Kids Guitar Lesson 2

teaching kids to play guitar

Second Kids Guitar Lesson building on the progress made during lesson 1 by introducing two new chords

During the first lesson in this series a child should have become familiar with forming two of the eight chord shapes (G and Eminor) that a beginner should learn first. This second lesson sets out to reinforce the knowledge and capabilities developed during the first session and adds two new chords (C and D) to the mix.

Lesson Plan

As before the start of ank kids guitar lesson or practice session you should make sure the child's guitar is in tune

At the beginning of this session it is a good idea to ensure that a child has retained the knowledge (of the two chord shapes) and the capability (playing them in time to a backing track) that they worked on in the first lesson. Do not worry or become discouraged as a teacher if they are still having trouble remembering the chord shapes that you showed them during the course of the last lesson. They are kids and forgetting stuff (like cleaning their teeth or taking gym kit to school) is what they do. Remember the "Guitar Teacher's Mantra" which is something like "By the end of the lesson they will not be playing perfectly but they will be playing better". Gradual progress is what we are looking for here and during these early stages it is best not to get hung up on a quest for perfection. To look into the idea of teaching kids to play the guitar
in greater detail you could follow the link and take a look at our page that gives an overview of the whole subject. If your student still has trouble remembering the G and Em shapes then spend as long as is required (even if it is the entire lesson) making sure that they can change between the two shapes in time to music (or at the very least a metronome).

Review material covered in the first lesson

This is a very important principle for all guitar teachers (not just those who teach younger students) Looking at the stuff from the last lesson gives you a great idea of where the student really is (as opposed to where they say or think they are)

Introduce the C chord shape

The "reduced" one finger C shape shown above can be used here. Be sure to make the child aware that they should only strike the three thinnest strings when sounding this version of the chord

Introduce the D chord shape

The D chord shape is another that does not require a "reduced" shape as all of the fingers are grouped together and there is really no stretching required

Encourage a child to move between the shapes in their own time

Spend a while on this stage in order to ensure that your student(s) can remember the shape without having to refer to the chord sheets

Use a count of 1-2-3-4 to help your student to play in time

Using the method employed during Kids Guitar Lesson 1 make sure that the student knows to play on what would be the number five after a rhythmic four beat count in

Use a backing track

The G Em C and D backing track that forms a small part of the teachwombat resources features a bass and drum accompaniment to a repeated eight bar chord sequence. in the first instance ask the child (or children if you are teaching group lessons) to play a single downward strum for each chord as it changes and again count them in to each chord change as appropriate

Introduce more "complex" right hand strumming patterns

When they have mastered playing a single chord in time you can introduce more complicated (down-up-down-up) strumming patterns being careful to keep the strumming at the beginning of each two bars of each chord leaving a child plenty of time to slowly chamge between shapes

Review the lesson and let them know what you will be covering next

It is important to stress that all children are different and pick up and internalise things at different rates. Some kids will get this very quickly but will then forget it just as swiftly. Others will struggle and take longer but the information and capability will stay with them for a lifetime. This material is presented here as a series of lessons but it is really just a sequence of topics to cover in a sensible and sequential fashion.
Do not get too hung up on the "Lesson 1-Lesson 2-Lesson 3" thing. What you need to ensure by this stage is that a child can play single strums on four chords in time to music. If that takes three, four or more sessions do not worry at all.

I have lost count of the times that when finding out what I do for a living someone says "I love music but can't play an instrument because I have not got a musical bone in my body" or "I took a few lessons when I was younger but I was no good at it so I gave up" The reality is that they tried to play the "wrong" material when learning or that they did not practice enough (and it does not take very long) in the early stages of study to build a basic level of competence.

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