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My son wants to learn guitar...

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posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 06:59 AM
As the title states, my son wants to learn to play a six string. I happen to have an old six string lying around. I call it a Lying V, but I have not got an awful lot of data on what make and model it actually is. I think it is pretty much a dodgy imitation of something else. Also, it is not full size, making it ideal for my ten year old sons little fingers and hands.

It is a serviceable little noise machine.

What I want to know from my fellow members, is the following:

When I re-string it, which must happen since the strings have not been changed since the Jurassic era, should I be looking for any particular strings? I only ask, because I want him to be as comfortable as possible with the instrument. Because I only picked up an instrument at the beginning of adulthood myself, I have no idea what it is like to try and play a stringed instrument with little hands, and I was wondering if there are any strings recommended for young beginners.

Any advice on this issue would be very much appreciated.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:05 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Give the guitar lightweight strings, I'm thinking about 9 to 42. That way it'll be easier to press on them for a beginner. Plus your kid will be able to make better bends than with larger strings.

D'Addario 9-42 Strings on

edit on 13-6-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:09 AM

25 sets

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:12 AM

originally posted by: Lysergic

25 sets

From your link:

String gauges are (High E to Low E): 11 14 18 28 38 48

Way too heavy for a beginner, mate.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:13 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Yah, soft strings for beginners. He should understand though, that "learning to play guitar" means calluses, and in the beginning, pain associated with practice.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:15 AM
a reply to: swanne

I started on these, my fingers are beast-mode now.

But yeah, it took time to get there, all those finger aches, hehe, paid off now!
edit on 13-6-2015 by Lysergic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:19 AM
a reply to: Lysergic

Hehe, so did I. But I started on an accoustic guitar. The OP has a guitar which is electric (a flying V), and I sure hope his boy doesn't go through the hell you and me went.

Electric guitars need low gauge strings anyway. Otherwise the neck will bend under the extra tension.

edit on 13-6-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:23 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I usually go 10 to 52 because it makes it sound better but for a beginner....I agree with Swanne because its easier to play,especially for a smaller person.
I started with a 100 dollar guitar and a 50 dollar amp.

Just don't be one of those dudes who buys a 2000 dollar guitar...he has to earn it.
Get him a small acoustic....I still have a mini to this day and it sounds great.

Good luck my man....encourage him but don't spend too much.

Also,the flying V sucks for sitting down slides off your leg.

edit on 13-6-2015 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:32 AM
8's is really idea for a beginner.

Important though is to have a good sounding amp, these days an amp can be had for $100 USD. Park amps out of Korea is what I used to recommend. They were in MOP where clones of the Marshalls combos solid state amps. Try to buy one if you can find one used.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:55 AM
Ahh man, bummer you are not in Australia, I'd have given you a choice of a couple of spares I've got around, in slightly rough but playable condition. Swannes' suggestion of light strings is pretty solid advice, but I'd add to get him to spread his legs when sitting down to play, and set the lower part of the V between his legs so the neck goes up around 30-45 degrees or so. Classical position style. Otherwise V's are a pain to play sitting down. Otherwise make him stand up like a rock god with a good comfy strap - wide stance and start pointing to the audience (vase, or a dog for now).

Seriously consider how he best learns. My daughter is distracted by anybody anywhere, so a class setting was useless. I ended up getting a pro in each week for one on one lessons. Not cheap though, but you might find a young kid offering cheap lessons, but expect him to not be as good obviously.

Work on chords, primarily G, C and D. There's a million songs he can play along with those 3 chords and he will gain confidence in moving his fingers to the correct shape. Then add in E, F, A maybe B.

Scales get pretty boring pretty fast, they are important, but don't let him get too bogged down on that stuff in the beginning.

Best of luck!

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:56 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Ahhh, kids and music.
My son is learning to play the saxophone.
The real pleasure is when they get good at it!

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 07:56 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

String gauges aside, it's worth your while taking the instrument down to the shop and getting it set up right. A properly tensioned neck and correctly adjusted bridge will hugely improve the playability whatever gauge of string you use, and making sure the intonation is correct (by adjusting the string saddles) will ensure that your boy develops a more accurate sense of pitch.

If the guitar has been lying around neglected for a while it almost certainly needs to be set up anyway.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 08:02 AM
@ all responding posters:

Thanks for the advice guys! I will be running with the thin gauge strings as swanne suggested, since it makes the most sense to ensure the playability of the guitar as a matter of priority.

a reply to: DrumsRfun

The guitar that I am giving my son was once my sisters, when she was about twelve. She gave up the guitar pretty swiftly, and I took equally swift possession of it soon after that. So essentially, the guitar is a freebie in that I am not going to have to buy one for him. The amp I am thinking of getting is a Stagg 10w amp, which I can get for just a little under £50 if I bargain hunt. I know a Stagg amp will be fine for him at this stage, since I had a Stagg amp when I was just starting out with my bass, and it did the business until it gave up the ghost about six years ago. It's not going to be a noise nuisance at just ten watts, but it will let him wail out well enough until he gets to a high proficiency, at which point I will look into expanding his noise making capacity further.

I have never been one for big, flashy gear. Making melodies really only requires a functional instrument and a workable amplifier. Trent Reznor might think a lot of himself for having a room full of computers to do his work for him, and a flashy guitar and amp rig is all very well if you make money from your music, but for just goofing off in ones room? Nah. Back to basics!

As for the v shape making it hard to sit and play, I agree. However, my son and I share a slight sway in our spines, and neither of us should ever play guitar sitting down for this reason anyway. It will force him to get up, and adopt a playing style which suits his physiology, rather than hunching over the guitar while perched on his bed.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 08:22 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

That's great TrueBrit!!

I know nothing of strings or guitars. I'm still figuring out my violin and what are the best strings for it. The ones it came with are always getting loose.

My clarinet is definitely a much easier instrument! Strings are a different world for me so far! I am enjoying it but with a 2 year old who is very curious I don't get much alone time to practice lol.

Good luck finding the right strings and yay for you son wanting to play!

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 09:46 AM
We're going to make a few mock up guitars, using scraps of wood and paper mache. May get some commercial hemp or long fibre to put into the mix, but the primary purpose is to get it to work and learn the electrical wiring and how to wind picks. And to get (whether it works the first time or it takes several attempts) something that sounds better than the walmart ones their dad bought them years ago, and better than the 250 dollar one I bought off amazon for my son's graduation that needed 100 dollars worth of work in a shop when it arrived.

I've looked at some interesting alternative guitars that look like worn out plywood, and woods you wouldn't normally use, like beat up pine, and they're gorgeous, and sound good, better than the cheap end.

Do you think its worth trying? The first ones would be what I call mock ups. If one can make the recycled ones, or mockups, sound good, then it may be worth putting a little bit of fancier, wood. But don't want to use rare woods at all, want to keep it simple and keep it in the alternative build category.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 10:08 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I could discuss strings forever...but if the neck and or fretboard are not relatively straight, it won't matter what kind they are.

If there is a truss rod, which is a metal piece inside the neck...either located under a plastic cover at the top of the fretboard on the other sideof the string nut. An adjustment screw could also be at the place the neck joints the body.

The straighter the neck-fretboard, the closer the string and easier for him to press down.

Why not pop over to a store with it? Costs almost nothing for them to sight down the fretboard and twist the truss rod.

edit on 13-6-2015 by mysterioustranger because: darn phone!!!

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 10:46 AM
a reply to: mysterioustranger

I have checked for relief in the neck of the guitar, and for all intents and purposes, and by the grace of God, there is none. My bass neck has, but this guitar is arrow straight. I checked that out the moment I realised I was going to hand it on to my son!

I will still put it in the shop though, just to get it cleaned and serviced and making the right noises!

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 11:05 AM
-Just to add to the calluses warning, my son also got tendinitis in his hand in the first year, as he was playing three hours a day or more. He'd take a guitar with him to the bathroom even.

Hope your son enjoys himself- it was one of the best things we ever did for ours, getting him started. It made him bloom in many ways, and when he left for college, I missed all the guitars and amps all over the house, and start playing Metallica and Hendrix while alone, to pretend he is still in the living room.

Last week a neighbor in the apartment under him knocked on the door. He opened the door and the neighbor introduced himself, and asked, "Are you the one playing guitar??"
My son gulped, ready to receive the complaint... "yeah".
"Just wanted to tell you it sounds excellent! I love hearing you play!"

That's when you know the hard work and money invested in his passion was successful!
edit on 13-6-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 11:10 AM
a reply to: Bluesma


I will be telling him that he is to play as much as he likes, but to get a minimum of twenty minutes every day of solid practice. Any more than that is a bonus, but players who get into the habit of playing at least twenty minutes a day get better results. I will also tell him to take regular breaks, if he will be playing for an extended period.

Its vital to stay hydrated while riffing, so he will have to take breaks to take on liquids and cool down a little.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 11:22 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I may have missed it but is it classical, acoustic, or electric?

Anything electric just get some cheap light strings at first then if hes really getting into it buy something more durable like Elixirs.

If it is a classical then about anything will work.

If it is acoustic id recommend getting a cheap classical or electric guitar for starting out.

A classical can be easier to learn because the strings push down very easy and the strings are further apart....on the other side of that it means his fingers have to stretch more which for some people can be a bigger problem. An electric is so easy to learn on because it practically plays itself and if he likes some rock songs its really easy to learn a lot of rock songs quickly which helps build confidence and fun.

Of course tablature is a good thing to learn but id start him out on chords. About 8 chords will have you playing 75% of all pop music out there and most more advanced songs just finger pick chords to some extent.

Sorry if you already knew most of this I just kind of wanted to throw out a few other things. I have a couple students myself at the moment on and off.

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