Guitar Lessons For Kids

Looking for guitar lessons for kids? You’re in the right place. This free guide will get you started quickly.

On this page you’ll find some fun, educational lessons that are perfect for kids!

guitar lessons for kids

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 4 super-easy chords to get started on an ideal guitar journey.
  • 3 simple songs that can be played with the easy chords.
  • The secrets of the guitar anatomy.

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What’s the best age to learn guitar?

Around 8 or 9 is the earliest age we usually recommend. Having said that, many people start learning even younger (and of course, much older).

(Our oldest student is 87, incidentally.)

If your child is under 5 then they’ll struggle with guitar and might be better suited to something like a ukulele.

If they enjoy the ukulele, there’s no reason why they can’t graduate onto a guitar when they’re bit older.

guitar lessons for kids

The importance of guitar sizes

Guitars come in a range of different sizes. We go over them in this article: Guitar Sizes – A Guide To The 10 Sizes of Guitar

So if you’re unsure what size of guitar your child needs, it should point you in the right direction. Guitar size is a CRUCIAL factor. Please don’t overlook this.

If you’re unsure whether or not your child should learn guitar, you should perhaps check out this article which details many of the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument such as confidence building, social skills, improved academic skills, discipline, patience and time management: The 6 Benefits Of Music Lessons

What are the different parts of the guitar called?

Before we learn any chords, let’s just have a quick look at what the various bits of the guitar are called.

guitar lessons for kids

It’s especially important to know what the frets are as they’re the things we press our strings against.

Our guitar strings also have names…

guitar lessons for kids

A great way to remember the string names is with this phrase:

Eddie.

Ate.

Dynamite.

Good.

Bye.

Eddie.

guitar lessons for kids

… or…

Elephants.

And.

Donkeys.

Grow.

Big.

Ears.

guitar lessons for kids

Did you notice that the thickest string and the thinnest string are both called ‘E’?

This can be a bit confusing.

The thickest string is called the low E because it makes a much lower sound.

The thinnest string is called the high E because it makes a much higher sound.

If you want to know more about the names of guitar strings, take a look at this article of ours: Guitar String Notes: The Ultimate Guide

An out-of-tune guitar is a pleasure to no-one

It’s important that your child’s guitar is properly in tune. Young children will struggle to tune a guitar themselves, so it’s best to ask someone who already knows how to play to tune it for them.

Tuning a guitar is easy. (An adult can learn how in less than 60 seconds.) Here is an article that will teach you quickly: How To Tune A Guitar

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Guitar Lessons For Kids: Let’s learn some chords!

“What’s a chord?” you might be asking.

A chord is when we play several strings together rather than one at a time.

When teaching guitar lessons for kids, these chords are our favourites. (They’re perfectly suited to tiny fingers!)

Let’s have a go at a G chord.

For this chord, we only need ONE finger.

guitar lessons for kids

Here, we’re pressing the thinnest string on the guitar (the E string) at the third fret.

If you look at the diagram, the two thickest strings are marked ‘X’.

This means we don’t play those. (We only play the other four strings.)

Give it a try. Strum those four strings!

Not sure how to read chord diagrams? Not to worry. We have an article that explains them for you: How To Read Chord Boxes.

If you’re struggling to avoid those ‘X’ marked strings, here’s a top tip..

Make sure that you strum lightly.

Strumming a guitar doesn’t take a lot of power. Just a nice gentle strum will do the job and allow us a bit more control of our playing.

Try to forget about this sort of image of a guitarist:

guitar lessons for kids

Instead, try and keep your strumming arm on the body of the guitar, like this:

kids guitar lessons

For the moment, it’s probably best to strum with either your thumb or your index finger, but as you progress as a guitarist, you’ll want to have a go with something called a guitar pick.

To learn how to hold a guitar pick, go here: How To Hold A Guitar Pick In 3 Easy Steps

Let’s try another chord…

This one’s called C and it also only uses one finger.

guitar lessons for children

Here, we’re pressing the second string (the B string) down at the first fret.

You’ll also notice the three thickest strings are marked ‘X’, so we don’t play them. Just the other three.

Give it a strum.

Now, before you go taking your finger off that C chord, there’s a really quick change we can do to turn that C into an Am chord.

Am (AKA “A minor”)

guitar lessons for kids

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

.

All we’re doing here is adding the second finger to the second fret on the third string (the G string).

So to change between C and Am, all we need to do is lift this finger on and off.

Easy!

You’ve probably noticed, whereas the G and the C chords sound quite bright and happy, the Am sounds quite sad.

That’s the difference between major chords and minor chords.

The minors are the sad ones.

kids guitar lessons

So now we know a few chords, let’s have a go at a song!

Guitar Songs For Kids

We’re going to look at a few songs in these guitar lessons for kids so hopefully there’ll be something for everybody.

This song’s a great one for kids who love pop music:

‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift.

This song uses our Am, C and G chords.

Here they are again if you need a reminder.

am_c_g_baby_chords

This is how we write this song out:

| Am        |C             | G            |               |

We want to strum:

  • The Am four times.
  • The C four times.
  • The G eight times.

And we want to go round and round and round the sequence.

Give it a go!

Here’s a video demonstration:

Download a free beginner chord guide and learn easy versions of every chord

 Say goodbye to frustration and twisted fingers. Say hello to MAKING MUSIC.

  Learn beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is one of our most popular guides and will improve your chord ability quickly. Click here to download the guide.

 

‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran

For this song we’re going to use our C and our G chords… but we also need a couple of new chords.

Let’s have a go at them.

This chord is called C/E.

It’s basically a C chord with an extra note added to it.

guitar lessons for kids

At first glance, this chord looks a bit like our Am, but notice that the second finger is pressing down the fourth string, NOT the third.

The other new chord we need is called F.

guitar lessons for kids

F just uses the first two strings pressed down at the first fret.

The chord sequence goes:

C       C/E      F       G

With this song, you want to strum each chord once.

Here’s a video demonstration to help you get the rhythm and feel of it right:

Now let’s try another song.

‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King.

This a great one to play if you’re a kid who wants to impress their parents or grandparents.

‘Stand By Me’ is an old classic.

The chords for this song are: G, Em, C and D.

We know the G and C, but what about those other two chords?

The Em is another one finger chord we can do like this:

guitar lessons for kids

Notice we’re pressing down the fourth string at the second fret.

Now let’s try the D.

baby_d

D is a two finger chord where we press the third string at the second fret and second string at the third fret.

As well as those two strings, we also strum the open fourth string (the D string).

Now here’s the chord sequence written out for us:

G             |                | Em           |                  | C              |  D                | G            |                  |

With ‘Stand By Me’ we want to strum the G chord and the Em chord eight times and the C and D four times each.

This is obviously a lot more than the other songs we looked at, so count along as you play if it helps.

Don’t worry if you struggle to change chords at first. It takes time. The important thing is to be patient.

Here’s a video demonstration of the song if it helps:

Lead Guitar Lessons For Kids

Of course, we don’t just play chords on the guitar. We can also learn lead guitar.

This is where we pick out tunes using single notes.

Let’s try some lead guitar!

‘Smoke On The Water’ by Deep Purple.

This is an ideal song for kids who like to rock.

guitar lessons for kids

We can play it all on just one string. Let’s try it on the D string.

Here’s the tab:

guitar lessons for kids

Not sure how to read tab? No problem. Check out this article: How To Read Guitar Tabs

And here’s a video demonstration of how to play it:

.As with all our songs. Take your time learning this song until you get it right.

Go slowly at first.

Now let’s try…

‘The Bond Theme’

This is a great tune for all the movie buffs out there.

Here’s the tab:

guitar lessons for kids

Notice that it uses two strings, but the B string is always played open, so we don’t need to fret it.

Jack will show you how to play this killer riff in this video:

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you could try the low down bit of The Bond Theme as well.

Note: this one is harder, so make sure you’re happy with the first one before you try it.

Here’s the tab:

guitar lessons for kids

And here’s a video demonstration:

Once you’re happy with both of these single string songs, you might want to give this three string song a go.

‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac

This is a guitar riff you’ll recognise if you’re a fan of formula one racing as it was used as the theme music.

In the actual song, this riff doesn’t appear ’til very near the end, but thanks to formula one, it’s become perhaps the most recognisable bit of the song.

Here’s the tab:

the chain

Take your time with this one. It’s harder than the others we’ve looked at so be patient with yourself.

We have a video demonstration for this song as well:

Guitar Lessons For Kids: Top-Tips!

guitar lessons for kids

Practice

The most important thing for any guitarist to do is practice. Without practice, you won’t make progress.

But how much should you practice? About 5-10 minutes a day is good when you’re starting out.

Remember: some practice is better than no practice.

If there’s some days when you simply can’t practice, be sure to definitely practice on the days you can.

As you get better, you will find yourself wanting and needing to set even more time aside to practice.

Set realistic goals for yourself

Don’t expect to have learned everything in your first practice. It takes time.

If you’re practicing for five minutes, you’re best focusing on ONE of the songs we’ve looked at in this article.

Be patient and enjoy yourself!

It’s important to enjoy yourself when learning guitar, even if you’re trying something a bit tricky like a new chord or a new song.

If you’re patient with yourself and, as we said above, set realistic goals, you’ll enjoy learning a lot more.

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 30,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

NGAEM

Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

 

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