By Ray Rahman
March 02, 2012 at 09:01 PM EST

Since music was invented, people have been adding all sorts of crazy extracurricular instruments to songs. Some go for whistling, others opt for trash cans, and one guy even managed to invent a dinosaur, the “sexasaurus.”

Of course, one of music’s most classic ingredients is the old-fashioned handclap. But beware, striving artists: it’s trickier than you think.

Good thing you’ve got James Mercer of the Shins to show you how it’s done. In a new Funny or Die video, the indie frontman reveals the secret of how to get the best, album-ready sounds out of your hands: Clapping Butter.

That’s right, you’ve been doing it wrong this whole time! Take notes as you watch Mercer slather himself up in the video below:

If you’re concerned about your heart, however, Clapping Margarine works as a perfectly healthy alternative.

UPDATE: As a bonus, watch the Shins’ new, clap-free video for “Bait and Switch” below:

Read more:

PSA: The Shin is not the Shins