Are you considering enrolling your child in guitar lessons? Guitar is a very appealing instrument by all standards. It is versatile, portable, lightweight, and has large spectrum of repertoire that spans almost all genres. This blog lists some of the main reasons to choose guitar lessons.

Pop Culture

Guitar is the ultimate cool instrument. In almost every popular song, the guitar is utilized as one of the main instruments. The guitar may have the widest range of genres with the most pieces to choose from including classical music, rock, pop, blues, r&b, jazz, funk, and countless others. This allows the guitar an enormous world of exploration for a young student. Another advantage of guitar is its portability. Unlike the piano (unless a keyboard), the guitar can easily be brought along for camping trips, birthday parties, and other social events, giving the student a chance to perform and collaborate with others. When it comes to collaboration in music, the guitar is an ideal instrument due to the fact that playing solos requires a more advanced technique. Typically beginner students will start out with simple chords, which can make a great addition to a small band or group of friends (perhaps a singer, bass player, and drummer).

Challenges with guitar lessons for kids:

One of the most frequent questions we get here at the Angeles Academy of Music is “at what age should child begin guitar lessons?”. We Believe that 7 or 8 is most likely a better age to start rather than 4-6. The reason for this is that the strings can be difficult to press down for a young child. This can lead to pain and frustration. It is important that kids and parents understand this discomfort is part of beginning guitar lessons and will pass with time and practice. It is necessary to build up small calluses on the fingertips, which will soon protect the finger from pain. It is important that both the parents and the child understand there will be discipline involved in this initial part of the process. We have found that many families and young students are caught off guard by the initial challenges of pressing the strings down and give up too quickly.

Expectations for a beginner learning guitar:

Another surprise for the young student might be that the guitar does not sound as rich or full as they expected. Often kids want to pick up the guitar and immediately sound like their favorite band. That said, a band typically consists of an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, a bass drum set, keyboard, and a singer. Often other instruments are combined to provide the full musical experience. When initially learning guitar, a student may simply play the melody line one note at a time, which doesn't always sound as thrilling as the lead singer singing the melody or perhaps the keyboardist playing an exciting lick. For a beginner, playing chords are probably the most satisfying use of the guitar until a more advanced technique is learned. Because this does not include the melody of the song, it is often advised that the student learn how to sing or collaborate with other instruments in order to have a more satisfying musical experience.

How should I choose a guitar?

When deciding on guitar lessons for kids, it is important to choose an instrument that is of decent quality. Many of the toy instruments on the market today will not suffice for lessons. A question that needs to be asked before purchasing a guitar is, “does this guitar go out of tune quickly?”. Very inexpensive instruments from $50 - $120 for example may not stay in tune long enough. Tuning the guitar is an important skill set that a beginning student must learn and can take quite a bit of time for them to get used to. It could take 3-9 months for a beginning student to get used to tuning a guitar. It is advisable to pick an instrument that can stay in tune for at least a week so that the instructor can re-tune the instrument at every lesson. If the guitar goes out of tune 2 days after the students lesson, the student will not have an enjoyable practice experience and may become very confused as to whether they're playing the song correctly or not. It may be wisest to go with a name brand such as Yamaha that has a good reputation for price and quality.