Carol Kaye, the famous female pioneer bassist behind the Beach Boys, has 10,000 recordings to her name.
When did she start bass guitar? Around age 13.
Every budding bassist’s story starts differently. Kaye started playing when she was a teen, but you can get your child started on the bass earlier than that.
It all depends on a few important factors specific to the bass guitar and how willing your child is to start picking it up.
Keep reading to find out when your child should start with bass guitar lessons.
How Tall Are They?
One of the largest bass guitar models, the Fender Jazz, is nearly four feet tall.
While this is on the lengthier side (the standard is around 34 inches), if the guitar itself is taller than your child, consider a smaller instrument to start with.
If their heart is set on playing the bass, consider what’s called a “short-scale” instrument for them.
How Strong Are They?
Most bass guitars weigh between 8-10lb. That’s about a gallon of milk.
They might make carrying that milk jug in from the car look easy, but keep in mind they’ll have the bass strapped around their back and pulling toward the front of their body. This could hurt their posture if they’re still growing.
Try flipping their school backpack around to see how long they’d be comfortable sitting or standing in that position. 30 minutes (the recommended daily practice time) and they’re off to a good start.
Hands and Fingers
Bass guitar strings are thicker and the fingering board is wider than their standard guitar counterparts.
Students have to have wide hands and strong, flexible fingers to keep a good practice habit going or they’ll quickly get frustrated and lose interest.
Don’t forget the likelihood of developing finger calluses.
If their hands aren’t quite big enough yet, consider choosing an instrument like the regular guitar or violin while their hands mature.
Does Their Personality Suit the Bass?
There’s a reason bass guitar players usually get started with their music lessons in their teens. Besides requiring physical size and strength, you need a lot of responsibility to play bass guitar.
Bass players are required to keep a strong foundation of sound and rhythm in the group. Imagine dancing to your favorite songs without the bass. You can’t!
There’s an expectation on the bassist to keep a steady, pulsating beat. If your child hasn’t developed a sense of individual and communal responsibility yet, maybe wait until they’re older or try a different instrument in the meantime.
Ready for Bass Guitar Lessons?
So you’ve read through and decided you want to start your child on bass guitar. Great!
Playing the bass guitar and investing in a musical education has a whole host of benefits kids can take with them into adulthood.
If you’re feeling closer to starting bass guitar lessons, contact us to schedule a free trial lesson!