Buying a Guitar For your Child

Your kid is 12 years old and wants to play guitar.  You can identify with that impulse and it feels good. 

There’s a Kenny Chesney video in which a high school football coach is telling the kids, “everybody wants to be you tonight.”  It’s fun to be a kid and it is fun to play guitar. 

The main thing to bear in mind is that you are creating memories for a lifetime for your child so it’s an opportunity to create something lasting.  It’s funny how guitars outlive us as human beings but the more esoteric question is how long do memories last and do they transcend our very existence? 

The most important aspect of this purchase is making sure your kid has a good experience.   In all nearly all cases the first instinct is the correct one.  It’s ok to buy on color as long as the child has a chance to at least touch and hold the guitar.  Playing guitar is a tactile experience, and the instincts don’t lie.

Another important aspect is finding the right teacher for your child.  A great teacher for one person is not a great teacher for everybody.  Inspiration is often more important than virtuosity. Who inspires your child?

Playing guitar is a broad topic.   Some people want to play folk songs, some want to play like Jimi Hendrix, others want to learn jazz chords.   All are noble pursuits but entail an entirely different set of requirements.   Identify what the goals are and use this as an opportunity to teach your kid about the value of setting realistic, attainable goals early on.

The process is your child’s relationship to music as a participant, just as little league is your child’s relationship to sports as a participant.  Purchasing a guitar is part of that process, but it should be emphasized that this is a process.  The gift is the music, not the guitar.  The gift of music originates from the source and remains part of that source long after we are gone.  This purchase represents something much bigger than a present from mom and dad.