Kids Guitar

by Taura Eruera

The first thing your guitar kid needs is a kids guitar, right?

Er! No.

The first thing your child guitar player needs is a guitar tuner

This is especially true if their teacher teaches them to learn chords first.

When you play two or more strings at a time, you must have a guitar that's in tune

Before guitar tuners, beginners had to play on untuned guitars that they could not tune.

Tuning is one those essential skills that you need. 

Before you have even learned how to tune.

Like it or not, learning how to tune a guitar typically comes way after you learn how to play.

That's why you need an electronic tuner first.

So before you buy your child's guitar, buy a guitar tuner first.

Even if it means delaying the purchase of any children guitar.

Your choices are:

  1. Buy a tuneless guitar that nobody can tune and that your child will play less and less
  2. Buy a tuner that tunes your childs guitar that they enjoy playing more and more

I recommend a Sabine NexTune 12Z guitar tuner

Guitar tuner.

They retail for around $44.95 and I got mine from Hewitts Fiddle Store in Dominion Road.

Check with the Rock Shop and Musicworks to see if they currently stock them.

I like this model because it is basic, simple, does the job and has a real easy to read, black on grey, display (orange on black or green on black don't work for me).

It's not the only model available but it's one that I use and can recommend.

If this specific model is unavailable go for an easy to read, black on white or grey display, chromatic tuner.

Avoid tuners without chromatic capability.  Chromatic means that your child can tune their guitar to several tunings, not just one. Exactly what you want.


how to register yoour child for a free Be My Guest Guitar Lesson


So the second thing your guitar kid needs is a kids guitar, right?


Not yet.

Your child needs a capo. Sometimes called by the full name: capodastro.

This is especially important for learning chords.

CapodastroAcoustic capo

I'll spare you a 2,400 word explanation here.

Suffice to say, at this point, learning chords without a capo is harmful for child guitar players.

Learning chords with a capo is highly beneficial for child guitar players.

So the third thing your guitar kid needs is a kids guitar, right?

I'd argue no.

Give the third priority to a metronome.

I'll spare you a 3,600 word explanation here and ask, would it be better for your child to play in time?
Or out of time?

Would it be better for your child to establish lifetime rhythmic habits?

Or lifetime disrhythmic habits.

Would your child benefit from mistake-free learning?

Or mistake riddled learning?

A metronome is to your little guitar player what a stop watch is to an athlete.

I recommend the Sabine Zipbeat which retails at $49.95.

 Sabine Metronome

I don't recommend any other. I have only been able to get them from Musicworks shops.

So the fourth thing your guitar kid needs is a kids guitar, right?

Most people would say yeah!

But I say, "Not yet.

"Now that your child can tune their guitar, play with a capo and play in time with a metronome, surely it's guitar time! I hear you saying.

The fourth thing your child needs is a timer.

Like a kitchen timer.

Again, I'll spare you the lengthy explanation.

Whereas the metronome trains your childs muscles and neurology, the timer trains your child's guitar brain.


The timer trains your child's guitar brain.

This might sound a bit weird to you. But you might have to trust my experience on that one for now.

I recommend I recommend the Electronic Clock Timer that retails for $29.95 from Dick Smith stores.

Kitchen Timer

So the fifth thing your guitar kid needs is a kids guitar, right?

Yes, but hold on!

Buy my recommendations and you will spend:

Tuner $44.95
Capo   $10.95
Metronome $49.95
Timer $29.95
Total $144.80


This may be more than your guitar will cost. 

It may be the same as your guitar will cost.

Maybe your guitar will cost more.

You now see that to make guitar more effective for your child you need to allow for this budget.


Questions you might have

Question: My child doesn't know how to use them, so why get them?

Answer: Because you will help them and teach them how to use them in their practise and learning times at home.

And the guitar teacher will show you how.

It's more important for you to invest in these items and delay lessons with the guitar teacher than book your children into guitar lessons without them.

Question: What if I buy these things and my child stops guitar?

Answer: The guitar teacher can onsell your retired items to whoever takes over your children guitar lessons. And your guitar too.

So the fifth thing your guitar kid needs is a kids guitar, right?


So which child guitar should you buy?