#1
LOL -- I'm actually serious. This is something I've noticed other musicians doing from time to time, and not just guitarists. Particularly, I've seen quite a few drummers "mouthing" the rhythm as they play -- it doesn't look like they're singing along to the vocalist. My wife gets a chuckle sometimes when she watches me play because I'll move my mouth occasionally without realizing it -- I think it comes out during rhythm parts as well. Is this a rhythm thing?

Then I become self-conscious of it and it's harder to play and think about NOT doing it. Obviously, if I'm ever on stage, I'd prefer not to do this.

I'm just curious if other people do this too, and/or if they have tried to stop it or just don't care about it. Please discuss!
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Last edited by KailM at Sep 19, 2014,
#2
I go one step further, i sing everything i play while playing it. It is just an old habit from internalizing jazzlines, but as long as i don't have a microphone in front of me i don't mind, my guitar is far louder than my singing, and the audience seems to get a laugh out of me being so into my playing.

Just in general though, i don't think it's anything uncommon. I mean, you change your face whatever you do in life. If you are doing any task like carrying something, running or anything like that, you will have different things going on with your face. I don't see why playing an instrument would be any different in that aspect.
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#3
I don't know and don't really care but I'm kind of working on the assumption that my face does something when I'm really getting in to what I'm doing

I guess you'd have to ask my girlfriend to get a proper answer? I don't really have one...
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#4
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I don't know and don't really care but I'm kind of working on the assumption that my face does something when I'm really getting in to what I'm doing

I guess you'd have to ask my girlfriend to get a proper answer? I don't really have one...

An answer? Or a girlfriend?
Actually called Mark!

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#5
Quote by steven seagull
An answer? Or a girlfriend?


Ohhhhh, cold Kind of walked in to that a bit though I guess
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#7
I always wondered about the faces some make. Jonny Lang often looks like he's in horrible pain. SRV had all sorts of odd expressions. He made noises as he played, too, although quietly.
#8
In the bass world we call this phenomenon the "bass face." Usually it's a kind of grimace or abnormal scrunching of the face, but there's a wide variety out there. Once you really get into a groove, everyone falls prey to the bass face.
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#9
Este Haim has the hottest bass face on the planet.
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#11
Quote by dspellman
Just Google "Guitar Faces" for an extensive collection.




Disgusting!

#12
I noticed that while my teacher was playing the other day (when he should have been paying attention to me), he was wearing this grimace like one of those Hawaiian gods on a Tiki pole. Yet another reason one should allow the frontman to "give good face".
Last edited by pointnplink at Oct 16, 2014,
#13
I think it means you arent relaxed enough. Its ok to make faces to make it look like you are "feeling it" when you want to (Steve Vai), but if you keep making uncontrolled faces/movements without even noticing it it means you arent comfortable with your playing.

I used to do it especially when using a wah, I think it looks really stupid so I learned not to do it but thats just me.
#14
My old GF said it was the same faces I made having sex. Some things you can't control. I play a lot with my eyes closed too, you hear the music better
#15
my jaw used to just go loose

I quickly changed that because I looked like a guppy fish.
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#17
Never piss off the photographer. Doing so makes for some very interesting final photos that end up in very public places.
Screwing up one's face when one is banging away on a musical instrument, or singing as front man really seems to open up the nostrils, revealing every bit of embarrassing material lurking around up in there.
#18
Or just embrace it, and let it become part of your myth!

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#19
Oh, there's a couple of hilarious videos using Joe Cocker, or with John Belushi imitating him.
#20
I have this weird habit of licking my lips while playing lol. I don't think I'll ever be on MTV
#21
Until video cameras and cell phone videos became common place, no one ever memtioned to me just how goofy I look playing a solo. I'm embarrased by the weird looks I have on my face. I look disturbed or like a kindergarden kid trying hard to write his name. It's not just my face either. I never realized how much I can't stand still. I step forward and backwards constantly even when I am singing and should be planted at the microphone. I sing a verse, move back and then go to mic again. I never knew I was constantly doing this. No wonder I am tired after a 4 hour gig. I hate videos.
#22
I dont make faces lol, i find it weird, they say it makes you play faster, doesnt work for me, my face is damn calm and serious when i play, emotionless, fully concentrated, well i guess its because of my style i usually shredd. wait hang on, i actually do make faces not when shredding but when playing slowly, soulfully yeah, especiall when bending strings, i just feel the love, i dunno but when im shredding or doing some hard lick, my face is a brick, but when playing balads and such i just feeel love, i ussuualy shake my head or shut my eyes, like a chinese taking a shit
#23
It's a common problem for some musicians. It will happen only when you are deeply fall in musics. That time you wont care about your face expression. Its just synchronizing with your rhythm.
#24
Quote by Monkeyleg
Oh, there's a couple of hilarious videos using Joe Cocker, or with John Belushi imitating him.


I'm old enough to have watched the original SNL skit with Belushi and Cocker, side by side, as it happened! Classic stuff!
#25
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I don't know and don't really care but I'm kind of working on the assumption that my face does something when I'm really getting in to what I'm doing

I guess you'd have to ask my girlfriend to get a proper answer? I don't really have one...

I suppose one could make appropriate faces when one is "thinking" about one's girlfriend.
Just make "those" kinds of faces, rather than the grimaces made during divorce proceedings.
#26
I move my mouth/lips a lot.
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#27
Quote by Monkeyleg
Oh, there's a couple of hilarious videos using Joe Cocker, or with John Belushi imitating him.
Belushi did this on SNL WHILE Cocker was performing. IIRC Joe Cocker was at the mic, while Belushi was on lying on the floor next to him, doing a pinwheel, walking around pivoting on his shoulder, Of course he was making strange Joe Cocker faces and palsied hand gestures. It was the kind of thing that once you've witnessed, can never be "unseen", once in a lifetime.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 10, 2014,
#28
Any good guitarist will tell you that the first thing to learn when learning the guitar is which face to use for each particular situation. I cannot stress the importance of this enough! You cannot play the guitar properly without the appropriate facial expression. Yes other musicians make facial expressions, but this is paramount for using proper guitar technique.

You can find the appropriate facial expressions explained in detail in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m3g-uWaZg0

If you are not already, you should incorporate these techniques into your practice sessions immediately!

P.S. there is a clip from Wayne's World (i believe) where they practice their guitar faces. If anyone can find that clip I think it would be an appropriate addition to this thread.
#29
Everyone points this out when I play. Now I'm insecure about it and have to constantly remind myself not to do it. It sucks.
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#30
To clarify, with this thread, I wasn't really talking about the "emotional" faces people sometimes make when they play.

With me it's more of a subtle mouth movement that I think probably has to do with keeping in rhythm. I've seen drummers do it pretty often actually. Yet, it could still be embarrassing at a gig.
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#31
Quote by KailM
To clarify, with this thread, I wasn't really talking about the "emotional" faces people sometimes make when they play.

With me it's more of a subtle mouth movement that I think probably has to do with keeping in rhythm. I've seen drummers do it pretty often actually. Yet, it could still be embarrassing at a gig.


It's all the same though really, isn't it? Using your face to express some part of the music, whether it's rhythm or melody or whatever, I'm pretty sure that it's all more or less the same kind of reflex.
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#33
Quote by KailM
To clarify, with this thread, I wasn't really talking about the "emotional" faces people sometimes make when they play.

With me it's more of a subtle mouth movement that I think probably has to do with keeping in rhythm. I've seen drummers do it pretty often actually. Yet, it could still be embarrassing at a gig.


It's unnecessary tension in your muscles if you ask me. I would try to get rid of it the same way you try to reduce the tension in your arms and shoulders. If you are not aware of your face moving you might not be aware of other muscles too.