Captain Beefheart


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12-25-2007, 10:54 PM
I've just started to listen to a few tracks from captain beefheart, skeptical at first but they are growing on me, been listening to youhumangetsmeblues, big eyed beans from venus, electricity, this is the day, and many others

from what i believe he ruled the band and told everyone what to do, very original sounding, but then he dips into different styles through each song,

also came across the ten commandments he made for budding guitarist in his band: have a look.

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.

anyone else into beefheart let me know of other good songs of theirs and maybe some tabs, trying to work out electricity by ear, open G with a slide, but i'd rather work from tab


12-26-2007, 12:08 AM
I love Captain Beefheart. So original and interesting, a mad genius. Those commandments are pretty hilarious, typical Beefheart-isms.

I recommend the albums "Safe As Milk" (thats the one with Electricity) and "Trout Mask Replica" (My Human Gets Me Blues) as a starting point. I don't know how to play any songs yet, but every once in a while I'll tab out a song just to keep me on my toes, so I'll make my next one a Beefheart.

12-26-2007, 01:01 AM
Nice! Love Captain Beefheart, his most popular "masterpiece" is Troutmask replica. He was good friends with Frank Zappa, for the combo check out the album Bongo Fury (Muffin Man!) Where did you find those 10 commandments?

12-26-2007, 12:55 PM

12-26-2007, 01:01 PM
oh, thanks. Also you can listen to some of his songs on, just search for his name.

12-27-2007, 10:24 AM
ice cream by night, ice cream by daay, ice creaam for crow

12-27-2007, 12:19 PM
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.


12-28-2007, 08:29 AM
well he's a genious.
Don't the commandments just prove that.

I actually didn't start listening to Captain Beefheart before I came across a Frank Zappa cd that he was on. After that i fell in love with him, and his music have saved me from some pretty nasty mornings.

ze monsta
12-28-2007, 01:41 PM
I love China Pig, one of my favourite songs.

09-07-2008, 03:06 PM
Captain beefheart is win.