Loog for Young Guitarists: Info and Q&A

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Leah Kruszewski
Loog for Young Guitarists: Info and Q&A

Young children are drawn to guitars - they hear and see them all the time in popular music, they’re fun to hold and strum, and, of course, they look cool.  That said, nearly all music educators would agree that it’s not the easiest instrument to start out on. Young piano students only have to touch a key to make a sound, and they can walk away playing a simple melody on their very first day.  Young guitar students, on the other hand, have to first earn how to hold the guitar comfortably (not so easy!) and other background information like string names and tuning, which can be tricky even for adults. Before playing a melody, children have to develop enough strength in their left hand to press down thin strings into a wooden fretboard.   For these reasons, in spite of the draw guitar has on kids from the beginning, many quit because it is simply too hard for them to play.

I’ve been teaching children guitar for twelve years and have written several articles and forum posts on the subject (guitar guide for beginners, guide for parents of young students, for example).  Half-size and three-quarter size nylon string guitars have been my usual recommendation for young beginners.  While I have had some success with mature five- and six-year-olds with dedicated parents, over the years I’ve raised my standard starting age from five to eight years.  However, it’s always a shame to have to tell an excited young guitar enthusiast that they need to wait what seems like an eternity before they can play their favorite instrument.  Sometimes a ukulele can be a good substitute, as it’s smaller and much easier to manage.  However, the ukulele is a completely different instrument from the guitar with different tuning, different chord shapes, and different musical voice. Switching to a guitar later on will mean they have to learn a completely new instrument. When a child really wants a guitar, only a guitar will do.  

I was recently introduced to a new sort of guitar especially designed with young beginners in mind.  It’s called the Loog guitar and has only three strings instead of six, which are tuned identically to the first three strings of a guitar.  Three strings are much easier to tune, comprehend, and play. Furthermore, when a student is ready to graduate to a six-string guitar, they don’t have to re-learn information or chord shapes.  Here are some other things I like about the Loogs so far:

  1. They are small, light, and can be held with a guitar strap.  It’s difficult for young children to sit still in a proper position for playing.  Having the guitar supported by the strap keeps it in place even for the most wiggly students.  

  2. There are several models to choose from.  I’ve gotten to play are an acoustic steel string, a ‘mini’ (extra small with nylon strings for the smallest hands), and an electric (a really cool option for rockstar wannabes).

  3. They look cool.  It’s so much more fun to practice and show off your skills if you look like a rockstar doing it.  

  4. They’re well-built.  The necks are made of solid wood, and the tuning machines are sturdy and fulfill their function.  In contrast, some small six-string guitars are well-made, but many cheap options are little more than guitar-shaped toys.  It’s nearly impossible to learn a guitar that doesn’t stay in tune.

  5. They come with flashcards and an app.  It’s great to have these teaching props ready to go.  The app is designed to make playing seem like a game, which helps with learning any skill.

I’m excited to start recommending this guitar to young beginners.  After slowly raising my starting age over the years, having a trustworthy option to recommend to excited five- and six-year-olds is a welcome development.  

Any thoughts from other Lessonface teachers or parents of young children?  Have any other students already seen Loog guitar come to their area? Has anyone else tried one?  It’s a new product, so it’s not widely available in stores yet, but I’ll share some more information soon.

Leah Kruszewski

There's been an increase in interest in Loog guitar lessons at Lessonface recently, so I thought it worth re-posting the above information about Loog guitars.  Online guitar lessons are a great way to stay occupied and engaged at home, and it's great for very young musicians to have this option!  

I have more hands-on experience teaching Loog lessons since I wrote the above post, and would like to add 

(1) I've been impressed with the quality of construction of Loog guitars.  Mine hangs on the wall, and we've had variable weather where I live lately - hot/cold, rainy/dry.  Yet when I take it down for a lesson, it needs minimal adjustment and stays in tune for the whole class.  

(2) One sort of student that Loog guitars are really great for are very young students whose focus and concentration skills are great for their age, yet whose coordination is still developing.   Students like this would ordinarily have to wait until they can handle a 6-string guitar, even though they are mentally ready to start.  It's nice to be able to feed their passion as soon as it ignites, rather 

Do any young Loog guitarists or their parents have feedback, comments, or questions about their Loog guitars or lessons?   Please comment below, we'd love to hear from you!

Emily M Zimmer

Hi, folks.

I see that this forum hasn't been active for a long time, so let's re-ignite this discussion.  The Loog guitar family is growing quickly, and I'd love it if we could share some ideas and links to help us teach Loog guitar better.

Here's a great start:  Loog Guitars just put a bunch of great beginner tabs on their website, and you can find them at this page (scroll down a bit): https://loogguitars.com/blogs/the-loog-blog/a-complete-list-of-loog-guitar-learning-resources

Thanks, and I look forward to your insights

Emily Z - certified Loog instructor

Bruce Humphries

I am looking forward to the next class to get certified to teach on the Loog guitar.  I have a five year old and a ten year old student that I think would benefit by starting out on one of these.

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