In 1977 the punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue published diagrams of three guitar chords, with the accompanying instruction Now form a band. This has become one of the (few) famous slogans of the punk era, capturing the DIY ethic of punk perfectly.

In 1995 a techno compilation on the Sabres of Paradise's Sabrettes label borrowed the slogan for its title: 101 + 303 + 808 = Now Form a Band. The numbers refer to the core Roland synthesizers used in acid house - the TB-303, SH-101 and TR-808. The slogan works just as effectively here, applied to the bedroom studio approach of many electronic musicians.

In both cases, and beyond, the phrase serves as a reminder that making music is not a mystical talent restricted to an elite class, and that enjoyment of music is not restricted merely to passive consumption.

Now form a band.

Of course, now more than ever, there's a world of economic difference between knowing three chord structures and owning three highly-sought-after vintage synths. You'll have to bear with me and apply the techno angle to cheap softsynths and free packages such as Buzz. The message is the same; you don't need 'talent' or training - start with enthusiasm and build from there.

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