From Chrissie Hynde to Taylor Swift, there’s a long, loud, and proud history of women in rock. Yet why, when you walk through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, does it seem like the genre is an exclusive boys club? You’ll have to look deeper into the framework of society for that answer. (The patriarchy, after all, serves history in a way that favours male contributions most). But that’s a lesson for another day. For now, doing what you can to celebrate the women of rock is a way of righting some musical wrongs. And of course, if you’ve ever dreamed of strumming the guitar like your female heroes, now’s the time to pick up the instrument.
It’s what Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar, or Joan Jett would do. Don’t feel intimidated to walk into a music store to check out the selection of guitars that awaits you. It may seem as much of a boys club as the Hall of Fame, but you know better. While a lot of music stores have a reputation for being full of long-haired, 40-something-year-old guys playing Led Zeppelin solos, in reality, the average music store is a refuge for people of all ages and sexes playing a variety of genres.
That includes Canada’s favourite music store, where you can find a hundreds of top brands and exclusive models. With locations all over Canada music stores like Long & McQuade can connect you with popular Fender guitars and Gibson guitars. For those with a limited budget, there are also affordable brands like Epiphone available too!
Once you’ve got a trusted axe in your hands, look towards the women in rock for inspiration. You’d do right by choosing HAIM, the American pop-rock band that consists of three sisters, Este, Alana, and Danielle Haim. After six long years of putting in their dues in the Los Angeles music scene, they went platinum with their 2013 release of The Wire. With a musical style that seamlessly blends the soft-rock sounds of fellow femme rocker, Stevie Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac with more contemporary pop and hip-hop artists like Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, they’ve created a style unto their own.
Or maybe you prefer to follow in the steps of Jenny Lewis, lead singer of Rilo Kiley when she isn’t touring the world supporting her solo work. Or Annie Clark, the genius behind St. Vincent. Or Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. There’s no shortage of rockin’ women to idolize. Stock up your iPod, look up the tabs, and start doing them proud. More importantly, show the world that all the rock and roll fun isn’t just for the boys.