Somewhere between Guitar Hero and the do-it-yourself ethos of Rock 'n' Roll sits Rock Band Class, a ten-week course offered to anyone who wants to test their big dreams in front of a live audience.
Taught by musician Scott Christopher in Hamburg Township, Michigan, the course teaches prospective rock 'n' rollers what it takes to start a band, collaborate with other musicians, and prep for live performance. Christopher covers how different instruments relate to each other on stage, song structures and arrangements, rhythm and timing, and setting up stage gear and sound equipment.
"The cool thing about rock music is that there’s so many ways to arrive there."
If the concept of learning to be in a rock band is offensive to you, consider that Elvis Presley had Colonel Tom Parker, the Beatles had Brian Epstein and George Martin, and even the Sex Pistols had Malcolm McLaren.
"The cool thing about rock music is that there’s so many ways to arrive there," Christopher said. "With rock, there’s no charted course. You’ll find throughout the spectrum of rock, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t even know the names of the chords they’re playing."
Christopher also covers what he calls "rock band etiquette," but to find out if that means trashing hotel rooms or being polite to your booking manager, you'll have to take the course.
In his Big Think interview, American singer-songwriter Josh Ritter explains how the guitar is an instrument of democracy because it is not weighed down by a classical canon of works:
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