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Need a little help from my friends

Higgins1980

Squier-Meister
Feb 9, 2023
418
North Carolina
Preface. I have never taken any lessons and know next to nothing regarding theory. I am self taught and am missing a lot of puzzle pieces. Maybe someday I’ll actually get some time to take lessons.

Now that that’s out of the way. Recently I got my son his very first guitar and nice black Squier mini-Strat. I’ve been showing him a few chords and working with him to get proficient changing between them. This was how I learned in the beginning. Problem I’m having is the repetition is boring and he’s having more fun just making noise and beating the strings.

My question is how do I make the repetition less boring and get him to work more on chords than “having fun”. Also I’m loving that before he plays anything he has to. Repeat has to have the Rat on and cranked. Thanks in advance for the suggestions. He’s 8 years old FYI.
 

MichaelD

Squier-Meister
Nov 6, 2022
240
Indianapolis
Banging it out w the rat is a good start.

My guy is 7 1/2 and has showed no interest beyond happy birthday and take me out to the ballgame. He just wants to plug into my old Digitech RP and just rip crazy noises.

It’s going to be hard for us to pass on because they don’t have a solid musical reference point like we did. My dad always played his vinyl collection which notably included kiss, Rolling Stones, and a slew of southern rock. I was also delving into the grunge scene of the early 90s in junior high.

Does he have a band he likes or songs he wants to learn how to play? Maybe you can chase some tabs or video tutorials and learn together ?
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
16,510
The Monadnocks, NH USA
My answer may seem rather, well, yesterday. But nonetheless I think it the right one. Proven by time and experience.

"Fun" is fine. "Fun" is what he'll have on his own and with friends his own age. Joy -- something far richer than the mere momentary pleasure of "fun" -- comes along with satisfaction from accomplishment.

This is why, again, speaking frankly, we see so few truly happy people nowadays. Everything has come to be measured by its "fun" factor, and "fun" alone simply doesn't cut it. Not even, really, for kids.

So I say, instead, teach him. Help him understand that basic life principle. Then help him add to the "fun" he finds with his friends by finding the true joy of accomplishment. That through mastery -Something that for most things, and most of us, only comes through diligent hard work.

Guitar may prove itself his thing, or may not. But either way that lesson will enrich him. Make his life fuller. And if guitar does prove to be right for him he (and you) will have a double joy. That of music along with the application of the essential life lesson with everything else he does throughout his entire life.

There are plenty of books that will give both he, and maybe at the same time, you, the rudiments of playing guitar and understanding music.
Choose one. Start on lesson one. You learn it. Then help him learn it. Praise and encourage. Find joy in it together.

And yes, I did this myself. First for myself. Then for my son. And then for yet others.

As did my wife -- in her case on keyboard. For herself as a youth.. Then, later, as an accomplished young (and then not so young) adult for nieces and the like.

As above, I know this has become foreign to our culture. (It already was when I/we were parenting.) But it is just as true now as it ever was.

Some cultures today still recognize it. Look at symphony orchestras. Look at advanced college degree programs. Then look at career distributions and you'll see the same work and accomplishment principle at work in each of them.

Then look at all the people you know. Who among them are truly happy -- joyful? Bingo!

-don




My own son many, many years (and accomplishments) ago...

Y5NM8H6TTwy7pjSRGbLGfQ.png
 
Last edited:

Higgins1980

Squier-Meister
Feb 9, 2023
418
North Carolina
Banging it out w the rat is a good start.

My guy is 7 1/2 and has showed no interest beyond happy birthday and take me out to the ballgame. He just wants to plug into my old Digitech RP and just rip crazy noises.

It’s going to be hard for us to pass on because they don’t have a solid musical reference point like we did. My dad always played his vinyl collection which notably included kiss, Rolling Stones, and a slew of southern rock. I was also delving into the grunge scene of the early 90s in junior high.

Does he have a band he likes or songs he wants to learn how to play? Maybe you can chase some tabs or video tutorials and learn together ?
He’s not really into music all that much. He’s really mainly interested in guitar because I am. We listen to mostly classic rock in the car but he’s never shown much interest in music at all.
My answer may seem rather, well, yesterday. But nonetheless I think it the right one. Proven by time and experience.

"Fun" is fine. "Fun" is what he'll have on his own and with friends his own age. Joy -- something far richer than the mere momentary pleasure of "fun" -- comes along with satisfaction from accomplishment.

This is why, again, speaking frankly, we see so few truly happy people nowadays. Everything has come to be measured by its "fun" factor, and "fun" along simply doesn't cut it. Not even, really, for kids.

So I say, instead, teach him. Help him understand that basic life principle. Then help him add to the "fun" he finds with his friends by finding the true joy of accomplishment. That through mastery -Something that for most things, and most of us, only comes through diligent hard work.

Guitar may prove itself his thing, or may not. But either way that lesson will enrich him. Make his life fuller. And if guitar does prove to be right for him he (and you) will have a double joy. That of music along with the application of the essential life lesson with everything else he does throughout his entire life.

There are plenty of books that will give both he, and maybe at the same time, you, the rudiments of playing guitar and understanding music.
Choose one. Start on lesson one. You learn it. Then help him learn it. Praise and encourage. Find joy in it together.

And yes, I did this myself. First for myself. Then for my son. And then for yet others.

As did my wife -- in her case on keyboard. For herself as a youth.. Then, later, as an accomplished young (and then not so young) adult for nieces and the like.

As above, I know this has become foreign to our culture. (It already was when I/we were parenting.) But it is just as true now as it ever was.

Some cultures today still recognize it. Look at symphony orchestras. Look at advanced college degree programs. Then look at career distributions and you'll see the same work and accomplishment principle at work in each of them.

Then look at all the people you know. Who among them are truly happy -- joyful? Bingo!

-don




My own son many, many years (and accomplishments) ago...

View attachment 256004
You bring up some really good points not just about learning but life in general. I do like the idea of getting a beginners book and going through it together. May go that route. As an aside. I’m pretty sure I had that exact outfit your sons wearing in that pic. Right down to the stripe top socks.
 

DougMen

Squier-Axpert
Jun 8, 2017
10,754
Honolulu, HI
He’s not really into music all that much. He’s really mainly interested in guitar because I am. We listen to mostly classic rock in the car but he’s never shown much interest in music at all.

You bring up some really good points not just about learning but life in general. I do like the idea of getting a beginners book and going through it together. May go that route. As an aside. I’m pretty sure I had that exact outfit your sons wearing in that pic. Right down to the stripe top socks.
Does he show any interest in learning chords to songs that he likes? If not, then I've got nothing, because that's how we all started, and that's what fueled our interest and enthusiasm for guitar.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
2,120
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
My answer may seem rather, well, yesterday. But nonetheless I think it the right one. Proven by time and experience.

"Fun" is fine. "Fun" is what he'll have on his own and with friends his own age. Joy -- something far richer than the mere momentary pleasure of "fun" -- comes along with satisfaction from accomplishment.

This is why, again, speaking frankly, we see so few truly happy people nowadays. Everything has come to be measured by its "fun" factor, and "fun" along simply doesn't cut it. Not even, really, for kids.

So I say, instead, teach him. Help him understand that basic life principle. Then help him add to the "fun" he finds with his friends by finding the true joy of accomplishment. That through mastery -Something that for most things, and most of us, only comes through diligent hard work.

Guitar may prove itself his thing, or may not. But either way that lesson will enrich him. Make his life fuller. And if guitar does prove to be right for him he (and you) will have a double joy. That of music along with the application of the essential life lesson with everything else he does throughout his entire life.

There are plenty of books that will give both he, and maybe at the same time, you, the rudiments of playing guitar and understanding music.
Choose one. Start on lesson one. You learn it. Then help him learn it. Praise and encourage. Find joy in it together.

And yes, I did this myself. First for myself. Then for my son. And then for yet others.

As did my wife -- in her case on keyboard. For herself as a youth.. Then, later, as an accomplished young (and then not so young) adult for nieces and the like.

As above, I know this has become foreign to our culture. (It already was when I/we were parenting.) But it is just as true now as it ever was.

Some cultures today still recognize it. Look at symphony orchestras. Look at advanced college degree programs. Then look at career distributions and you'll see the same work and accomplishment principle at work in each of them.

Then look at all the people you know. Who among them are truly happy -- joyful? Bingo!

-don




My own son many, many years (and accomplishments) ago...

View attachment 256004
DAD! lol!

I agree. I would add to it, first 35 minutes practice, break time for any treats or soda pops, ,then 35 minutes of Tom foolery. When that young man actually plays a decent song all the way, he will (either) keep going or love Tom foolery more. You made a good investment for your Son and Family, he is safe, inside, not on a video game, and doing some thing Dad does!
 

Higgins1980

Squier-Meister
Feb 9, 2023
418
North Carolina
Does he show any interest in learning chords to songs that he likes? If not, then I've got nothing, because that's how we all started, and that's what fueled our interest and enthusiasm for guitar.
Thsts the thing. I don’t know what songs he likes because he’s really indifferent to music. When we listen to music he never comets on the songs or asks who the band is paying or anything like that. He just doesn’t seem interested in it. But that’s not surprising. I was the same way with music as a kid. Had no interest in it until I was about 14 and head Hendrix play the National Anthem. Maybe i should let him listen to that. It’s definitely going to be a fine line between pushing too hard and not pushing enough. I definitely don’t want to crush his excitement and desire to play. Everyday he asks to play his guitar so that’s a good thing.
 

Tele-kitty

Squier-Nut
Dec 12, 2016
661
Florida
At 8 alot of kids haven’t developed a music or song preference yet…so not unusual.
But… at least mine did..they do have favorite tv shows, cartoons, and movies.
Maybe simplify a theme song to chords or triads, or even melody line to keep the fun and not as boring.

I know I learned a bunch when younger( and still do!)
There was the Addams family, the Munsters, Knight Rider, Ghostbusters…etc.
 

Higgins1980

Squier-Meister
Feb 9, 2023
418
North Carolina
At 8 alot of kids haven’t developed a music or song preference yet…so not unusual.
But… at least mine did..they do have favorite tv shows, cartoons, and movies.
Maybe simplify a theme song to chords or triads, or even melody line to keep the fun and not as boring.

I know I learned a bunch when younger( and still do!)
There was the Addams family, the Munsters, Knight Rider, Ghostbusters…etc.
This is good advice. I’ll have to listen to and learn theme songs to shows he likes.
 

MAS Tequila

Squier-Meister
Platinum Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2021
302
south FL
I hate you for making me sound like an adult. :cool:

You should always, and I mean always, lead by example.

It's kind of difficult to get him to see the importance of 'practice', if you don't show him that it's important to you.

Maybe get a new book or online course and sit with him once or twice a week, for about 20 minutes, and learn it with him.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
2,120
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
At 8 alot of kids haven’t developed a music or song preference yet…so not unusual.
But… at least mine did..they do have favorite tv shows, cartoons, and movies.
Maybe simplify a theme song to chords or triads, or even melody line to keep the fun and not as boring.

I know I learned a bunch when younger( and still do!)
There was the Addams family, the Munsters, Knight Rider, Ghostbusters…etc.
Peter Gun.....
 

DougMen

Squier-Axpert
Jun 8, 2017
10,754
Honolulu, HI
Wow! This brought back an almost 60 year old memory that has been buried deep in the recesses of my mind. Back when I played clarinet, before I even started playing guitar, and I wanted to learn how to play more than just the black dots on the paper in front of me, I taught myself the Pink Panther theme, just by sounding it out by ear, with no sheet music to guide me.
 

Lanaka

AKA GhostGuitars
Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
4,171
Honolulu, HI
He’s not really into music all that much. He’s really mainly interested in guitar because I am. We listen to mostly classic rock in the car but he’s never shown much interest in music at all.

You bring up some really good points not just about learning but life in general. I do like the idea of getting a beginners book and going through it together. May go that route. As an aside. I’m pretty sure I had that exact outfit your sons wearing in that pic. Right down to the stripe top socks.

LOL, I KNOW I had those striped top socks too when I was a kiddo in the 70s & 80s.
 


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