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4 year old wants a guitar for christmas

18 Dec 12 - 08:19 PM (#3454033)
Subject: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

I have a four year old granddaughter who wants a guitar for christmas, her 7 year old sister is playing the fiddle and is doing ok, any advice on what to buy would be good.


18 Dec 12 - 08:36 PM (#3454040)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Henry Krinkle

Depends on what you want to spend. I bought my niece a Baby Taylor.
A good acoustic. I have one too.
=(:-( ))


18 Dec 12 - 09:14 PM (#3454053)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Bee-dubya-ell

For a four-year-old, a ukulele might be a better choice than a guitar. Smaller size, fewer strings, simpler chords, easier on the fingers, sounds decent with even crappy right-hand technique, and it'll never be outgrown. If it sticks, buy her a Baby Taylor or Little Martin next year. If not, trade her an E-Z Bake Oven and three Barbie dolls for the uke and play it yourself.


18 Dec 12 - 09:45 PM (#3454065)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Henry Krinkle

I was thinking a uke, too.
But he specified guitar.
=(:-( ))


18 Dec 12 - 09:51 PM (#3454066)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Henry Krinkle

I was thinking a uke, too.
But he specified guitar.
=(:-( ))


18 Dec 12 - 09:54 PM (#3454069)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

Or something like a guitalele: This is either a ukulele-size guitar or a six-string ukulele, depending on how you look at it.

I've never seen one in person, but for a small person who might want to graduate to a full-size guitar later on, this seems like a good option.

For someone that young, having a soft action would be important.

A lot of Asian kids start on the guitar very young, and in a few years get good enough on the instrument to be frightening!!

CLICKY.

Don Firth


18 Dec 12 - 10:05 PM (#3454071)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Bert

She's four and hasn't got a guitar yet? You might try a tenor guitar or a half size.


18 Dec 12 - 10:26 PM (#3454081)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Henry Krinkle

Can you play Recuerdos, Mr. Firth?
A nice tune.
=(:-( ))


18 Dec 12 - 11:04 PM (#3454101)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

As a matter of fact, Henry, I can!

Don Firth


18 Dec 12 - 11:31 PM (#3454111)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Henry Krinkle

Very cool.
=(:-( ))


19 Dec 12 - 03:50 AM (#3454139)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

Oh I have invested a lot of money in a guitarlele which I had never heard of but my daughter had said she needed (I thought she had got her words twisted) The school music teacher had recommended it and since she/he has been teaching violin to the elder one for two years and I am suitably impressed with the progress she has made, she is only seven but did a solo in the school nativity play. So thanks guys clarified and helped, I will let you know how she gets on. Thanks once again
Peter


19 Dec 12 - 10:08 AM (#3454272)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Roger the Skiffler

Sounds a good solution. I asked Santa (again)for a good voice or some musical ability...Ain't gonna happen!

RtS


19 Dec 12 - 01:02 PM (#3454347)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: The Sandman

ukes can be tuned like the top 4 strings of the guitar ebgd, it is an excellent way to start for the guitar, get a uke


19 Dec 12 - 01:28 PM (#3454355)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

Great, stallion! Wow, that was fast for an instrument purchase!

I have three full-size classics and three "Go" travel guitars myself, but I've thought about getting a guitarlele just for the fun of it. I need one like I need a hole in the head, but what does that have to do with it?

A four-year-old, eh? Let us know how she gets along.

Don Firth


19 Dec 12 - 01:36 PM (#3454357)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

yes had to move quickly, got a yamaha, not the cheapest but not the most expensive I will keep everyone informed!


19 Dec 12 - 02:02 PM (#3454362)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

Hey!! You can get some REAL MUSIC oughta one of those things!!

A Yamaha GL-1.    CLICKY.

Don Firth


19 Dec 12 - 02:10 PM (#3454365)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: GUEST,Kendall

I saw a 5 year old boy playing a full size banjo on tv. He was good too.


19 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM (#3454373)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

yup that is the one I bought Yamaha GL-1
Kendal - hope u r being a good by with Mrs kendal away! We were at Northwest Folklife festival this year and saw a six year old playing the fiddle, disbelievingly good, by the time I got my camera onto the movie setting his Mum collected him up for lunch and I missed recording it!


19 Dec 12 - 02:32 PM (#3454375)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

boy!


19 Dec 12 - 03:34 PM (#3454407)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Ebbie

The most musically amazing kid I ever saw in real life was a kid about two years old and still in diapers who played along with our dance band.

Two band members got him a piccolo banjo and put it in open tuning. The only time in four hours that he left us was when he would go to his mother for an occasional saltine cracker.

The funniest moment was once when the band members knelt to his level in order to show him a chord or two: he knelt too.

That kid is now about 20 years old and in a rock band.


19 Dec 12 - 04:44 PM (#3454425)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Bonzo3legs

I don't approve of expensive presents for young children.


19 Dec 12 - 05:13 PM (#3454440)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

Don't you start! Have enough with my wife. When I was a kid I was gicen a guitar with a bent kneck that was nigh on impossible to tune and cut my fingers to ribbons, saved up and bought an Eko, I suppose would have been late 60's and loved it til wife threw it at me, she was at the top of the stairs and i was at the bottom, it smashed to bits! At least if she doesn't do anything with it it will have a resale value


19 Dec 12 - 05:13 PM (#3454441)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

Well, Bonzo3legs, you never know where it might lead. At the age of 4, Mozart appropriated the family harpsichord. He went on to do pretty well.

Don Firth


20 Dec 12 - 03:49 PM (#3454916)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: GUEST,leeneia

A four-year-old might think it would be fun to play guitar, but it wouldn't be. A four-year-old has small, soft immature hands. The connective tissue is nowhere near as hard as an adult's.

At best the kid will suffer frustration because she can't press the strings hard enough. At worst, she will suffer injury to her little hands.

Consider the kind of pressure and the concomitant pain that it takes to develop guitar calluses. Do you really want a little kid to endure that? Do you really think she would tolerate it?

Go to a good toy store and get something a child her age can enjoy. If she pouts, tell her that Santa Claus only gives guitars to kids age 12 and up.


20 Dec 12 - 04:39 PM (#3454938)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: GUEST

A short neck instrument with nylon strings doesn't require any calluses. She has an interest that shouldn't be discouraged. Even if she does not learn quickly plant a seed!


20 Dec 12 - 04:41 PM (#3454939)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Me above sans cookie.


20 Dec 12 - 05:22 PM (#3454956)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

Leeneia, this is why I suggested the guitalele. It's small, the same size as a baritone ukulele, so it shouldn't be too large for a four-year-old to handle. And it comes equipped with nylon strings rather than steel. About one-third the tension. Also, the action can be adjusted by a good luthier to very soft (low over the frets), if necessary.

I once saw a three-year-old playing a simple tune on a small (child-size), but real violin. She had badgered her parents until they rented one for her to try. She took to it immediately, so they bought her one of her own.

I can't recall who it was now, but a well-known violinist (you'd recognize the name) told his parents, when he was four, that he wanted to play the violin. They said "no," and offered him piano lessons. He threw a fit and said he'd set fire to the piano! He wanted a violin!! So they got him one. He's now a full-blown internationally-known concert artist. He knew, right off, what he wanted.

If a child expresses an interest in a musical instrument, I say, get it for them.

The worst that can happen is that they will goof with it for a while, then put it aside for something else, in which case, you could play it yourself or pass it on.

I'm amazed at some young players who just blaze right through technically difficult things. They don't seem to know that it's hard, so they just DO it.

CLICKY.

And on a full-sized classic guitar, too!!

By, the way, this is why I tend to snort when some adult tells me that they can't play a guitar with a classic-width fingerboard because their hands are too small!

Don Firth


21 Dec 12 - 04:09 AM (#3455184)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

My daughter has a good voice and played lead roles in amateur operatic productions til she had children and work commitments, her elder daughter has taken to the violin and has impressed me (a bit biased I know!) Little Ezme has a lovely voice, sings in tune and remembers the words! It's true it may be a while before she realises any potential but at least she has time to get familiar with the instrument, I am not expecting miracles, not expecting anything but giving of joy in music.


21 Dec 12 - 04:56 AM (#3455195)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: The Sandman

i understand leenias point, but a uke tuned like a guitar imo, is the ideal starting point for a small child who has ambitions to play a guitar, there is also an argument for getting a partial capo with it, so the child can practise right hand technique, whilst doing simple left hand work


21 Dec 12 - 05:56 AM (#3455212)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: jacqui.c

My grandson showed interest in the guitar from about the age of two. When I moved to the USA, when he was four, I gave him a guitar. He started lessons when he was eight and is doing pretty well now, at the age of twelve. With nylon strings it's a lot easier and they can build up callouses slowly.

It's always worth giving them the best you can afford. Unless you're very lucky there will be a much better sound with a good guitar than with a cheap one and that may well encourage a kid to keep on going. Lewis now has a Martin and, when he tries cheap guitars, compares the sound unfavourably with his own.

Here's hoping your granddaughter enjoys her new instrument, Peter.


25 Dec 12 - 03:56 PM (#3456936)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Don Firth

Stallion, I'm really curious to know how your granddaughter (is that Ezme?) likes her new little guitar.

In addition to singing and accompanying folk songs and ballads, I studied classical guitar for several years with a number of different teachers, and often (if the audience seems appropriate) include one or two classic pieces in my programs.

But, just again, I watched that clip I posted up at 20 Dec 12 - 05:22 PM. Watching and hearing that little pint-sized cutie play made me want to go out in the hall and stomp on my fingers!!

I started playing the guitar (learning chords to accompany folk songs) when I was twenty-one. If I had only gotten interested earlier. . . .

Don Firth


25 Dec 12 - 06:55 PM (#3456998)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

It was a joy, she looked at that wrapping and exclaimed "That is my Guitar!" After opening she took it upstairs and put it on her bed. The rest of her presents stayed in the front room, she is now laid in bed hugging the "guitar" in it's case, we shall put it somewhere safe. What i found more interesting was her older sister, Amelie, took her fiddle into class , asked the teacher if she could play and she agreed, she then told her classmates the tunes she could play and asked for requests, she then played five tunes and then had a question and answer session after where she asked the kids if they liked the violin and they asked her how difficult it was to play and so on, the teacher was gobsmacked this is a seven year old! Polly (poppet) my daughter, said it is quite amazing that for ages she was scratching about doing not much and then, as if overnight, the penny dropped and she could play tunes, lets hope Esme can do something similar. Amelie got a music stand and Poppet said she would no longer have to hold the music when she practices at home!


25 Dec 12 - 08:22 PM (#3457044)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: SINSULL

Well done, Stallion!
SINS


25 Dec 12 - 08:38 PM (#3457052)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Sandra in Sydney

is this the third generation of musicians in your family, stallion?

I know a little girl, now almost 5, who was beating, not irregularly bashing her xylophone at 10 months (a doggy xylophone with a bone-shaped striker!) She was part of the beat of the traditional band her parents, grandfather & aunt & uncle played in! She has many plastic instruments & enjoys making music.

Her auntie gave her a real uke for her second birthday, & as she was a tad enthusiastic with it, her father limited her to playing when he was practicing his guitar & banjo.

best wished to your musical grandchildren.

sandra


26 Dec 12 - 06:18 AM (#3457148)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: jacqui.c

I bought Lewis a uke two years ago. He hadn't done much with it until he started at senior school this year and joined the ukelele club. Seems the uke is a cool instrument nowadays.


26 Dec 12 - 07:48 AM (#3457177)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: GUEST,fogie

When I was 5 or 6 I loved watching the six five special on TV. The toy shop had two little guitars in the window. A small 6 stringed wooden one , and a plastic one with a contraption on the neck where you pressed a button and strummed a chord. Well that was the one I wanted but I got the wooden one. Of course it wasnt a real instrunent -you could strum it however, I strummed it for a week or two then suddenly it was gone. My Father had come in and sat on it and broken it. My parents thought I'd not miss it and had dumped it. It wasn't until I was 11 that I got a real guitar, and they didn't confess to the breakage for years.I think just owning a toy you can strum may be enough.


26 Dec 12 - 08:04 AM (#3457184)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: The Sandman

its really good to learn an instrument when young.


26 Dec 12 - 05:48 PM (#3457387)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

Possibly more, my great grandfather was a pianist for silent movies and ended up his days as a Pierot on the beach in Scarborough, my grandfather was a tenor well known in the Scarborough area, my mum didn't perform but her cousin Kathleen did the northern clubs as "Kaye Stevens and Johnny Douglas", I remember her turning up to a gig in Scarborugh around 1964 in a Pontiac, very swish!


26 Dec 12 - 08:23 PM (#3457444)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: Sandra in Sydney

the kid is just the latest member in a musical dynasty.


27 Dec 12 - 06:31 AM (#3457549)
Subject: RE: 4 year old wants a guitar for christmas
From: stallion

Got talking to Poppet (daughter) last night, she was saying that she had to learn along side Amelie at first and holding the music was a way of making sure she practiced, now she is so much better than Poppet that she put a music stand on Amy's Christmas list!