It’s a well-known fact that women don’t get as much respect as men do when it comes to the rock genre. When a chick gets behind a mic in front of a rowdy mosh-pit-prone type of crowd, everyone’s expectations immediately skyrocket, and the entire performance is an often futile attempt to prove yourself to the tough market that is today’s rock listeners. No, it’s not exactly fair, but it just means that we girls have to try that much harder in order to earn the respect that we truly deserve.

Photo by: Smoochi

Personally, I’ve experienced the discrimination in this genre through various ways. I’ve always been into the alternative rock genre, and I know full well what the ratio of guys to girls is within it, so I didn’t have a lot of hope, but I was determined to play the kind of music that I loved. As soon as I came out here to L.A., I struggled to find a band that I fit into; I searched Craigslist and Google like a fiend, and I must’ve applied to hundreds of posts over the months. The majority of my responses? “Sorry, we’re not looking for a female singer.” Ouch. I wondered if they’d even given me a chance, or if they’d seen my gender and immediately closed out of the window. My bet is on the latter.

Needless to say, finding a rock band that’s willing to give a girl a chance is no easy task. I was given maybe two auditions total out of the countless e-mails I received back, the others refusing to give me a chance due to my gender. It was incredibly discouraging, and I found myself wondering if I’d ever get the opportunity to be a vocalist in the genre that I was truly passionate about.

Finally, I found Dear Silence, who specified in their post that they actually preferred a female singer, but would be open to men as well. It was the first ad I’d seen like it, and I immediately jumped to audition. Soon enough, I was in front of a microphone singing my heart out, and within a couple weeks, I’d been chosen as their new singer. It was a long time coming– almost a year of searching– but it was more than worth it, because they’re such a great group of guys and they play exactly the kind of music that I was looking for.

In short, I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t ever give up, no matter how discouraging and impossible it may seem. Yes, it’s ten times harder for a girl to break into the rock industry as it is for a guy, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do it– it just means that we have to try even harder. Here is some advice on how to not rip your hair out throughout this process:

Look for bands that specify ‘male or female can audition’, and make sure you check to see which one they prefer, because chances are, if they put that they prefer men but would be willing to audition a female, they’re not going to go with a female no matter how talented they are. It’s just fact that most bands think that a male voice goes better with a rock sound, and very few are willing to take a risk with a different kind of dynamic. You need to find one who is not only willing to audition females, but either prefers them or has no preference either way. Only then will you have a fair chance at getting chosen.

Finding a band is definitely a learning experience. You have to be persistent, confident, and comfortable with yourself, because showing nerves is the number one way to turn a band off; they have to know that you could handle a crowd with ease, and if you can’t even handle an audition, then they’re not going to pick you. Spend your time wisely; don’t e-mail bands who specifically say ‘looking for a frontman’– instead, spend that time trying to find posts who will actually give girls a chance. It may take longer that way, since those posts are so very rare, but trust me, it’ll feel a lot better in the end once you’ve found the perfect fit and haven’t spend all your time going on dead-end auditions.

On that same note, don’t be discouraged if you have a bad audition or two, or even if you have a good one and still get rejected regardless. It happens. It’s honestly part of the process of becoming comfortable on stage, because there’s no way to get there without practicing in front of other people. The nerves will probably never go away, but going through auditions is really one of the best ways to learn how to deal with them.

That’s about it, folks. If you’re a girl who’s trying desperately to find a rock band, don’t despair! It’ll happen someday, just keep at it. Hope to see you on tour. :) Don’t forget to say Hi!

Brooke –

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