Tablature or Standard Notation for my 11-Year-Old?

by Ellen

Hi Dana, Thank you for your web site. I just found it! I have 3 children, we homeschool and love it.

My 11 y.o. son loves the guitar, and seems good at it, even though I don't play it. (I play piano and give lessons). He knows a good many chords and can switch with good timing, but he wants to play melody too.

Now, I have attempted to teach him piano, for 7 years. He is slightly dyslexic (I think). His reading is emerging, and he is behind on his spelling, so I think that is the reason why the piano doesn't go well. How is the best way to teach him to play melody on guitar? Note reading on sheet music? or Tablature?


Hi, Ellen,
I guess the answer depends on how he has been doing reading piano music. Frankly, I would have him learn both, because if he really loves guitar, he'll probably continue to play. Tablature is fast to learn, but it can only take you so far. You can't learn classical music with tablature. Have you thought of Bluegrass music which uses "flatpicking"?

If I were you, I'd study this "Beginner Guitar" page & check out the books I recommend. I think the Mel Bay Country Guitar book would be a good choice for your son. But if you want to go the notereading approach, go for Alfred's course. I would also pick up your son's guitar when he isn't around and learn to play the guitar! That would give you a lot of insight into what is appropriate for him.
Good luck!

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