The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1) - page 63

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Get a good secure place to jam, and get good people you feel secure jamming with. Don't skimp on either, especially the people. You're gonna have to live with these decisions for a while. Once you've got that, we're ready to go on to the real core of any band : singing and playing.

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Chapter 9. Singing and Playing

Now that you've got your gear, your space, and some songs, what do you do? It may seem like second nature and common sense. In case it's not, we'll break it down here.

  • Tuning

  • Volume

  • Listening

  • Learning

  • Life

I'm not going to cover much on the basic specifics of playing each instrument: "Here's a G chord on the guitar. Now here's the same on a piano." O.K., I will, but only that much. There's a billion books everywhere (any music or record store) on that. It's even on the Internet; just search "guitar tab," along with bands you like, and you'll get it all instantly.

I'm going to cover the general stuff, as well as some stuff that should be obvious but isn't, that you probably won't find anywhere else. Why give a man some drugs when you can teach him to make his own drugs?

I learned to play guitar from listening. Sure I took some lessons (six, to be exact), and I did a little time in church choir singing the praises of their God, (until I got kicked out for smoking), but I'm pretty much self-taught. You can be, too: Once you can tune your instrument, you just play along with records and start writing your own songs and the instrument teaches you .

After I took those six guitar lessons, I studied on my own incessantly. That's more or less how I do everything.

I ask lots of questions, too. Never be afraid to look stupid. It's more stupid not to ask questions.

Figure 9.1 demonstrates how to hold a guitar pick.

Figure 9.1. How to hold a guitar pick.


Here's a bunch of very basic chords on guitar and piano. This is about all I learned in my first six lessons, and then I let the guitar and piano teach me the rest.

On some of the piano chords I tucked the fingers I'm not using out of the way; this is only so you can see where the other fingers are going. In reality, you would want to just let them hang naturally above the keys, not tuck them under.

These are not nearly all the chords there are, and these are the most basic voicings of them. (Voicings are different fingerings and notes to play different flavors of basically the same chord.) But seriously, tune up, try these, and run with it.

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Guitar Chords

So I included each image with both a photograph and a little diagram. I made the diagrams myself in Photoshop, and I am not a designer, so they don't look perfect. But I think they will help you. And I had a lot of fun making them.

With most of these chords, you would strum or pick all six of the strings, with the following exceptions: For the D, A, C and A minor chords you would only strum the thinnest five strings, skipping the fat E string. There are, of course, exceptions you could invent, but that's the basic rule to know and then break.

The word "headstock" just means that that is where the headstock of the guitar is, so you can see which direction is what.

The numbers in the circles are the fingers you use on your left hand (or right hand if you're left handed). Finger one is the index finger. Finger two is the middle finger. Finger three is the ring finger. Finger four is the pinkie.

The letters at the bottom (E, A, D, G, B, E) are the names of the strings.


Figure 9.2. D chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.3. G chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.4. A chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.5. E chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.6. E minor chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.7. F barred chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.8. B minor barred chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.9. C chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.10. A minor chord on the guitar.


Figure 9.11. B barred chord on the guitar.


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