Tips on Learning to Play the Cat

Advice, Cultural, Music

Nothing makes an evening more enjoyable than sitting around playing the Cat. Whether with a group of friends or on stage with a band, few instruments are blessed with the unique sound like that of a well-played Cat. Here are some pointers to get you on your way to playing the Cat.

1. It’s important to have good Cat-playing form. The traditional method is the “Stomp-and-Grab” method. Grab head, lift up while pinning body to ground with your left foot. Arc arm. Get a solid grip with your left hand and remember to breath.

2. With your right arm, squeeze your Cat. Did you notice the sound? Congratulations. That’s the first step toward being an accomplished Cat player.

3. Play around first. Squeeze your Cat in different areas and explore the tonal qualities of your new instrument. Once you feel comfortable try a simple song like “Mary had a little Lamb”.

4. Remember playing a Cat won’t come easily at first. So to become a good player you must do three things: Practice, practice and wear gloves.

5. If you know of friends who play the Cat, try “jamming” with them. It’s a fun way to learn.

Remember, you’re not going to be “rocking out” at first. Playing a Cat is difficult but with practice and commitment you’ll be able to squeeze sounds out of your Cat that you never knew existed.

Written by Bob Howdin

Bob is the owner of ‘Cats and Sundries’ a small coffee shop and animal rescue clinic on the corner of Main and Hemlock.  Look for his new book ‘Meow and Stomp – History of Cat Playing in the Appalachians’.