I have 4 grandkids. My daughters kids are very young, but my sons' kids are boy 9, girl 11.

Talked to the wife and she's on board with this...

Gonna give son's kids instruments. Girl gets a 3 string CBG that I build from kit, boy gets lap steel. Both will get a good setup, tuner, practice amps, lesson books, cases, etc.

Any recommendations for music theory books for the kids? 

Gotta go. My ass is busy now...

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Hi James, great idea and lucky kids. I have taught many kids to play instruments over the years, and l have found that music theory is low on my list of importance. I find making music, learning simple songs and having fun will have them taking to the instrument quicker.

Music theory, to my way of thinking, doesn't seem to fit with the style of instruments and music we play on these simple instruments......but as one progresses things change.

I always thought off music theory as, enjoying school until the maths class came around, ha ha. In over fifty years of having and playing stringed instruments my understanding of music theory is ah, zilch.

just my view. Taff

Thanks, I appreciate that. My thought was just the basics, the note names, etc.

Hello, James. I agree with Taffy that you've got a great idea and that you've got some lucky grandkids. There are few gifts better than a musical instrument, especially one that you've made with your own hands.

While I clearly do not know what interests your grandchildren, I'm hard-pressed to believe that music theory would be one of them. It's a dry subject, for sure. That being said, aside from reading and some writing, music theory was the only subject I enjoyed in high school (so thankful it was offered where I went).

For young'uns, perhaps some single-string/canjo songbooks would be of interest. With those, at least the learning curve is an easy slope and a young mind may latch onto the immediate satisfaction of playing a melody. I understand this idea does not address the 3 and 6-string gifts, and therefore may be a moot point. But maybe a book isn't the move this year. Given their ages, maybe YouTube is a more reliable way to hook them into playing their instruments. Who knows, there could be some theory lessons tucked into those videos (Keni Lee Burgess is good for that.)

Anyhow, I know I haven't been very helpful, but I do hope that through this thread you find some answers that may better address your needs, James. Good luck!

I'll take all the input I can get, Glenn...

Here’s what I give kids for Xmas, keep it simple. Never mind theory, give them books that will teach them how to play?  theory just confuses beginners, if they’re interested, they’ll seek it out on their own, in time? I usually give tabs showing basic scales & riffs that I’ve developed? My 2 cents :)

I like that design Brian.,., zip ties and soup cans I have.,,, plenty of single tuners too.,.,

Thanx, actually that’s a rubber band :D That’s how I do my mock up? But, that’s another good idea? 

I love this! That you attach the can with a rubber band is fantastic, BQ. And you are the man for posting your DIY rubber band trick here: https://cigarboxnation.com/group/lowbudgetland

:D

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