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Best time for children to start playing?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by landa, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. landa


    Jan 4, 2006
    Hello there, I was wondering when do you think is the best time for kids to start playing the guitar (bass or rythm)?

    I play bass, but I also got a coulple of electric guitars. Now, my daughter is gonna me 3yrs old soon & she already wants to play (actually destroy my guitars).

    She is still young to start, but maybe at 5yrs or 6yrs, should be fine.

    what you think?!
  2. When they begin to show an interest.
  3. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004

    When they begin to show interest, that's the time to foster it. Buy a beater instrument so that they can beat on it all day if they want. At 3, they really just want to make noise, but that's also the time to teach the fundementals and the identification of notes. They are like sponges at that age.
  4. TheDecline


    Mar 9, 2006
    lawl....sponges....but its true :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
  5. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB

    Worked for my kids :bassist:
  6. ge9375


    Sep 5, 2004
    At the risk of citing "research" for which I cannot readily provide a reference.... it is my understanding that a child that takes up an instrument at age 8 or 9 for example, can "catch up" rather quickly to a student who has played since age 6 or 7. So, it may take a 6 year old two years to get to "skill level X", while it may take an 8 year old just four months to get to "skill level X".

    Nonetheless, if there's no interest, you'll be in for the long haul of constantly nagging your child to practice. I started piano at age 7 and resented it (and the pressure to continue) until age 13. It wasn't until then that my passion drove my skills to expand.

    Depending on the child, this can be a tough situation. You want to foster interest by encouraging, but then not cross that line of simply forcing them to do it. In my case, my parents probably did the right thing by "forcing" me to keep taking lessons from age 7 to 13..... that's a lot of nagging, are you up for it?
  7. landa


    Jan 4, 2006
    hehehe, I would like my daughter to play but I dont like the idea to force her. But I think you are right, you have to force kids to a certain limit tough. Right know she is too obssed with Spongebob & other creatures, so I might give her more time till I buy her a crap guitar to destroy

  8. Yep - get the beater, but as a guide as to exactly when they're old enough for the right sized axe, have them extend their arms out to their sides - just like they're describing the size of the fish that got away, or when they say, "I love you THIIIIIS much"

    Once they're in that stance, have them bend their fingers forward. If the guitar/bass they're thinking of getting (or you're thinking of getting them) fits in that space, it's the right size for them.

    I wanted to play guitar when I was five years old. Mom and dad took me to a music store where they did this to me. The guitar did not fit, and the sales person told my parents to bring him back in a year. I couldn't wait for my 6th birthday. I also found out that since I showed an interest then, and the interest was explored AND NOT SIMPLY SATISFIED, the ensuing year would make the determination if I would be committed to practice.

    It worked - been playing for almost 40 years now, and I look forward to picking up a guitar or bass for at least 15 minutes every day.

    Today's problem - nobody does that anymore. Everyone gets the kids what they want right away as a birthday gift, or without them having to put any funds toward it. This wasnt just an edification for me, it was a life lesson.
  9. By the way, I'm not sure this belongs in Bass Guitars, but I'm glad it was!!!

  10. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    I've been wondering about some of these issues, too.

    I started playing electric bass at 13, and much later began playing upright bass seriously. I've always felt at a disadvantage for not being able to start on a string instrument at, say, 8 or 9 or 10. Then again, I felt like I made sufficiently quick advancement on French horn, which I started at 12, and electric bass.

    Some of the musicians you could point to as being very successful started very young -- Wynton Marsalis, for instance, began playing trumpet at 4 or 5. I think this holds true for some of the violin/cello virtuosos, too.

    I have mixed issues about "forcing" kids to play, etc. I'm very glad that my mom made me take piano lessons in first and second grade. I quit after that (except for a year of lessons again in 10th grade), but I will be forever thankful that I developed basic keyboard facility and a basic understanding of notes/rhythms/chords/harmony, etc. as a result of that experience.

    So what do I do about my kids, age 6 and 9? I've basically decided NOT to push them, I guess. Because of a program at their school, they both have played violin. My son (9) switched to bass for this school year. He does okay with it, but he's not at all motivated to do any type of practicing, and, so far, I haven't resorted to extreme measures to get him to do it. We have a piano at home, but I haven't forced either one to take lessons. Maybe I should.
  11. I am in the same boat. I really want my daughter and son to have a chance to get an early start playing bass. But size does matter here. I need to find a reasonable, short-scale beater bass that their tiny hands can actually play. Any suggestions?

    I am a Victor Wooten fan and have read enough about him (and his brothers) to know the reason they all started playing was because music was always on around them while growing up. So I try to get my bass out as often as I can and play along with their favorite songs to show them how much fun it is. I think this is key - that they associate playing an instrument with having a really great time!

    Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress...
  12. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    When they are too young, It's gee whiz effect. They'll pick it up for a while and if they can't do anything they'll ignore it.
    Everyone thought I was nuts when I bought my daughter a cheap skate board when she was entirely too young. She found out she couldn't do anything with it and left it in the closet. When she was big enough she got another one.
    I think their hands have to be big enough and have to be developed enough to learn or your wasting your time.
    She picked up Drums in her late teens and is very gifted.
    At 3, get them a toy.
  13. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    In the womb.

  14. logdrum

    logdrum Formerly known as noelpaz Supporting Member

    Guitar -- Open tune it for instant satisfaction -- get drums or percussion and a old piano. Add a cheap Karaoke from Walmart and some cheap recorders (flute) Put it on their playroom or have them full access

    If they have an aptitude for it -- they'll pick it up. If they are destined to be non artistic lawyers -- you can't do anything about it.

    Oh once in a while videotape them playing. Also if you have a drum circle or jam let them come in. When we practice at my house, my kids would play a riff or 2 on the keyboard on top of a vamp from the "band". They are not musically gifted but they are having fun.
  15. verbass


    Apr 26, 2004
    dayville ct
    I have two boys 2 and 5 the five year old sits behind the keyboard and plinks out rythyms the two sits behind the drum kit in the living room ( my wife's a musician too otherwise the gear would be out in the garage ) and is beginning to count fours very well. WE'RE ALL GONNA BE DEAF! anyhow if they show interest and its fun just sneak in the structure of lessons as they tolerate it. :hyper:
  16. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I was lucky, my daughter has a natural talent for the drums the likes I have not seen before. She's ambidextrous. Her boyfriend on the other hand I actually threatend to shoot if he ever touched the drums again.

  17. ...or anything else!!!;)
  18. arizonabass


    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Certainly not before 8AM.
  19. matrok


    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
  20. I started playing both piano and guitar at a pretty young age...either 6 or 7, I can't quite remember now. I didn't start playing a bass until 10 years later or so, and I'm quite glad that I did that way as well.

    I think starting out with the piano or keyboard makes the most sense. It teaches you the music end of things which in the end makes picking up any other instrument that much easier to learn. I also found the technique of piano playing to be muh easier at that age as well. I really wanted to play the guitar a lot more at that age, but the technique frustrated me quite a bit to the point that I didn't want to play guitar anymore. Hitting keys is easier that picking or plucking strings.

    When the time came that I wanted to play the bass, I firmly believe that waiting until I was older made my learning curve much better. My right hand touch was better, and the fretting on my left hand was easier as well. My ear was also trained, so all in all, it was a much better transition to learning when I was older.

    I'm a big believer in putting children in settings where they can succed rather than potentially getting frustrated and quitting. To me, so much of both guitar and bass is technique, and unless you have an extremely patient child, it could be a good way to drive them away from music rather than turning them on to music.

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