On My Tip-Toes

I’ve heard people talk about how important it is for performers to be able to play and sing with as little tension in their bodies as possible. In theory, it sounds good. In reality, I am horrible at it. Instead, I always stand on my toes when I’m playing guitar, which pretty much means my whole self is tense when I’m playing.

I don’t particularly recommend it.

My legs are exhausted by the end of every show. And it might have something to do with why my back, shoulders, neck, and wrists are all gnarled up too.

Photo: Troy Bowditch

For some reason, it just doesn’t feel right to me to stand flat-footed and play these songs. There are maybe two songs that I can think of that I can relax and play with my whole feet on the ground.

I don’t know any other way to do it. There’s something that feels good about being worn out after a show.

And I always have a secret hope that my calves will get strong enough that I can dunk a basketball.