Strumming into the world of guitar playing is like unlocking a musical treasure chest with three distinct keys: the electric guitar, the classical guitar, and the bass guitar.
Each stringed companion holds its own unique charm, promising a journey that transcends genres and resonates with the soul.
Whether your child is drawn to the electrifying riffs of a rock anthem, the timeless elegance of classical compositions, or the deep, rhythmic pulse of basslines, helping them choose their six-stringed destiny is the first step towards a symphony of self-discovery.
Get ready to watch them plug in, embrace the nylon, or feel the low-end vibrations. The world of guitar awaits, and it’s time for them to find their perfect harmony.
Let’s go through the best way to learn guitar and what your options are for your children.
Learning the Classical Guitar
The classic acoustic guitar is often the go-to choice for people planning to learn guitar.
Classical acoustic guitar playing emphasizes fingerstyle technique, fostering intricate fingerpicking patterns and nuanced expression. This focus on fingerstyle can enhance your child’s dexterity and musical sensitivity.
Those are skills that can be transferable to other genres. The strings offer a different tactile experience, gentler on the fingers and allowing for expressive playing.
Another benefit of learning classical guitar for kids is the emphasis on musical notation and sight-reading.
Classical musicians often read sheet music. That can open doors to exploring various musical styles and collaborating with other instrumentalists in various settings. If your kid is interested in joining a band, School of Rock style, starting off with the acoustic guitar might just be the way to go.
Acoustic guitars are known for their portability and accessibility. Unlike electric guitars, they don’t require amplification to be heard, making them ideal for playing in various settings, from campfires to intimate acoustic gigs.
This simplicity also makes acoustic guitars a great choice for beginners who want to focus on the basics of playing without the need for additional equipment.
The classical guitar’s versatility is notable. It can be adapted to solo performances, chamber music, or even arrangements with orchestras. And of course, your child will always be able to jam solo with their acoustic guitar.
This flexibility allows new guitar players to explore different musical avenues and find their unique voice within the classical tradition.
Learning the Electric Guitar
From rock and blues to jazz and metal, the electric guitar is a cornerstone of contemporary music. If your child is drawn to the energy and expression found in these genres, the electric guitar is a natural choice.
The electric guitar’s design, with its thinner neck and lighter strings, facilitates techniques like bending, sliding, and tapping. This allows for a high level of expressiveness, enabling kids to infuse their personal style into the music.
The ability to manipulate the tone using various pickups and effects pedals adds another layer of creativity. It makes the electric guitar a powerful tool for sonic exploration.
Learning the electric guitar also introduces kids to the world of amplifiers and effects, enhancing their understanding of sound shaping and signal processing. This knowledge can be valuable for musicians interested in music production and recording.
Additionally, the electric guitar lends itself well to playing in a band or ensemble setting. Collaborating with other musicians and experimenting with different roles within a group can be a highly rewarding aspect of learning the electric guitar.
Learning the Bass Guitar
Another option available is the bass guitar. One key feature of the bass guitar is its focus on rhythm and groove.
The bass guitar is a rhythm instrument, and playing it enhances a musician’s sense of timing and rhythmic precision. This skill is transferable to other instruments and is valuable for anyone involved in music.
Mastering techniques like fingerstyle playing or using a pick allows bassists to contribute to the overall feel and dynamics of a song.
Bassists often play a crucial role in establishing harmony within a musical piece. Learning the bass guitar provides a practical understanding of how chords and harmony function, contributing to a broader comprehension of music theory.
While bass guitars may not offer as many soloing opportunities, they provide a solid foundation for understanding rhythm and harmony.
Guitar For Beginners
Once you’ve chosen a type of guitar to learn, it’s time actually to start learning. The different types of guitar also have different pros and cons when you’re just starting out, which is something to keep in mind.
With lighter gauge strings, the electric guitar is often gentler on the fingertips, easing the initial discomfort for beginners. However, the initial investment may be higher, considering the need for additional equipment like an amplifier and cables. It can also be noisier, so if you live in an apartment building, your child will also need headphones!
The classic guitar usually uses nylon strings, which can also be soft. But, the wider neck can make it trickier to handle at first.
The bass guitar might be an even more challenging first crack at the guitar since it tends to be so much bigger than the other options.
If your child is drawn to the bass guitar, remember that it might be more difficult to pick up. If your child is easily frustrated, it might not be the right choice.
But, once your kid can handle the instrument, it can be a lot easier to play since it focuses specifically on the lower part of the spectrum and on just four strings. There are also different options for strings, so a music teacher can help your child figure out the right strings for your child’s playing style.
Choosing Guitar Lessons
The easiest way for a child to learn guitar is by taking music lessons.
Ensure that the lessons are age-appropriate and tailored to your child’s developmental stage. Younger children may benefit from a more playful and interactive approach. Older children may be ready for a more structured curriculum.
Look for music teachers who are not only skilled musicians but also experienced in teaching children. A teacher with a background in music education or experience working with young learners will likely be more effective in engaging and instructing your child.
Some children might feel intimidated learning in a group setting. Weigh the pros and cons of whether private or public lessons are the best choice for your child’s specific needs and personality. Before committing to a program, take advantage of trial lessons to assess whether the teaching style resonates with your child.
Parental involvement may be a factor to consider, as some programs encourage parents to participate in practice sessions or other activities.
Check if the program provides regular feedback on your child’s progress, as this can boost motivation and keep you informed about their development.
Cost, accessibility, and reviews or recommendations from other parents can also guide your decision-making process. If you’re feeling lost, start looking at the best music schools in your area to narrow things down.
Learning To Play The Guitar
The process of learning the guitar for children goes far beyond just taking classes.
Patience and positive reinforcement are essential components of the learning process. When your child comes home from music class, make sure that you’re recognizing and celebrating small victories, whether it’s mastering a new chord or successfully playing a short melody.
That helps build confidence and a genuine love for playing music. Ear training, involving active listening to identify chords and melodies in songs, enhances the child’s ability to play by ear.
Your child will also have to do plenty of practicing. This can get repetitive and boring, both for your child and for anything within earshot. Unfortunately, playing the same songs over and over again is an important part of the learning process.
There are ways to mix it up, however.
Encouraging creativity during practice sessions is important. Allowing the child to experiment with strumming patterns, create their melodies, or modify songs fosters a sense of ownership and enjoyment.
Setting achievable goals and breaking them down into smaller tasks helps children track their progress and experience a sense of accomplishment.
Recording short video clips of the child playing serves as both a progress tracker and a source of motivation. Implementing a reward system, such as earning stickers or small incentives for consistent practice, can further motivate kids to engage in their musical journey.
Visual aids such as chord charts or colored stickers on the fretboard can make learning more accessible for kids. Turning practice into a game, whether through chord change challenges or musical scavenger hunts, adds an element of fun and keeps them motivated.
Playing along with their favorite songs is a fantastic way to make practice more enjoyable and allows them to apply learned skills to real music.
The Best Way to Learn Guitar: Now You Know
There’s a lot that goes into choosing the type of guitar you want your child to play, and then finding the best way to learn guitar.
Are you ready to sign your kid up for music classes? Look no further. Staump Music School is the best of the best. Our holistic approach to music education helps children gain a lifelong education in music.
Get your first month free with us and learn guitar today.