"When I fell in love with music (ninth grade), I soon fell in love with the idea of making it, too. I didn't want to listen to songs; I wanted to participate. When I went to shows, I wanted to be onstage, too."
— Jessica Hopper
“I want every girl in the world to pick up a guitar and start screaming.”
— Courtney Love
Whether you're in a band, want to be in a band, or you're like me and just really love music, The Girl's Guide to Rocking simply rocks.
Written by Jessica Hopper, a writer and music critic who's been connected to band culture since she was 15 (playing in, managing, and publicizing bands), The Girl's Guide to Rocking is clearly a labor of love. It's part motivational manual for those about to rock, part mini-history of rock 'n' roll with an emphasis on its female icons, and part in-depth guide to almost every aspect of making music, from tips on choosing your instrument to how to read the fine print of a record deal contract.
To find out what else the book offers and to see a video of Hopper and friends providing advice, read more.
Depending on where you are in the process of making music — just thinking about it or actually in a touring band — Hopper provides useful tips. The chapters are organized around finding/choosing instruments, writing songs, things to consider when forming a band, recording, performing, touring, and actually marketing your band.
The book's got a little something for everyone: I know a touring musician in a successful band who took a look at the book and was really impressed by the technical information it provided on recording music and choosing amps. I used to play the piano, but I'm really interested in learning how to play the guitar, so I'll definitely make use of her tips on buying a starter guitar. And her detailed instructions on how to use GarageBand made me want to stop everything and start composing!
Women and girls are so often encouraged to see themselves as muses or groupies, but The Girl's Guide to Rocking invites them to hog the stage themselves. As more and more rock camps for girls spring up, teaching them not only how to rock with instruments but also to see the whole world as their stage, this book will be an invaluable primer. Plus, who doesn't love awesome quotes from Patti Smith, Blondie, and Nina Simone?
Here's Hopper, Monika Bukowska of Brilliant Pebbles, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, and Heart Shaped Hate in a cute promotional video for the book.