Your Child Can Start Playing The Guitar
As a parent, you recognize the importance of music in your child’s life. Maybe you always wanted to play an instrument but never fulfilled that desire. Yet, you want your child to take a different path. So, you have discussed playing the guitar with your child and have reached an understanding that your will invest in a guitar and lessons as long as he or she commits to practicing the instrument.
In a different manner, maybe it was your child who first expressed an interest in playing the guitar or another fretted instrument such as a mandolin or banjo. Now you are left wondering what are the proper steps you should take to ensure that your child gets the best musical education possible.
Both the child and a parent have many questions relating to playing a musical instrument. Here are some basic guidelines that may assist you in that process:
Question: What is the earliest age that a child will be able to play an instrument such as a guitar?
Answer: The earlier you get your child exposed to music, the better. Some of the masters started as early as five years old. Many of today’s players may have started in their early teens.
Question: What Type of instrument is appropriate for my child?
Answer: Today there are many options for instruments in all price ranges. For instance for a young child of 5 or 6 years of age, you may wish to purchase a “children’s guitar” which is smaller than the standard instrument. If you are unsure of the level of commitment, you may also start out with a relatively inexpensive instrument with the goal of upgrading your instrument in the future.
Question: What other supplies are required for learning the instrument?
Answer: There are various supplies that are necessary for your child to get the most out of their music educational experience (see “Purchasing Supplies” on this web site for a description of the most basic items). Some required supplies include strings, picks, a tuner and instructional materials. At Fretmentor, we offer the latest instructional book on CD entitled “Guitar for Children”. Please feel free to contact us with any questions related to purchasing supplies.
Question: How long should my child practice their instrument?
Answer: Your child should practice their instrument every day. When starting for the first time, it is recommended that your child play a minimum of 15 minutes to a half an hour each day and eventually increase their playing time to one hour per day. Obviously, the more time that a child commits to practicing, the better they will be. It is not advisable to force a child into playing music but similar to explaining the importance of completing homework for school, it is the parent’s responsibility to encourage and motivate their child to practice.
Question: My child wants to play guitar but we can’t decide on whether he or she should play and electric or an acoustic guitar.
Answer: It is important that your child plays an instrument they are interested in playing. However, it is also important that the child understands that their finger strength needs to be developed. An electric guitar and an acoustic guitar are very different instruments. The acoustic guitar will likely require the necessary effort to develop that hand strength. However, if the only option is to play an electric (either due to the fact that this is the instrument you currently own or because that is the only way your child will play), then learning on the electric is better than not learning at all.
Musical education is a rewarding experience and should be encouraged for children of all ages. As a parent, you should take an active interest in your child’s musical education. With a little effort, you can offer the support and additional guidance that is required to make your child’s musical journey a successful one. At Fretmentor.com, we offer many services that will assist you in this process. Feel free to browse the web site and contact us for additional information. Your comments and questions are always welcomed.