Captain Beefheart’s 10 Commandments of Guitar Playing

1. Listen to the birds.

That’s where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how
it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch
hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren’t
going anywhere.

2. Your guitar is not really a guitar Your guitar is a divining rod.

Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar
is also a fishing rod. If you’re good, you’ll land a big one.

3. Practice in front of a bush

Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread
and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush dosen’t shake, eat another
piece of bread.

4. Walk with the devil

Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the “devil
box.” And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity
employerin terms of who you’re brining over from the other side.
Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other
spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy.
But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

5. If you’re guilty of thinking, you’re out

If your brain is part of the process, you’re missing it. You should
play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap
that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.

6. Never point your guitar at anyone

Your instrument has more clout than lightning. Just hit a big chord
then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an
open field.

7. Always carry a church key

That’s your key-man clause. Like One String Sam. He’s one. He was a
Detroit street musician who played in the fifties on a homemade
instrument. His song “I Need a Hundered Dollars” is warm pie. Another
key to the church is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player. He
just stands there like the Statue of Liberty-making you want to look up
her dress the whole time to see how he’s doing it.

8. Don’t wipe the sweat off your instrument

You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

9. Keep your guitar in a dark place

When you’re not playin your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark
place. If you don’t play your guitar for more than a day, be sure you
put a saucer of water in with it.

10. You gotta have a hood for your engine

Keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on
your house, the hot air can’t escape. Even a lima bean has to have a
piece of wet paper around it to make it grow

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Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

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Author: Jay

Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

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