When I was twelve years old, my grandfather sat down on the couch next to me and looked at me. “What instrument do you want to play, mija?” Violin was my immediate answer. I’d always wanted to play like Darby O’Gill or Lindsey Stirling.
He shook his head.
“Pick something else!” Alarmed, my twelve year old self lurched on to the next instrument that came to my mind: guitar, like my dad. Of course, I had no aspirations to play Van Halen, ACDC, or Chuck Berry, but it seemed that now I was stuck because my grandfather left and returned twenty minutes later with a guitar and book. “Here. Learn.”
All this to say that it’s been a long journey to becoming as good a player as I am today. Now, I’m not saying I’m excellent – far from it – but I consider myself more experienced now than when I began the journey into the music world five years ago. Getting calloused fingers and struggling to play rhythm was hard at times and my newest read would have definitely been an asset to the girl taking her first tentative steps on that path.
For any girl who’s dreamed of being up on a big stage or forming her own girl band, Jessica Hopper’s written a great how-to book: The Girl’s Guide to Rocking. Filled with all sorts of professional tips from a woman’s who’s been in the field, this read has tips on how to buy and maintain the basic instruments that one starts off with. It details how to start a band, how to survive as a lone star, and how to record a great demo. The Girl’s Guide to Rocking also features a timeline of women in the music field and talks about how women in the field have impacted music, how they have risen and fallen, played, and ultimately faded away. For those who are just starting out or even a seasoned professional, this book will definitely be a fun read.
After having discovered this read at the Skirball museum during their run of the Simon and Garfunkel exhibit, I ordered it at a local libary and waited. And waited. And waited. Well, it finally got here and I’m super glad it did. The Girl’s Guide to Rocking is worth a read and is a great way to remind me of all the fun and excitement of being a musician. It reminded me of what made me fall in love with the craft, from writing my own songs to playing music with friends and family.
Chime Time: Do you play an instrument and if so have you ever played in a band?