I received the following question from a guitar teacher and parent regarding teaching their young child guitar.
Question regarding VERY young beginners…
I’ve been doing some stuff with my oldest son since a little before he was 3 on a ukulele. He loves it – in very small bits. We’ve done naming the strings tinker bell, peter pan, captain hook – and I sing a little ditty to the tune of each string while he changes string and manages to pick the same rhythm I’m singing – which is awesome (also awesome btw, is the fact that both my kids fav song in the world is Thunderstruck, totally unsolicited, and they start singing it in the car without the track – one starts and the other joins in).
He’s been 3 for a few months now though and I’d like to make guitar a daily thing. I’m just unsure of what other things to try and do with him. David, I’ve seen your vid with Mia, and it’s great, but it looks like she’s been playing for a while already. It’s a massive struggle trying to get him to use his fretting hand for anything at all. Any ideas?
David Hart response
In the early stages all I did with Mia was the basics. Identifying parts of the guitar, string names, fret numbers, finger numbers then rhythm either strumming or clapping and picking open strings. I would also get her drawing (she loves drawing) notes on her sketch pad. As we progressed I introduced fretting notes and built from there. Each day was 80% revising what she knew and 20% introducing something new. If she wasn’t in the mood I would let her direct things more doing what she wanted to do. Some days we would do drums (using hands only and focusing on rhythm) and sometimes singing. Mia would sing simple songs. My aim was to keep it fun and be creative and flow as much as possible with Mia while always aiming to get a small improvement or learn something.