How to live rock'n'roll (with pictures)

How to live rock'n'roll (with pictures)
How to live rock'n'roll (with pictures)

No place is more “rock” than Cleveland (Ohio, United States). It is not for nothing that the Hall of Fame (Hall of Fame) of rock'n'roll is there! It was in Ohio that DJ Alan “Moondog” Freed, one of the first white radio DJs to promote African American artists, coined the term “rock and roll” to describe this unique combination of blues, country and R&B he played on his channel. If you want to become rock'n'roll, you will have to look into the unique origins and history of this musical genre, listen to a lot of rock, cultivate a rock style and even start or join a band.


Part 1 of 3: Listening to rock'n'roll

Rock and Roll Step 1

Step 1. Be curious about the different styles of rock'n'roll that exist

To be rock, you have to listen to it as much as possible! The other aspects, like the look and the attitude, are secondary, but almost as important. From great classics to emerging groups, any good rocker should spend a large part of his time looking for new faces, rummaging through record stores and nodding his head to the beat.

  • Fans of a genre always tend to be territorial and picky. What is real rock? For some, nothing deserves listening since the death of Jimi Hendrix, when others believe that the genre was invented in the 90s. Leave these petty little debates to YouTube comments. Good rock still exists today, just as it did 60 years ago. Just listen to that and leave everything else aside.
  • Real rockers are not bigots. Listen to everything, no matter the genre, style or tone. Only rely on one criterion: is it banging? Listen to everything and judge for yourself.
Rock and Roll Step 2

Step 2. Learn about classic rock

It's probably thanks to classic rock that you want to become a rocker, right? The term is not easy to define, especially since the so-called "classic" rock radios play music that is barely 15 years old, but it is mainly rock from the mid-1960s to the mid-1960s. 70.

  • Classic rock bands include The Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and many more. The tone and styles specific to these different groups vary enormously. Rock, in general, is mainly based on the guitar and in particular riffs and solos, as well as howls and frenzied rhythms.
  • Depending on the point of view, recent bands as diverse as Nirvana, Guns N 'Roses, Bad Compagny and Kansas can be considered classic rock bands. It is less a matter of dates than of attitude.
Rock and Roll Step 3

Step 3. Learn about the loudest rock subgenres

Rock is known to be strong and intense. The Who's Pete Townshend monumental burst his eardrums by playing a prank on drummer Keith Moon, which consisted of loading his bass drum with dynamite on stage, thus surpassing all rock decibel records! Fortunately, the tradition continues. If classic rock isn't your thing, you can dig into its more extreme relatives.

  • Punk rock exploded in the late 1970s, in response to the pretentious development of classic rock bands that filled concert halls at the time. There, no endless 30-minute solos, just 3 chords and sincerity. Listen to classic punk bands like The Stooges, The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, and The Zero Boys. More modern, there are also The Black Lips, True Sons of Thunder and The Oblivians.
  • Heavy metal is the most extreme version of rock 'n' roll. Born out of the dramatic Black Sabbath, heavy metal has developed and split into a mind-boggling number of subgenres and styles, peaking in the 1980s. Start by listening to Judas Priest, Motorhead and Metallica.
Rock and Roll Step 4

Step 4. Go back to the roots of rock'n'roll

Listen to the pioneer groups; they are at the origin of the birth of rock'n'roll, when country, R&B and blues were mixed to create a new genre. Listen to recordings from the Sun Studio, with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins to get you in the mood, then follow up with Screamin 'Jay Hawkins, Ike Turner and Gene Vincent to discover the early pioneers, whose music is still alive today. cool !

If you feel like digging even deeper, you can trace the rock genealogy even further by learning about the most powerful of American music: the blues. It is basically folk, sung and performed by African American farmers and workers in the southern United States. Blues can be edgier than Led Zeppelin and creepier than black metal! To listen to the best music ever, check out Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, Geechie Wiley and Bessie Smith

Rock and Roll Step 5

Step 5. Make a pilgrimage to the rock mecca

All true fans owe it to themselves to do this once in a lifetime! This magical place is Memphis, in the state of Tennessee. It is a hybrid city, a real potpourri where country, blues and R&B have mingled to give birth to a new genre. It is the land of Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Howlin 'Wolf and Little Milton. Walk along Beale Street, the Las Vegas of the blues. Visit Sun Studio, where many rock icons from Roy Orbison to Bono have been recorded. If you are not a fan of early rock, you can find other places of pilgrimage. Here are some examples.

  • Liverpool, the home of the English working class, where the Beatles were formed. Go for a drink at the Cavern Club, where they first played. Visit Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, which are real places!
  • Joshua Tree State Park, this desert and psychedelic region of Southern California, where Gram Parsons was cremated and which gave his name to a cult album by U2.
  • Jim Morrison's grave in Paris. The Père-Lachaise cemetery is famous for its numerous graves of famous people, from Chopin to Proust. It is a tribute to the past, gloomy and grandiose at the same time.
Rock and Roll Step 6

Step 6. Go to concerts

Obviously, every rock fan needs to regularly feel the excitement of the crowd and the thrill of seeing a legendary band arrive on stage. Ah, when the lights go out and the crowd gets electrified… It's one of the best sensations in the world. Go early so you can see the first games and see small groups going up, then stay ahead. Scream at you breaking vocal cords.

  • You don't have to sell mom and dad to see a famous band live. Sure, some bands like the Rolling Stones sell their tickets at obscene prices, but most cities have vibrant local stages and interesting lineup that will satisfy your thirst for rock. Without prejudice, look at the programming of all the venues in your city to find cool places where you can meet local groups and develop your musical tastes.
  • Take some money to buy a souvenir.
Rock and Roll Step 7

Step 7. Get down to vinyl

The invention of the LP revolutionized the way we listen to music: before vinyl, the concept of an “album” did not exist and songs existed independently of each other. To be able to consider yourself a true rock lover, listen to your great classics as when they were recorded: on vinyl and turn up the volume loud enough to disturb the neighbors. You cannot claim to know “Dark Side of the Moon” until you have placed your vinyl on the turntable and heard its characteristic crackle.

Part 2 of 3: Act like a rocker

Rock and Roll Step 8

Step 1. Be cool

It goes hand in hand with rock. To develop a reputation as a rock lover, you have no choice but to be cool. At work, at school, on stage or outside, relax and let go. The whole world is your domain. Relax…

Nothing but rock should reach you too deeply. Did your boyfriend or girlfriend just dump you? So what ? Did your day at work go badly? Whatever ? Real rockers remain unmoved in the worst situations. Stay unperturbed. Nothing can shake you

Rock and Roll Step 9

Step 2. Grow your hair out or cut it all off

You can take inspiration from the cover art of "Rubber Soul" by The Beatles. Seen from the 2000s, their cuts seem pretty wise, but at the time these Liverpool guys were seen as bad boys. Rock is intimately linked to hair style. Hairdressing can be a political act, defying the rules by its lengths or being totally shaved to counter gender norms. It is through your hairstyle that your identity as a rocker will be most strongly defined.

  • For a man, long hair is definitely rock. Few things are as enjoyable as headbanging with a real rocker's mop. Otherwise, shaved head or crest are quite common punk rock hairstyles.
  • For a woman, there is a wide variety of possible cuts. Depending on your preferences, you can dye a strand in electric blue for example, cut your hair very short or even make yourself long hippie bangs, a bit like Joni Mitchell.
Rock and Roll Step 10

Step 3. Adopt the rock look

It's one of the easiest looks to wear: inexpensive, simple and cool, rock clothes don't even have to be clean to be chic. In order to fill your wardrobe, just follow these few steps.

  • Buy second-hand clothes. Thrift stores will be your most loyal allies in building your wardrobe! Here you will find old flannel shirts, ripped jeans and fun t-shirts for a quirky and "hard-hitting" style. Boycott the malls.
  • If you have any doubts, opt for Converses. These are rock staple shoes, closely followed by the Beatles ankle boots and the Doc Martens.
  • Wear the t-shirts of your favorite bands. To have the rock look, you have to wear the t-shirts of your favorite bands, artists and studios. Did you just see a great band in concert? So buy their t-shirt.
  • Don't skimp on the accessories! For both women and men, necklaces, bracelets and other bandanas are always appropriate. Be careful, however, to the abuse of hemp fabric and the "tie and dye" technique. Don't confuse rocker and hippie.
Rock and Roll Step 11

Step 4. Wear sunglasses

Check out old press photos of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Elvis Presley. The sunglasses condense the essence of the rocker. Inside, outside, whatever. Prefer them simple, medium in size and all black. By investing in a good pair of sunglasses, you'll have class wherever you go.

Rock and Roll Step 12

Step 5. Find yourself a guru

Follow in the footsteps of the rockers who were there before you by following your own heroes, gurus and saints. Every rocker has them: you should have them too. Find an artist who speaks to you, with whom you feel a connection, and read all you can about them.

  • To get a feel for the mythology and lifestyle associated with rock, it is good to read some biographies of famous musicians. Life by Keith Richards and Cash by Johnny Cash are some of the best books ever written about life and rock at the same time.
  • Watch documentaries about your favorite artists. Mixing extracts from concerts and private interviews, musical documentaries are ideal for getting to know your idols' personalities more intimately. Don't Look Back on Bob Dylan, The Last Waltz on The Band and Gimmie Shelter on The Rolling Stones show the ups and downs of stardom and their protagonists are shown in their best and worst days.
Rock and Roll Step 13

Step 6. Know how to avoid the clichés associated with rockstars

Rock'n'roll is known to induce risky behavior and it is important to set a limit. Drugs, promiscuity and violence have nothing to do with rock'n'roll: you don't have to hurt yourself to be rock. Don't be fooled by these stereotypes and stop all risky behavior before it becomes really problematic.

Part 3 of 3: start a group

Rock and Roll Step 14

Step 1. Choose an instrument

The moment you decide to learn to play an instrument is a milestone on the road to rock lover, which marks your evolution from a simple rock fan to a rock star in the making. If your wish is to start a band, your best bet is to learn one of these instruments.

  • The guitar, perfect for going from a young padawan to a potential jedi! Of all the instruments, the electric guitar is the one that most evokes rock'n'roll. The big question is: Statocaster or Les Paul?
  • The bass. With a few exceptions, we can say that a band without bass is like a meal without a plate. We need it to connect all the instruments. The bass brings a rhythmic basis to music: if you learn to play it, you will be in great demand as a musician.
  • Battery. The drummer is the band member at the back of the stage, who takes care of the percussion and keeps everyone in the beat. While this is one of the most enjoyable instruments to play, drummers need to have an innate sense of rhythm to be really good. Will you be up to it?
Rock and Roll Step 15

Step 2. Find people to play with

Clean out the garage, tune your amps and warn the neighbors it's going to make some noise! Spread the word: you're looking for rock 'n' roll buddies ready to go with you. Put on your denim jacket and your threadbare sneakers: it's time to change the world with a few chords.

  • If you're having trouble finding people to play with, leave a flyer with your contact details at the guitar or music store. Do not hesitate to perform in the open stage bar parties, in order to show what you can do and to attract the attention of people who would like to play with you.
  • The famous Pixies band was made up like this: Black Francis filed a notice in the newspaper stating that he was looking for a bass player who liked Peter, Paul and Mary as well as Husker Du. If possible, record a demo that you will broadcast on the internet to gather people. Spread the word and listen.
Rock and Roll Step 16

Step 3. Start playing together

At first, don't expect anything special and try to adjust your playing style. Tune in, try to play to the beat, and listen to what others are doing. Start by focusing on a single chord or single chord evolution before having a little more fun. Don't hesitate to chat and don't wonder if what you are doing is right.

  • Most bands don't make their Bohemian Rapsody right off the bat. If you don't start with hits, that's okay. Start by doing a few covers to get used to playing together before you get down to writing music. Only one rule: have fun.
  • Do not explode the volume. You might as well avoid getting kicked out of your rehearsal space even before finalizing a song … Lower the volume so that everyone can follow along without too much noise. If you think you hear trumpets over your guitar riff, you are damaging your eardrums. Turn down the sound.
Rock and Roll Step 17

Step 4. Take advantage of your weaknesses

When Johnny Cash was asked why his band played their repetitive chords so slowly, which gave them a unique, refreshing and accessible sound, he replied, "We'd play faster if we could." This is the most difficult part of forming a band: finding a unique sound. Everyone dreams of it, but few succeed! If you want your group to stand out from the crowd, you will need to embrace your flaws, idiosyncrasies and quirks and make them the foundation of your style. Turn your weaknesses into strengths.

  • Miles Davis never succeeded in mastering the technique of vibrato. He eventually came to terms with it and he became known for his clear and stretched tones. If a practice is really giving you a hard time, focus on the other things that make up the way you play.If you find yourself using the hammer-on technique often, make it one of your own.
  • An old tenet of rock says that if you don't play well you should at least play fast and if you don't play fast you should at least play hard. This is quite true.
Rock and Roll Step 18

Step 5. Write on topics you know how to do

If by chance you discover a little melody not bad at all or a catchy catchphrase, it might be time to write a song. Where to start ? You don't have to be Shakespeare to write a rock song and it is better not to have excessive ambitions in relation to the lyrics. Focus on your life and write about things you know rather than going into some abstract “society” or politics mush. Keep it simple.

  • Study poetry a bit and invest in a good rhyming dictionary to write good lyrics. Try to write collectively, tweaking and swapping some verses if necessary to keep everyone happy. Some writers first shape the melody by singing meaningless sounds, which they then turn into lyrics.
  • You can also go in a less conventional way. A la William Burroughs, randomly pull newspaper clippings from a hat. The Stones wrote their lyrics like this! Or, follow the Led Zeppelin's path through Mordor, get inspired by fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons and other fantastic universes. Rock songs don't have to mean anything or be "cool" as long as they hit the ground running.


  • If you're stressed out about going on stage, take a deep breath, throw your head back, and let the music take over.
  • Find idols to admire, be inspired by them, but don't copy them.
  • Be original.
  • Rock 'n' roll and drugs are not necessarily linked. Why do you think so many great musicians left us so young?
  • Never forget: "It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n roll" -AC / DC ("The road is long to reach rock' n 'roll")

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