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Customer Review

16 of 18 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.
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