how to teach a kid?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Yvon, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    how to teach a kid?

    I would like to teach bass to a 4 years old kid. What should he learn first?
    How to old the bass?
    easy song on open strings?

    Would it be possible for him to learn on a regular bass with a capo at the 12th fret maybe?
    Should I buy a 3/4?

    Any hints will be helpful!

    Thank you
  2. 4 is to young, at least wait untill the kid is 6.
  3. 2 years old? I doubt that, very much...

    OK, so I just checked out, and i quote

  4. Maybe you could teach the kid to "play" like Fieldy, even a two year old could do that ... :D
  5. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I let my 6 year old just sit with my basses and do what he wants,occassionally I might point something out to him,mostly regarding what pitch's,intervals sounds he's making.He has the open strings notated on a page in front of him,in whole notes,half notes and quarters,sometimes he'll play them in time,others not.I think the most important thing at that age is to sit at a keyboard and start to explore there.If a child can start to get a grasp of harmony at a relatively young age,learning the bass will be markedly easier,right now his hands are too small to really do anything technical.I'm listening to a lot of Chet Baker right now and we sing along with his solo's in the car,because they're so accessible,so he's learning real language right there,it's fun,and he does'nt know it.Giving a kid at whatever age a bass without some prior initiation into harmony and musical appreciation usually results in the " slap 'n' tap I'm faster than you but can't read or play a blues " kid we see so many of these days.:) IMO.

    (This comparing ourselves in terms of technique,style and ability to Victor Wooten is silly,the man's a virtuoso)
  6. Probably one of the most important things is to make sure the kid is having fun !
  7. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I have a five year old boy and a seven year old girl. Both children have shown an interest in the bass - they see me, as well as other family members and friends who play various instruments and they want to learn an instrument. I really only play one instrument that I could teach to a child. They are still young enough to think Dad is cool and everybody knows bass is cool so bass it is.
    I think that the #1 thing is that the student (at any age) is beginning their musical studies because they have chosen to learn about music and the specific instrument (bass) that they have chosen to be their musical voice.
    I have always allowed both of my children to try out my bass, and have always asked only that they treat it as an instrument, not a toy. Neither one could reach the first fret but that was okay as the first thing I showed them was proper strumming hand technique. I showed them both how to play open strings playing 4 quarter notes on the E, then the same on the A and so on... Over a period of time, my daughter (the seven year old) showed that she was willing to practice that type of thing. That is when I got her her first bass. (30" scale - a must for young children)
    The five year old still "practices", he plays with my bass which I allow / encourage so that he can feel involved and feel like his studies have begun. Really, he is not ready yet.
    The seven year old doesn't practice all that often - but when she does practice she does her open string exercise, a fretting exercice I made up for her using only the first three frets and she works on a couple of childrens songs that can be played with mostly opens strings (I think Ba Ba Black sheep/ Twinkle Twinkle Little star only use one fretted note when played in E...I'll have to go look at that...) I never push them, I let the seven year old decide when she wants to practice and I don't push the five year old to start doing exercises and practiceing. First and foremost I want everybody to have a love affair with their instrument.
    In my opinion your 4 year old might be best served just to get his hands on your bass and to start talking about music and what bass does in music and how bass guitars are played as well as wether or not he wants to have his own junior sized bass someday and how his studies will work when he starts to learn bass. In my experience, a first grader is usually at a good age to start.
  8. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Lean the bass up in a corner and tell the kid to not touch the bass under any circumstances.

    He'll be very intimate with the bass very shortly.

    Seriously though, that's too young to teach a kid to play an instrument!
  9. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    There is a bass at a local music shop....

    It is really old, and doesn't have the best hardware in the world...

    But it is the size of a regular electrice guitar...

    If you really wanted, you could send me the money to buy it, and I could send you the bass...
  10. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha..... man, can I relate.

    I too think 4 is too young. Find him a beater Bronco (or a Sears bass) and let him jump on it.
  11. If he can't play Chromatic Fantasy by age 5, forget it!!!..........

    Just kidding....Fun is the key...then, after 3 months, it's hardcore Theory, baby!!!!
  12. No, it really isn't.
  13. The topic has seemingly changed as to whether they should be taught to play and that should entirely depend on whether the child wants to. If he/she has shown a keen interest, then perhaps you should try to figure out whether this is going to be a real hobby or just a temporary phase. If its the start of something long, buy them a 3/4 bass to help them along. If not, buy a capo and see how it goes - if interest grows, then buy a 3/4.

    As for how to teach them, it would come down to the same as teaching any person how to play an instrument. Getting them to hit a clean note using good technique would be the ideal place to begin. Whatever you do, patience is the key...

  14. You've never had kids, have you? :)
  15. It's always far easier to teach someone else's kids to do something than it is to teach your own, and it was never specified what the relationship with the child was. :D Perhaps, if you are a parent to the child, it would better if you were to get someone else to teach them. :bassist:

  16. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    maybe he can play your bass like an upright :oops:

    why not ....
  17. I would say it is not too early to start with an instument, but bass is a very large instrument and therefore physically difficult to play for the "small people" :meh: