a guitar lesson

but first, some rules:

  1. listen without ego
  2. play true
  3. relax and be yourself
  4. always try new things
  5. don’t play on a new stomach
  6. be intoxicated
  7. don’t become a slave to your model
  8. genres are fascist and old-fashioned
  9. be sober
  10. seek out other musicians
  11. record everything
  12. be gentle but be brave
  13. always recognize context
  14. never be constrained by context
  15. you get what you pay for
  16. practice and study illuminates gifts and talents
  17. it is easy to make excuses or find reasons to give up
  18. it is difficult to persevere through evolution
  19. consider the audience, not yourself
  20. tell complex stories simply
  21. everything in moderation, else chaos
  22. imagine
  23. easy to find good chords, hard to find good rhythms
  24. in the beginning, be simple–let time shape you
  25. music is greater than any religion
  26. be brutal unto yourself
  27. know the theory–invention without theory is doomed
  28. what you wear will affect what you play
  29. or, get dressed up for the show in your old clothes
  30. silences are golden
  31. or, it’s not what you play, it’s what you don’t play
  32. let dischord lead to harmony
  33. jazz is for aging purists and the truly beautiful
  34. country is for those who lack a good story
  35. pop is for cowards
  36. folk is for the lovers
  37. electro is for schizos and the schisms within all of us
  38. hiphop is for escapists
  39. reggae is incongruous and perfect, as is dub
  40. why has classical lasted such a long time?
  41. always invoke the geographies of your childhood
  42. be as dynamic as you feel you can be
  43. rock
  44. everyone can sing; everyone
  45. why do you like what you like
  46. the unexamined life is not worth living–socrates
  47. all noble things are as difficult as they are rare–spinoza
  48. anatomy is destiny–freud
  49. the good of the people is the chief law–cicero
  50. emotion erodes the soul
  51. eclecticism is tedious as solitary commandment
  52. pop is crime against nature
  53. pop could be out greatest triumph by definition
  54. noble or flawed, your parents are people just like you
  55. the great crime of music lessons is that they encourage children to believe they have no talent for music
  56. there is an instrument for everyone
  57. and if there were, the world would have universal language and be somewhat wiser for it
  58. rachmaninov is soul music from a long time ago
  59. combine the epic and the apparently mundane
  60. eyebrows represent the expressionate psyche of a human
  61. to funk is a sin
  62. death to the damned groove
  63. give names to your sins
  64. this list represents all my failings
  65. there are no rules to play

3 Responses to “a guitar lesson”

  1. wonderful post.

    one question, what did you mean by “to funk is a sin”.?

  2. 66. Put banana oil on toes nightly during winter

  3. geez when i first started playing i recorded EVERYTHING. and god did i suck. i remember i couldn’t even hold a pick and strum at the same time. it’s funny now. great post. enjoyed the list…i read..most of it.

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