How to Teach Kids to Play Guitar

Today we will be looking at teaching guitar, specifically to kids. Kids are wonderful learners, they sometimes learn quickly (depending on how motivated they are) and they are resilient. Children are more willing to be molded and helped and they respond quite well to challenges.

So Let’s find out How to Teach Kids to Play Guitar.


Get the Correct Instrument

First thing’s first, make sure your student has an appropriate guitar to practice on. The guitar that is better suited for kids is the classical guitar with the nylon strings.

These strings are softer and are not too painful for the kids, you will definitely have kids complaining about their fingers being sore but it would be worse with the steel strings. Here is a picture below comparing the nylon strings to the steel strings.

Nylon strings are softer.
Steel strings are thicker and harder.

When you know which guitar to buy, the next step is to make sure that the guitar size is suited to the height of your student. Guitars come in different sizes: You get a full size, three-quarter size and half size.

If your student is quite tall, they can take a full size, however, most times a three-quarter size is more appropriate. You may use a half size if your student has a smaller stature. When buying a guitar size, always ask for assistance from the staff that work at a music shop.

Having the correct instrument is important, because the student needs to feel comfortable when playing. Make sure that you have a good chair for the child to sit on too. This will help with holding the guitar comfortably and ensuring that a more controlled sound comes out.


Teach them the Basics

how-to-teach-kids-to-play-guitarThe first thing to teach your music student is the different components of the guitar. I will provide a picture with labels of the different sections of the guitar.

Show them the different places on the guitar and let them feel it and touch it, that’s another way to learn too. Tell them where the sound of the guitar is produced and that they should play over the sound hole.

The next step is to teach them how to hold the guitar. There are various methods you can choose from. What I like to do is let the kid sit on a comfortable chair and I have a foot pedal for them to rest their right foot on which gives them a more comfy sitting position which will make playing the instrument easier.

Following this is to teach them the names of the strings, I use the rhyme Every Ape Deserves Good Bananas Everyday. You can make up your own one or use your own, as long as it is easy for the student to remember the names of the strings.

Then we have the music book or music syllabus. Whichever music you use, whether it is from a book or just some syllabus that you have put together by yourself, ensure that there are many pictures to capture their attention and to keep them curious and interested.

We all learn faster when things are captivating and interesting. In addition, find a book that has simple words to understand and that can show you the basics of guitar and the labels of the instrument.


Lay Down the Rules

how-to-teach-kids-to-play-guitarChildren and any student needs to know what is expected of them now that they are a music student. Tell them what they will need to do every week for the next week. This includes telling them that they must practice every week for a certain number of days and time in that week.

Show them how to look after and take care of their instrument. Guitars should not be left in the sun or in a cold breeze or wind, instead it should either be in a case or just stand in a neutral environment room. The case works better for ensuring that there is no damage to the guitar and so that it doesn’t become too dusty.


Be Patient

how-to-teach-kids-to-play-guitarTeaching children requires a lot of repetition and it can become monotonous that you may even feel like dozing off while teaching them. Therefore, as a teacher you will need to have a lot of patience.

Sometimes the student will struggle to grasp the content, it’s like you will try so hard to explain but they still may not understand. Just breathe in, take a step back and try again or perhaps move on and come back to that idea.

Some children are fast learners, whist others require more patience. Whatever is needed for your child student, make sure you give it to them, whether it’s patience, support, a nudge etc.

When your student gets something right, praise them. This is good for their confidence and will make them feel happy which in turn will give them happy feelings about going to music and soon they will love their music lessons.


Reward Them

how-to-teach-kids-to-play-guitarIf your kid practiced for their lesson, they brought their books with to the lesson and you didn’t need to call them from their class (if you teach at a school), then reward them. If you are teaching privately from home, you can give them a sweet or lollipop, if you teach at a school, give them a few merits.

I often give my early beginner students merits, they love and they feel proud of themselves because they did something good. This encourages good behaviour and gets them into the habit of doing everything that is expected of them.

If you would like your kid or yourself to learn to play guitar online, you can do that here. Alternatively, your child can take music lessons at school, which is more convenient for the parent.

Today we learned How to Teach Kids to Play Guitar and I hope you enjoyed it, please feel free to leave a comment or share your tips and experience. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and expertise.

Thank you

6 thoughts on “How to Teach Kids to Play Guitar

  1. hello, it is a great and nice feeling to know that someone will create a great website like this and also create a write up on an article like this. children are the best to teach musical instrument because of their eagerness to learn everything new. my son is learnig

    1. Hi Benny,

      Thank so much for your kindness. It’s so awesome and wonderful that your son is learning and I totally agree with you that children are the best to teach because of their eagerness. Thank you for reading the article.

  2. The guitar that is best suited for kids is a classical guitar with nylon string. It is very useful and comfortable for kids. Children do not have finger pain. I’m trying to teach guitar for my baby. So I need a song for my son. I want to buy a guitar for my son. I love reading your article.

  3. Many thanks to you for sharing such a wonderful article with us and I have a baby .I love playing the guitar and since then my kid is very attracted to the guitar and the vocals are very drawn to the guitar. That’s why I taught my kid to play guitar and I think my kid got to do it very quickly. And I think classical guitar with nylon string is the perfect guitar for my child to learn guitar .Its strings are soft and very comfortable for kids and before I taught my child the guitar, I explained practically everything with a picture of the guitar .And I’ve noticed that my child can easily understand how the guitar sounds, how they feel, and so on. Besides, I bought him a music book and taught it to myself .I myself have been patient and told him to be patient and to proceed with confidence. And she has been encouraged by the reward of her good things. Now my kid has a kindergarten to learn guitar and I hope he can play better guitar in the future and will definitely share with you our new experience.

    1. Wow! You are amazing. I hope your child will always continue to play guitar and that he will get better and better. Thank you for sharing your story and experience with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top