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Teaching Kids Guitar with Games

How to teach kids to play the guitar with games

Kids just love competition against adults and if you set yourself up as the evil "Collector of Points" then you can trick them into increasing their skill levels on the guitar while they think that they are just beating up on you

Theres nothing kids like better than staying up late and consuming their own body weight in chocolate unless its getting the better of an adult
Children's literature is awash with tales of the little darlings running rings around us. From Roald Dahl's "Matilda" to the philosopher stoning Harry Potter there appears to be nothing that our younger citizens like better than to make full grown people look a bit stupid. I could go off on one here about how we dont need kids to help us look daft but then that would be a very different article indeed and you are probably here because you are interested in sourcing a proven method for teaching kids to play the guitar that is used by professional guitar teachers the world over so I'd best get on with that stuff but first if you like you could choose to take a quick look at a series of five lessons (with loads of freebies to download from each page) that will guarantee that a child will become able to "really" make speedy progress with a guitar

The First Five Kids Guitar Lessons

Follow the links below to go to each of the first five lessons each of which which come with a FREE PDF lesson plan that you can download today

Kids Guitar Lesson 1
(the first two chords)

Kids Guitar Lesson 2
(two more chords)

Kids Guitar Lesson 3
("Rock Guitar!")

Kids Guitar Lesson 4
("Play That Funky Music")

Kids Guitar Lesson 5
("where do you go from here?")

How to teach kids to play the guitar with easy chords

Teaching Kids Guitar: "Simon Says"

If you look at the "big picture" that underpins what we do when teaching kids to play guitar you will see that in the early (and intermediate) stages we seek to do little more than have our students master eight chord shapes and change between them "in time". This normally takes place over a period of weeks and months. The lessons should be geared towards having our students move between these shapes more rapidly and with less in the way of hesitation. If all they did was move between chord shapes and strum each chord once then it would not be too long before boredom set in There are two ways to effectively achieve our objectives without boring our students to the point that they don't want to play any more.

How to teach kids to play the guitar with certificates and games

Certificates of acheivement to reward progress

Follow the link above to find out more about our certificates of acheivement that provide a simple and really effective way to let your younger guitar students know that they are making real progress

Another great way to keep younger (and older for that matter) students enthused is by the development of repertoire. Introducing songs (or more likely fragments of songs) that they are already familiar with that use the eight chords that we want them to master is perhaps just about the best way to "trick" kids into learning to play guitar while they think that they are just having fun. Another way is to engage them in a game of "Simon Says". All your students will be doing is concentrated practice. They will be developing the ability to move ever more quickly between the shapes but they won't really be thinking about that at all. They will just be focussed on trying to beat you!

This is a great activity to engage in when teaching guitar to groups of children and it can be easily be adapted to work with even a single child in a homeschooling guitar lesson. The game is a simple adaptation of the old children's favourite "Simon Says" where you would say (for example) "Simon Says E minor" before counting in 1-2-3-4- (they strum the chord once where "5" would be).

If you dont use the phrase "Simon Says" then no matter which chord you tell them to strum they are not supposed to play it. If any child in the group strums the chord and you have not prefixed the count in with "Simon Says" then you are free to fine the whole group an arbitrary number of points (i tend to work in millions which is great for fuelling their outrage)

For "Simon Says" (and not for the rest of the lesson I would hasten to add) I usually adopt a "cartoon bad guy" persona. The kids seem to love it almost as much as I do. The one that works for me seems to come out as a cross between Dick Dastardly from Whacky Races and the kind of English Victorian villain about town whose idea of a good time is evicting widows and orphans into the snow. Its all down to personal choice and you could draw inspiration from a cast of characters that includes Monty Burns, Cruella De Ville and any number of the pantomime villains who seem to pass for politicians these days.

The game of 'Simon Says" provides a great fun way of getting kids to become familiar with the most useful guitar chords and the element of competition introduced seems to have the effect of concentrating the mind. It is perfectly possible to get great results from a group using this simple game and the chords on the "First Guitar Chords" sheet for an entire lesson. They are learning to move between chord shapes (you can shorten the count in to "3-4" to speed the changes up if required)

You may also like to follow the link below that takes a look at the bigger picture relating to how to develop good practice regimes with younger students and how the whole thing can be likened to "throwing mud at a wall"

How Kids Guitar Lessons Work

If you arrived on this page from a search engine it might be a good idea to take a look at our page that provides an introduction to How to teach Children Guitar: An Overview

Or you could just..........

Take a look at the video below (which even makes sense with the sound muted) The video looks at a series of lessons geared towards getting kids off to a flying start on guitar

How to teach kids to play the guitar with certificates and games

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 How To Teach Kids Guitar, Chords For Children
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 How To Teach Kids Guitar
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Plus 100 Giant (letter sized) Chord Grids

 How To Teach Kids Guitar Chords
laminate them in order to help you to teach group guitar lessons, distribute them to your students or just stick on your teaching studio wall? The "Coolest Wallpaper on the planet?"

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resources for how to teach kids guitar chords
Over 60 Handouts for anyone who already teaches (or who wishes to teach) bass guitar covering Scales, Chords, Fingering Exercises etc

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