3 Comments

  1. Paul B
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:39:40

    I play guitar, and absolutely love it. I wanted a guitar since I can remember, and my parents finally told me when I was younger that if I took 2 years of piano, I could get a guitar. Well, I saw the misery my sisters went through with piano lessons (enrolled since age 5), and held out. I bought my first guitar with my first paycheck at 16. I still play, they do not. I suggest that forcing your kid to play is quite different than forcing them to stick with it, if only it is their idea.

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  2. lee
    May 05, 2012 @ 07:06:32

    My son picked up a tennis racket to use like a guitar at age 2. He always had a great strum. He is now 5 and he has a electrical mini strat. I enrolled him in a social band. These kids make up songs and play in concert with guidance some instruction and real muscians. My question is: is if he isnt really learning to read music or chords etc. but is having fun and he doesnt practice. Am I not doing him a favor by not having him get straight guitar lessons. I just figured he was having fun (he thinks he plays guitar well already) and it was a social outlet for him. Now he may never be interested to learn the correct way. any feedback appreciated. thanks!

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    • David Hodge
      May 06, 2012 @ 18:34:19

      Hi

      As with most aspects of playing music, there is no “one size fits all” answer to your question. Much of the response depends on the various abilities as well as the personality of the student. At 5, some are able to sit through a structured lesson and learn and love doing so and some would rather be doing anything else.

      For whatever it may be worth, there are a number of points that you and your son can talk about, or that you can decide for yourself to help him out at this stage. First and foremost is exactly what you write – is he having fun? It sounds like he is and that’s great. So then the question becomes “can lessons help him discover having more fun exploring his guitar?” And at this point, perhaps not, especially if he’s not going to practice. And that’s perfectly okay. You may be concerned that “he may never be interested to learn the correct way,” but if he truly likes and enjoys the guitar, then at some point he undoubtedly will. Especially should any of his friends start taking lessons!

      You can also talk with him about learning about music in general and using the guitar to help him. Learning about notes and chords is part of the basics to learning almost any instrument and if he thinks he might like to take up piano or saxophone or even drums at some point, the fundamentals he learns with the guitar (reading music and rhythms) will apply to whatever other instruments he may take up later.

      The whole process of learning in and of itself is important. When it comes to mastering an instrument, being able to deal with practice and deal with working out rough patches when things are not going one’s way will be invaluable in every other aspect of his schooling. So starting that process with an instrument he loves to play may help him in many other areas of both education and life.

      Ultimately though, it should all be about his joy of playing. And one should also realize that as he grows, he will find more things that he enjoys doing. Having him pick the guitar and tell you that he wants to have lessons when he could be asking you for almost anything else will let you know when he’s ready. For now, simply letting him know that it’s an option that will always be there for him is probably a good way to go.

      Hope this helps. Looking forward to reading more about how things are going with both of you.

      Peace

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