How long will it take for my child to learn the guitar?
Learning to play the guitar is a skill that takes time and patience. If you have a child who has shown interest in learning an instrument, like the guitar, you might be wondering how long it will actually take before they can play a song or two.
The time it takes for a child to learn an instrument really depends on the student’s dedication. Guitar is an instrument that requires getting used to. Students must learn how to properly make sound on the instrument by pressing down on the strings in just the right spot behind the frets. The more familiar your student can get with the guitar and truly learn their way around the fretboard, the faster they will be able to start making great music. It usually takes one to two months for students to be able to create solid tone out of the strings and develop the fingertip calluses necessary to play guitar chords.
The most important factors of a student’s dedication are how often students attend their guitar lessons, the length of each lesson, how much practice time is done at home and how much performance time they get.
Simply put, just encourage them to pick up the guitar! It is much better for a beginner to practice for 15 minutes every day than to practice for 5 hours the day before their lesson. Each individual student is different and will learn at their own pace, but kids who are more passionate about music may learn faster because they’re truly enjoying the art and want to practice as much as possible!
What age can kids start learning the guitar?
The earlier kids get introduced to music the better! Early childhood music classes can begin as early as 12 months old and are an entry to learning an instrument. These music classes for young children are typically focused on the basics. So, by doing fun activities such as sing-alongs, story time and instrument exploration they’ll learn basic musical concepts and rhythm that will help prepare for any future instrument they want to learn.
Once a child has reached age 7, they’re typically ready for private guitar lessons. This is the age where most students are able to physically get their bodies around the guitar the way they need to. Students of this age are also usually ready to read sheet music, which is an important skill for private lessons. While it’s better to start early, there’s no wrong age to begin learning! Kids can pick up the guitar at any age and become a successful guitar player.
How long could it take?
While it’s difficult to say how many lessons it will take to learn to play the guitar, we can provide some insight that we typically see with students. It all boils down to how much practice time is involved, how motivated the student is and how quickly they are able to grasp concepts.
After a child has reached age 7, private lessons are the best way for them to get started with the guitar. During the first few months, students build foundational skills, develop fingertip calluses, learn chord shapes, read music, and form practice habits.
Bach to Rock private lessons focus on teaching students a set of chord and strum basics that your students need to be learn to be able to play real songs within the first couple weeks. As they progress through their lessons, some students may begin steering towards a certain genre, while others just want to play it all.
After a few months of lessons with a few chord progressions and strum patterns learned, most kids can play a handful of beginner or intermediate level songs and are ready to start playing in a band with peers.
By this point, students are learning how to read both sheet music and tablature. They are also starting to learn about the extended techniques of playing guitar, like muting, slides, and barre chords. Students will also start exploring the different types of guitars and begin playing around with the various electronic effects that electric guitar players use.
Most students at this stage are playing more intermediate level songs and are beginning to play in a more soloistic fashion. Melody playing is more complicated because it involves different position on the guitar, but it also encourages students to start getting out in front of an audience and practicing. This exposure performing in front of an audience helps to create a well-rounded musician.
Related: Why is Music Education Important?
The 6-12 month mark is the best time to start thinking about joining the band program in combination with private lessons. Band allows students to get local live performance experience, practice coordination and rhythm, and learn the possible roles about playing in an ensemble – such as the lead or the rhythm.
After a few years of playing the guitar with consistent practice, students can usually play multiple difficult songs, are out in their community performing with their band and might even be interested in picking up a second instrument.
During this phase, a young musician really starts to find their own musical style and knows what type of music they enjoy playing.
Practice makes better long-term musicians
Whether your child is starting with beginner guitar lessons, or is a seasoned player looking to improve, the more practice they get, the quicker they will progress. It’s hard to give a set amount of time that it will take for progress to be made, but the more often that you pick up your guitar, the faster you will progress.
Practice habits also play an extremely important role in making progress with your instrument. The best musicians are able to focus on practicing the parts they aren’t good at, not continuously playing the parts they are already good at, starting at the beginning of the song every time. The ability to take a step back when practicing and objectively look at your song to find the parts that need the most work is a skill that separates beginner musicians from advanced players.
Learning a new instrument takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. With all of that hard work comes great reward getting to share their music with those they love and their community.
Through a combination of our flexible lesson plans and experienced guitar teachers who will guide your child step by step through their lessons, we can ensure your mini musician will receive a fun experience learning to play the guitar at Bach to Rock!