Teaching Young Kids

What's Hot
stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 5570
edited May 14 in Theory
It’s taken nearly 2 months of lockdown and for our internet to go down today, but boredom has set in and finally my eldest has asked me to teach her guitar.

There’s always been a guitar left around the house available to mess about on pretty much since she was born. I’ve never forced the issue though so this interest is pleasing.

The Hello Kitty Strat is still too big for her so I dusted off a shorter scale Danelectro 63 that I’d squirrelled away and she’s buzzing with it. I think it’s the surf green colour...

I’m sure a few have done this with their kids so I’m hoping for some advice on best ways to start - any websites, books, exercise etc that might help.

She already has piano lessons so realistically guitar tuition isn’t an option.

She’s starting by fretting the low e string across the first 12 frets with her third finger and picking it cleanly with the right hand. I’ve asked her to do this for all fingers to start with...

I thought maybe dropping the e to a d so she can do 1 finger power chords might help as well?

Thanks in advance 
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
    edited May 12
    https://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/173199/help-with-teaching#latest
    Maybe try  Vibtronics   Anyone stuck at home and wanting music to work on thread.  
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 5570
    Thanks - we finished today with all notes on the a string down to the twelfth fret and right hand strumming all open strings.

    That'll keep her going for a bit and Seven Nation Army will be the first riff to learn. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • rocktronrocktron Frets: 592
    https://i.imgur.com/0kyBzNT.jpg

    Young children are like sponges in their ability to assimilate information. They quickly learn the alphabet and number system at school, so I would have no hesitation teaching them the notes on the guitar fretboard at an early age, as I think you are already doing.

    I would start with memorising the open strings, low E, A, D, G, B, high E.

    Then, I would teach the child that after E comes F, and after B comes C on the 1st fret. But, for A, C, D, and G, skip one fret. I would emphasise that point.

    So, on the diagram, I would count the frets on the 6th string, and show the child that after E comes F on the 1st fret; after F comes G, but skip one fret to the 3rd fret; after G, there isn’t an H note, so we are back to A, but skip one fret to 5th fret; then B on the 7th fret, and so on until we get to the 12th fret.

    I see that you started on the A string to keep to the alphabet system. That’s fine and easier for the child to follow.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    The other thing I would teach the child is something I learned when I first started to play guitar - how to find any note on the fretboard.

    So, on the diagram, as a teaching aid, starting on the open E string, count two frets down and two strings across, and there is another E. On the open A string, count two frets down and two strings across, and there is another A.

    However, due to the quirks of the guitar, this does not work for D when we cross the 3rd string.

    When we cross the 3rd string, to find another D, count three frets down and two strings across, and there is another D.

    This works for the other notes when crossing the 3rd string – count three frets down and two strings across.

    Once the location of a note is known, the same note can be found anywhere on the fretboard with this system.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    Like the alphabet and number system, this would remain with the child into adulthood.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 5570
    Thank you @rocktron. This is a great help as I don’t have particularly great theory skills. To impart the little knowledge I do have isn’t easy! 

    We will print that diagram off and work through as suggested.

    We went through the basic Seven Nation Army riff yesterday - I promised her that if she could learn it in the day she could plug into an amplifier in the evening and play. She did it and loved playing through the amp.  ;)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    edited May 14
    Just to throw in a totally alternative approach, you could also just teach her how to play tunes, just on the top E, or the E and B strings. Whatever songs she likes, happy birthday, Frère Jacques, that sort of stuff. Children tend to like tunes, and melody is much more instinctive than harmony. 
    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
    rocktron said:
    https://i.imgur.com/0kyBzNT.jpg

    Young children are like sponges in their ability to assimilate information. They quickly learn the alphabet and number system at school, so I would have no hesitation teaching them the notes on the guitar fretboard at an early age, as I think you are already doing.

    I would start with memorising the open strings, low E, A, D, G, B, high E.

    Then, I would teach the child that after E comes F, and after B comes C on the 1st fret. But, for A, C, D, and G, skip one fret. I would emphasise that point.

    So, on the diagram, I would count the frets on the 6th string, and show the child that after E comes F on the 1st fret; after F comes G, but skip one fret to the 3rd fret; after G, there isn’t an H note, so we are back to A, but skip one fret to 5th fret; then B on the 7th fret, and so on until we get to the 12th fret.

    I see that you started on the A string to keep to the alphabet system. That’s fine and easier for the child to follow.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    The other thing I would teach the child is something I learned when I first started to play guitar - how to find any note on the fretboard.

    So, on the diagram, as a teaching aid, starting on the open E string, count two frets down and two strings across, and there is another E. On the open A string, count two frets down and two strings across, and there is another A.

    However, due to the quirks of the guitar, this does not work for D when we cross the 3rd string.

    When we cross the 3rd string, to find another D, count three frets down and two strings across, and there is another D.

    This works for the other notes when crossing the 3rd string – count three frets down and two strings across.

    Once the location of a note is known, the same note can be found anywhere on the fretboard with this system.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    Like the alphabet and number system, this would remain with the child into adulthood.

    When you say 2 frets down. is that looking down at the Diagram but moving up the neck.? Would you always refer to counting frets down when moving up the neck when teaching etc is that the norm ?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • brooombrooom Frets: 752
    I find that the best way to start should be with learning tunes they like, if possible also something using very simple open chords (E, D, A) and single string stuff like you did with seven nation army.

    If you start going down the intervals/note root immediately, a lot of kids lose interest.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • daveyhdaveyh Frets: 502
    Definitely tunes for younger children.

    #htatcomesfromaqualifiedteacher
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • rocktronrocktron Frets: 592
    JAYJO said:

    When you say 2 frets down. is that looking down at the Diagram but moving up the neck.? Would you always refer to counting frets down when moving up the neck when teaching etc is that the norm ?
    No, it isn't the norm, and yes, I meant looking at the diagram as a reference to the fretboard. 

    It must be taught that moving DOWN the diagram, and the fretboard, is actually moving UP the neck of the guitar to the HIGHER frets, and moving UP the diagram is actually moving DOWN the fretboard to the LOWER frets.

    I realise that this can be confusing to a beginner of any age, and should be explained clearly (especially when many fretboard diagrams are horizontal).

    I'm sorry if I didn't point out the use of UP and DOWN on a guitar neck. It is best to use the correct descriptive terminology now to avoid confusion later. 

    BTW, I am not a guitar teacher.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
    rocktron said:
    JAYJO said:

    When you say 2 frets down. is that looking down at the Diagram but moving up the neck.? Would you always refer to counting frets down when moving up the neck when teaching etc is that the norm ?
    No, it isn't the norm, and yes, I meant looking at the diagram as a reference to the fretboard. 

    It must be taught that moving DOWN the diagram, and the fretboard, is actually moving UP the neck of the guitar to the HIGHER frets, and moving UP the diagram is actually moving DOWN the fretboard to the LOWER frets.

    I realise that this can be confusing to a beginner of any age, and should be explained clearly (especially when many fretboard diagrams are horizontal).

    I'm sorry if I didn't point out the use of UP and DOWN on a guitar neck. It is best to use the correct descriptive terminology now to avoid confusion later. 

    BTW, I am not a guitar teacher.
    Cheers Mate. No Apology necessary. I am going to pass this on to my son. (when i can get him off his PS4) I just wanted to make sure i knew what i was talking about, for when he hits me with his questions to wriggle out of what i am trying to show him. Thanks again.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 677
    Use single note melody stuff (using open strings as much as you can), 1/2 finger chords and recognisable tunes. Keep pieces very short to keep the engagement.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 5570
    Thanks gents some useful information coming about from this thread. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • rocktronrocktron Frets: 592
    edited May 18
    I would recommend the following Books with CD, but they are just too expensive. I browsed through all of them in a London music store. 

    Progressive Guitar Method for Young Beginners Books 1, 2, and 3. 

    Worth having if you can find used copies cheap on eBay, and Amazon. You can sell them on as there are always parents looking for beginner books.

    They come with a CD, so make sure it is included if buying a used copy. 

    From Amazon:-  

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=progressive+guitar+method+for+young+beginners&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

    From eBay:-  

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=progressive+guitar+method+for+young+beginners&_sacat=0
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.