Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, inspiring, brilliant, and beyond thorough., July 5, 2009
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (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. I read inspiring quotes from female musicians from Joan Jett to Etta James. I learned about a few different ways to soundproof a room.

From sample letters on how to pitch your band to the press to ideas about how to start brainstorming a song, Hopper truly, truly covers everything in a way that I have honestly never, EVER seen in any book for kids, teens or adults. Not only that, she does it in a ridiculously entertaining, inspiring, easy-to-understand way that makes the business of making music sound like what it should be: something really, really fun that ANYONE can do, regardless of their existing skill set or experience. If you have the heart or the desire, you can start learning how to play an instrument and you can form a band TODAY. Like, this afternoon. And you should never, ever let anyone tell you any differently, intimidate you, or make you feel negatively about what you are doing and what you're trying to learn.

AN ESSENTIAL READ. THE END.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for teens & pre-teens!, June 15, 2009
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, June 20, 2009
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (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. If you want to get some friends together to start a garage band, you will find tips for helping make that a fun process for everyone involved. For those who have their hearts set on full-scale rock stardom, this book can be used as a how-to guide for everything from writing music to signing a contract with a record company.

The book has a funny, down-to-earth tone that makes it easy and enjoyable to read. In addition, its focus on female musicians is empowering to girls who want to break into an industry dominated by men.

I highly recommend THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO ROCKING for both musicians and the people who love them. Girls who are looking for information about making their own music should definitely check out this book. Parents or grandparents have finally found a cool gift for the music-minded girl in their lives. And one of the best things about the book is that even non-musicians can enjoy it. Not being a musician myself, I learned a tremendous amount about instruments, bands, songwriting, and recording.

After reading this book, I was even able to have a rational conversation with my 16-year-old guitar player son about drum kits and the music he was recording. Any book that can help me do that rocks!

Reviewed by: K. Osborn Sullivan
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where was this book when I was 13?!, June 16, 2009
By 
K. Rose (Chicago IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hands-on tips for teenagers (PS it's also relevant for boys!), November 1, 2009
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (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!). Overall, I found this very enjoyable reading. My daughter did a lot of the things that the author talks about here, scored some local gigs, issued a couple of EPs, got a band website, etc. It seemed to me she had a lot of fun doing during those HS days, even if it never lead to "rock stardom" (not that that was the main goal anyway).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guide to Rocking for Everyone!, June 16, 2009
By 
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (Paperback)
This book is the jam! It's a funny, bold and totally sweet guide on how to start your own band. It covers everything from buying your own instruments to writing lyrics and songs and going on tour to bring your genius to the people! There are even lists of the best records to buy to get yourself inspired. How cool is that?!? Put down Rock Band 2 and pick up this book, and the world of rocking will be yours. In 10 years, the best bands in America will have been taught by this book. Guaranteed!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had this when I was a girl..., July 22, 2009
By 
M. Thoryk "NumberOneFan3003" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (Paperback)
I wish i had this book when I was 11 years old!
This book troubleshoots almost every fear/hangup I had as an 11 year old girl playing guitar. Too intimidated to start a band, but better at guitar & bass than my male peers...not knowing the tablature to norwegian wood...

Hopper gives advice in a pals-y, funny tone to girls who just want to keep playing and have fun at it.

The best part is that she's encouraging girls to play more than ONE style of music. Be your own musician, start your own band!

I recommend this book for girls, boys and women alike!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on this Subject!, November 15, 2010
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (Paperback)
I am a female guitarist who's been playing nearly 40-years and have been in a few bands. I only wish this book were around back when I were in high school!

This book is not only informational, it is a cool read. In fact, it's the best one on the subject of getting into music that I've read so far (and I've read every such book I could get my hands on).

And guys... you want to read this book. Most of the author's advice works for you, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Girlz, September 2, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (Paperback)
Girl bands are HOT. Just had to get that out.

The Girls' Guide to Rocking is a terrific, easy read that has everything one could possibly want to know about starting up a rock band and soaring to the heights of the music business. Who would believe that EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about being a rock star is in this one book? Well, almost everything, and a good start. And if not reach the heights, at least have a lot of fun along the way.

I first heard about this book when its youthful author, Jessica Hopper, was being interviewed on the local television news station. 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. She speaks with the authority of someone who has been around the block. Although titled to young girls, boys and adults will be equally informed as well. You will probably find it in the kid's section in your library. Just say you are checking it out for the grandchildren.

It's a fast, easy, interesting and enlightening read about the music business even for those who (like me) will never stand on a stage or in a recording studio but are just music fans. It is a step-by-step A-to-Z guide from buying your first guitar or drum to launching your first road tour. In particular, it is filled with really good, sound technical advice and even some solid brand recommendations so noobs will have a starting point and not be totally lost on that first visit to the music store.

A couple specific comments:

- Page 21: Consider a guitar stand

- Page 37: The book was light in the keyboard department after some very informative and detailed discussion about guitars and drums. Should have said a little more about the B-3, its history, its use in rock and real tonewheels versus clonewheels. Vox Continentals were phased out in the early 1970's, Farfisa in the mid-1970's and only live on in the used market. Used Continentals go for the big bucks to collectors and had reliability issues even when they were new(er). The sound of the Continental will be most familiar to listeners on the intro. to the Doors Light My Fire. Farfisa with Sam the Sham (Wooly Bully). The Nord C1 (now C2) reportedly performs excellently in simulating the B-3, Continental and Farfisa, but is very expensive at $3k. Software simulation has also come a long way in the past couple of years and, combined with a computer and basic MIDI keyboard, can produce a decent sound at minimal cost. Where "electric" (really electronic) pianos are concerned, Yamaha is a top brand to look at. As for synths, Moog is the original and while the first device was sold in the early 1950's, significant public recognition was not achieved until 1968 with the release of Switched-on Bach. So there is a long line of Moog devices in existence, including current production. But Roland, Kurzweil, Korg and Yamaha are the top brands keyboard players usually consider.

- Page 104 et al: Even after reading the book, I am still not sure exactly what a "producer" really is and does, what real value he or she adds to the venture and why one always seems to be involved.

- Page 216/Appendix B: GarageBand software runs only on Apple's McIntosh computers where it comes already installed. There are similar reasonably-priced software products on the market for MS Windows such as Mixcraft. Google on "garageband for windows" (without the quotes) to find them.

One issue I do not recall the book addressing is "ownership" of the
band and its name. It discusses inventing the name and trademark registration, but not how to reach and record an agreement among band members about ownership and how the inevitable personnel changes will affect it. That always seems to be the subject of expensive legal wrangling for bands that do make it.

Naturally, the music business is complex, competitive and filled with sharks that will eat your lunch, so once a band begins showing glimmers of success, further professional advice is necessary as the book wisely counsels. But for starters, The Girls' Guide to Rocking is unique, essential and enjoyable reading for all rock wannabees, their groupies and music fans in general.

Jessica, YOU rock. Six stars. Buy it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom
$13.95 $11.31
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.