Welcome to my Young Students!
Here are a few links and recourses for my new Young Students-
Getting a Guitar-
For most of my younger students (age 4-12) I recommend getting a smaller guitar, either half or three quarter size. Music and Arts is a good place in town to get the instruments in West Ashley and I also recommend Shem Creek Music in Mt Pleasant. We at Clelia's have a good relationship with Music and Arts and they have the general idea of what we want for our students. You should take your son or daughter by there to see what size guitar they need based on their size. In most instances I recommend a nylon string classical style guitar for a young beginner. Bigger and older students (10+ can consider a steel string or electric guitar if that is the direction they want to take but we should discuss this). I also strongly recommend that you get a gig bag or case for the guitar to protect it.
Books- there are 4 books that I commonly use with my younger students. Here they are with a description and some links to get them although Music and Arts carries some of these and they could order them as well.
Mel Bay New Dimensions in Classical Guitar for Children- I use this one with my youngest students (usually up to about 10-11), there are very simple songs that we move through quickly, emphasis is on technique and developing our fingers.
Suzuki Guitar School, Volume 1: Guitar Part- Although I am not a Suzuki trained instructor I really like some of the concepts of the Suzuki method and therefor use this book with my young students. The emphasis here is on technique and musicianship and as opposed to the New Dimensions book above we keep these pieces for much longer attempting some semblance of perfection with each one.
Guitar Method for Young Beginners- I use this book to primarily develop sight reading ability and the introduction of chord playing.
Essential Elements for Guitar, Comprehensive Guitar Method - I only use this one with my older young students (usually at least 9+). I use this book as an extension of their chord and song playing and to reinforce sight reading. This one emphasizes popular styles.
Three Ring Binder with paper- This is where I will keep weekly notes of what should be practiced. Also get some organizing tabs as we will eventually need to organize different sections of weekly notes, scales and chords, other music, etc.
Picks- Picks come in so many different fun colors sizes and shapes. Unfortunately, many of the fun sizes and shapes are really not practical for playing. Most of my students will learn to use their right hand fingers to play along with using a pick for playing chords and songs. I almost exclusively focus on using your fingers first. Going ahead and getting some picks is recommended but we will likely not start with them. My preference is the Fender 351 in a medium weight pick.
Gig bag/Case- A gig bag or case is highly recommended to protect your guitar! A good gig bag with some padding is usually sufficient. A case offers more protection but is heavier.
Tuner- Tuners come in two basic varieties. There are chromatic tuners that can be used to tune any instrument. These are a little harder to use at first but much more flexible as you become more advanced and do things with a capo or alternate tunings. There are also guitar/bass tuners. These are simpler to use at first because they just tune to the open strings of a guitar or bass. The downside of this is when you get more advanced you will outgrow this type of tuner. Also if you get too far out of tune you will have trouble finding your way back into pitch. My recommendation is to get a simple guitar/bass tuner or the snark chromatic tuner. You can easily download a free or inexpensive tuning app for your phone that will do the job.
Capo- There are several kinds depending on the guitar. If you are concerned that the capo will get easily lost then I recommend the Kyser capo. It clamps down on to the head of the guitar and it can simply be left on there until the student needs to use it. the down side of this one is that there's a lot of tension on it so my youngest students sometimes have a hard time taking it off and on. My favorite kind of capo for the classical (nylon string) guitar is the D'Addario Planet Waves capo. It adjust with a small knob that will screw it down to the appropriate tension. For steel string acoustic guitars or for electric guitar, I like the Dunlop Trigger Capo.
contact me with your questions!