Guitar Lessons for Kids: How Much and What to Practice?

Posted by Brian Parham on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kid with Guitar

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle


If you want to extract the most value out of your child’s guitar lessons, then you’ll need to know what and how much he/she should practice. Before we dive in, there are some basic rules of thumb to follow: 

  1. Practice the Guitar Every Day: Short frequent practice sessions are more effective than longer, less frequent practice sessions.
  2. Start Slow and Gradually Increase the Tempo: If your son or daughter can’t play it slow, he/she can’t play it!
  3. Yes, You Have to Tap Your Foot!: Foot tapping is a great way to internalize rhythm and a great sense of groove. If your son/daughter isn’t tapping as she performs, then she’s missing out on half of the musical benefits!
  4. Set Goals: Whenever our child sits down to practice the guitar, he/she should have a goal in mind. 



A Great Guitar Practice Session Starts with a Great Goal

Goal-setting is a critical component of musical achievement. A good goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. In other words, it’s SMART. Imagine your daughter is learning a new song with some challenging new chords on the guitar. A great goal for her would be learning the first 4-measures of the song.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can she play the first 4-measures in time?

  • Can she tap her foot as she performs?

  • Does she know the names of the notes and chords she’s playing?

  • Can she perform without unwanted string noise?

  • Can she clearly articulate each note in the chord?

  • Can she answer a simple question as she performs?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, mission accomplished! Those first 4-measures are indestructible. Now, add the next four-measures during week two.

When you couple goal-setting with a practice routine, great things are bound to happen!


What and How Much to Practice?

2 Minutes

Warm-Up: Finger Exercises

3 Minutes

Technique: Minor Pentatonic Scale, Major Pentatonic Scale, or The Natural Minor Scale

5 Minutes

Rock Hard: Play a fun, familiar song from class with the backing track.

5 Minutes

Getting Stronger: Tackle more challenging material from class.

5 Minutes

Stay Inspired: Listen to some inspiring rock music!


Your Kid Can Get a Black Belt in Rock!

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The Rock Dojo offers award-winning, introductory-level guitar lessons for kids after-school in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. You can check out the Rock Dojo FAQs to learn how our colored-belt systems works (hint: it’s like karate. As your students improve on the guitar, they graduate belt levels just like the martial arts). Do you have a specific question about our guitar lessons for kids? Drop us a line at (503) 484-6417 or contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page.

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