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7-Year Old Son Starting Lessons Today!!

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(@aragorn)
Posts: 54
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Any suggestions from the teachers on this site?

Today we pick up his small sized classical guitar rental and footrest, then meet for his half-hour lesson. The instructor wants me to attend his lessons so I can help him with his practice at home, which I'm very happy to do.

I'd be very interested in experiences about how best to encourage both his development and interest in guitar. His initial interest is from watching my play and letting him pluck the strings, but I don't want him to be discouraged when he finds out how difficult it really is.

My own thoughts are to expose him to guitar music that he will like and motivate him to get better, and ultimately to try to find others to play with (his school has a jazz band with a guitar spot).

 
Posted : 20/07/2011 2:52 pm
(@davidhodge)
Posts: 4472
Member
 

Congratulations!

And you being there for the lesson will be a lot of help. At seven, chances are likely that his motor skills are going to need development and the guitar, unlike the piano in this aspect, may require more from him than he suspects.

There's a lot you can do to help - if the teacher is going the "traditional" method, the initial lessons will be of the basics of holding and fretting a note (think the various "one finger one fret" exercises you probably already do to warm up) and possibly note reading. If you don't read notes yourself, this is an excellent time to learn and you and your son can test each other out on that aspect. You'll probably amaze yourself at how easy it can be.

The main thing is that if you can initially take part in his practicing, that can help him with whatever frustrations he may run into. Between you and your son there are a lot of fun ways to make practicing cool. If he's learning the note on the first string, for instance, you can play a rhythm of C, F and G chords and let him do some "soloing" with just the notes he's learned. It's a great way to develop phrasing and a feel for the music. Once he learns more notes and possibly the melodies of some songs, you can play the chords as back up to the melodies. This will teach him the importance of keeping in time.

You can also show him the "cheater" versions of C (xxx010), G (xx0003) and G7 (xx0001) and play some simple one and two chord songs. The original version of Hank William's "Jambalaya" is just C and G so you could even play along with a recording of it together.

Above all, it should be about having fun. He's seven so he's probably got a lot going on with his life. Try to make time for practice every day, even if it's just ten minutes for the first few months, but also make sure he's still into all his other usual stuff (both schoolwork and play).

Hope this helps. Feel free to email me directly if you'd like.

Looking forward to hearing about both his progress and yours! Nothing really helps a person learn as well as teaching someone else how to play.

Peace

 
Posted : 20/07/2011 3:43 pm
(@alangreen)
Posts: 5342
Member
 

I would get him a very simple beginners' book. As soon as he can play the notes on the open 1st-3rd strings you should start playing along with him to provide a simple chord backing.

Recommendation? The Guitarist's Way - Book 1 (of a series of 4,) by Peter Nuttall (Internationally known composer) and John Whitworth. ISBN 9-790708-021018. You can get through the first few pages with just Em, Bm and G chords, and add Am once you start playing 3rd string A and C major when you get onto page 5.

And do what David said, too.

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

 
Posted : 20/07/2011 6:38 pm
(@aragorn)
Posts: 54
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Congratulations!

If he's learning the note on the first string, for instance, you can play a rhythm of C, F and G chords and let him do some "soloing" with just the notes he's learned. It's a great way to develop phrasing and a feel for the music. Once he learns more notes and possibly the melodies of some songs, you can play the chords as back up to the melodies. This will teach him the importance of keeping in time.

Peace
David - what a great suggestion, thank you! It also sounds like a lot of fun.

We had our first lesson yesterday, and I think the instructor is very good. We practiced holding the guitar, proper position, sitting down, standing and taking a bow. Once we had the proper position we practiced middle and index finger on the open third string, then the second string fretted at the 3rd fret, then the open first sting, then one final note on the second. Slowly emerged a tune recognizable to any young child.

The initial practice plan is 10 to 15 minutes every night, or ten times through our song without error, whichever comes first. Thank you also for your offer to email you for suggestions, which I probably will, and I will post back progress.

Recommendation? The Guitarist's Way - Book 1 (of a series of 4,) by Peter Nuttall (Internationally known composer) and John Whitworth. ISBN 9-790708-021018. You can get through the first few pages with just Em, Bm and G chords, and add Am once you start playing 3rd string A and C major when you get onto page 5.

We're using a Suzuki book, which seems to be a good starter alhough I haven't looked through it carefully yet. Will give your suggestion a look. I am very much looking forward to giving his melodies some accompanyment (sp?)! Right now we alternate playing the melody. When he's more consistently playing it I'll add a chord backing. Should make for a good duo!

 
Posted : 21/07/2011 4:54 pm
(@bkangel)
Posts: 118
Estimable Member
 

I'll be very interested to see how this progresses!

I have a niece (only one) who I would like to introduce to music (maybe by paying for her to have lessons when she is a little older... she's only 18 months old).

But, and sorry for hijacking, but how young is too young? Is it worth buying her a little kid's guitar/ukelele so she is comfortable around them from the getgo?

(I'm guessing this is a piece of string question... depends on the child and her ability to concentrate and her motor skills, etc.)

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.

 
Posted : 22/07/2011 1:32 am
(@alangreen)
Posts: 5342
Member
 

... how young is too young?

I'll take children from the age of six so long as they're able to act on an instruction given by an adult.

Do get a Ukelele - you'll probably find yourself playing it too - any exposure to music at a young age is good.

"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

 
Posted : 22/07/2011 5:06 am
(@aragorn)
Posts: 54
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Hi everyone - thought you might be interested in a status update. Here is a brief clip of him playing for the family on Thanksgiving. I think he's coming along very nicely after just 3 months!!

http://youtu.be/j7GSm1R4cSo

Best of all he's having a lot of fun with it...it doesn't feel like work to him...so he's been very enthusiastic with his lessons.

 
Posted : 26/11/2011 8:41 pm
(@blue-jay)
Posts: 1630
Noble Member
 

It sounds good and of course there is a lot more to it now than just playing an instrument. It is a good way of life, and I like your family's interaction, encouragement, participation, validation!!! Nice way to get together and to enjoy one's efforts.:D

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

 
Posted : 27/11/2011 1:20 pm
(@s1120)
Posts: 848
Prominent Member
 

Hi everyone - thought you might be interested in a status update. Here is a brief clip of him playing for the family on Thanksgiving. I think he's coming along very nicely after just 3 months!!

http://youtu.be/j7GSm1R4cSo

Best of all he's having a lot of fun with it...it doesn't feel like work to him...so he's been very enthusiastic with his lessons.
Very good!!!!! My 5 year was asking about playing yesterday, and I walked her through a D chord. She was so pleased when she did it

Paul B

 
Posted : 27/11/2011 2:03 pm
(@trguitar)
Posts: 3709
Famed Member
 

Most cool! I was disapointed when my son didn't take to guitar at age 9 when I bought him his first. At age 15 he took up the bass and before I knew it I was watching him play in the All County Jazz Ensemble. He also was the bassist in the pit for the All County Show Choir. He was one of only 2 students in the pit, the rest of the musicians were the teachers. Well, I'm bragging now aren't I. :mrgreen: Keep us updated on that up and coming shredder!

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

 
Posted : 27/11/2011 7:47 pm
(@aragorn)
Posts: 54
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Blue Jay, s1120, and TRGuitar, Thank you!! This forum did a lot to encourage my interest in picking up the guitar again after many years, and I'm very happy to see the progress my son has made and being able to share it with all of you.

 
Posted : 28/11/2011 5:28 am