Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 92
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I don't want to take away from the Bobby Broom thread--I was considering moving to Chi-Town so I could study with Andy Brown, Bobby Broom, and Greg Fishman...

    Alas, I can't just move to a new place to study with great jazz musicians (if only).

    I was wondering if anyone else closes their eyes to connect with the music when they play in performance situations. I'm not talking about "look ma, no eyes" showing off. I'm talking about closing your eyes to connect on a deeper level with what you play and how others play around you.

    I find that I can access more sounds in my inner ear if I close my eyes. I also find that I am more strategic with the fretboard when I close my eyes. That doesn't mean that I play everything in position--quite the opposite--I shift all around the board (and it feels right).

    I can also hear the bass more clearly.

    And if I close my eyes, I don't have to worry about others watching me play--it curbs my performance anxiety.

    Just wondering if anyone else feels the same. I know Kurt Rosenwinkie (I know how to spell his name) does the whole eye lids fluttering "playing from another state of consciousness" thing. Maybe there's something to that?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    In my experience (which is not as much as the OP's), playing with eyes closed can help access some "other" levels. I've gone through periods where I only played without looking. Currently I'm OK with letting myself look but I can't say that I'm qualified to comment on whether one is better or not. Peter Bernstein tends to look most of the time IIRC, and it's hard to argue with that. I do think one should be able to play without looking.

    Regarding the eyes fluttering thing / Rosenwinkle, I studied with a local horn player in a combo setting for about 5 years...when he's in the zone he does the same thing with the fluttering eyes. You can tell that's when he's in the zone, or perhaps especially in the zone when that happens....seems like it happens mostly mid-solo, not at the beginning or near the end when bringing it home and preparing to pass off. Others often just close their eyes without noticeable fluttering.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I used to when I was playing in rock bands, during a 'big solo', but never really felt like it in a jazz setting. I dunno why... I gotta look deeper and figure it out.

    But also I don't wanna lose a contact with the audience. Some interesting things happen while we playing in the places we playing, so there is that too.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Always, when I don't have to look at the music. Unfortunately, when I have a solo in the big bands I play in, I can't keep my eyes shut, because I'm usually sight reading. I'm usually set up in the front line, right next to the tenor soloist, and they're always the best soloists in the band, so I'm intimidated by them. Any visual distractions interfere with the flow of my playing.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I've done it occasionally and it helps my phrasing with difficult bits
    just for a moment tho
    most of the time I'm looking at the neck
    or the drummer trying to lock in

  7. #6
    I'm glad I just play jam sessions at the moment. I tend to get REALLY into what everyone is playing, especially the drummer--if he/she is really grooving. My wife came to one of my sessions back in NYC and she said that I looked like I was exorcising the devil or something. Hey, I have fun--who says rock musicians get to have all the fun?

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I've spent so much time sight reading that when I'm not playing charts, I don't have a tendency to look at the neck anymore. I like looking at other players or the audience instead. Closing my eyes doesn't seem to do much, I can concentrate w/o doing that. I understand the motive for others, if it helps them.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Maybe a little strange but sometimes I find it better to close my eyes and use my “mental picture “ of the fretboard rather than actually looking at it. I’ve talked to several guitarists who said the same. I notice Lage Lund tends to often roll his eyes up to the ceiling; certainly works well for him.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I like it, it really makes you concentrate on listening.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I might close my eyes for a few seconds every now and then, and I think it's fine for any others that do, for whatever reasons.

    What I don't do, and what I don't like others doing is the little too overly expressive head bobbing, head shaking, weird mouth shapes, eye rolling, and other movements that stink of affectation (not the little natural things, but the ones over the top that look as faked as a lead rock guitarist bending one long easy high note but projecting the posture, face, and image of extreme intensity of effort - it's that "See, I'm digging deep into my soul to summon up my unique and profound musical gift just for you!" thing, you know what I mean).

    The eyes fluttering thing / Rosenwinkle... don't like that either; that "fluttering" looks more like a twitch or tic caused by the mental grinding of gears from thinking about theory while playing, similar to those who appear to be talking to themselves (their lips moving) as they play... Rosenwinkle seems to do that, too.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I might close my eyes for a few seconds every now and then, and I think it's fine for any others that do, for whatever reasons.

    What I don't do, and what I don't like others doing is the little too overly expressive head bobbing, head shaking, weird mouth shapes, eye rolling, and other movements that stink of affectation (not the little natural things, but the ones over the top that look as faked as a lead rock guitarist bending one long easy high note but projecting the posture, face, and image of extreme intensity of effort - it's that "See, I'm digging deep into my soul to summon up my unique and profound musical gift just for you!" thing, you know what I mean).

    The eyes fluttering thing / Rosenwinkle... don't like that either; that "fluttering" looks more like a twitch or tic caused by the mental grinding of gears from thinking about theory while playing, similar to those who appear to be talking to themselves (their lips moving) as they play... Rosenwinkle seems to do that, too.
    Well, Sco does those kind of 'extreme' mouth shapes and face expression sometimes... To the point it's almost funny, but I think it's naturally connected to the sounds he gets out of his guitar. Long sustain notes, string bends, overdrive, funny faces- it all seem connected and make sense.

    If you do that playing big archtop through a cleanest amp... then maybe not so much.

    Don't mean to turn it into the Guitar Faces thread btw, just playing along.

  13. #12
    yes, let's turn it into the Guitar Faces Thread

    Granted, I usually make those faces when other people solo. When I solo, I close my eyes to get me away from the distractions of my knobs, fretboard, people in the audience, people on stage--etc.

    And closing my eyes brings me closer to the most important element--the SOUNDS I create (or fail to create)

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I tend to keep my eyes open so I can dodge any flying bottles.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I tend to keep my eyes open so I can dodge any flying bottles.
    Word!

    The places I used to play (not all dives, but not jazz rooms, either), a moment's inattention could get a guy hurt. Not joking.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I tend to keep my eyes open so I can dodge any flying bottles.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    When I do that i usually miss a cue

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    I've played some with a drummer who kept his eyes closed.

    The band was accustomed to using some visual signals, every one of which he missed.

  19. #18
    visual cues aren't hip these days:


  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    RosenwinKEL.

  21. #20
    RosenwinKIE

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87
    visual cues aren't hip these days:

    Oh they nicked that idea from Krantz

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87
    I don't want to take away from the Bobby Broom thread--I was considering moving to Chi-Town so I could study with Andy Brown, Bobby Broom
    I'm not sure when Bobby teaches around here, but hes at the showcase this weekend, and does the Thursday jam at Andys... which is half the jazz clubs in town

    Re: eyes closed...I suppose you have to be careful not to miss a cue/communication from other players, but there's definitely something to being "in the zone" like that. You remove a sense, the others heighten. Hopefully the band has good hygiene.

  24. #23
    so there aren't that many jam sessions in Chi-town?

    Move to Washington, Jeffy B! I think it's better for teachers out here as well.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Oh, my jam session days are over, for now at least. I have a bedtime.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Room completely darkened beats playing eyes closed.