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Beginner music for piano and guitar

(6 Posts)
TheAlias Sat 22-Nov-14 10:06:32

Can anyone recommend books for a young teens just starting their first instrument?

All the beginner books I have seen seem to be aimed at very young children.

TheAlias Sat 22-Nov-14 14:13:36


Ferguson Mon 24-Nov-14 22:57:16

Hi -

Is he/she learning piano AND guitar from scratch, or have they done some music before?

Piano (or better still, keyboard) are much easier to learn and understand than guitar, which is physically difficult for months, until fingers toughen up and get used to where they should be.

As a primary TA I taught recorder and percussion from Yr2, and a bit of keyboard with Yr6, including MIDI, sequencing, and a bit of simple improvisation.

Keyboards today have hundreds of sounds and backings, for £100 upwards, and can be connected to computers for recording, multi tracking etc.

A teenager probably won't want to have to work TOO hard at making music, and so if it is just for fun and entertainment a keyboard will give quicker satisfaction.

If the aim is to STUDY music, and play the Classics, then a digital piano, or a more expensive keyboard with touch sensitivity might be needed.

I don't think there is any great shame in starting with music tutors aimed at younger children, at least to start with. John Thompson books are good to start on.

Or the Kenneth Baker series of books for adults or teens, which can be for keyboard, piano and organ, are well written and progress at a manageable rate. They also have some modern tunes, and 'Song Book' versions that have extra tunes in different styles, once some early stuff has been mastered.

Let me know what the person already knows about music, and what they hope to achieve and I'll try and give more appropriate information.

TheAlias Tue 25-Nov-14 22:17:03

Hi thank you.

11yo is learning piano but it's very much for fun - not prepared to put in the time or effort to become a concert pianist. He plays with my mum a few times a week and is "bored" of the music she has, mostly nursery rhymes etc in her beginner books. He also plays Euphonium (long story!) so has been reading music for a while.

The Guitar is for my other son (13yo) who has never really shown any interest in music but enjoyed school music lessons (standard timetabled ones, not extra curricular) last year with keyboard and ukulele and has asked for a guitar for Christmas. I happen to have acquired a second hand one for him to have a go with.

Ferguson Tue 25-Nov-14 23:01:03

The Kenneth Baker piano series are probably the most suitable to start with. There are five tuition books, or they can also be bought as all five in an Omnibus edition.

Tunes in the individual books can be seen here; I have seen a comment that the Omnibus one is too large to open on the piano music rest :

One of the harder aspects of learning piano (as opposed to keyboard) is that you have to master Bass clef for the left hand. To beginners, it seems as if the Treble and Bass clefs are two separate things, but in fact each is a continuation of the other, and the whole thing is the Grand Staff. It requires some effort to understand it all, but it does become clear eventually, and makes learning to play somewhat easier.

I add a link to the Grand Staff :

This is probably enough to be going on with for now, but eventually learning about the Harmonic Series as well will help anyone wanting to improvise or start to play in a jazz style.

There are on-line tuition sites for piano and for guitar, which you can find yourselves if you wish to.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 26-Nov-14 17:41:41

John Thompson is good,I started as an adult with those books grin then as I got more confident I would browse Amazon just by searching Easy Piano, loads of really good stuff.

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