You don’t become a virtuoso without picking up a few tricks along the way, and Eddie Van Halen had plenty of them.
Wolfgang Van Halen revealed his father’s best musical lesson in a recent interview and it appears the wisdom goes back at least a generation to Wolfgang’s jazz musician grandfather.
“My favourite one – and it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek and it was something his dad [Jan Van Halen] taught him: ‘If you ever make a mistake, do it twice so that everyone thinks you meant to do it.'”
Wolfgang has maintained that he’s mostly self-taught on all the musical instruments he plays, as his dad was “the worst guitar teacher.”
He explained to Howard Stern last year that Eddie had a hard time slowing down his musical brain enough to relate to a novice.
“I’ll ask him to play something and then he just proceeds to be Eddie Van Halen, and that’s a very tough bar to reach as a beginner,” Wolfgang said of his first guitar lesson.
“He’s like, ‘Well do this!’ And it’s like, ‘Well, f–k you! I can’t do that. You’re Eddie Van Halen! How the hell do I do that?!'”