you are a teenager that decided to start learning or an adult wanting to take guitar lessons, it is never too late for you to learn to play the guitar. Taking guitar lessons is not just for children and older students who have a passion to learn the guitar will be able to have accelerated lessons, due to the fact they can process and retain more information given to them at one time. However it is recommended that older students take longer lessons to make sure that they are able to progress at a great pace!