The acoustic guitar rose to prominence in Australia in the 1930s when Tex Morton introduced an Americanised country music featuring the guitar. When rock hit Australia in the 1950s, the electric guitar became prominent throughout popular music. Meanwhile, classical guitar was mainly taught in conservatories.
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Information on Guitar for Kids in Australia
Is Guitar for your Kids?
Learning the guitar can:
- Enrich their lives through music
- Improve school performance: research is continuing to report positive associations between music education and performance in school subjects.
- Boost self-esteem and creativity
- Establish and ground an early interest in music
- Have fun
Get Your Kids Started!
Some guitar schools and teachers accept children as young as 3, but the perfect age to start is considered to be around 6 or 7 years old.
The first thing to decide is what sort of guitar the child will learn. The main choices are:
- Acoustic guitar ? nylon strings
- Easy on little fingers
- Best for classical, jazz, flamenco, folk
- Acoustic guitar ? steel strings
- Harder on fingers
- Best for pop, pop-rock, country
- Electric guitar
- Somewhat easier to play
- Easier to tune
- Minimal effort needed on strings
- Best for rock, metal, funk, alternative
- Requires amplifier, guitar cable, guitar pick
- Bass guitar
- Can be acoustic or electric but usually electric
- Often used as a backing instrument but also as solo in jazz, fusion, Latin, funk, rock and metal
- Be careful here, some children find that the Bass Guitar ? isn't as exciting as they anticipated
Choosing a Guitar
- Try before you buy. Don't buy a guitar over the Internet unless your child has tried the same model first.
- Make sure the guitar you buy is the right size for your child. Guitars come in small and half sizes for smaller children.
- Preferably, have someone who knows how to play the guitar with you when purchasing.
Ways to Learn to Play Guitar
- Books, videos, online lessons
- Chords, tablatures, playing with fingers or pick or strumming
- Can be useful supplement to formal lessons
- Relatively cheap or even free
- One on one lessons
- Best for kids
- Usual cost around $30 to $60 an hour, depending on the teacher and location
- Group lessons
- Offered by Yamaha (electric guitar) and others over semester
- Can work out cheaper but large (around $500) up-front payment
How do you find a guitar teacher?
- Check the ActiveActivities directory for Guitar teachers near you
- Check the reviews on the ActiveActivities directory
- Ask parents of budding guitarists
- If at all possible get references from past students and/or their parents
- A lot of guitar teachers will offer the first lesson for free. This is a great way to determine if the guitar teacher and your child are suited to work together
Stars and Events not to be missed!
You might not be able to get to the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, but most schools, every academy and many individual teachers put on concerts. Watching others perform can be quite motivating and instructive and can help kids in judging their own performance.
That is what makes Guitar one of the greatest kids' activities!