Kids Guitar Lessons: Everything You Need To Get Started On Your Guitar Journey

If kids guitar lessons are what you’re after, you’re in the right place!

kids guitar lessons

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 super-easy guitar chords that are perfect for kids or new guitar learners!
  • 6 easy songs which will make you sound amazing. (Complete with tabs and chord diagrams.)
  • The secrets of the guitar anatomy.

Your kids will love these free guitar lessons that are both fun and educational.

Although these are kids guitar lessons, you could have a go with them. Who knows? You might be tempted to take up the guitar as well!

Let’s go!

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Is your child old enough to learn guitar?

kids guitar lessons

If you ask us, about 9 or 10 is the best age to start learning guitar. However, plenty of kids start learning even younger (and let’s not forget those who learn later in life!).

Children younger than 5 will struggle with guitar and might manage better with a ukulele. If they manage well with the ukulele, they can always graduate onto a guitar when they’re bigger.

Luckily, guitars are available in a range of sizes. We cover them in this article: Guitar Sizes – A Guide To The 10 Sizes of Guitar

Check it out if you’re uncertain what guitar your child needs.

If you’re on the fence about whether your child should learn guitar or not, we’d recommend this article which goes through a number of the pros of learning an instrument such as building confidence, developing social skills, improving general academic skills, as well as discipline, patience and time management: The 6 Benefits Of Music Lessons

So, which bit of the guitar is which?

Before we get stuck into any chords, let’s very quickly learn which bit of the guitar is which.

This will help us avoid any confusion.

Here’s a useful diagram:

kids guitar lessons

The frets are the most importnat bit of the guitar for us to learn as they’re what we press the strings against.

What are the guitar string names?

kids guitar lessons

This phrase will help you remember the guitar string names:

Eddie.

Ate.

Dynamite.

Good.

Bye.

Eddie.

kids guitar lessonsor…

Elephants.

And.

Donkeys.

Grow.

Big.

Ears.

kids guitar lessons

You might have noticed, we have two E strings?

This might confuse you.

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

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

To learn more about guitar string notes, go here: Guitar String Notes: The Ultimate Guide

NB: Your child’s guitar needs to be properly tuned. Little kids will struggle to do this themselves, so it’s a good idea to ask someone who already knows how to play guitar to help you out.

Here’s an article we have that will help you: How To Tune A Guitar

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Kids Guitar Lessons: Learn Super-Easy Chords

You may be asking, “What’s a chord?”

A chord is several strings played together instead of one string at a time.

In kids guitar lessons, these are the chords we like to teach them.

They’re ideal for smaller fingers.

Let’s try a G chord.

This chord only needs ONE finger.

kids guitar lessons

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

You’ll notice on the diagram, the two thickest strings (the low E and the A strings) are marked with an ‘X’.

This tells us not to play those. Give it a go. Strum the G chord!

Want to learn how to read chord diagrams? Check out this article: How To Read Chord Boxes.

How was that?

If you’re struggling to not strum the ‘X’ marked strings, here’s a suggestion:

Strum lighter.

Strumming a guitar doesn’t need a load of wallop. Just a nice light strum will get the job done and give us a little more control of our playing.

If you have this sort of image of a guitarist in your head, try to forget it.

kids guitar lessons

This is more like it. Keeping the arm on the guitar body:

kids guitar lessons

It’s most likely easiest to strum using with your thumb or your index finger at the moment. However, as you progress, it’s FAR easier to use a guitar pick.

To learn more about guitar picks, go here: How To Hold A Guitar Pick In 3 Easy Steps

Let’s have a go at another chord.

This chord’s name is C. It’s perfect for beginners because it only uses 1 finger.

kids guitar lessons

(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!)

.

We’re pressing down the second string (the B string) at the first fret here.

You’ll also notice, like with the G chord that some strings are marked ‘X’. As with the G, don’t play anything marked with an ‘X’.

Strum the C chord!

Now… don’t lift your finger off yet. There’s a super fast change we can make to turn the C chord into an Am chord.

kids guitar lessons

All we’ve done here is add the second finger to the second fret on the third string (the G string).

So changing between C and Am just means we lift the second finger up and down.

Have you  noticed that the G and the C chords sound quite happy and bright, but the Am sounds quite sad and moody?

That’s how we tell the difference between major chords and minor chords.

Minor chords sound sad.

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.

 

So now we’ve learned our first chords, it’s time to learn a song.

We’re going to look at a number of songs in these kids guitar lesson, so there should be something in here that you’ll enjoy playing.

If you’re a pop fan, you’ll love this song.

‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift

For this song, we need our Am, C and G chords.

If you need a reminder, here they are:

kids guitar lessons

Here’s a simple chord chart of the song:

| Am       |  C           | G          |              |

We want to play:

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

The sequence goes round and round and round and round. Try it!

Here’s a video demonstration to help you:

Let’s look at another song.

‘Thinkin’ Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran

This song uses our C and our G chords, and a couple of new chords.

Let’s try them. Our first new chord is called C/E.

It’s really just a C chord with another note added to it.

kids guitar lessons

This chord may look a bit like our Am at first, but look closer and you’ll notice that the second finger isn’t pressing down the third string. It’s pressing down the fourth string.

Our next new chord is named F.

kids guitar lessons

F only uses the first two strings which we press down at our first fret.

So let’s have a go at ‘Thinkin’ Out Loud’.

The chord sequence is:

C     C/E     F     G

In this song, you only strum each chord the once.

We’ve put together a video demonstration to show you how it’s played:

Ready for another song?

‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King

Kids looking to show off to their parents or grandparents should definitely learn this song.

‘Stand By Me’ is a classic song from back in the day.

The chords are: G, Em, C and D.

We know the G and C, but what about these new chords?

The Em is another chord we can do with one finger:

kids guitar lessons

As you can see, you need to press down the fourth string at the second fret.

Now let’s have a go at the D chord.

kids guitar lessons

D is a chord that uses two fingers. We press the third string at the second fret and second string at the third fret.

We strum those two strings and also the open fourth string (the D string).

Here’s the chord sequence:

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

When playing ‘Stand By Me’ you need to play G and Em eight times and C and D four times.

This is much more than in the previous songs we’ve looked at, so count the strums as you play to help you along.

If you struggle to change the chords at first, don’t panic. These things take time. Patience is key.

Here’s a video that will help you learn the song:

Kids Guitar Lessons: Lead Guitar

You’ll likely have noticed, guitarists don’t just play chords. There’s also something known as lead guitar. ie. Picking tunes on the guitar using single notes.

Let’s have a go at playing lead guitar.

‘Smoke On The Water’ by Deep Purple

If your kids wanna rock, this is the song for them.

kids guitar lessons

It can be played on just one string. For this example, we’re going to learn it on the D string. (4th string.)

Here’s the tab:

kids guitar lessons

Not sure how to read tab? Have no fear. Check out this article: How To Read Guitar Tabs

And here’s a video that will help you learn to play ‘Smoke On The Water’:

Take your time and get all the notes right. It will sound better that way.

If you’re feeling a bit ambitious, after you’ve learnt ‘Smoke On The Water’ on the D string, you could have a shot at playing it with both the D string and the G string using your first and second fingers.

Here’s the tab:

kids guitar lessons

Don’t try it with both strings until your confident doing it with one.

‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes

‘Seven Nation Army’ is another great song for the kids who wanna rock, it only needs one string.

Here’s the tab:

Seven Nation Army Tab

And here’s a video to help you get the hang of it:

As we keep saying, be patient when learning this song to make sure you get it right.

Go slowly before trying it faster.

Now let’s look at…

‘The Bond Theme’

Movie buffs will love this song.

Here’s the tab:

kids guitar lessons

You’ll notice that it needs two strings, but the B string is only played open, so we don’t press it down at any point.

Here’s a video to help you learn it:

Feeling ambitious? Try the low string bit of The Bond Theme as well.

Note: this one is more difficult, so make sure you’re confident with the first one before trying it.

Here’s the tab:

kids guitar lessons

And here’s a video demonstration:

Once you’re happy with these two single string songs, you could have a go at this three string song.

‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac

This guitar riff is one you’ll recognise if you’re into Formula One racing because it was the theme tune.

In the full song, this riff doesn’t show up until right near the end, but thanks to Formula One, the ending is perhaps the most recognisable part of ‘The Chain’.

Here’s the tab:

kids guitar lessons

As always, take your time. It’s more difficult than the others, so be extra-patient with it.

To learn this song, watch this video:

Kids Guitar Lessons: Some Helpful Tips

kids guitar lessons

Practicing

The most important thing for anyone learning guitar is practice. Those who don’t practice, don’t make progress.

How much should I be practicing?

For a beginner, about 5-10 minutes a day is good.

If you can’t practice every day, try 10-15 minutes every other day.

Remember: even a small amount of practice beats no practice.

If there are some days when you just can’t practice for whatever reason, just make sure to practice on the days you can.

As you improve, you’ll find yourself  both wanting and needing to practice for even longer.

Your goals should be realistic

You can’t expect to have learned everything after just one practice. These things take time.

If you can only practice for five minutes, you’re probably best focusing on just ONE of the songs we’ve looked at today.

Enjoy yourself and be patient!

It’s vital to have fun when learning to play guitar, even when you’re trying something challenging like a tricky chord or a newer song.

With patience and realistic goals, you’ll enjoy learning a great deal 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

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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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