From the Archive: Dimebag Darrell’s Top 5 Guitar Boot Camp Tips

Back in 2000, Guitar World asked the legendary Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell to give our readers the best ways to stay fit when slinging six strings. Here's what he came up with.

01. Keep a positive outlook.

A lot of bands whine about the road and how tough it is. Fuck all that. With the right outlook, you can learn to entertain yourself and entertain each other so you can enjoy doing what you’re doing. There’s obviously gonna be highs and lows, and the trick to it is to be able to maintain composure and stay high even when you’re in the lows. That way when you hit the highs it’ll be twice as killer.

02. You’ve got to have booze!

Booze is the healer and booze is the feeler. Whenever you’re getting into rock and roll mode, nothing kicks it in better than a couple of shots of whisky and a cold beer. It kinda takes some of the distractions away and helps bring things into focus. You know the difference between listening to a record sober and listening to it after having a couple — it’s immaculate … it’s goddamned electric. So you’ve definitely got to have booze to survive. And, before I forget, the occasional, green “behavioral modification device” is also a necessity every now and again!

03. Stay hydrated.

On the same note: When you wake up and you’ve got a gig to play but you’re still half drunk and hurtin’ big-time, you’re gonna be dehydrated. The best thing to re-hydrate yourself isn’t Gatorade — it’s Pedialyte, the stuff they give to kids when they’re shitting in their britches! So, get yourself some Pedialyte, get yourself some water and then go for the cheap Mexican food. That’s a survival trick that’ll get you back on the right track.

04. Bring a recording device.

When you’re on the road, you’ve got to have your four-track — or some kind of recording device to jam on and have a good time. That way, you can work on new riffs, or write a cheap song about some jacked-off experience that just happened to you—something everybody can catch a nut on the next day.

05. Bring your favorite CDs.

Always have a collection of your favorite CDs with you. Music drives you. It wakes you up, it gets you pumping. And, at the end of the day, the correct tune will chill you down.

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