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first musical instrument - guitar??

(20 Posts)
zookeeper Tue 02-Oct-12 10:01:24

I really want to get my dcs to learn an instrument but the only thing they want to learn is the guitar. It seems an odd/difficult choice of first instrument to me.

What to you think

zookeeper Tue 02-Oct-12 10:02:35

They are 8 and 9 btw.

RubberNeckerNicker Tue 02-Oct-12 10:05:57

Well my DD is 6 in January and she has her heart set on a guitar. She knows if she gets an instrument she will have to have lessons - we do have 2 local teachers who take them from 6.

Obviously the guitars are appropriately scaled to fit their fingers. And you'd be surprised how quickly they pick it up - DD can strum a decent tune on an adult guitar already, but can't hold down most chords as fingers are too small - so we give her some help!

rabbitstew Tue 02-Oct-12 10:06:04

Seems like a perfectly reasonable first instrument for and 8 or 9 year-old to me. There's something odd or diffcult about most musical instruments!
Mine started out with the piano.

GobblersKnob Tue 02-Oct-12 10:10:06

My ds (8) has just started learing an instrument at school, that he gets to keep at home to pactice on. Luckily he chose something nice and small and easy hmm

<eyes massive, hulking fucking cello in the corner of the room>


bowerbird Tue 02-Oct-12 10:50:37

If that's what your DC has their heart set on, then it's a great instrument to start on.

Your child will be able to make beautiful sounds from very early on, which is hugely encouraging. It's portable. The only downside is that it's not an orchestral instrument, so they won't join in ensembles. But if this sparks a love of music, then I'd encourage you to go for it.

If you have any doubts about their choice (and I mean is it really their choice) then go to a music shop and try out some other instruments. I would if at all possible get each DC on different instruments rather than the same guitar. It prevents a lot of tension and unnecessary competitiveness, and also give the opportunity in the future of playing together.

zookeeper Tue 02-Oct-12 11:05:00

thank you everybody; useful thoughts there. Yes I should be delighted it's not a cello!

rabbitstew Tue 02-Oct-12 11:07:11

Or a harp grin.

Beanbagz Tue 02-Oct-12 12:07:16

My DD's first instrument (unless you count Recorder) was the guitar which she started when she was 7. She found it quite easy to pick up and within a few weeks was playing recognisable tunes. She'll be taking Grade 3 in the Spring (when she'll be 11).

We initially bought an Ashton ¾ guitar which she's still playing now. I imagine she'll be wanting a new one when she goes to high school.

I think it's good for your DCs to learn the the instrument they chose as it'll mean they'll be keen to practise.

losingtrust Tue 02-Oct-12 13:35:16

Gobblers, my DD's whole class get to choose and she asked for double bass. Luckily she is tiny and sensibly got the violin.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Tue 02-Oct-12 17:08:49

electric guitar is easier

rabbitstew Tue 02-Oct-12 19:40:15

Easier?! Presumably not easier on your electricity bill or hearing, or relationship with your neighbours, if your child chooses to take their headphones off to show you what they know. grin

ZZZenAgain Tue 02-Oct-12 19:43:35

I think it is a good age to start the guitar really. Can hurt a bit till the fingertips toughen up but they probably won't be practising for ages at a time. Did you want them to learn an orchestral instrument?

hazeybabes Fri 05-Oct-12 12:50:07

My son started learning guitar at 7 and really enjoys it. After 9 months he was invited to join the local guitar ensemble (he is the youngest in it and loves hanging out with the cool teenagers!). His enthusiasm has rubbed off on a couple of his mates who have now just taken up the guitar. Last Summer he played his first concert which was ace. My advice would be to get the right teacher - his teacher is laid back, praises a lot, gives guidance on how to improve and really inspires my son so that he wants to practise. At his age, and with his disposition, he would not have done well with the kind of teacher who pushes theory and is all about technique over fun.

ReallyTired Fri 05-Oct-12 16:15:44

"electric guitar is easier "

NO! that is not true at all. The electric guitar has metal strings which really cut into a child's fingers and HURTS! Electric is far more expensive as you need an amp as well.

Its better to start on a classical (spanish style?) guitar with nylon strings. It is far kinder to little fingers. You can get second hand 3/4 size guitars of ebay quite easily. You have to do some research on makes as you want a proper instrument rather than a toy that will fall apart. ds has a Valencia which has proved a good buy. Other good makes include Jose Ferrer, Encore, Ashton to name a few.

In the early days there is a pain barrier and best to do about ten minutes of practice a day.

MirandaWest Fri 05-Oct-12 16:17:21

DS started playing the guitar when he was 7 and at 8 is still enjoying it and making some pleasant noises.

stealthsquiggle Fri 05-Oct-12 16:21:56

DD got a guitar for her 3rd birthday (very very much her idea) - a proper one, but 1/2 size. She started lessons about 6mo later, and has just switched to having lessons at school (she's almost 6). All teachers involved seem to think it is a perfectly good first instrument, and a means to learn to read music, etc. I will check what brand hers is.

stealthsquiggle Fri 05-Oct-12 16:27:59

DD's is one of these (except hers is red!)

PurplePidjin Fri 05-Oct-12 16:43:05

Guitar at that age is a good choice, or how about the ukelele as a starter? Smaller, quieter, cheaper...

TalkinPeace2 Fri 05-Oct-12 19:15:18

DS started guitar in year 3 - half size
Moved up to full size in year 6
and electric once at Secondary school (alternate weeks acoustic / electric)
its fine

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