Blonde and ballsy, Gina Volpe is a force to be reckoned with. As reigning lead guitarist for New York power trio Bantam and the driving force behind seminal punk rock band Lunachicks, Gina’s learned a thing or two about holding her own as a female rocker. After 20 years in the business, Gina stands tall on stage with her Gibson SG, and it’s got nothing to do with her platform boots. 

Here, Volpe lets us in on her top tips and tricks for girl guitarists: 

1. Learn to play lead! Power chords are cool, but they get boring after a couple of verses. Mix it up while showing off your chops. Besides, there are still a few misguided dudes out there who think you can’t shred. 

2. Louder, LoudER, LOUDER! Turn it up! Don’t be afraid to blow up some eardrums. Nothing’s hotter than a blast of mean distortion and a pinch of nasty feedback thrown into the mix. 

3. Move to the music. Let go of your inhibitions and let the music take over. Make faces, jump, kick, spit, get crazy. Your fans came to see a show, and you’re gonna give it to them. If you’re having fun, they will too. 

4. Watch and learn. Sneak out of the house and go see some shows and/or go hang out with other guitar players. Watching other people play is inspiring as well as helpful. You’ll be able to get some new ideas about what works best for you in terms of your playing, your sound, and your style. 

5. Know your stuff! Take yourself seriously as a musician and know your instrument. Practice, practice, practice. Don’t get lazy just playing what you already know. Challenge yourself and learn some new tricks. Then get your butt onstage and show ’em off! 

Rock on!

For a free MP3 download of Gina Volpe and Bantam's "Come Undone," click here.