If you’re interested in teaching your child to play the guitar, or if you want to find the best way to get your child to learn guitar – you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide we’re going to cover the best websites to teach you kid guitar (as well as some of the best beginner guitar books for kids and parents).
Let’s get started:
Do you have a child sized guitar?
If you don’t want to go into the research (but still need to buy a kids guitar) – I’d probably just go with any of these:
If you think your child is interested in electric guitar, this Fender Squire Mini is an awesome kids electric guitar.
For Smaller Kids
If your child is small, this Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized Classical Guitar will probably fit them nicely. It also uses nylon strings (which are typical of classical guitar) as opposed to steel strings.
Nylon strings tend to be easy on little fingers.
For REALLY Small Kids
How do I Teach my Child Guitar?
Now the hard part.
If you don’t already play the guitar it can be tricky – but not impossible – to teach your child guitar.
Here are the best kids guitar resources (from most expensive to least expensive).
Face-to-Face Kids Guitar Lessons
Obviously private guitar lessons will do the best job of teaching your child guitar.
But they’re the most expensive and least convenient.
I’ve found that teachers who travel to your home are generally worth the price of lessons (especially for kids).
Having a child learn to play guitar in their home does a few things:
- Keeps the lessons in a comfortable environment
- Keeps the guitar available in the home (as opposed to packing and unpacking for travel)
- Maintains a high level of convenience on parents
The downside is that these lessons are usually more expensive.
There is an alternative…
Online Video Guitar Lessons
Online video lessons can be a great supplement or even substitution for a motivated guitar player.
The bad news is that I haven’t found a decent online video lesson series for kids.
Even the lessons geared towards kids aren’t that great.
Here’s why: Kids need interaction and feedback when learning to play the guitar.
Since there is a physical aspect of playing the guitar it’s necessary for an instructor (whether that’s a parent or teacher) to provide feedback and reinforcement, as well as confirmation that the student playing correctly.
It’s just to easy to pick up bad habits and techniques if a child is left to their own devices.
Fortunately, there are very good online resources that parents can use.
It’s cheap and easy to follow – best of all: it’s a great resource for parents who are looking to learn the basics of the guitar so they can teach their kids.
For most kids, I wouldn’t recommend learning from JamPlay directly – at least not until they have a little it of experience under their belt.
The Best Kids Guitar Books
There are two books that I recommend for kids to learn guitar.
This is my book.
I wrote it with parents in mind.
Essentially, it assumes you know absolutely nothing about the guitar and teaches you the basics to help you get started (so you can teach yourself guitar, or teach your kids guitar).
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive kids guitar book I’d go with…
I usually hate kids guitar books.
They’re typically written in a fashion that makes it hard to learn for kids.
They typically only focus on reading music (which is just about the worst way to start teaching a child guitar).
This book covers reading music, tablature (a sort of short-hand music for guitar), and guitar chords.
The learning curve may be a bit steep if you’re coming in with no experience, but this book is pretty good to get started.
What are the Best Free Guitar Resources?
Everyone wants to learn guitar for free.
I get it.
And given the resources available online – it’s definitely possible.
While I absolutely suggest getting started with something like JamPlay first, I understand that some people will go to YouTube or Google for their guitar resources.
Best Free YouTube Lessons
- Justin Sandercoe
- Marty Schwartz
- Andy Guitar
- Brett Papa
These are the youtube teachers who I consistently use.
While I think it’s good to get the basics down via a Guitar Book or JamPlay – Justin Sandercoe (justinguitar.com) has some great beginner resources.
Other Free Guitar Resources
- Ultimate-Guitar.com (chord and tab resources)
- Just Google: [name of song you want to learn] + chords
As you can see – when you get into the realm of free guitar resources it helps to know what to look for (again, why you should establish a basic understanding of the guitar first).
A Word of Warning…
Warning Number 1
Do NOT buy a toy guitar like this.
I know the price tag looks nice, but if you’re spending less than $50 on a new guitar, you’re wasting your money.
I know you’re thinking: “But it’s just a child sized guitar” or “I don’t know if my kid will stick with it” or “what if my child breaks the guitar?”
I get it.
But trust me: these toy “guitars” are very difficult to play.
They don’t stay in tune, they’re hard for little fingers to manipulate, and they sound terrible.
Any one of those factors is enough to get a kid to quit guitar before they even start.
Warning number 2
You are not a guitar teacher.
Let me tell you a little story.
I teach (and have taught) tons of kids under the age of 6.
It can be a challenge – but it can be done.
I also have a 5 year old daughter.
I have tried to teach her ukulele.
While we were slightly successful – she was able to play – it was very different to teach her (compared to my students).
It’s a parent thing I guess.
It can be done – it should be tried – but it may be tough.
My best advice would be to exercise patience and understanding….
…and ultimately sign them up for guitar lessons (or even JamPlay) if they’re serious about learning.
That’s it! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
(Jake Posko does Online Guitar Lessons and Coaching as well as in-home lessons in the Annapolis, Maryland area including: Annapolis, Edgewater, Severna Park, Pasadena, Crownsville, Arnold and Kent Island, inquire about lessons by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org).