Teaching your kid to play an instrument at a very early age is a blessing given by parents. Kids are fast learners, and with the right parenting, they have enough confidence to fully master anything. That is why kids can learn anything easily, which can take adults years; for example, language.
Similarly, music is also a language that helps your child to be free of stress and helps them to grow. It is also scientifically proven that playing music helps the main to develop, as it boosts the left side – of the creative side of the brain. Therefore in this article, we would be discussing 10 tips to help your child to learn the guitar.
1. Make sure your child wants to play the guitar
This is the most important tip if you want to teach your kid the guitar. I cannot stress this enough. I have seen many parents who want their child to play a certain instrument; may that be a piano, guitar, or violin, but the child doesn’t want to play it.
If your child does not want to play an instrument, then it’s going to have a negative effect on him or her. Instead of his/her brain being developed, it’s going to shut down and the child would stop thinking for himself.
Therefore, it is very important for you to indulge your child in an activity that he wants to do himself. If a child wants to do something, then they would work for it, and that is what we are aiming for.
2. Get your child a decent instrument
This is another very important step. Sometimes, parents do not have the budget to buy a proper instrument for their child, or they think they can get their child to know the guitar by giving them the wrong one. This method is totally wrong.
By providing your child with a “toy” to learn the guitar, then that’s never going to happen. Real guitars have their own distinctive feature. Each string produces a different sound, the playability is different – the whole experience is different. You cannot recreate this with a toy. Therefore it is important to have a proper instrument to teach your kid the guitar.
So what can a parent do if they do not have a budget to buy their child a proper guitar? Well, here is where proper market research comes in. For the price of a toy, you can buy an actual budget real guitar – for just $50.
We have a whole article dedicated to the Best Guitars For Kids and have budget models included as well. You should give it a read and find it out yourself that the investment for a guitar won’t break the bank.
3. Deciding between an acoustic or electric guitar
This is another important question.
You need to get your kid the guitar they want to play. May that be electric, or acoustic. The learning curve of both of these guitar types is almost the same. However, I might say that an electric guitar is easier to learn, as it is more obvious when you make a mistake.
Therefore, if your child wants an electric guitar, then get an electric one. If they want a simple classical guitar, then get him a nylon string or an acoustic guitar.
However, one thing to note is that you need more accessories for an electric guitar than a normal one. If you are tight on budget, then I would recommend getting an electric Guitar with a bundle that includes basic stuff such as an amplifier. You can pretty easily get them from Amazon, we even have a whole article dedicated to the Best Electric Guitar For Kids. You might want to read that article after this one.
4. Buy the correct guitar size for your child
One of the most common mistakes I see parents make when buying a guitar for their kid is they get the wrong size.
They think their child is at a growing stage, therefore it will be no harm to get a guitar bigger than what the child can play right now. Yes, the child will eventually grow, however, it will cause many negative effects on them.
First of all, the child won’t be even able to play the guitar properly. If the child isn’t able to play the guitar, then they are most probably going to give up on it. As a parent, your first goal is not to make your child the next prodigy, but to make your child comfortable with the instrument. And this can only be done if the child actually finds the guitar fun to play.
Another problem is that even if the child continues to play the guitar, they may get an Injury By Playing The Guitar in an uncomfortable manner. That is why I emphasize a lot on getting the correct guitar size for your child.
Here is a quick chart guide on what guitar size you should get for your kid.
5. Listen to your child playing the guitar
As a parent, you would want your child to practice the guitar as much as he can, but you don’t have to be forceful about it. Teaching your kid to play the guitar can also come from listening.
The best method I have seen to make your child accountable is by asking him or her to play for you from time to time. This way you can install in your child’s mind that they need to practice.
You can have a once-in-a-weekend thing with your kid, where you will either jam or just listen to him playing the guitar. If you do this for a couple of weeks, your child would automatically want to impress you in the next session, and here is where we move to our next point.
6. Regularly praise your child
Children love encouragement. Especially if it is coming from their mom and/or dad.
Kids love when you tell them that they are great at something that they are doing. If they are playing the guitar, and you appreciate them, then they are going to play more due to the boost in confidence.
Sometimes, it is the confidence (rather, lack thereof) that stops a child from playing the guitar. Thus, even if your kid is horrible with the guitar, praise him or her. Soon enough they will become little rock stars!
7. Give your child some privacy
You don’t want to be too clingy with your child, you need to give your child some space to learn the guitar on their own.
Kids are smart, they know when they aren’t doing well, so they try to fix their mistakes on their own. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave your child to improve on his own as well. If there is something bothering them, or is having trouble learning a new strumming technique. Then you may supervise them, but don’t go fully lead him towards the answer.
That’s why sometimes the best way to teach your kid the guitar is by not doing anything.
8. Show them great music
To learn something, you always start by copying. Therefore, what better way to learn the guitar than by copying the best?
Your kid might want to play the guitar, but you have to direct them towards learning it. One of the best ways to teach your kid the guitar is by exposing them to good guitar music. You need to show your kid the classics, blues, country music, jazz – all kinds of music so they have a wider understanding, and appreciation, for it.
The bigger their perspective becomes, the better they will perform.
9. Make a schedule for your kid
Your kid will be excited the day you buy them a guitar. They might even play it all day, but after a few weeks, their enthusiasm would drop. That is why people make schedules, so they can be consistent.
This can be a little tricky, as this depends on the child. In my opinion, you should let your kid run wild with the guitar for some weeks. See how long they play, what is their stamina, and after how long they get bored.
Then, considering all of that, make a schedule and paste it somewhere they can always see. May that be in their room, or on the fridge. This schedule doesn’t have to be fancy, but should at least contain the timetable for when the child should play the guitar. This will help a lot to teach your kid the guitar.
10. Teach your child how to YouTube guitar tutorials
YouTube is one of the best places to learn.
Youtube has a plethora of tutorials to pretty much learn about anything. The best thing about Youtube is that its algorithm is really great. Even if you search for a few guitar tutorials, then the system would automatically start showing you similar videos.
Kids these days are already technology literate. I am pretty sure they know more about using a smartphone or an iPad than we do. You just have to show them that it is possible to learn guitar from this platform as well, and they will be the ones doing the rest of the work.
If you do not want your child to be on the screen too much, then you can always buy them books. We have a whole article dedicated to the Best Guitar Books For Kids. You should check it out!