While anytime is a good time to learn an instrument, there are many advantages to learning when you’re younger. Research shows that learning an instrument helps students with reading and math skills and helps them develop self-esteem and confidence.
Plus, learning how to play an instrument such as the guitar can provide a lifetime of fun and enjoyment!
What is the best age to play guitar?
For most students, the best age to learn guitar is around age 7. But it’s important to note that all students are different, so there really isn’t a best age to start guitar lessons. Realistically, students can start guitar lessons as soon as they can comfortably hold a small-scale guitar and press down the strings.
As a parent, you’ll have to consider other factors as well when determining if your child is ready to start guitar, like the maturity of your kid and their interest level in learning to play an instrument.
Is your child ready to start playing guitar?
So you want to see if your child is ready to start jamming? That’s great! The guitar is a great instrument for all skill levels and ages, but it’s best to start with guitars made for beginners, especially for kids with smaller frames.
To see if your child is ready to start playing, start by looking at how your child holds the guitar. While seated, your kid should be able to comfortably reach the low notes with their fretting hand without having to completely straighten their arm. Their elbow should be slightly bent. If they’re having a difficult time, you may need to look at smaller guitar sizes.
5 signs your child is ready to start guitar lessons
There are a handful of signals that can tell you when your child is ready to play the guitar. Before beginning lessons, your kid should show the following signs:
- Your child shows a strong interest in playing the guitar. You’ll know it if your child wants to be a rock star, even from a young age. Learning the guitar is much easier if your child shows a strong interest. That desire will motivate them to learn.
- Your child can focus for at least 30 minutes. When looking at what age to start guitar lessons, it’s important to look at how long your child can focus. While playing the guitar is fun, students must be able to focus for at least 30 minutes to start seeing results.
- Your child is motivated to practice guitar. Regular practice is important for students to get over the initial learning curve. At first, parents may need to help their children manage their practice time throughout the week, especially if they’re new to the guitar.
- Your child has basic finger dexterity. Playing the guitar doesn’t require significant finger strength, but having basic finger dexterity will make it far easier for beginners to learn songs and build confidence.
- Your child is mature enough to start guitar lessons. Age doesn’t have to be the only factor deciding whether your child is ready for lessons. In order to learn the guitar, kids need to have enough maturity to listen to their teachers and take their direction.
Tips when starting guitar
Here are several tips you can use to help your child when starting guitar:
- Select the right guitar. Not all guitars are made equal, and knowing which guitar is best for beginners can set your child up to play with confidence and success. This tip is important, since an improperly sized guitar can turn a rewarding experience into a frustrating one. Try out several guitars to see how they fit, and look at multiple sizes (full size, half size, etc.) to figure out what fits your child best.
- Use a guitar pick. Guitar picks can make it easier for kids to play, especially for kids with tender or sensitive fingers. Try out different thicknesses to find the one that’s best for you. It will take some guidance from a guitar instructor and some practice to master the use of the pick, but learning this skill will ultimately pay off.
- Practice daily – even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Shorter, more frequent practice is more productive than longer, occasional practice. Try to help your child retain what they learn in class by scheduling time for practice every day.
- Start with light-gauge guitar strings. Beginners should start with light-gauge strings, as heavier strings may be hard for smaller hands to fret or press down.
- Buy an electric tuner. Playing in tune is essential for students learning to play guitar! And clip-on tuners are an inexpensive and easy way to tune a guitar.
- Play guitar with others. Playing music with other people is a fun and effective way to apply concepts learned in lessons. School of Rock provides students with the opportunity to immediately play with others. This greatly accelerates the learning process.
Is it ever too late to learn guitar?
It’s never too late to learn guitar! While there are definite advantages to learning the guitar at an early age, all it really takes is the desire to learn and the motivation to practice.
School of Rock teaches adult students all the time, and there’s no reason to let the kids have all the fun! Many adults take guitar lessons at School of Rock, where they meet with other musicians and learn to play onstage.