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Getting your Child Started on Guitar

The Basics of Guitar for Kids

Has your young son or daughter told you that he or she wants to learn guitar? This is a great opportunity for your child to begin a musical adventure. With the right attitude, the right guitar, and the right instructor, your child can achieve great things on the guitar. This article reviews the basics of getting your child started.

Developing the Right Attitude

As a guitar and lessons are an expense, it is important for your child to understand that you are investing in them. If they are already the type of child who is a “go-getter,” this won’t be a challenge; you might not even need to discuss it. But if your child is not typically quite as driven, take a few moments and explain your expectations that they will put in a good effort and the proper amount of time in exchange for your investment.

If they are slightly older, you can encourage them to get some part time work and chip in their wages so you can meet them half way. Another idea is to get them to commit to getting good grades in school as a condition. Each child is different, and one method does not work for all kids. You will know best how to get the commitment from your child.

Getting the Right Guitar

We have all seen pictures of very small children trying to play an adult-sized guitar. While this is cute for photos, it doesn’t work in real life. Smaller bodies and hands require smaller guitars. Fortunately, many guitars designed for children are readily available. The majority of these are well-made and moderately priced. Here are the recommended sizes for kids.

Ages 4-6: 30”

Ages 6 -9: 34″ 3/4 Size

Ages 9 – 12: 36″

Ages 12 – Adult: 40″ or 41” (Full Size)

Of course, these sizes are guidelines. Your child may be larger or smaller than the average for their age. The best thing to do if you are unsure is to have your child try a few different models and see which ones feel right to them. Your local music store will be happy to help you out.

Make sure that the guitar you purchase is properly set up for maximum playability. Most guitar shops will set up the guitar for free or for a small cost with the purchase of a new guitar.

Finding the Right Teacher

Finding the right instructor is critical to your child’s success. He or she must be patient with kids and be able to relate to them on a musical level. A good instructor will also keep things interesting.

If you know any other parents with guitar-playing children, find out who their instructor is. You can also visit local music stores and see who they recommend. Many cities and counties offer guitar lessons for children at their community centers; these are also worth considering. Any instructor worth their salt will take the time to allow you to interview them and have your child speak with them before you set up lessons.

One-on-one instruction is typically the most effective, particularly with brand-new students, but it is more expensive than group lessons. Some children flourish in group settings, while others wither. Consider both options.


Be patient with your child as he or she starts off on this adventure. Offer incentives and encourage them when they hit the inevitable, occasional stumbling block.

Phone Glenn Sutton at: 619-306-3664.

Services include:

  • Acoustic Guitar Lessons
  • Electric Guitar Lessons
  • Bass Guitar Instruction
  • Classical Guitar
  • Spanish Guitar
  • Learning to Write Music
  • Advanced Improv Techniques
  • Performance Techniques
  • TABS or sheet music



  • Rock
  • Classic
  • Folk
  • Jazz
  • Improv
  • Blues
  • R&B/funk
  • Metal


  • Rancho Bernardo
  • San Diego
  • Poway
  • Rancho Penasquitos
  • 4S Ranch