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The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom Paperback – June 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (June 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761151419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761151418
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This highly informational and inspiring do-it-yourself resource will guide girls toward their rocker dreams. It will also appeal to the young-at-heart who dream of being a rock star and readers and researchers of girl culture. —Elizabeth M. Wavle, Elmira College Library, NY

Review

"For anyone looking to dive in, this book is a great place to start."—Joan Jett

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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And guys... you want to read this book.
virginiaplain
The author has played in bands since fifteen and is a writer and music critic, so the book is very well-written in her own folksy, whimsical style.
El Lobo
It's a funny, bold and totally sweet guide on how to start your own band.
James R. Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Hiller on July 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hopper's book is beyond essential for anyone (young or older, girl/woman or boy/man) who is even remotely interested in picking up an instrument, starting a band, writing a song, playing shows, self-promoting, purchasing equipment or any myriad of other rockish-related endeavors. Not only is THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO ROCKING brilliantly organized, it effortlessly tackles what is a broad subject thoroughly and in great, great detail--without being mired in non-essential minutia. Hopper's voice is, as always, hilarious, conversational and encouraging, and she does what so few books geared towards teens do--SHE SPEAKS TO THE READER WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE READER IS SMART, CAPABLE AND CREATIVE. Nothing is dumbed down, yet nothing is assumed so that no question or concept appears to be too "beginner".

We all start from somewhere, and Hopper takes great pains to reiterate that, no matter whether or not you have ever even seen a photo of a guitar before, you can do this. You can be creative. You can throw yourself into writing an entire concept album about pandas on the run from an alien monster named Rocko, and you can teach yourself how to execute said album via playing your grandma's untuned mandolin with a spoon, and you can record it on your cell phone if you want to, and you know what? That is productive and creative, and nobody should tell you that your concept album sucks, because you made it, and it's great.

There is technical info in here that I, a 30 year-old woman who has been in the business for half my life (I started booking shows and playing in bands and making a fanzine when I was around fifteen), didn't know. I learned about various pedals whose uses had previously been a mystery to me, and about different four tracks, and how to clean a drum kit.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robin Harris on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Your book is amazing. I think you should talk to the publisher about doing another run with a different cover that shows a stressed out, slightly overweight mid-30s mom with a dated outfit and a toddler on her hip. It makes me want to start a band! I can play my 2 year old son's miniature instruments. Really, really outstanding. My own mom was also very impressed. She flipped through it and said, "wow, there's a lot of words in here!" Oh, moms.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on June 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
First of all, THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO ROCKING isn't just for girls. Its target audience might be girls who are interested in starting a band, but there's so much great information in this book that it's a useful tool for anyone who wants to make music. In fact, if you have to buy a gift for a guy who rocks, I'd almost suggest that you get this book and use a piece of electrical tape to cover up the word GIRLS' on the cover. Explain away the duct tape by saying the book is punk or distressed or something. The only other way he can tell this book was written for girls is that the rock star quotes are from women, but no one should complain about getting rock career advice from the likes of Patti Smith and Amy Lee.

THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO ROCKING is packed from cover to cover with everything a budding rock star needs to know. It starts with instruments, including which ones are most commonly associated with rock bands, brands available, finding a teacher, and much more. There's a chapter on putting a band together, keeping it together, rehearsals, and even how to come up with a catchy name. Technical information about writing songs and recording music is provided for more advanced readers who are looking to take the next steps in fulfilling their rock dreams.

The book even includes an appendix about how to use the recording software GarageBand. There is also a whole chapter on finding and booking gigs, which includes cheap, creative ideas for making posters and band merchandise.

This comprehensive guide has something to offer a wide variety of musicians, regardless of their goals. Beginners who just want to buy a second-hand guitar and pick out a few chords will get tips for where and how to find decent used equipment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Rose on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It in an excellent guide for young girls and answers all of the questions they might have and gives them the confidence to follow their musical ambitions. When I was starting my first all-girl band as a young teenager, I always felt like the boys I knew had this basic knowledge of how to book shows for their bands, play musical instruments, record their own music, etc. I longed for a resource like this book and think that future generations of young female musicians will benefit greatly because of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
My daughter (who's a college student these days) was in several bands throughout her HS days. I like to think that I passed on my passion for music to her. So when I heard an (entertaining) interview on NPR not too long ago with the author of this book, I decided to check it out, for no reason other than to see how she would explain this all. (In the interview, the author readily admitted that even though the book is geared towards teenage girls, much of it would euqlly apply to boys, safe perhaps the "woman empowerment" theme that runs throught the book.

In "The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How To Start a Band, Book Gigs, And Get Rolling to Rock Stardom" (238 pages), author Jessica Hopper (herself a musician, among other things) brings a boatload of practical tips on how to get started, and I mean starting from scratch. How to pick out and find an instrument ("I bought my first guitar when I was fifteen. I found it by calling around stores and asking for the cheapest guitar they carried.") Whether music lessons make sense and are worth the money ("I sat in a basement for haf an hout watching a very frustrated ancient dude try to teach me the lamest classic rock beginner tune of all times 'Smoke on the Water', a song I didn't know and didn't want to know, from an era of music I hated. I never bothered with my third lesson.") How to land a gig ("When you go see bands, introduce yourself and say you have a band and that you think you'd be good on a bill with them.) And on and on. Tons of hands-on tips.

The overbearing theme of the book is that when you start a band, you main thing is to have some fun. WIthout it, there is no point to it. The latter part of the book takes things a bit more up-level (such as what to do when a label expresses interest in your band (get a good lawyer!).
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