How To Choose Your Child’s First Guitar

Studio Director, The Lesson Studio

Gary Gutierrez, Studio Director, The Lesson Studio

by Gary Gutierrez, Studio Director

Your child has asked for guitar lessons and you’re thrilled he or she wants to study music! But what do you do next? Step one is purchasing the right guitar for the job, and step two will be finding the right teacher. Let’s start by simplifying step one and looking at the basics.

How do you determine what the right guitar is? There are three types of guitars to choose from: acoustic or steel stringed, classical or nylon stringed and electric. People often believe beginner guitarists should start on acoustic guitars. The belief is founded in fiction – both instruments are one in the same. In fact, electric guitars tend to be a better choice for young guitarists. They’re easier on the hands and add a cool factor to the mix – enticing your child to want to practice more. Another plus for electric guitars is that they require amplifiers to create distortion, reverb, various tone qualities and volume. The multi- dimensional sounds provide hours of fun and exploration. Kids want to make noise, let them!

Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, can actually turn a child off on the whole idea of learning music. They use steel strings, which tend to be difficult for beginners to play. Pressing down on the strings causes pain and discomfort for their uncalloused fingers. Teaching a child good practice skills brings enough challenge. Do you want to provide an instrument they don’t want to pick up, because it hurts? Another problem with acoustic guitars is that they lack the cool factor for most children. Kids want to emulate what they see and hear. That includes Guitar Hero, Rock Band, iTunes and rock and roll music. The image of an electric guitar comes with each of these icons.

Provide your child with an instrument they will gravitate to without being told it’s time to practice. If noise is a concern, consider the classical guitar. The nylon strings go easy on a beginner’s fingers and create the quietest sound. If possible, consider renting a guitar before committing to the purchase. Make sure your child is committed to lessons before spending hundreds of dollars. Most local retail music shops offer rent-to-own plans that fit your budget. If you want more information on this topic please contact me and I will be glad to help.

Good luck!

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One Response to “How To Choose Your Child’s First Guitar”

  1. Studio Management Tips Says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences to your readers. Your posts may be of great help to most music educators out there. You’ve got a very interesting and informative site here. Please also include some innovative and interesting studio management tips in your next posts. Thanks again and more power. See you around!

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