What's the best age to learn the guitar for kids? What age is too young?

September 19, 2020

kids learn to play guitar

If you are a parent looking for local guitar lessons for kids, you are probably wondering what the best age to learn the guitar is for kids.  Learning a musical instrument at a young age has massive advantages that help students with confidence, math skills, social skills and more.  However, some children need to develop physically and mentally to a certain point before beginning guitar.  The best age to learn the guitar is as young as possible.  The second best age to learn the guitar is right now!

Is your child ready to learn guitar?

On average, guitar students around age 7 or 8 have the most success.  It also depends on the child’s attention span and interest in the guitar.  I’ve also noticed a difference in how young boys learn to play guitar versus how young girls learn to play guitar.  These are different factors to consider when looking to get guitar lessons for your child.

5 things that let you know your child is ready for guitar

  1. They show an active interest in learning to play the guitar.  Perhaps a family member plays and they look up that person.  Your child gets really excited when you bring up the instrument and generally has a passion for it.  Guitar does not seem like a temporary fad for them.
  2. They focus for periods of time without being re-directed.  For example, is your child able to work stay on task when they face a challenge?  Or, do they get frustrated and give up?
  3. Your child is up for challenges.  Guitar is fun and requires commitment, and not just from the child.  The parents have to be JUST as committed as the child.
  4. Your child’s hands can handle a kids size guitar.  Any child younger than 6 typically lacks the hand strength and finger control to be able to learn guitar.  A child between the ages of 6-8 is typically ready to learn the guitar.
  5. Is your child able to take directions and respect the teacher?  No teacher will work with an unruly, rude, and disrespectful student and they shouldn’t have to.

Do boys and girls learn differently?

From my own personal teaching experience having worked with hundreds of students, I’ve noticed a difference in the maturity level of young boys versus young girls.  That is not to say that one learns guitar faster than the other.  However, a student that is able to listen, take direction, and focus will achieve more on the guitar faster.  I’ve noticed that girls tend to fall in this category at younger ages than boys do.  My youngest students that were successful, ages 6-8, were almost always young girls versus young boys.  However, I’ve had some great young boy students as well.

how to set your child up for success

Aside from the previously mentioned items, there are several other tips that will help your child succeed in learning to play the guitar.

  1. Make sure they have a beginner guitar that is not going to hinder them from learning.  Many parents pick up second hand junkers, or hand me-downs from grandma’s attic.  A junk instrument is going to destroy the learning experience.  A parent should expect to invest in a quality instrument, but not have to break the bank.  For more information on quality beginner guitars and other musical gear that will help your child learn, visit this page (coming soon).
  2. Make sure the students as an abundant supply of guitar picks.  Trust me, they disappear, do not get upset.  Make sure they have an electric guitar tuner as well.
  3. Practicing the guitar should be like homework.  It should be part of their daily routine just like brush their teeth.  Picking a time and place to prioritize guitar practice will help your students succeed.
  4. Make sure the guitar is set up properly.  The guitar strings should be lighter gauge guitar strings, and the string should have low action.  What that means is that the strings should be low, and easy to press down.
  5. Buy an ELECTRIC GUITAR.  Just trust me, they are easier to learn, the skinny bodies are easy to handle and you can get a lot of awesome sounds with a guitar amp down the road.
  6. Make sure your child has a guitar strap to help them hold the guitar.
  7. Get the best guitar lessons for kids in the area.  Do not settle for inexpensive local guitar lessons if you can avoid it.  A quality guitar teacher can change a child’s life forever, and a bad teacher can end guitar before it even begins.

What about adults that want to learn to play guitar?

The earlier one begins learning to play the guitar, the better!  Many adults put off learning to play the guitar for over 10 years find it difficult to learn later in life.  Guitar takes time, start now and you will find in 10 years that you are really good.  Click this link to found out about local adult guitar lessons.

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