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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Is a standard bass guitar too much for an eight year old to handle?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) June 27th, 2010

If you know a gifted kid of 8yrs old who wants to play the bass guitar or the piano but has no place for a piano so you’d get him a bass (as in guitar) but is told that a reg. standard bass is too much base for an eight year old what would you think? I have no ideal how long or heavy a bass (as in guitar) is. Would it be as tall as he? Weight like ⅓ his weight? His hands will be too small for the neck? I have never seen a “baby bass” (as in guitar) or one of petite size and if they did would it have the full bass guitar sound deep and rich?

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9 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Depends on the 8y/o.

If he’s your traditional 8y/o size, you can pick up smaller bass guitars to fit his size.

I play bass, I know what it takes. At first, as a full grown male, I didn’t feel like my fingers were long enough to play a bass guitar well. Eventually, I became pretty damn good at it. So remember, above all else practice makes perfect.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

A ¾ size electric bass should be available. It would certainly be easier to learn to play than a stand-up (contrabass) bass!

jazmina88's avatar

get him a small electronic keyboard, like a casio

Kayak8's avatar

Bass strings are really thick compared to the fingers of an 8 year old, so it is not only the weight of the instrument compared to the size of the kid. In addition, his arms may not be long enough for him to position the instrument properly (and this can add to the frustration of learning to play it). As a female bass player, I know it took me some time to build up the finger strength (and I played acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars for years before I started playing bass).

I think the keyboard is a great idea (check out your local pawn shop—they usually have tons of keyboards). While I have seen ¾ size bass violins, but had to google ¾ bass guitars to see one of those for the first time.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m 5’1” and I have a standard scale bass. My hands are quite small, so I’ve had to make some adjustments when I play it, and I’m planning to get a short scale bass in the near future.

It all depends on the size of the child and size of his hands.

Cruiser's avatar

Bass is a relatively easy instrument to learn for someone with a musical background and there is not better instrument to get that from than piano. Get them a electronic keyboard with headphones of course and let them take lessons at a school that has real pianos and they can practice on the electronic one.

When they are around 12 then get the bass and watch them take off like a duck on water. I did that with my son now 14, and he is constantly reminding me of how beneficial his piano background has been.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Cruiser How much prompting did you have to do to get your son to embrace the keyboard if he really wants to play bass guitar? Not that he would have been far-sighted enough to see the benefits of it.

Cruiser's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central It just happened that way. We have always had pianos and guitars so his only realistic option was the keyboard. At around 11 years old he expressed his interest in bass and I got him one at 11½. He took piano lessons from 8–12 years old and now plays and sight reads both instruments and at 14 is an amazingly talented bassist.

So his piano training allowed him to musically understand the guitar and I had a small model acoustic he noodled around on and when I saw he had the hand strength to handle the bass is when I got him one. To say that was a good way to get him to where he is at…not sure! Again it is just how it happened but because of my own piano training and his and even with my youngest having had piano lessons, IMO we all have excelled at our second instruments of choice.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Cruiser …I had a small model acoustic he noodled around on and when I saw he had the hand strength to handle the bass is when I got him one. Ah….so the bass was heavy or physically large requiring a stout grip, or both? (:-|

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