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The Best Advice to Women in Music from Female Musicians

Examining the statistics concerning women in professional, creative fields can be a depressing endeavor. A recent study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University indicated that only 9% of directors of the top 250 grossing Hollywood films in 2012 were women — a number that actually increased 4% since 2011, but still shows the scales are heavily tipped.

The same study applauded the number of women working in the indie film sector, which is a trend that runs parallel with female-fronted bands or solo music acts. Looking at the industry at large, only eight of last year’s top female earners ranked among the world’s 25 highest-paid musicians. The reasons are complicated, and the results can be disheartening, which is why we wanted to collect some of the best advice that female musicians had for their fellow artists — like the tongue-in-cheek list Pretenders frontwoman, Chrissie Hynde, wrote to “chick rockers” that we spotted on Dangerous Minds.

See what wisdom women have offered each other as they navigate a male-dominated industry, share their artistry with the world, and try to stay positive and inspired, after the jump.

Chrissie Hynde

  1. “Don’t moan about being a chick, refer to feminism or complain about sexist discrimination. We’ve all been thrown down stairs and f*cked about, but no one wants to hear a whining female. Write a loosely disguised song about it instead and clean up ($).”
  2. “Never pretend you know more than you do. If you don’t know chord names, refer to the dots. Don’t go near the desk unless you plan on becoming an engineer.”
  3. “Make the other band members look and sound good. Bring out the best in them; that’s your job. Oh, and you better sound good, too.”
  4. “Do not insist on working with ‘females'; that’s just more b.s. Get the best man for the job. If it happens to be a woman, great — you’ll have someone to go to department stores with on tour instead of making one of the road crew go with you.”
  5. “Try not to have a sexual relationship within the band. It always ends in tears.”
  6. “Don’t think that sticking your boobs out and trying to look f*ckable will help. Remember you’re in a rock and roll band. It’s not ‘F*ck me,’ it’s ‘F*ck you!'”
  7. “Don’t try to compete with the guys; it won’t impress anybody. Remember, one of the reasons they like you is because you don’t offer yet more competition to the already existing male egos.”
  8. “If you sing, don’t ‘belt’ or ‘screech.’ No one wants to hear that sh*t; it sounds ‘hysterical.'”
  9. “Shave your legs, for chrissakes!”
  10. “Don’t take advice from people like me. Do your own thing always.”
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