Thoughts on online guitar teaching at a beginner level?

Lone_Poor_Boy

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So I'm getting my 9 year old granddaughter a mini-strat and Fender Mustang amp. I asked the grandkids what instruments they wanted and she picked guitar. The other picked drums, but that's a different story. The third already blew off piano.

I honestly don't care if she never uses it, but I wanted to make it available in case there is a spark.

To give it the best shot, I thought providing a teacher would be #1. So I'm looking for suggestions on that; online experiences, how to vet them, do's and don't's etc.

Why not me? Because I know I'm a horrible teacher in general but more specifically, I know nothing about what matters most when teaching fundamentals to build on for early growth. I would hope part of that is also keeping them inspired to play. I'd probably just teach them to play backup to me singing 'Get Off My Cloud' or something.

Thoughts on online teaching at a beginner level?
 

LOSTVENTURE

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I'm thinking that having an in-person experience, particularly at the beginning, would be the way to go.
Call me old fashion, but having someone right there to guide you through the basics could be the difference that a new player needs.
Once you have dealt with basic methods and how to perform the easier tasks, then you would have a better background for approaching on-line lessons.
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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I'm thinking that having an in-person experience, particularly at the beginning, would be the way to go.
Call me old fashion, but having someone right there to guide you through the basics could be the difference that a new player needs.
Once you have dealt with basic methods and how to perform the easier tasks, then you would have a better background for approaching on-line lessons.
I know and I agree. 1 or 2 hands-on meetings would be huge in the learning curve. But I'm dealing with the landscape I have in front of me. And I can do the fundamental stuff.
 

1 21 gigawatts

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Having a 9 year old son who wanted a guitar but hasn't shown much interest since getting one, I wouldn't expect much. 9 year olds don't have the patience for online lessons. If your grand daughter does, here is what I would suggest.

Justin Guitar.com has a great beginners course that is free. I'd suggest watching it with your GD, so Justin is the teacher, but you are there to provide the hands on help. This will provide exposure to the basics before spending any money on in-person (or online) lessons.
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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Having a 9 year old son who wanted a guitar but hasn't shown much interest since getting one, I wouldn't expect much. 9 year olds don't have the patience for online lessons. If your grand daughter does, here is what I would suggest.

Justin Guitar.com has a great beginners course that is free. I'd suggest watching it with your GD, so Justin is the teacher, but you are there to provide the hands on help. This will provide exposure to the basics before spending any money on in-person (or online) lessons.
That's a good suggestion. I've seen him recommended a lot on other forums.

And as I alluded to in the initial post I am buying these with zero expectations.
 

chris m.

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You might consider tuning the guitar into an open tuning for a while so the kid can just enjoy strumming and having a nice sound come out. Then "graduate" to standard tuning.

A guitar that doesn't hurt the fingers as much and doesn't require as much of a stretch helps a lot. I started my son out on a nylon-stringed ukelele, then a half-sized classical, then a 3/4 sized Strat, and now he has a full-sized Squier Strat. For a nine-year old, I think a half- or 3/4-sized classical would be pretty ideal.

I am a big advocate of learning to sing and play actual songs to start out. Try to find a simple song that the kid really likes and help her learn how to sing and play the song. You start out with very simple strumming, and move up to more complex strumming or finger-picking.

I agree with finding a good, in-person teacher, perhaps a female one since your grandchild is a girl....it might allow a more natural, immediate human connection and provide a better role model.

You might also look into whether there are any group classes available for kids. Some kids really thrive in a group setting, and it's generally cheaper than one-on-one lessons.

Kids have spent so much time on Zoom that I think any opportunity to have direct human contact with a nice, simpatico mentor is likely to make a world of difference.

I had lots and lots of lessons as a kid and the very best teachers definitely tried to get a sense of what I was most excited about playing and focused on teaching me exactly that. Knowing that all the key information regarding music theory, technique, etc., could be embedded within that process of learning songs that I wanted to learn.
 

OmegaWoods

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I would recommend Fender Play (play.fender.com) or Justin Guitar. Both are fantastic, online resources. I think an actual teacher is your best bet.

@1 21 gigawatts suggestion is solid. "Attend" Justin's lessons together so he's the teacher and you can "help".
 

Greggorios

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Justin Guitar.com has a great beginners course that is free. I'd suggest watching it with your GD, so Justin is the teacher, but you are there to provide the hands on help. This will provide exposure to the basics before spending any money on in-person (or online) lessons.
+1, I agree that a 1 on 1 instruction in person is preferable but I would also 2nd @1 21 gigawatts suggestion on Justin Guitar.com. Justin's terrific and I see and hear consistent praise from others too. He's easy to understand and has clearly invested a ton of time and energy into putting these lessons together.:)
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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You might consider tuning the guitar into an open tuning for a while so the kid can just enjoy strumming and having a nice sound come out. Then "graduate" to standard tuning.

A guitar that doesn't hurt the fingers as much and doesn't require as much of a stretch helps a lot. I started my son out on a nylon-stringed ukelele, then a half-sized classical, then a 3/4 sized Strat, and now he has a full-sized Squier Strat. For a nine-year old, I think a half- or 3/4-sized classical would be pretty ideal.

I am a big advocate of learning to sing and play actual songs to start out. Try to find a simple song that the kid really likes and help her learn how to sing and play the song. You start out with very simple strumming, and move up to more complex strumming or finger-picking.

I agree with finding a good, in-person teacher, perhaps a female one since your grandchild is a girl....it might allow a more natural, immediate human connection and provide a better role model.

You might also look into whether there are any group classes available for kids. Some kids really thrive in a group setting, and it's generally cheaper than one-on-one lessons.

Kids have spent so much time on Zoom that I think any opportunity to have direct human contact with a nice, simpatico mentor is likely to make a world of difference.

I had lots and lots of lessons as a kid and the very best teachers definitely tried to get a sense of what I was most excited about playing and focused on teaching me exactly that. Knowing that all the key information regarding music theory, technique, etc., could be embedded within that process of learning songs that I wanted to learn.
I have done open tuning for her when she's come over and then helped her do a 3 chord song, so I'm considering that as well.

The guitar is a Squier mini-Strat so hopefully that is easy enough on the fingers, but I'll check action.

Your description of finding songs she likes and learning to play them is exactly how I taught myself at 24. I just started on 3 chord Stones songs I loved, and kept going. Music being what it is today it might be tougher to find songs that translate as easily.

And the rest are solid comments too.
 

trev333

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A 3/4 nylon acoustic.... that would be my pick, too....

easy to drag around and bash about without annoying the crap out of everyone with a badly played electric... ;)
 

trev333

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does the local school she goes to have music classes?...

if she was in a group with other kids learning guitar too, it might make it more fun/interesting.
 

AcresWild

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It's been a long time since I've taught anyone to play, and even then I was just a stupid kid (still am, sure)

I only had experience teaching high school kids, but what I remember REALLY made them get engaged with the instrument more than anything else I could find was teaching them how to play music that they loved

You could take the time to successfully teach them how to do something that was technically impressive for a beginner and they'd be kind of proud of it at best--but teach them a simple riff/chord progression of their favorite nirvana/beatles/whatever song and they get this look in their eyes like they discovered fire
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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It's been a long time since I've taught anyone to play, and even then I was just a stupid kid (still am, sure)

I only had experience teaching high school kids, but what I remember REALLY made them get engaged with the instrument more than anything else I could find was teaching them how to play music that they loved

You could take the time to successfully teach them how to do something that was technically impressive for a beginner and they'd be kind of proud of it at best--but teach them a simple riff/chord progression of their favorite nirvana/beatles/whatever song and they get this look in their eyes like they discovered fire
Absolutely agree on them learning to play songs they liked. It's how I taught myself.

I'll have to ask my daughter what music the granddaughter might like that can translate to guitar.
 

trev333

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Start with the finger work, get those little soft hands into shape trying the cowboy chords and a few basic scales, strumming, etc. Find the shapes that she gets..and then get her to try and string a few of them together...

Explain to her what a guitar actually is and what it can do....it's a drum with strings... you can beat on it or play melodies on it..

tell her..YOU can write songs and sing them, too.....if you want,

..and carry your guitar anywhere to play them...:)
 

1 21 gigawatts

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I have done open tuning for her when she's come over and then helped her do a 3 chord song, so I'm considering that as well.

The guitar is a Squier mini-Strat so hopefully that is easy enough on the fingers, but I'll check action.

Your description of finding songs she likes and learning to play them is exactly how I taught myself at 24. I just started on 3 chord Stones songs I loved, and kept going. Music being what it is today it might be tougher to find songs that translate as easily.

And the rest are solid comments too.
The mini Squire is a good one. That is what I got my son. It sets up like any other strat (low action is achievable) and the size is perfect for kids. I put 10's on it and you can do 2 step bends like Gilmour.

JustinGuitar is a big proponent of learning songs early, so he mixes songs in with the lessons.
 

telekaster1999

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No affiliation and I've never taking a lesson from him, but if were starting out I'd take lesson from that guy on Active Melody. I've watched his YouTube channel alot and I like his style of explaining things, much like the way I was taught years ago from my uncle.
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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I put 10's on it and you can do 2 step bends like Gilmour.

You just gave me a panic attack wondering if the mini had a trem and how could I be so stupid to not have looked for that!

It does not. Whew...

no trem done.png
 




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