Jenn Alvin performs bass guitar with her Ladies Rock Camp band
That time I performed in a rock band in front of hundreds of people.

Happy birthday to me! I’d seen the invitations to Ladies Rock Camp for years, and finally decided to try it as a birthday gift to myself. The premise is that you don’t need any musical training — you show up, you learn how to play, form a band, write a song, and perform it — all within one weekend! I have no instrument training, so this would prove to be an adventure. I chose to learn bass.

Woman with glasses poses with a red bass guitar
Day one of bass guitar lessons

At the end of the first day, I was frustrated. I attended on my own, so I had the additional challenge of making new friends while trying to learn something COMPLETELY NEW. I wasn’t getting the hang of it, and I seriously considered quitting. Your birthday gift to yourself is not supposed to leave you in tears. I persevered and showed up a second day anyway.

It got better. I met a couple of lovely ladies, and together we formed “Drum and Noodle”, a jam band. We wrote a completely ridiculous song called “Tundra”. It was all jamming except for the following lyrics:

Playing tonight! Ladies Rock Camp Showcase!


Because its endangered.

And then back to jamming. We performed at Mississippi Studios alongside the other newly-formed Ladies Rock bands. I wasn’t nervous about performing because I perform with my belly dance troupe on a semi-regular basis. If I can dance around onstage in sparkly jangly costumes at a county fair, I can handle performing music in a small venue.

I haven’t picked up a bass guitar since, but I am really happy that I went.