There is now an entirely new means of empowering all children to easily play the guitar, ukulele and dulcimer along with any piece of music in any Key. With new special tunings (easy, using a chromatic electronic tuner), all a child has to do to accompany any song in beautiful harmony is strum across or randomly pick the strings (no chord changes are required). Capos are used for playing in various Keys.
Young children absolutely love this form of musical expression. They learn to hold their instrument, strum and pick in time with the music, and become familiar with the harmonious sound of the most primitive and basic chord - the two note "open 5th drone".They add a very harmonious element to any music making activity when playing in this fashion. They become very relaxed, start making up their own songs, and begin to experience their own innately creative musical powers. Small 1/2 sized classical guitars, dulcimers and baritone ukuleles are perfect for children in this age group.
The tunings and method are covered in both the Beginning Guitar and Dulcimer Simplified Method Books, and in the Family Harmonymaking Beginners Guide as well.
Once children reach the age of about five or six (younger in some cases), they are ready to begin playing chords. With the guitar, which inevitably becomes their instrument of choice, they are not quite ready to hold the instrument in a traditional fashion and play chords with the GUITAR BARRE® (they're usually ready for this around age 7 or 8). They are, however, quite capable of playing 1/2 (30" to 32") and 3/4 (34") sized student guitars in a "lap mode", using the CHILD'S BARRE® (the same as the DULCIMER BARRE®).
Labels, which come with each CHILD'S BARRE®, are placed on the face of the fretboard. The guitar is laid flat, much like a dulcimer, and the child simply pushes the CHILD'S BARRE® down at the fretboard label matching the chord in the music and strums (see the photo to the right). The chord labels can also be used for a simplified means of playing melodies.
The tunings and method are covered in both the Beginning Guitar and Dulcimer Simplified Method Books. The CHILD'S BARRE® can be ordered using the GUITAR BARRE ORDER FORM. Each CHILD'S/DULCIMER BARRE® comes with labels and a short User's Guide.
Note: the CHILD'S BARRE® can also be used by adults with special needs for chording any guitar if using the GUITAR BARRE® proves to be to difficult. Unlike slides, which produce an abrasive chording sound, the 'soft bar' on the CHILD'S BARRE® produces a traditional 'fingered' sound.
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