What Age Is Best to Start Guitar Lessons?

what age is best to start guitar lessons

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All extracurricular music activities can be remarkably beneficial for adolescents. Studies indicate that music training can positively affect cognitive skills, school grades, personality, and more. 

According to another study, music students tend to score notably higher than non-musical peers in maths, science, and English. Not to mention other effects beyond the scope of this post. 

If your child is showing interest in music at an early age, particularly the guitar, and you’re not so sure what age is best for your child should start taking guitar lessons, this article is for you.

What’s the Best Age to Start Guitar Lessons?

We understand that you’ve clicked on this article to get a specific answer to the question of what  the best age to start guitar lessons is, but in reality, there’s really no one correct answer. 

Generally speaking, the best age to start guitar lessons is the age at which the person shows an obvious level of interest and enthusiasm about learning how to play the guitar, simple as that. 

Any time is an optimal time to start learning how to play a musical instrument or any skill for that matter, whether we’re talking about a 6-year-old kid, 14-year-old teen, or 30-year-old adult. 

When it comes to learning how to play guitar or any other musical instrument, it all boils down to motivation. Without the motivation to practice, there won’t be any form of observable progress.

With that out of the way, the concise answer to the question of what the best age to start guitar lessons is would be 7 years olds. However, you must always keep in mind that all children are different. 

Another way you can look at it, a more realistic way, if you will, is that if a kid is comfortably able to hold a small-scale guitar as well as press its strings, chances are they’re ready for lessons. 

Now, there are a bunch of other factors that must be taken into consideration, including the size of a child’s hands, the level of experience of their guitar teacher, and, of course, interest level. 

Okay, so if 7 years old is the best age for a child to learn guitar playing, what’s the minimum age to start learning the instrument? The following section attempts to answer that very question. 

What’s the Minimum Age to Start Guitar Lessons?

The minimum age for young children to start learning how to play the guitar is 6 years old, which isn’t that far from what’s mostly considered as the best age to start guitar lessons (7 years old).

Can kids below the age of 6 learn guitar? Well, they can, but they’re surely going to struggle and face some difficulties. Also, the younger the child, the more proficient the teacher has to be. 

Some guitar teachers may not have much experience teaching young children. And even if they do, teaching a child that’s under 6 years old is a lot more challenging than teaching older kids. 

You might be thinking that the 1-year age difference between a 5- and a 6-year-old isn’t all that significant, but it is notably significant in terms of brain development and fine motor skills. 

The younger the child, the less control they’ll have over a guitar, which can lead to a great deal of frustration and might result in the child completely losing interest in learning the instrument. 

Your average guitar teacher might be able to achieve notable results with a child of 6 years old, as the child’s brain and fine motor skills will be developed enough to pick up on the teachings. 

If you hire that same guitar teacher to teach a child younger than 6, chances are the teacher is going to fail to deliver their teachings to the child, resulting in partial or complete loss of interest.

Rather than hiring a guitar teacher for your child who’s under the age of 6, try exposing them to music at such an early age. There are numerous ways you can go about doing that. 

Have you ever heard of Guitar Hero? Almost everyone who played this game as a kid ended up being obsessed with playing guitar. Maybe you can try that with your child and see how it works. 

Don’t Force Your Child to Take Guitar Lessons

Sometimes it’s not the child that wants to play guitar, it’s the parent that wants their child to play guitar. If you’re pushing your child to learn the guitar, chances are it won’t really work.

If a child has to sit through hours of lessons without having any initial interest in learning to play the instrument, it would be a total waste of time and money, as it won’t result in any progress.

Your child might not be enthusiastic about learning an instrument now, but who knows, maybe a few years down the line their interest will be sparked and they’ll be open to taking lessons. 

You must give your child time to figure out their own interests and not push what you’d like them to do onto them, as that might eliminate any chances of them developing an interest in music. 

How to Know a Child Is Ready for Guitar Lessons?

Before hiring a tutor to teach your little one how to play the guitar, you must first make sure that your child is ready for guitar lessons. Here are a few signs that indicate your child is ready:

  • Minimum Age of 6 Years – According to our research, kids need to be 6 years of age or older in order to benefit from guitar lessons. Children that are below 6 don’t usually have the required motor skills and level of dexterity to handle a small-scale guitar comfortably, let alone pick up on the information that a guitar teacher has to offer. 
  • High Interest in Playing Guitar – If your kid isn’t showing any signs of interest in playing guitar, then it’s not wise to force them to take guitar lessons. Rather, you want to let them discover their own interests. And in the process, you can spark and nurture their interest in picking up the instrument by playing guitar-oriented music around the house. 
  • Level of Maturity – Some children might be greatly interested in playing the guitar, but it doesn’t mean that they have the required level of maturity to sit down, listen to their tutor, and apply the teachings they’re given. Make sure your little one is mature enough to take guitar lessons before spending good money on a guitar teacher. 
  • Motivation to Practice – Practice makes perfect. Without consistent practice, no actual progress can be achieved. If you plan on getting your little one a guitar tutor, you’ll have to help manage their practice time and balance it with their other daily activities, such as school, homework, playtime, sleep, and such. Help them manage their time properly. 
  • Sufficient Attention Span – You also need to make sure that your child’s attention span is sufficient enough to establish and maintain a consistent practice schedule of about 15 to 30 minutes per day. If your little one is easily distracted and doesn’t have the required attention span, you should wait a while before having them start taking guitar lessons. 
  • Basic Finger Nimbleness – Your kid’s hands don’t have to flaunt great strength in order to play the guitar, but a child that has basic finger dexterity will be able to handle a guitar and press its chords with ease, allowing them to learn songs more quickly and efficiently. If your kid cannot hold a small guitar comfortably, you should postpone guitar lessons. 

How to Prepare Your Child for Guitar Lessons?

If your child is displaying an interest in playing the guitar but is not ready to begin taking lessons now, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare your child for lessons later on. 

  • Buy Your Kid a Half-Sized Guitar – Simply buy your little one a small-scale guitar as a gift so that they can pick it up and play with it whenever they feel like it. 
  • Let Your Child Play Guitar Hero – If your child likes video games, there’s no better way to spark their interest in the guitar than to let them play the popular Guitar Hero.
  • Pick Up the Guitar Yourself – Our children tend to copy us, so if you want to spark your kid’s interest in picking up the guitar, try picking it up yourself and play some kids’ songs. 

In Summary

To summarize this article, children have to be at least 6 years of age to start guitar lessons, with the best age to start being 7 years of age. Kids below 6 don’t really benefit from taking lessons. 

Once again, if your little one isn’t interested in picking up the instrument, don’t push them to take lessons. Let them discover their own interests while trying to spark their interest in music. 

Photo of author
Rick is the founder of All Stringed. He started playing with a classical guitar when he was 10, but changed soon to electric guitar and later also to an acoustic. You can find more about him here.