Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course
Although there are many piano books written for younger students, it seems to me that it is a lot harder to find a beginning guitar book for young children. This is one such series of books. It starts right at the beginning and progresses with the age and capability of its target audience always in mind. First, your child will find a guitar they are comfortable with, and then they will learn proper strumming technique and hand and finger positions. After that, it's on to simple notes and chords. Each time a note or chord is introduced, a short song is provided so students can "really play." They will recognize many of the songs, such as London Bridge, Skip to My Lou, and the song no program would be complete without, When the Saints Go Marching In. To keep it simple, children use only the bottom three strings of the guitar throughout the book. Along the way, they learn simple musical terms and notation such as the staff, notes, beat, rhythm, and more. The pages are full but not cluttered, allowing children to focus on what they are learning. Included with the book is an enhanced CD, which can be played in your PC or on your stereo. This CD includes tracks for all of the music in the books so children can hear it, practice with it, or play with it. Both levels are also available with a DVD, so that students can reap the benefits of a live instructor. The DVDs are sold separately or along with the book and CD for each level. Please note that the CDs/DVDs are being phased out and replaced with access codes to stream or download audio and video content online. This book will provide a wonderful foundation for any young child aspiring to play the guitar. The second book follows a similar format to the first book and continues to progress in difficulty, first reviewing and then building on the skills learned in Level 1. The Complete edition combines Books One and Two with the activity pages of the Notespeller, and is available either with a DVD (combining the video content of Level 1 & 2), or along with an access code to stream or download audio content online.
Electric guitar books are also available in Levels 1&2 and either with or without a DVD. These books follow the same structure and pacing as the standard Kids Guitar Course, but offer a little more info about electric guitars, cords, and amplifiers, and each song has a box where students can note whether they prefer the song with or without distortion.