Captain Beefheart’s 10 Rules of Guitar Playing
Here are a couple of highlights, to go with this classic bit of damaged punky blues from 1980. Morris Tepper played guitar for Beefheart in that lineup. Get the full list at WFMU.
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.
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.
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.