Beginner Guitar for 6 Year-old?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by BuckNekkid, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. BuckNekkid

    BuckNekkid Tele-Meister

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    I was walking through a new Lidl (German-based grocery store, for those not in the know) this weekend, and in their "great deals" section, they had both a beginner ukulele and an acoustic guitar set (nylon strings, tuner, picks, book, bag, etc.) for $50. My six year-old granddaughter likes to "play" my KLŌS travel guitar (and since it's carbon fiber, she can't harm it) every time she comes over, so I was thinking of gifting her with a beginner guitar for Christmas.

    Good idea? Better recommendations?
     
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  2. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Holic

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    Well for starters, better zed parlor or would certainly ease the learning curve. But dont get too carried away, kids often dont stick with it long, as we well know.

    I like the uke family for a starter instrument. Tenor or concert scale size.
    Small size, easy on the fingers strings and neck spacing.
    I suggest avoiding the little saprano. Most people look down on it as if it was a toy.

    Another consideration, a tenor guitar/baritone uke. Also easy. Playing knowledge translates to regular six string easily later if desired.
    Just a thought.

    Also consider the smaller body sized "parlor" or "baby" acoustics for jr sizing. You can get a pretty decent instrument without spending too much.
     
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  3. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, how about a ukulele to start. Those will even get adults started in the right direction.
     
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  4. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    That's what I started on :)
     
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  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Mini Strat. My granddaughter wanted to start a wee bit too soon, but our now three generation Squier still has the magic. She is now in first grade and loves anything to do with music. Kinda spending more time on her mom's piano right now, but when her mom plays her guitars ...:) IMG_4104.JPG
     
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  6. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    Bari Uke. Just don't play it before you give it to her. Otherwise, you'll have too much fun and never give it up!
     
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  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree with the Baritone Uke idea.
    I also have a three-quarter Yamaha six-string that I used in my classroom for music therapy. Perfect size for both me AND small middle school students. Model FG Jr.....Jr-1. Really cool, fun guitar.
     
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  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    She must be a Eddie Hazel fan? :)


    I would go with the mini strat too.
     
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  9. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    Ditto. I have one for my kids and its nice. They can be set up easily to play very well. Nothing like plunky, high action to deter a beginner.
     
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  10. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd suggest a nylon string 3/4 size guitar. Amazon has several different choices for under $100.
     
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  11. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Meister

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    Just make sure that whatever it is, it's easy to play. As JBD2 said, nothing deters a beginning player more than an instrument that fights their efforts. When I worked at a music store, we sold "beginner" guitars. That is, we had them on the wall. We always tried to impress on the parents that spending just a bit more for an instrument that could be set up to play smoothly was kinda like buying insurance on their purchase. We also offered to consign guitar we recommended at a reduced rate if it came back within a year. I only remember having to do that once.
     
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  12. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's

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    Taylor Baby, Yamaha Jr, Martin D Jr...
     
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  13. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess a Martin D-28 Modern Deluxe would be overkill. But if you really loved her...
     
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  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    The uke is a good idea.

    Not only does it need to be easy to play... IT NEEDS TO STAY IN TUNE.

    Too often, beginner instruments are built to a price point. One of the first places the manufacturer will skimp to save money is the tuning machines.

    Tone deaf parents can't tell the difference.

    If it won't stay in tune, no matter how much talent the kid has, it won't sound right.

    I got my 5 year nephew a ukulele made by Cordoba. It was $99 shipped to his door, and included a nice padded gig bag.

    I also threw in a clip on tuner and a couple extra sets of strings. You can get decent ukulele strings from China via ebay for $1 a set.

    Got him a few sets, a peg winder and a decent clip on tuner for a grand total of $20 more.

    Giving a kid an instrument that won't stay in tune can actually do permanent damage to the kid's ears.

    Those supermarket instruments might be okay, but I doubt it.

    There were some $79 starter guitars at Target a few years ago that were surprisingly good. The brand was "Lyon". But every fifth or sixth one had serious flaws that would stop a beginner.

    Most people got great little guitars to learn on. Some people got discouraged from playing stringed instruments for the rest of their lives.
     
  15. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ps. If you want to get a kid a starter instrument, don't halfass it.

    The idea that, "Well, they might not stick with it, so I'll get something cheap", is just planning for the kid to fail.

    Plan for the kid to succeed.

    If you want the kid to have an opportunity to learn an instrument, get a real instrument. The kid may or may not stick with it, but give them a fair shot right from the start, not a photo op for cute Christmas pics.

    When the adults plan for their kids to succeed, the kids have a much better chance of actually succeeding.

    Google "Rick Beato Nuryl" to see what I mean.
     
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  16. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Holic

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    Get the kid what the kid wants. Let him/her know you value the need that is expressed. Don't reinterpret it.

    If the kid wants a guitar, don't get a uke! I see that recommended so many times. My son wanted a guitar at 4! At 6 I was finally convinced. 7 years later he is still playing circles around most adults, and in 2 bands (school, and church). He prefers rhythm, can improvise on chords, refuses to learn to sight read or study theory (so far), but he has an amazing intuition and ability to hear music. He can repeat phrases he hears and put them in other songs.

    I play guitar because he started it. He isn't copying me, I'm enabling him and happened to get myself one while I was at it.

    My niece wanted a guitar. My brother's family bought her a uke. (she doesn't play).

    If the kid expresses a desire for something good - enable it. Don't wait for a bad habit to replace goodness and then say "I told you so".
     
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  17. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    The ukulele..Only four strings and small enough to be comfortable..After she learns the uke it will be easy to go to guitar..First four guitar strings have the same pattern as the uke..
     
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  18. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    1/2 size Strat.
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Regular or the mini Strat ... but with a fret level.
    Epiphone Special with a fret level. The Epiphone Special may be the easier of the two to play with a shorter scale and hard tail.

    A fret level is $100, if you pay for a pro setup (at a minimum you need this on any guitar) that's $50. So if you go just another $50 that starter guitar can play like $1,000+ instrument. And that is the key feature you want on a starter guitar. Easy to play.

    Electric guitars have lower string tension and so they are a lot easier for kids to learn on.

    An acoustic is always loud, but an electric can be played unplugged or with headphones.

    Too often well meaning parents buy the kid an acoustic because they are frightened of an amp, get it cheap with poor fretwork and don't get a proper setup, and are basically dared into learning to play. Kids go back to video games at that point.

    Get an electronic tuner with a sweep indicator and show them how to use it.... ear training.


    .
     
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  20. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Holic

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    we gave my niece a mini strat when she was 8.she's in her second year working on a music major at umass.the mini strat will be much easier to play than any acoustic.
     
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