Electric Guitar for a Child

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
Stephen Brown
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Roger wrote:These are the weirdest arguments I've ever heard. If you wanna do something, go out and do it. It's like saying it's better to start cross skiiing if you wanna climb mountains.
Should kids who wants to play the piano start on keyboards too? Do I have to sing classical music before I can sing rock music?

I started playing guitar when I was 8. Did I ruin 20 years of pure rock n' roll joy because I didn't start out on a wind instrument or a violin?

I can give you 6 reasons that electric guitar is easier:

Thinner strings, smaller body, closer between strings making it easier to play chords, the neck is narrower, easier to press down the strings.
And oh, did I mention it looks cooler, sounds cooler, you get more girls and you actually have a bigger chance of having a musical career. Did I say IS cooler?
I child may have less of an issue with nylon strings cutting into the finger tips.
Yes "may" have an issue, but it's not a rule. I'll tell you a story, I played nylon string for 4 years before I started playing the electric. After the first day of electric joy I had blisters on all 4 fingers on my left hand and couldn't play for a week. I didn't care if it hurt, I had FUN. Let me repeat that: F U N !
A electic helps take some of the key learning elements away.
what key elements? what can't I possibly learn on an electric that I just HAVE to have a nylon for?
it is not the same as teaching the techniques at root level.
What is so "root" about a classical guitar? Tradition? The hand and arm positions are exactly the same.
I don't have to justify myself to you.
Stephen Brown
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Big Bad Bill wrote:I totally agree with you, Roger. People once started with Spanish or acoustic guitars because electrics were just too expensive to buy and children are fickle in whatever is their current craze. Now, however, electrics and amps are cheap enough to try start out on immediately and I feel a child is more likely to persevere with electric guitar, because of the 'cool' factor.

If Lewis Hamilton had started out in an F1 car, maybe he'd be world champion at the age of 12 (or dead, admittedly!).
Driver's start in go kart's for a reason.
DomitianX
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When I used to give lessons kids had a much easier and more enjoyable time if they played a small scale electric than an acoustic, even a small scale acoustic. There were some kids that preferred the acoustics, but it was usually because they liked that style of music, or someone in the family played acoustic and they tried to emulate them.

Some people just feel the need to make kids "suffer" so to speak so they "learn their roots" or something.
Stephen Brown
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Maybe it's down to a back ground thing. ie: If you start on an electric then why not or if you start on nylon.etc.

I genually believe that nylon is the way to go for a 1st time starter.

The articualtions are different for a start with different physics involved.

Most people with a nylon play in a contemporary style anyway when they begin. It's few & far between that play a strict classical style.

The guitar is cool. It doesn't matter if it's nylon,steel,electric. :D

I've had no trouble inspiring any of the children I've taught with nylon classical guitars.

Nylon is very cool. :D
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gk5p_mA7jZs
:wink:
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Last edited by Stephen Brown on Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Roger
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FRETPICK wrote: I don't have to justify myself to you.
Oh yeah, let's all just throw out vague arguments and then refuse to answer when asked about them.
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miker
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Get the kid one of these ( :P ):
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jemgirl
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haha lol miker,thats a good choice.
Azrael
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I have to say, I agree with not starting out on an electric. I learned on a steel string acoustic when I started. My playing was better when I moved to electrics because the action on my acoustic was a bear. Learning barre chords on it was brutal. I could barre absolutely anything once I got an electric.

Also, it's never a bad idea to inspire an interest in the classical repertoire of an instrument, and playing steel string acoustic did that for me.

So, I guess my arguments would be.....
1. Increases finger dexterity and possibly auditory perception
2. Inspires appreciation or at least understanding of the instrument
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Big Bad Bill
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Azrael wrote:So, I guess my arguments would be.....
1. Increases finger dexterity and possibly auditory perception
I can see the finger dexterity idea is a possible advantage (can't understand the aural advantage though), but you were clearly a motivated child. On the whole one has to tread a fine line between making sufficient progress on an instrument in order to encourage the child to continue. If you insisted that every child has an acoustic with an 'egg slice' action then we'd have half the number of musicians that we do now-and no Razorlight, Killers et al. Hmmm, maybe its a good idea after all!:lol:
Azrael wrote:2. Inspires appreciation or at least understanding of the instrument
To a greater degree than electric? If so, why?
guitarmanK1982
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Isn't it obvious?

The main reason to start on a classical guitar is to develop dynamic control of the instrument (e.g. control over the volume produced).

This isn't such an issue on the electric, as the amp controls the volume more than the actual fingers (yes, you can still be dynamic on an electric, but the range is far less).

So, beginning on a classical is better as one develops a greater physical control of the sound produced from the instrument.





However, if the kid/parents want to begin with an electric, then it is up to them. If a classical was forced on a child who had no interest in classical, then it could actually put them off music, never mind putting them off guitar.


PS remember to size the instrument with the child e.g. the guitar should be roughly hip height.



PPS someone also mentioned string spacing on a classical, but gave the wrong explanation. The strings are wider apart on a classical to aid using the RH fingers i.e. they are spaced so that the RH fingers can fit between the strings. As a consequence, the neck is wider. But the reason for the width is to make fingerstyle playing easier.



Fretpick is correct in saying that beginning on classical is the best way, due to the aforementioned reason.


PPS Jeries your information regarding using a full-size guitar is simply dangerous. The guitar should be sized according to the child. A full size guitar can cause numerous problems in the child - ulnar nerve damage in the right arm due to the stretch over the body, carpal tunnel in the left hand due to the outstretching of the arm. The LH strain due to the stretch can also lead to frozen shoulder, and problems along the neck muscle, as the left arm is 'turned out' too much.

The best way to start is to buy a well-sized guitar for the child, then capo the guitar at, say, the 5th fret. This avoids any sort of strain on the left hand. As the kid grows/becomes more comfortable with the guitar, the capo can be moved down the neck.


I thought some people here taught guitar? They should know these things. These are the bascis.
Last edited by guitarmanK1982 on Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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boswell
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Ignore the "A child has to begin on an Acoustic" snobs get an electric which resembles as near as possible the child's hero and get them playing a simple version of their favorite songs immediately, theory, scales and chords can be brought in gradually.
guitarmanK1982
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I have to defend Fretpick here, as he is correct in saying the classical is the best instrument to start on.

I'm going to expand on what has been said so far:



Roger wrote:I can give you 6 reasons that electric guitar is easier:
For a start, being easier isn't an issue, as if the child only knows classical guitar, then it doean't know that there is 'easier' out there.

Easier is a relative term.

Secondly - classical IS easier to play, since with classical, the child will begin with single-note tunes, generally on the one string.

The vast majority of electric teachers begin with chords - which is completely wrong, as the fingers need to have individual strength before they are used as a unit.

Hence so many electric players get injuries through guitar playing - they jumped in the deep end too early.

We don't want the blind leading the blind.

How would you explain to a parent if you damaged their child's hand due to teaching them chords too early?



Roger wrote:Thinner strings
Once again, completely wrong and misinformed. The difficulty in the strings comes from the tension in the strings. Classical strings have less tension in them than electric strings - therefore, they are easier to play on.


Roger wrote:smaller body
Not necessarily, if the guitar is sized properly



Roger wrote:closer between strings making it easier to play chords
This actually makes it more difficult to play chords, as the fingers will be more constricted when holding in a chord on an electric.


Roger wrote: the neck is narrower
If the child is taught properly, and begins using a capo, then this isn't an issue.


Roger wrote:easier to press down the strings.
No it isn't. Refer to the 'thinner strings' answer.



Roger wrote:The hand and arm positions are exactly the same.
No they aren't. The majority of electric teachers don't teach using a footstool for the left foot, or encourage the classical position. Most electric teachers don't even know what Centering means.

The reason for the classical position (with the neck slanting up the way) is that it keeps the wrist straight when the student moves further up the neck. In the 'casual' electric playing position, the wrist bends as the student moves up the neck, as the angle of the neck isn't correct.

Hence lots of electric players also get major LH wrist injuries.



They should be enough reason to show that beginning on classical is the preferred way - not for any musical reasons, but purely from a technical/physical standpoint.


However, as already said, if the kid isn't interested in acoustic, then there will be problems.

A solution would be to play the kid some pop tunes on the classical e.g. do a few riffs, strum a few chords etc etc - this way, the kid will realise that the music he likes can in fact be played on a classical/acoustic guitar.
Guitaruss
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Bravo guitarmank1982, once again you have come across as a completely self-important arrogant TWAT !

Congrats !!!
Desert_Runner
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Bravo Guitaruss, you have just potentially sparked a flame war on what was and still is a good topic!

Congrats !!!
Guitaruss
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Desert_Runner wrote:Bravo Guitaruss, you have just potentially sparked a flame war on what was and still is a good topic!

Congrats !!!
Dont worry Bud i've no intention of starting a flame war.

Carry on !
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