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What to teach 8 yr old?

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 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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My 8 year old daughter comes by when I am playing and wants to strum my guitar. She likes music, and has been taking Piano lessons for about a year. She wants to play guitar, but she can't really manage my guitar, so I decided to get her a short scale guitar.

Since she's already learning Piano more "seriously", I don't want to get her lessons to start off. I want it to be easy and fun for her .. after a while, if she gets beyond basics and wants to take lessons, that would be good, but I want to get her started first.

She sings pretty decently, I think it would be nice if I can get her to the point where she can sing and strum. She likes Hannah Montana and Kelly Clarkson (I've never been good at singing, so I never got the play/sing thing :-( )

Now, what should I teach her first to get her started? Should I teach her some open chords? Some power chords? Some simple kid melodies?

Thanks in advance!

(PS: She's getting this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001SASQ5C/ref=ox_ya_oh_product . Should show up soon -- she wants to "play rock guitar" :-))

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@blueline)
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There are plenty of great guitar teachers here on GN. I am not one of them but I would suggest starting off with the basics. A few open chords, proper posture, how to hold the pick, etc..You may want to find an easy song that she likes and start off teacher her that song. When I started teaching my son, I made the mistake of not learning some of the music he listens to and kept him on chords alone. He stopped played shortly thereafter.

Since she is learning the piano, it may be good to relate the guitar chords to the piano chords. This way she can make some connections musically.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@elecktrablue)
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You picked an excellent guitar for her! Daisy Rock, in spite of it's name, makes good quality guitars!

Here are some places with songs and tablature that would get her started. If she could play a song right away, she's more likely to stick with it! :D

http://www.storytimesongs.com/guitar.html

http://www.theteachersguide.com/ChildrensSongs.htm

http://www.encoremusic.com/guitar/1301650.html

http://judyanddavid.com/cma.html (click on a letter at the top of the page for songs)

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@scrybe)
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Single note melodies and riffs would be the easiest thing to start with. I'm not familiar with the music you said she likes, but if there are any riffs or melodies you can use from them, I'd try that. Then I'd move on to open position chords. If she can sing ok, she'll no doubt get a kick out of playing and singing those songs.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@kent_eh)
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Hmmm I'll be going down this path with my 8 year old son later this year.
He has been doing piano for 4 years, and wants to try guitar. We're going to get him a set of "intro" lessons to see if he likes guitar, or if he wants to carry on with piano. Maybe check with your local music schools and see if they have something similar. As there are usually some slots free up in piano after the first month-or-so of lessons in the fall, I'm not too worried about getting him back to piano lessons if that turns out to be what he prefers.

Later in the summer (after the cast is off his right arm... :( )I plan to show him a couple of the songs from his old piano books on my guitar.
That will (I hope) help him relate what he already knows, and it'll help me work on my standard notation reading

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


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 vink
(@vink)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the suggestions. She's at an in-between age: not quite ready for grown-up songs, but starting to be too old for some of the Children's songs. But, I will check those out, there might be some that she still likes (Electrablue, special thanks for all those links ..)

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@alangreen)
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With kids that age I teach melody and what the little black dots mean. I've been known to use one nursery rhyme to cover melody, part playing and an introduction to voicings before now.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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 vink
(@vink)
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Topic starter  

With kids that age I teach melody and what the little black dots mean. I've been known to use one nursery rhyme to cover melody, part playing and an introduction to voicings before now.

Thanks, Alan! Tips from real teachers is very helpful. Do you mean black dots on a chord chart or dots that mark fret positions on the guitar? Also, do you use a book with reading, or just by eye and ear?

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@scrybe)
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I'm guessing (tho not definite) that he means the little black dots on standard notation.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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 Ande
(@ande)
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I thought the same as Scrybe. And it would be good to do!

SInce she's already had piano, she'll know what the dots mean, but relating them to guitar will be new. (I learned to read music in piano lessons, more than 25 years ago- and reading music is about all I have left from them, since I can't play the piano to save my life. Everybody should read music, though! For guitar, for singing, for anything, standard musical notation is a good thing to know.)

Best,
Ande


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(@davidhodge)
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A lot of what you can teach an eight year old is going to depend on how she handles making notes. Unlike the piano and a lot of other instruments, there's a lot going on (coordination wise) to make a single note. This is why a lot of teachers start young people out with single note learning - it's a way for them to develop the finger skill and strength needed to make chords.

It's also a matter of hand size, too. Making some chords (C and G come immediately to mind) give adults fits, let alone kids who can't yet stretch their fingers across all six strings.

If she turns out to be pretty quick at it and her hands work well on the guitar, then you can jump right into chords. Since you're going with electric and since she likes rock, another way to go would be to try drop D tuning for instant low power chords or open G tuning to develop barre chord skills.

Not to make it all Zen-like or to sound like there's no right answer, but most of what you're going to be able to teach her, technique wise, is going to depend on her. What you can teach her about music is endless and you can always find ways to apply it to guitar. If worst comes to worst, teach her the open position Em pentatonic scale and have her learn phrasing and improve her ear skills by soloing along while you play chords.

Hope this helps and a big "WAY TO GO!" for bringing more music into the world!

Peace


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(@coolnama)
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You know, after you teach her some chords and some songs, you could play with her and tell her to do X chord progression ( A to C#m to F#m to E 7 ? O_O Idk) and you can play over it with a scale or something, I remember when my teacher did that with me to practice rhythm and I felt really cool cause somebody was "lead"ing over me ( soloing :O)

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


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 vink
(@vink)
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Topic starter  

David,

Thanks for your answer, that zen-like answer is actually very helpful. You are very insightful as usual.

The dilemma I had been facing is that it seems hard for her to work on more than one note, but I thought chords were a good natural place to start. I got her a smaller electric guitar because I thought the smaller and the electric part will both help with hand co-ordination (and she likes electric!)

I will start with some simple melodies and open tunings and see how it goes...(it's about the journey :-))

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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I'm no expert, but I'd say teach her what she wants to learn - if that means learning Hannah Montana songs, or Kelly Clarkson songs, or whatever else she wants to learn. By all means, try and throw a little theory in, and a little notation, but make the main focus of learning along the lines of "You can have a lot of FUN playing guitar if you work at it a little!"

At that age, kids are under enough pressure from parents and teachers to learn at school - the last thing they want, IMHO, is for learning an instrument to feel like more work, it's got to be FUN to keep 'em interested.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@scrybe)
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Start her with a G major 7 chord using the top four strings. She's only 8, so it'll take her months, by which time you can have a couple more kids on the way to take care of bass and drums, by which point you'll have your very own family rock group with which to take on the world.

I clearly have my priorities in good order, don't I?

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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