Captain Beefheart

02023-06-21 | Guitar | 2 comments

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 doesn’t shake, eat another piece of bread.”

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.”

9. Keep your guitar in a dark place
“When you’re not playing 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.”

Captain Beefheart’s 10 commandments of guitar playing

Hey, some of those are pretty good.


  1. luna

    Captain BeefHeart! Great name! Especially like idea number 8…..”.don’t wipe the sweat off your instrument,” “you need the stink on there, then you have to get that stink onto your music.” Yes!

  2. luna

    Once heard Thich Naht Hahn (sorry for mis spelling) speak and simply tell us, “beautiful flowah come from garbage.” So get the beauty of of the stink and sweat. ; 3 )


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