12 year old: Beginning guitar, theory, piano books?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by fuzz_factor, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    Can anyone recommend some fun self-study guitar, music theory and/or piano books for a twelve year old girl?

    I've started teaching my little sister how to play guitar, but we don't live in the same state, so I want to get her some books so she can continue her studies. I'll be buying her a guitar and she already has a Casio keyboard.

    I have her started on G - C - D chords on the guitar and the C major scale on the keyboard. I should mention that I've never done any music teaching, so this is new to me.

    Thanks for any recommendations.
     
  2. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

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    do they still print that mel bay beginning guitar book. that got me started.
     
  3. stevel

    stevel Member

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    The Mel Bay and similar Hal Leonard guitar books are the standards that probably most of us used or encountered at some point and both are still available, along with many, many others.

    I liked one called "Fast Track" guitar method. It was a little more "hip" than Mel Bay - the Mel Bay is reprints from the 50s and includes song many 12 year olds today are unlikely to know - Buffalo Gals - I mean, come on.

    Of course, in my experience, 12 year olds were more interested in learning video game soundtracks than "real" music, but that's another issue altogether (but maybe the girls are less into it than boys).

    The Fast Track books introduce both standard and tablature notation, have a CD with examples, and does "some more recognizable" melodies like Jingle Bells and Ode to Joy. The only funny thing is, the book calls everything "X Rock" - Ode to Rock, or Rock to Joy, Jingle Rock, or Rocking the Bells, etc. - I think they thought by putting hte name "rock" in the title, kids would dig it more.

    But it does have a nice smattering a traditional, holiday, 50s rock-esque, Surf Rock, and Blues type lessons, so it's a nice overview.

    But, I do want to recommend an instructor - I saw so many students - kids to adults, who came in and said "I've been trying to teach myself..." or "I bought this video and..." and to be honest, unless they're able to sit down with someone else who plays (a relative or friend) it's very difficult to translate from pictures and text (and even recordings) to what a live person can show you. So you may try to get her parents to consider lessons from a reputable instructor (reputable means one with good references - there are some bad ones out there)

    Best,
    Steve
     
  4. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Oh, I should add, don't bother with theory. That's like giving a kid a Wii and forcing them to read and understand the schematic diagrams! (not that theory isn't important, but they'll learn what they need as they go initially).

    For Piano, there are many respected beginners series and many of them are age-oriented. Alfred is probably one of the largest publishers (they do Guitar and Piano BTW). Here's the basic piano library:

    http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/General.aspx?pageid=250


    A word of caution - many of the piano books still take the basic "we're preparing the student to become a concert pianist" approach and kids start playing Bach and stuff they possibly won't like (again, not that it's bad stuff to learn, but not everyone wants to play Rachmaninov - or can!). There are some more "fun" ones out there but depending on the maturity level of this 12 year old, some of them might be "too cutesy".

    Now they have "keyboard" methods or "Jazz/Rock" methods which might be a little more palatable depending on her tastes.

    HTH
    Steve
     
  5. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Imo, the words 12 year old and self study don't typically go together. Mabe buying a small block of lessons from a local teacher with a decent rep?
     
  6. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    :agree

    Even if we're talking about a disciplined, dedicated kid, an instrument should be learned the "proper" way from the beginning.
     

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