Better Than DIY: Why Guitar Lessons Make A Difference For Kids

If your child wants to learn to play the guitar, you might be tempted to let them use online videos and other resources like chord charts and tabs to help them teach themselves. Guitar is an easier instrument to self-teach, but kids can benefit from real guitar lessons for several reasons. Learn why taking actual lessons might be better than a DIY approach to learning guitar. 

1. Fitting the instrument properly

A guitar teacher may have an array of guitars to chose from and can help your child begin with a guitar that properly fits their body. This way, you know what size of instrument to rent or buy. The guitar is cumbersome, and can be hard for children to handle, so using a large, adult-sized guitar can make learning difficult.

2. Avoiding bad habits

Self-trained guitarists learn bad habits in order to make playing easier at first but then playing becomes harder later. For example, most guitarists begin by learning on an acoustic guitar. They start by learning some chords and strum patterns. However, the strumming hand needs to be held properly in order to mute or unmute the unplayed strings or played strings, depending on the desired sound. Once you plug a guitar into an amp, the sound of your hand brushing against the strings becomes audible and makes for some messy and even unpleasant music. It's hard to change the way your hand sits on the guitar after teaching yourself to play one way. Start your child off right by getting professional lessons at the start. Proper form is just as important for the guitar as it is for the piano or violin. 

3. Musical theory and training

You can learn to play a song on the guitar without learning any of the notes, any of the song theory, or even any of the strong names. A self-taught guitarist might be able to play plenty fo tabs or even strum the chords of some songs, but if you ask them to compose or give you a note on the guitar, they will be lost. A good guitarist can improvise, follow along, and pick up tunes by knowing the theory of how the guitar works and how music is adapted to guitar. Your child will learn this ability with lessons.

4. Encouragement during the initial starting phase.

Starting guitar is the hardest part of getting going. Your child's fingers and wrists might be sore from pushing down strings, and they might want to quit. A professional teacher can be more influential than a parent or internet video in helping a kid feel confident enough to keep playing.