Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Children

21 Posts
15 Users
0 Likes
2,356 Views
juliagulia
(@juliagulia)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

Hi all. What age did you introduce your kids to guitar? How young is too young? I'm thinking about getting my 4 year old niece a guitar to play with for christmas. I'm not one to stress about things getting ruined so long as they were well loved in the process.

What do y'all think?


   
Quote
Chris C
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

My guess is that 4 is probably too young - simply because a stringed instrument like guitar is just too hard to play with hands that young and small. However, some of the teachers or parents here may have more positive stories about young children and guitar. My experiences have been to see a certain amount of enthusiastic posing and whanging away for a day or two, but no ability to put the sort of time and practice in that is needed to actually get any sort of tune out of the thing. They're not easy to play and they don't really make particularly good toys.

At that age, I'd be more inclined to go for a simple keyboard of some kind. There's no special skill required to press a key down, and quite small kids can learn to 'play by numbers' and press the keys in the right order. Any skill that develops their timing and general music appreciation will all come in handy for any other instrument later. Opinions seem to vary on how young you can start teaching children but I've seen 5 recommended as a minimum for stringed instruments. Other sites recommend a functional age of 6 as pretty much a minimum to start tackling an instrument with a teacher. Others say that Suzuki style piano can start as young as 3 or 4. So take your pick... :mrgreen: Hope that helps, anyway.

Others may disagree though. :)

Cheers,

Chris


   
ReplyQuote
Alan Green
(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Small kid, small hands -> why not get her a little ukelele?

The concept's fine.

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


   
ReplyQuote
Chris C
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Small kid, small hands -> why not get her a little ukelele?

Now there's a smart man... :)

My friend who owns the local music shop sells truckloads of ukeleles every year - 99% of them to parents/uncles/aunties who want something cheap and vaguely guitar-like for a young child to muck around with. They're small, cheap, don't need amps or batteries, and are way quieter than drums. They don't usually sound that great, but neither do guitars in the hands of 4 year olds.... Well worth considering.


   
ReplyQuote
slejhamer
(@slejhamer)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3221
 

2-1/2 ! Never too young.

My boy Will, his first concert for his friends (it's a "real" guitar, 1/2-size, lovely plywood):

Here's his Joe Strummer pose:

And he's got a delicate touch on the keys:

There's a local Suzuki violin teacher who starts them at 2. What can they really teach them? I think it's about making noise and getting them comfortable holding the instrument.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
ReplyQuote
Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

I'm following the Suzuki method and at it's most traditional it's pretty rigid. Starting at age three is not uncommon, it's even recommended by some. The goal of the Suzuki method is not training kids to become virtuoso violin players but to teach them musicality so they become 'good citizens'. Still I have no idea what you could say to a two year old. I mean, how may words does a 2-year old know anyway?

Cool pics by the way Slej, are you a photographer of sorts?


   
ReplyQuote
juliagulia
(@juliagulia)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm still on the fence but everyone's opinions are very helpful.

Oh, golly slejhamer your boy is awesome. I love the pics of his very captive audience.


   
ReplyQuote
BluezOldy
(@bluezoldy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 329
 

Small kid, small hands -> why not get her a little ukelele?

That suggestion, Alan, led me to a search on YouTube using 'ukelele'. There's some amazing stuff there. Here's just three examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puSkP3uym5k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13FPL5cYMGM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdco6oABT6g

♪♫ Ron ♪♫

http://www.myspace.com/bluemountainsblues


   
ReplyQuote
Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

My daughter started piano at 7 and was a natural. My son started at 5 on piano. I really thought he was way too immature, his sister was far more mature than him at this age, but he is still playing, almost one year now and just finished his first lesson book. I practice with him often and he reads music far better than me. Makes less mistakes too. And the music is not all that simple. So I guess it's never too soon to start.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

With guitar, the coordination of a young player is also an important consideration. It may not seem so to adults (unless one is just starting out), but there's a lot going on just to produce a good clean note on one string. Making certain an instrument "fits" the student is important (the uke is certainly a good idea and so are half-sized guitars) but you also don't want to have someone frustrated that he simply can't make the notes sound in the first place.

It's different for each child. Objectively evaluate whether or not she has the coordination to play. If so, go for it. If not, get her something else to play. There are all sorts of instruments out there. You can teach things like rhythm and note reading while waiting to grow into an instrument.

Hope this helps.

Peace


   
ReplyQuote
Cat
 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1224
 

Yep...Alan's on the money with the uke idea!

Thank goodness you ain't considering giving a four year old a drum set!!!! :lol:

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
ReplyQuote
juliagulia
(@juliagulia)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

The drum set is for her brother. :twisted: Is it bad that he can't sit up on his own yet?


   
ReplyQuote
Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 827
 

The drum set is for her brother. :twisted: Is it bad that he can't sit up on his own yet?

Do you hate your sibling that much? :lol:

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
ReplyQuote
UrbanCowgirl
(@urbancowgirl)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 428
 

My one year old loves to bang on my cheapo acoustic. The other night I let her hold a pick and she got very excited and even hit the different strings for a few minutes until dropping the pick into the sound hole became the more fun thing to do. I am hoping she stays interested and, if so, I will eventually buy her a half sized guitar. I was also wondering at what age to do this but watching her coordination makes a lot of sense. I wouldn't want to frustrate her early and cause her not to like it.

By the way, love the name juliagulia. That's one of my favorite movies. :lol:

All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.


   
ReplyQuote
Rahul
(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

Never had any.


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2