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The Girls Guide to Rocking by Jessica Hopper

Book Bag: The Girl's Guide to Rocking

"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,


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.

Join The Conversation
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
Its a great start, but it takes more than a book to fully understand the entertainment industry... I know because I've been in it and studying it my whole life.... always changing, and right now especially, is the worst/strangest/most transitional period since the beginnings.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Full disclosure: I know Jessica and think she is an A+ smart and talented lady. With that out of the way, I was really excited to read this book. It's encouraging without being all corny-style "you-go-girl!" about things, and even though I'm a little older than the book's target audience, I found a LOT of good information for my really, really good and totally not at all terrible Joy Division/New Order cover band. (Like Tres, I loved the Garage Band section.) Seriously, though, this is a fantastic resource for ladies who want to stop singing along at other bands' shows and start bookin' their own.
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