Inspiring a 10 year old guitarist? Song book recommendations?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio and Musicians Forum' started by AMc, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. AMc

    AMc
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    Hi All,

    My daughter has been having paid, small group guitar lessons at school for +2 years and doesn't really seem to be progressing.
    I'm hoping you can help me to help inspire her and work a bit harder to get a lot more enjoyment out of the guitar.

    There are a few problems
    1 - She doesn't practice unless nagged, we often don't have the energy to do that and bribery doesn't work.
    2 - The music tuition books the teacher uses don't have anything she wants to play which doesn't help with #1.
    3 - The teacher is only teaching her jazz/blues single notes, no chords - which means the sound she makes is thin and nothing like the music she hears on the radio so again doesn't help with #1.
    4 - I have my doubts about the teacher; he isn't teaching to grade exams and seems content to come in once a week, have a go at them about not practising and then fumble through the same song as last week. I've spoken to the school but they put the blame back on the kids for not practising, which is fair comment but not the whole story.

    I taught myself to play when I was a teenager because I really wanted to learn, but I can barely read music and have "my own techniques" :eek: which I'm loathed to pass on and undo proper training. I can encourage and work along with her though if she wants to!

    I was hoping to pick up some sheet music that would be easy enough to play but contemporary enough that she'd really want to try.
    I had a browse through on Musicroom but struggled to find anything that looks interesting.
    I had a book of "100 Superhits of the 80's" :) which I struggled through back in the day so pick up new chords. My experience was the transcriptions were often inclined towards piano and made the guitar parts really tricky (or perhaps I was and still am a bit rubbish :) ).

    Do any of you have any suggestions/recommendations for song books that won't be impossible to play but may inspire a bit of engagement?

    Any other tips and tricks to get kids to put in the effort?
     
  2. Toasty

    Toasty
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    My lad is 10, I tried teaching him a couple of years ago, but I'm no teacher and it was more of an experiment for us both than anything that took. Although we both enjoyed making a racket :D

    However, he has just started having lessons at school and the teacher is really good and has given him tabs based on simple tunes that he recognises. Things like frere jacques and the James bond theme. This has sparked something and he's enjoying playing tunes he knows and can appreciate if he's played well or not. To the point he now practises a lot and these tunes are becoming second nature and his fingering is getting better and chord structures are starting to form and he's learnt a scale or two.

    He's now bringing me back into the mix and I can show him more techniques and they are not alien to him, its great. His latest homework is living on a prayer, I'm enjoying it too!

    Not sure if this is helping, but I would recommend looking at the basics, even something like twinkle twinkle little star, this is in no way cool, but was amongst my sons tab sheets and something he could practise on his own and know himself whether it sounded right or not. This is something I did not appreciate when trying to teach him first time round.
     
  3. AMc

    AMc
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    I know what you mean - she did twinkle twinkle a couple of Christmases ago (!) and was pretty good at it. Then after loads of practice she went in to show the teacher who's reaction was to criticise how she was holding the guitar - something he never mentioned before. You can imagine how that affected an 8 year old's enjoyment and confidence :(

    Living on a prayer sounds like a laugh!

    I'm looking for specific titles to pick up with a bunch of songs if you have any from your son's work?
     
  4. Toasty

    Toasty
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    Sorry, not really, he has print outs that include guitar tab and the musical form, I may ask him to ask his teacher what to recommend, as I'd be interested too. It does remind me of my experiences, my guitar case even now is packed full of songs to crib from!

    A bit harsh to criticise after she'd practised. I know I'm conscious with my kids not to conflict with what they are taught, I may not agree with everything they've been told, or I do things in different ways to teachers, so I tell my kids to take what they want from what I can show them, be it maths, riding a bike, guitar, whatever, but when in class, follow what the teacher expects, as they're the ones assessing they're progress.
     
  5. reevesy

    reevesy
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    my daughter started off with a few proper lessons at school but did'nt enjoy it either.....so we bit the bullet and she had a few private lessons....and then she sort of got on with it on her own....really surprised me that she stuck with it as she doesn't listen to great deal of music but enjoys playing.

    I suppose there has to be a degree of interest/enjoyment otherwise its a bit like flogging a dead horse....if its down to the way shes being taught then probably best to stop to look at a few private lessons to see it she enjoys it more?
    not sure if it would hold the same interest for a 10 year old but loads of stuff on youtube...especially how to play her favourite songs simplified?......I've just bought the 'justinguitar beginners song book' for 17 quid....a 100 songs really nicely laid out and easy to follow.


    difficult to motivate kids.....I played drums as a kid as I took to it well and enjoyed it but had no interest in guitar even though people tried to show me a few times and only just started to learn it now.

    ....one thing I thought was great was that she was hooking up with friends via Skype and making songs up between them
     
  6. AMc

    AMc
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    The enjoyment thing is key. When we really got her to really practise she came on really fast, I was so angry when he knocked the stuffing out of her with that comment. "An ounce of criticism = a pound of praise" is true for all kids IMHO.

    I have feelers out for a private tutor. I contacted a couple but they don't have slots. I guess I'll need to keep looking. We're paying about £50 a term for the lessons at school but it seems to be pretty poor value for money. The problem is I don't want her to quit as I know with a little dedication she will enjoy herself - it was her idea to learn not mine!

    justinguitar beginners song book - looks more my era than hers but thanks for the suggestion :)

    Hadn't really thought of You Tube - she's a screen addict so that might be a way to engage her interest, at least a cheap way to show her some songs she likes I'll take a look :thumbsup:
     
  7. hyperfish

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    As an example take a look HERE.

    There's plenty of chords online for all ages and tastes, against buying a book that may have just a couple of interesting tunes.
     
  8. reevesy

    reevesy
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    you'd be surprised about the song book appealing to kids...taught my daughter 'these boots are made for walking' and she loves playing it as it bounces along.
     
  9. AMc

    AMc
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    Thanks for the chords site. I have a walk through a couple last night (using my phone) and it might work to kindle an interest.
    I think I may see if she wants to learn some chords and go from there.
    Any more suggestions are very welcome.

    Just came across Rocksmith for the PS3 - any good? Seems like an interesting idea but at £60 not for the feint hearted.
     
  10. Goooner

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    Rocksmith is excellent. It won't teach you to play on it's own, although the lessons in the newer one (RS2014) are a lot better than the first one.

    It's great for encouraging practice though and it starts off really easy if you've never played before and will gradually build up past a single note every 20 seconds or so to more notes and then chords.

    There are some great mini games to work on techniques, such as moving around the frets, scales and games to help practice switching between chords.

    Not sure if the songs would be of interest to a 10 year old, it's a while since my daughter was 10, but it might be worth having a look at the setlist.
     
  11. reevesy

    reevesy
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    just got to learn C (or a easy C add 9) D and E....loads of pop songs are wrote like that apparently..

    add a G and you can plod along to Adele's 'someone like you' very easily
     
  12. tonyrees687

    tonyrees687
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    I was 11 years old when my dad got me a guitar and got me some private lessons I just about remember my guitar teacher telling me I was really good but I didnt like it so I gave up and my dad was not happy. Anyway a few years later I started playing guitar agian with friends and we lernt together ,formed a band ,ect and never looked back been playing and still enjoying 30 years on. So does your daughter want to play guitar, or do you want her to play guitar, its a big difference.
     
  13. AMc

    AMc
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    I've heard a lot of people say they wished they stuck with instruments when they were younger, very few who tell me they're glad their parents let them give up the guitar/piano/trumpet....

    Initially she was the one who pestered us for lessons. There were guitars in the playground on Thursday mornings and she wanted to learn. She was too young but as soon as she was old enough she was signed up. Some of her friends have "quit" which seems to be super cool if you're 10, but as her parents we're not prepared to let her pack it in - at least not yet.
     
  14. RBZ5416

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    It's a difficult line to tread. You don't want them giving up on a whim but if you make it too much of a chore, they turn against it completely.

    It sounds like the teacher in school isn't up to much. Maybe enquire with the County Council to see what else they can offer? As well as lessons in school, Essex have weekend lessons available.

    Norfolk County Council - Norfolk Music Service Home Page June 2010
     
  15. AMc

    AMc
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    Indeed it is a very fine line. Sometimes I nag her a lot, sometimes I leave her alone for weeks and find her picking away by herself. We bribed her with a 50% increase in pocket money if she does 3x15 mins practice a week but surprisingly that had no effect at all - I guess I should be proud she's not greedy or....not....

    That's one of the reasons I'm trying to find good music that she actively wants to play - I know that the right tunes will encourage her to try harder which will result in better achievement which will result in more enthusiasm.

    I'm very disappointed with the current teacher, but as in all things at school I'm trying not to undermine him with my daughter.
     
  16. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    Well it shouldn't be too hard to work out her favourite tunes as she's probably singing them morning, noon & night (if the last 18 months one One Direction I've had to endure is anything to go by!). How about picking one of her favourites & learning it yourself, without her knowledge. Then just ask her to sing along with you playing. If she's up for that then it should be an easy transition to "Do you want to play along?".
     
  17. technoman28

    technoman28
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    I think your problem may have something to do with your opening line which is the "group" lesson. Often groups will be taught to lowest level rather than the tutor having time to spend pushing everyone to progress. Can't believe that she isn't getting enough chord work, as this is one of the basics that the "twiddly" bits are based on, getting to know where the notes are on the different strings.
    My son started at about age 12, started on oasis songs from chord sheets as they are mostly simple structures, moved on to Beatles stuff which although mostly simple had some interesting chords to get his head round and keep his interest up.
    He and his mate had private lessons for a while, brought him on a bit and improved his technique, but he gave them up and went his own way. He is now very proficient and not a lot daunts him. His mate, who carried on with the lessons, has really taken to it and is an excellent musician, especially ragtime kind of stuff, (think piano rags played on guitar), but can also belt out a rock tune with the best.
    They are 17 now but played a few gigs together in proper venues as part of a band when they were younger.
    I think you are also right about finding something your daughter wants to play, you would get much more out of it if you were playing something you liked rather than something you are told you have to play.
    Also, get her to play in front of friends and family, dual purpose really as they very rarely criticise and more often encourage, this in turn inspires them to do more.
     
  18. LeftHandedMatt

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    I'm a guitar teacher, and I know how utterly pointless learning in a group is. An instrument needs one-on-one tuition for any real chance of success (and obviously, the student needs to practice a lot). My main method is to always find out the particular music my student is interested in and use their favourite bands as learning tools.

    Justinguitar.com is an amazing resource for learning by yourself. I also have my own YouTube channel in which I present songs specifically for beginners: LeftHandedGuitarist - YouTube
     
  19. bilbosmeggins

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    Hi LHM. Just checked out your youtube channel thanks to your link. Absolutely love your My Sweet Lord, George Harrison lesson. Excellent stuff. One or two chords in there that might be a challenge for me, but certainly going to have a go at it. Thank you very much :)

    PS: The left-handed chord charts are a nice little bonus for me too
     
  20. reevesy

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    yeah another vote for Justin guitar ...and andy guitar

    ....though my 14 year daughter finds Justin guitar annoying !...they play his videos a lot in her music class!

    ...don't know why... he comes across as one of the good guys, who's probably got the patience of a saint

    know I'm not a kid but I've learnt stacks of songs from both sites in the 3 months I've been playing.....which in turn I've been showing my daughter how to play !.
     

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