The bass guitar is the anchor for any rock band. Bassists provide both the rhythmic and harmonic foundation needed to hold the band together and bring the music to life. For this reason, these musicians are always in high-demand, and the bass is a great instrument for younger players.
WHAT IS THE BEST AGE TO LEARN BASS GUITAR?
While you may not think of the bass as an instrument for kids, bassists can start at ages 7 to 9. With only four strings, some kids find it easier to pick up than a guitar with six strings. It's never too late to pick up the bass, but there are some basic requirements for students young and old.
While you may not think of the bass guitar as an instrument for kids, bassists can start at ages 7 to 9.
IS YOUR CHILD READY TO START PLAYING BASS GUITAR?
First off, the bass is generally larger than a guitar. It does require a certain amount of hand strength, as the strings are larger and require more pressure to play. Larger kids will have an easier time, but there are some smaller 3/4 basses well-suited for younger students.
5 signs your child is ready to start learning the bass guitar
Outside of the basic physical requirements, there are some other considerations to bear in mind before you decide whether your student is ready to take up this instrument.
- Your child is motivated to play bass guitar. Is your child interested in music and motivated to learn more? If so, then your kid may be ready to start lessons. Motivated students progress faster and have more success in learning an instrument.
- Your child can focus for at least 30 minutes. Regular practice is the key to learning any instrument. Can your child focus for 30 to 45 minutes? If so, then they have the focus needed to start lessons.
- Your child can make time to practice guitar. After meeting with the instructor, students still need to practice every day to make sure they maintain what they learned during their lesson. At first, parents may need to help their children manage their practice time throughout the week, especially if they’re new to the bass guitar.
- Your child is mature enough to commit to bass guitar lessons. Maturity is an important aspect of learning to play an instrument. If your child is able to follow directions and listen to coaches, they will have more success learning to play. Mature students will also be able to manage their own practice time.
- Your child has basic rhythmic ability. Like the drums, the bass guitar is a critical instrument for providing the rhythmic foundation to any song. If your child displays the ability to hold a basic rhythm, then they’re ready to start learning to play.
Pro Tip: Buying your kid's first bass guitar
If you’re looking for a bass guitar, check out our buying guide for tips on finding the best bass guitar for a beginner to get playing as soon as possible.Check out our "Guide to buying your first bass guitar"
Tips when starting bass guitar
There are some basic tips that will help budding bassists to succeed.
- Select the right size. Learning to play an instrument that’s too large can be a frustrating experience for your child. To keep your young one motivated and inspired, select the best bass guitar size to match your child’s needs.
- Practice with a metronome. Practicing with a metronome is a great way to help your child learn and master the basics of rhythm.
- Strengthen your grip with hand grip strengtheners. The bass guitar is an instrument with heavy strings, and prolonged playing may be difficult for kids with weaker hands. To make playing easier, students should strengthen their grip with hand grip strengtheners. Most hand grip strengtheners can be purchased at your local music store, at a local retailer, or online.
- Practice playing with a pick. For your right hand (provided that you’re right-handed), learning to play with your fingers as well as a pick will allow you to play any style of rock music. Although not as common, playing your bass guitar with a pick can help you master rock songs that require you to match a distinct sound.
- Learn with other students. Playing music with other people is a fun and effective way to apply concepts learned in lessons. Students who play music in a group or band setting, as well as during solo practice, tend to progress at a much faster rate and feel more motivated than students who only practice alone.
Is it ever too late to learn the bass guitar?
It’s never too late to start playing the bass guitar. While bassists can start as young as age 7, students can start learning to play at any age. So, as long as you’re able to handle the physical and mental requirements, the best age to learn is your age. That’s why School of Rock provides instruction and performance opportunities for students of all ages, including adults.
At School of Rock, our trained bass instructors teach students all aspects of playing. Ready to start? Sign up for a bass guitar lesson now.