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Bill N

Concertina Face

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There is something else going on as well though. The curled lip and flared nostril are almost like a sustained twitch. It feels like some kind of involuntary neural-muscular thing.

 

Bill,

I have also noticed shoulder or head movements (shrugging, turning side to side) that seem to occur at the same place in a given tune each time I play it. They don't appear to have anything specific to do with the mechanics of playing. I think you're on the right track with the involuntary neuro-muscular thing. Whatever the reason, it feels somehow satisfying; as if the movements belong together. In other words, it would take an effort to inhibit the movement. Muscle memory, perhaps?

Cheers,

Molly

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curled lip? Flared nostrils?

 

It's just the ghost of Elvis, checkin on your progress.

No worries!

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curled lip? Flared nostrils?

 

It's just the ghost of Elvis, checkin on your progress.

No worries!

 

 

Thank you. Thank you ver' much.

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I'm guilty of making faces when I play. My "concertina face" is quite often a blank stare of unfocused intensity at some random object. Late summer I met a fellow English concertina player, which resulted in my running to the car to fetch the box and then swap it back and forth as we played a few tunes, lots of fun but I was a little nervous as I'd never played my concertina in front of any other concertinists yet.....no pressure of course and there were plenty of others loitering around so I was concentrating on what my fingers where doing. After I finished my piece Don made a comment about how I had the "concertina player look" that has been recorded so many times. Years of playing the violin has taught me to clamp my jaw shut though, so I've never had to worry about drooling! :lol:

 

My "fiddle" face however is something slightly different, I apparently make unpleasant faces when I don't get something as perfect as I'd like. When I was preparing for a recital my violin teacher was constantly harping on me to "just smile, you look like you're in mortal agony!" and "If you didn't make such ghastly faces no one else would realize that you made a mistake!" Ah well.

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..."If you didn't make such ghastly faces no one else would realize that you made a mistake!" ...

 

 

Never was a truer word spoken.

Samantha

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I’ve been told that, sometimes, I look like I’m intently reading ‘dots’ posted on the adjacent wall. :blink:

 

Just as long as I’m not drooling!

 

N

 

Hm! Reminds me of the old joke: "How can you tell that the stage at a bluegrass concert is dead level? - The banjo player is drooling equally from both corners of his mouth!"

 

Just one of many banjo jokes. In the classical world, it's viola-player jokes. As a banjoist, I regard these as an accolade. A moderately played banjo sounds better than a well played steel-string guitar, so the guitarists vent their envy in such jokes. And a moderately played viola sounds a lot more pleasant than a well-played violin, so the violinists have to upstage the viola players that way, too.

 

Just one nagging thought: why do concertina players crack jokes about melodion players and piano-accordionists? :huh:

 

(Ducking and running for cover ...)

 

Cheers,

John

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Just one nagging thought: why do concertina players crack jokes about melodion players and piano-accordionists? :huh:

I wondered that too.

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Just one nagging thought: why do concertina players crack jokes about melodion players and piano-accordionists? :huh:

 

They're a bigger target than we are?

 

Ian

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Just one nagging thought: why do concertina players crack jokes about melodion players and piano-accordionists? :huh:

I wondered that too.

 

Bellows envy?

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I have melodeon and conc face. Learning to sing at the same time as playing has helped.

 

We're in good company look at Eric Clapton and Martin Carthy on guitar

 

Keep on gurning! Well worth Googling it, hilarious videos

 

PS Why are there no guitarist jokes? Because their fragile egos can't take it!

Edited by michael sam wild

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PS Why are there no guitarist jokes? Because their fragile egos can't take it!

 

There are, indeed:

 

-Why is better a guitar than a fiddle?

-Because it burns longer.

 

I've not concertina face - at the moment - but my fiddle face gave me serious problems. I used to tight very strongly my jaws when focused playing, with the subsequently teethache! Luckily, I corrected that before losing any molar....

 

Cheers,

 

Fer

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In my circle, I'm well known for they variety of freakish faces I sport when I'm on stage.

 

When I'm practicing though, it's a completely different story....concertina face all over the place!

 

One thing I've noticed through my travels is that forcing yourself to think about (and do) other things while you're playing a song (like singing or making anything other than a blank stare-face) helps you (me!) learn the song better. I guess trying to do two things at once helps commit the song to muscle memory...(or maybe my brain stops getting in the way of playing the song!)

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I thought recently I'd put up a vid on youtube of myself playing a tune I'd finally mastered. It took me a few "takes" to get one where there were no mistakes. Then I realised the video was unusable due to the face.

 

No contorted expression, just total blankness, unfocussed eyes, slack jaw and a demeanour suggesting total passive understanding of the horror of mankind's collective mortality !

 

So having practiced the tune, I'm now faced with practicing a face that can go with it that doesn't frighten everyone that sees it.

 

Simon

 

Just zoom in on the concertina and cut the rest off the picture...that's what I do. ;)

I prefer to show the instrument only, but my relatives complain that I don't show my face. I look rather like I'm passing a kidney stone when I'm concentrating, but I suppose I could work on composure.

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Just one nagging thought: why do concertina players crack jokes about melodion players and piano-accordionists? :huh:

 

(Ducking and running for cover ...)

 

Cheers,

John

 

my impression of it was that those other instruments are more popular, and we have to fight tooth and nail for recognition. also, piano accordions are LOUD. it's sort of an inferiority complex thing. also, it's annoying when people think you play the accordion. i've just given up and started answering yes to the question of "do you play the accordion."

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Perhaps more serious than distorted facial expressions is making sure you are not holding your breath.

A lot of musicians, including myself, have a tendency to tense up and hold their breath when playing,

especially on difficult passages. Tension in any part of your body while playing is not good. It can

hurt your playing as well as your health. I find it more difficult to breathe naturally when playing

an anglo concertina because of the constant back and forth bellows action. I don't have this

problem as much with the english concertina. I wonder if anyone else who plays both anglo

and english concertinas has noticed this.

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It's a very real phenomenon, Concertina face...there must be cross connections in the brain, or summat like that. I see mostly lip movements among my fellow concertinists...but most of them play English while I play anglo. I try not to watch in order not to laugh out loud, though I know I also make faces while playing...can't be helped.

Another noticeable side effect is synchronous breathing...not so much holding of breath as per squeezergeezer...inhaling and exhaling matched with the motion of the bellows...which can lead to hypoxia or hyperventilation depending on the tune...

Anyone else notice that? It took me a conscious effort to de-link my breathing from my anglo-pumping.

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See post in Teaching and Learning could it be the Mainichean struggle between the Right and Left Brain for supremacy which is manifested in our contorted features and gurning? :blink:

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I have quite an opposite problem. When I play, it's the listeners who have the funny faces. :(

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