What Boys Like: Playin' Guitar

... or the drums, or some weird instrument no one has ever heard of.

While we often think of sports books, comics and biographies of relevant boys' interest topics, there is one thing that doesn't seem to come up very often.  Music books.  The technical kind.  In every grade in high school, there are dozens of boys who dream to be rock stars, noodling about on their cheap guitars, hoping to get good instantly so they can pick up girls.

Guys and girls both like music, and teenagers in particular find themselves carving an identity out of their favorite bands and songs.  And music is even more personal than ever, since much is absorbed alone via headphones, and even more is downloaded in private at home from the internet.  Even so, kids just want to get it out and share their passion.  Some kids write songs, but some just aren't quite up to it, and have to figure out their favorite songs on their own.  They likely don't know many songs aside from the few they play on infinite loop trying to figure out a tricky chord sequence or a fancy riff.

The good news is there are plenty of books for that, called fake books.  These books contain the very basics of music: a single melody line, lyrics and the chords.  They aren't usually super complicated, and often aren't even 100% correct (one I have at home is missing an entire verse of Come Sail Away. For shame!), but they are close enough to the real thing that you can, as the title says, fake it.  This assumes the reader know the basics of their instrument, particularly the names of the chords, but generally they do.  If not, they is usually a chart in the book somewhere showing how it's done.  There are many different fake bookss out there, so be sure to choose appropriate ones.  I'm not sure that Disney songs or Broadway hits will cut it, but Beatles, Stones and Rock Guitar editions would be good choices.

Another good idea is Guitar for Dummies-type books.  Some have songs, some are more method books for learning the technical aspects of playing.  Either way, guys will appreciate it.

Your library might already have all these books in the adult section, but there is no reason they can't be highlighted for teens.  If you know any teenaged musicians who are just learning to play, these books are for him.
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