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Are you looking for stimulating hobbies for your kids at home that go beyond toys and video games? Learning to play an instrument could be the perfect solution. The guitar is a great way to get your child into music, seeing as it has a “cooler” reputation among the young than its violin or piano counterparts.

Children can start learning guitar at practically any age, even as early as 3-years-old.

When asking yourself how to choose a guitar, follow these practical tips:

1. Electric or acoustic

When choosing between electric and acoustic, it’s important to consult with both your child and your wallet. If you have a child who is in their teens (or fast approaching them) they might be more inclined to play the electric guitar. It is important to inform them that the metal strings on an electric guitar will be painful until they develop calluses on the tips of their fingers. Are they willing to practice guitar through that annoyance?

While electric guitars exist for younger players, you might what to start them off with a classical guitar. A classical guitar is an acoustic guitar with soft nylon strings. These strings are easier for children to play as they do not require as much strength to press and hold. Nylon is also painless, unlike average metal guitar strings.

When purchasing an electric guitar, you will also need to purchase a guitar amp. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A small amp with one or two settings should suit the beginner just fine. No matter what guitar you choose, you will need to purchase backup guitar strings and a handful of guitar picks.

2. Choosing the right size

Before your child is fully grown, they might not have the arm span to play a full-size guitar comfortably. There are generally 3 sizes you can easily get your hands on. A 1/2 size guitar is appropriate for children between the ages of 3 and 6. A 3/4 size guitar is great for kids between 7 and 12. Once they hit the age of 13, they should be ready for an adult size guitar.

If your child is left-handed, it might be wise not to buy them a left-handed guitar until you know they are serious about learning. Left-handed guitars can be rather expensive, and you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on extra frills. There is no guarantee your child will want to play guitar for the long run.

3. Learning to play

Learning guitar requires some patience and a lot of dexterity. Your child will be moving their hands in ways they never have before, putting their young brain to work. If you are an experienced guitar player yourself, you can give teaching a go. However, if you’re not a musician in the slightest, enroll them for guitar lessons. Make sure that their instructor is willing to teach children before you enroll them.

Older children and teens can benefit from reading guitar tabs. Guitar tabs are an easy-to-read form of sheet music that you can purchase from music stores or find online for free. Have your child pick out a few songs they enjoy that are simple and repetitive. Learning easy songs at the beginning of their practice will encourage them to continue learning.

Are you considering your child learning to play guitar? Please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • My kids get their musicalness from their father, most definately

    Reply

  • A bit hard if you are left handed. you need to buy one that has the strings the opposite way around. In fact you would need it specially made. You need to be dedicated to practise as much as you need to. Not my cup of tea.
    I would be a pretty boring life if we all liked the same things.

    Reply

  • I remember learning guitar and not liking it much…

    Reply

  • I’ve got one guitar and my daughter uses it more than me. She loves music and she’s very good at clarinet. But she enjoys playing a little bit of guitar and ukulele too.
    I should get some guitar lessons. I even bought “Guitar for Dummies” hoping it could help me, but I think learning from a book is just too difficult.


    • Possibly a way to learn the “keys” but not songs.



      • Yes, I really think it’s too complicated to learn to play guitar by yourself.

    Reply

  • A great article. We have a music loving little one and my hubby plays the guitar and would love our son to play as well. We will be looking to get one for him for his 3rd birthday so I appreciate the tips here.

    Reply

  • Great tips. My kids love instruments and I have a cheap acoustic guitar that they play with.

    Reply

  • Family members have tried to play the guitar but unfortunately didn’t stick with it.

    Reply

  • My brother is a guitarist. When I was a kid he bought me a ukulele to learn on. I remember learning one song on it. I wasn’t that keen :/

    Reply

  • Not something we are considering at this stage, but my daughter does love to play instruments

    Reply

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