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Getting My Seven Year Old Started

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by stratovarius, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. stratovarius


    Mar 20, 2010
    I am a long time guitar player and a part time bass dabbler. My son wants to get started on bass. I can help him with theory, but my technique on bass is a bit weak and I have no experience in music instruction.

    He has been playing piano for three years. He has a good ear and great timing, but has a work ethic and tolerance for frustration that are typical for someone his age. In other words, not much! I need to keep this fun for him and give him an opportunity for frequent tangible results in order to keep him motivated. I think he would enjoy jamming with me if we can find some simple things to start.

    I have already bought him a solid body Kala U Bass. It sounds surprisingly good and I think he should be able to handle it with no problem. Any and all advice is much appreciated!
  2. dexter3d


    Jul 4, 2005
    You must teach fretting hand technique (1-2-4 method, correct palm curvature) and plucking hand technique (muting, alternating, string skipping). As far as content goes, start with play alongs with 1-5, two notes per bar. Pop songs, anything. Best - get him a teacher with classical DB background.
  3. stratovarius


    Mar 20, 2010
    Yes, I am running across this 1-2-4 concept. I have super long fingers, so I guess I have been getting by without it. I definitely don't want to start him out with all of my bad habits!
  4. A seven year old wakes up in a new world each morning. Keep it fun. How? Show him how to pound a tonic root to the beat while you two have fun playing together. In my opinion that is about all his little fingers will handle.

    When he can keep the beat add something else. What else? Follow the chords pounding roots... Introduce chord charts. Keep it simple. His attention span will only handle so much.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2018
  5. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    I teach that age group often. I start with coordination and note production. I don’t personally teach them 1-2-4 (unless it’s upright lessons), from day one I have them playing each string on frets 1-2-3-4 using all 4 fingers, until they can produce proper notes without collapsing finger joints, usually 1-3 lessons and they’ve got it. I also have them tuning their own instrument with an electronic tuner from the get go, which they often find fun (with assistance as needed of course, every kid gets it at a different pace). I start with easy songs as soon as they’re physically making good notes, “undone” by Weezer is a lesson classic :)

    U-basses are fine but they’re SO short and easy to fret, that they don’t necessarily translate to more common bass guitars technique-wise. Often kids that age can also handle a Bronco bass or similar, but of course them kids is all different sizes, aren’t they. Not a huge deal, it will just be perhaps a bit of a shock when he moves on to a bigger bass, nothing he can’t get over in a couple days or weeks.

    Interestingly, my own kids take voice lessons from another teacher but aren’t motivated to play any strings like me, but I do teach my 9 and 5 year old neices. Kudos to you if you’re able to get your kid focused! It’s more productive to outsource in my case :)
  6. stratovarius


    Mar 20, 2010
    Thanks, everyone for your suggestions!
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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