Let’s say your child has been eager to learn guitar for a while now. You buy them the acoustic they’ve had their eye on, you signed them up for guitar lessons in Houston, and they couldn’t be more excited to begin! But after one lesson with their private guitar teacher, their fingers start to hurt. This can leave them feeling discouraged to practice, let alone continue to play.
Learning to play the guitar means you have to stick to the strings you got, right? Wrong! There is no “one size fits all” for picking guitar strings, especially when you’re just starting. The best guitar strings for beginners learning to play an acoustic are the ones that will help make it easier to play. That means finding strings that will discourage finger-pain. Here are a few options to consider.
Types of strings to choose
There are many types of strings you can buy for a guitar. Be sure to visit your local music shop and test the feel of the different kinds of strings. Buy the most comfortable strings for your child so that they can be encouraged to play more. The more they play, the more their fingertips will become callused, and the better they will get at playing. Nylon and steel are popular go-to materials for beginners.
Nylon strings are a classic go-to for beginners. They are softer to press than steel strings, and they don’t cut into your fingertips as much. However, nylon strings belong on a classical guitar, not on a steel-stringed guitar.
If you haven’t bought a guitar yet for your child, you may consider buying a classical guitar. Most people who buy a classical guitar do it because they plan to pursue classical, folk, flamenco, and other types of music like these. If your child is more likely to play other styles of music like rock, pop, and blues, then a steel-stringed guitar is a better option.
If you already bought a guitar for your child, it probably came with steel strings. If your child finds the strings uncomfortable, you don’t have to keep this particular set of strings, and you don’t have to give the guitar away, either.
Choose to buy strings with a lighter gauge than what is currently on the guitar. Picking strings that are thinner will be more comfortable for your child because they will be easier to play. Pressing on lighter gauge strings won’t cut into fingertips as much as a heavier gauged string. Look to buy strings with a “light” gauge.
Opt to buy different material steel strings, too. All steel strings have steel at the core, but some types have different material wrapped around the steel string. Many professionals will recommend that beginners use silk and steel type strings. This type will also make it easier on your kid’s fingers when they play.
An extra tip
Take a look at the distance between the strings and the fretboard, too. Sometimes guitars are made so that there is quite a bit of space between the strings and the fretboard. The extra space means you have to put more effort into pressing the string down, which causes more pain for beginners.
To shorten the distance between the strings and the fretboard, you can tighten the screws on the bridge to lower the bridge, which will also lower the strings. If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, you can visit your local music shop or hire one of our music instructors to come to your house to give lessons and help your child with their guitar setup.
Ready to get started?
If your current guitar string situation is uncomfortable for your child, don’t get discouraged! Get whatever strings are the most comfortable for your child to use. He or she may experience a little tenderness initially, but in time, your child will develop the calluses they need to become guitar masters.
Of course, to truly become a guitar master, they should have an excellent teacher. At Lessons In Your Home, we hire the best of the best, and we thoroughly vet all of our instructors. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. However, our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more.