Here are questions I often get from folks. Maybe I can answer one of yours below.
Q: Do I have to read music to play an instrument?
A: Nope. Reading music is lots of fun, but Keith Richards can’t read a note, and it didn’t hold him up any.
Q: How old should someone be to start lessons?
A: On piano, a 5-year old can receive benefit of spending time with a teacher at the keyboard. On guitar, wait until the child has some fine motor skills available to press down the strings. This would be 8 years and older, but of course there are exceptions.
Q: Am i too old to learn an instrument?
A: NO! I love teaching older folks. I love to see them acquire a skill they’d always wanted, and have the joy of playing music.
Q: What kind of guitar should I start with?
A: I recommend starting with a classical style guitar. It is the easiest to play because it has nylon strings and a wide neck. You do compromise on sound, though, because it is softer and quieter than that of a steel string. If all you have is a steel string, we’ll just start with that.
Q: What’s the difference between a classical, steel string, or electric guitar?
A: A classical guitar has nylon strings and so is easier to play than a steel string. A steel string guitar has steel strings and a narrow neck, making it a challenge for beginners, but the sound is rich and projects well. An electric guitar has steel strings, but it has better “action” than a steel string, meaning the strings are closer to the neck making the easiest guitar to play. An electric guitar needs to be connected by cable to an amplifier to project its sound.
Q: Do I need a piano, or is an electronic keyboard ok for piano lessons?
A: A piano is an acoustic instrument – that means you don’t have to plug it in to play and hear it. The sound and power can be wonderful, but acoustic pianos will go out of tune and you need to have someone come in and tune it once a year. Electronic keyboards vary widely in style, cost, and sound, but they are completely fine for starting lessons. I do recommend that the keyboard have at least 30 keys. A full piano has 88 keys. Also, electronic keyboards with “weighted” keys feels more like a real piano.