GUITAR & BASS
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Guitar & Bass Lessons
The Santa Monica School of Dance and Music offers guitar lessons for students ages 8 years to adult, of all abilities from beginners to very advanced students. 8 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable. Therefore for 4½ – 7 year olds, we offer Guitar Jr. to get a head start on learning using a smaller guitar. Guitar Jr. is made to introduce the children to beginning theory, playing simple rhythms and songs with a single string and with easy chords.
Why learn guitar?
Guitars are nearly ubiquitous in modern music, showing up in jazz, rock, pop, country, and other styles of music. As such, they are very versatile instruments.
Countless studies sing the developmental praises of learning a musical instrument, with benefits (eighteen of which can be found here) as wide ranging as better memory and improved math skills. Learning guitar, in particular, can teach students chord progression and other fundamentals of musical theory alongside musical benefits that come from studying other instruments. It’s easy to begin playing the guitar, but there are always new techniques for advanced students to master.
Our private guitar lessons are one-on-one instruction and lesson lengths are 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 1 hour. We offer instruction in various styles from rock to classical, jazz and pop. We have students who want to play just for fun and students who are getting ready for a show or event!
Bass guitar students are generally at least 10 years old.
Acoustic, Electric, Bass – How do I choose?
A lot of it depends on what kind of music you or your child wants to play and what your (child’s) musical experience is. An acoustic guitar is typically made of wood, and doesn’t require an amplifier or other electronic components. It’s probably what you think of when you first think “guitar.” If you’re just starting out, learning acoustic guitar is a great foundation. From flamenco music and lyric guitar songs, to folk music and rock solos, it’s all played on the acoustic guitar.
But maybe you’re ready to plug in and rock out with your band. Maybe electric guitar lessons are for you. Electric guitars can be heard just about everywhere you turn. They’re a staple of rock and pop music, but in the right hands are no less versatile than their acoustic brethren.
But what is a bass? A bass is the guitar’s deeper-ranged cousin, an essential piece of any rock band or jazz group. It (usually) only has four or five strings (compared to six on the guitar), but is larger overall. Basses are incredibly versatile instruments that can go from providing the heart and groove in a group setting to headlining a solo show.
Of course, like most things choosing which instrument to play (or what class to take) ultimately comes down to what gets the student excited. Does your child want to try out the bass? Go for it! Prefer rhythm guitar? That’s great too!