Kids Guitar Lessons: Reduced Chords

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The main thing anyone needs to keep in mind when trying to give kids guitar lessons is that kids need to be entertained at all times. It’s hard to explain to kids that hours of boring practice will have the awesome result of improved guitar technique. When teaching young kids, you have to keep their interest and make them not feel like they’re working hard.

One of the best ways to make children engage with the guitar is to teach them to play songs. The experience of being able to strum and sing actual songs is a much better method for convincing kids to practice than giving them boring scales to learn.

To play songs, you need to know how to play chords. That presents a challenge, because even basic chord shapes take a little bit of time for unfamiliar hands to get used to. Fortunately, you can begin by teaching kids reduced chord shapes and get them playing simple songs within the span of one lesson.

Reduced chord shapes are simple variations of first-position open chords that do not require the difficult hand positioning of standard chords. The simplified fretting works because only the G, B, and high E strings are strummed. When these three strings are the only ones played, G, Em, E, and C chords can be played with one finger (or less, in the case of Em).

These are diagrams for the four simplest reduced chord shapes:


Em-simple.png


E-simple.png


C-simple.png


G-simple.png

You may also watch this BEGINNER GUITAR LESSON

Once kids have mastered these, you will be able to teach them to strum along with the incredible number of songs that have I-vi or I-IV chord progressions. The next step is to teach them the normal first-position D chord shape, which is harder but will enable them to play the classic “50s chord progression” used in everything from “Stand by Me” to Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

Also I want to recommend you to check out our beginner course in DVD:

ULTIMATE BEGINNER GUITAR COURSE