#1
i cant say i do. i see a lot of players do this but i never really find the need to. its not like a i need to see to play. sometimes ill play a night in my pitch black room just cuz i cant sleep. ill see people like hendrix who will play a whole solo with his eyes closed. i know people do that to feel the music but i just dont see the need.

does it actually help in any way? i play better with my eyes open. and again, i can play with out looking(playing in the dark or just looking somewhere else)but when i close my eyes, i dont play as well. it is kinda interesting though to let your imagination make images in you headof what you are playing.
#2
It's interesting, but I feel too self-absorbed.

I like looking at bandmates, audience, etc. Making a connection with other people, which is harder for me with my eyes closed.
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#4
I do when I'm really into it, that and I like rock left to right (if I'm sitting). Hahhahaha, it's so lame but it just happens.
#5
I can if I'm just improvising a solo or something, but if I'm trying to put thought into it or do something out of the box I need to focus more.
#6
The theory is, that when you close your eyes, you don't use your vision (obviously) and your brain can focus more on processing hearing. So you hear better.

Theoretically.
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#7
I don't do it so much while playing guitar as much as while I'm sing... though I'm most often playing guitar while I'm singing. If something moves around enough where I have to watch, I will, but often, yea, I find my eyes are closed. It's not any kind of concious decision to do so or anything, though. I'm really only thinking about the guitar and the vocals, and whatever else happens, happens.
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#8
i think its just something that subconciously happens. i dont even know what i look like when i play guitar if im getting really into it because im just focusing on the music and whats happening not really what im doing. ive seen people make some pretty strange faces when they are getting really into it haha.
#11
id typically go crazy when i play live but when i solo i look like an orgasmic bear with my eyes closed
#12
sometimes... its mostly an ear training exercise for me...

when u listen to a certain note, u give it a mental color... its hard to explain... but its nice for improvising.
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#13
Sometimes I have my eyes closed while playing just because I love the song so much. When I do it while singing, it's usually for the same reason as well.
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#14
I've never played a live gig yet , but when I do, I'd think that I would like to look at the audience, or my other bandmates. I jam a lot with my friends though, and when I do, I like to look around at them, then back to my guitar.

Sometimes I make wierd faces without noticing it while playing , but rarely do I close my eyes.
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#15
Nah, I dont. I would like to be able to play fluently and cleanly without noticing my guitar is there, or with my eyes closed, but seeing as I want to get everything absolutely right I need to concentrate on what my fingers are doing. Steve Vai manages to play without noticing incredibly well, check out the vid of him doing Tender Surrender.
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#16
I usually play stock still. Since i learned to play sitting down, i lose a lot of dexterity when im standing up and when i close my eyes.
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#18
^ You mean where the frets aren't, of course...

When I'm with a group I don't, you need to communicate visually with each other too often, in my experience. When I'm solo I do.

Nah, I dont. I would like to be able to play fluently and cleanly without noticing my guitar is there, or with my eyes closed, but seeing as I want to get everything absolutely right I need to concentrate on what my fingers are doing.

Looking at the fretboard makes you less accurate. Proven time and time again. Learn it with your hands, not your eyes -- your eyes are too slow anyway.

The theory is, that when you close your eyes, you don't use your vision (obviously) and your brain can focus more on processing hearing. So you hear better.

Theoretically.
Not really. Believe it or not, I see the music better with my eyes closed. I don't perform any solo pieces (I'm talking classical solo, not solo-in-a-band, here) that I haven't memorized, and honest to God, when you close your eyes you can actually see the music if you really know it.

I also practice in a dark room... and believe it or not, tend to compose in one also (at least if I'm not outside).

Other interesting habits... I'm half deaf from being in bands and orchestras, and I still more in tune with my hearing than 90% of the people I know. I also tip my head to the side on occaision to hear better -- a trait associated with aurally focused people. I can carry three conversations at the same time, and now do it regularly; something I learned one day while on two different phone calls and having someone rather rudely talking to me at the same time... I think it comes from being able to seperate musical lines and hear each independantly... regardless, it's a cool trick, and it's hard to remember that other people usually can't.
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#19
Quote by Corwinoid
^ You mean where the frets aren't, of course...

When I'm with a group I don't, you need to communicate visually with each other too often, in my experience. When I'm solo I do.


Looking at the fretboard makes you less accurate. Proven time and time again. Learn it with your hands, not your eyes -- your eyes are too slow anyway.



mmm....i think i dissagree with that. if you look at shredders play, alot of the time they are looking down at what they are playing.
#20
I close my eyes sometimes when I am doing improv and stuff to really "feel the music." It helps me to focus on my playing (because it eliminates visual distractions) and I think that this helps me improv better and play with a much more precise sound. But that could just be my imagination. I like the feeling of playing with my eyes closed. I'm not sure if it really helps anything though.
#21
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
mmm....i think i dissagree with that. if you look at shredders play, alot of the time they are looking down at what they are playing.

The "Proven time and time again" bit was anecdotal... Generally as soon as you can get someone not looking at the fretboard all of the time their accuracy shoots through the roof.

It /is/ actually proven, absolutely, that your visual sense is slower than your sense of touch... that's known in a lot of performing art fields inc. magic and contact juggling (oddly enough, there's a lot of contact juggling that helps your guitar playing).

Touch typists generally look at the document they're working from, and neither keyboard nor monitor while working on a computer. They tend to type quite a bit faster than people who have to look, touch typists generally feel their mistakes and correct them much more quickly than non-touch typists, who often don't know they've made a mistake. The "Yeah, but they've had a lot more practice..." completely fails here also for two reasons: 1) it's the same type of skill 2) anybody who practices something enough will get faster and faster at it. I am a touch typist, and I do look at my hands occaisionally, but never for a visual guide... it just happens to be where I'm looking. As a guitarist, I'll look at my hands for maybe a split second here or there, usually on big jumps up and down the neck where there's no manual reference point -- no frets sliding past, full hand change, and a bit of the neck getting moved.

But if you're not shredding and you're looking at your hands, you might want to think about the correllation there.

I know a lot of guitarists who point their head in the general direction of the neck. There are actually a lot of psychological and physiological reasons for it other than actually looking at the fretboard and their hands. Even with my eyes closed that tends to be where my head goes. It's actually a point of aural recal -- and almost anybody, when asked to remember what something sounds like will look off to their right and down.

But if you actually pay attention to most good guitarists, they're not looking at their hands. They're looking at nothing, almost always. You can tell because most of the time they won't follow their hand visually. Gilbert's a good example of this, and there are a ton of PG videos available... that guy's completely spaced visually, it's just not happening when he plays.

(As an aside, the thing about the looking right and slightly down... I'm really not making that up. There's a huge number correlations like this with visual and mental acuity. Looking up and right tends to be systematic of memory recal, and up and left tends to be creativity -- a good indication that someone's lying to you)
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#22
Quote by S_C_L-1
sometimes... its mostly an ear training exercise for me...

when u listen to a certain note, u give it a mental color... its hard to explain... but its nice for improvising.

haha I know exactly what you mean. I close my eyes when I'm soloing or whatever and I don't give the notes "mental colors"... I imagine the notes are talking to each other and actually having a conversation. ha... try explaining that to someone.
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#23
Other interesting habits... I'm half deaf from being in bands and orchestras, and I still more in tune with my hearing than 90% of the people I know. I also tip my head to the side on occaision to hear better -- a trait associated with aurally focused people. I can carry three conversations at the same time, and now do it regularly; something I learned one day while on two different phone calls and having someone rather rudely talking to me at the same time... I think it comes from being able to seperate musical lines and hear each independantly... regardless, it's a cool trick, and it's hard to remember that other people usually can't.


haha, so am i!

was hit on the right ear with a 30 lb chunk of ice when i was a child... so that ear is kinda flat while my left ear sticks out a bit... i tend to hear bass notes alot better with my left and trebble with my right (altho not as loud as it normally would be).

but my senses have always been damn good... got my first migraine at the age of 5 because my brain couldnt keep track of ALL the noise around me at the same time...

I think that might be the reason i like seemingly jarbled and very complicated music... like Jason Becker, Yes, Mr Bungle... cuz i can hear each instrument playing its own piece...

and i totally agree with the whoal "space out" thing... like that moment JUST before a solo arises where everything seems to slow down... its like a trance
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#24
I always close my eyes when I solo just cause I really don't know, its like a natural reaction. When my teacher first taught me how to improvise, he dimed the lights and forced me to play with my eyes closed. So, thats probably why, it just really helps me feel the music.
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#25
maybe it's just me, but i can't tell if Segovia's eyes are closed here...i would imagine that playing a piece like that requires looking at the fretboard

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#27
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only if im an an improvised long solo..usually 16-20 bars

That's not very long

I keep my eyes open most of the time, but my face makes all sort of twitches and stuff. I look like a fat black blues player, orgasmic faces at every long note
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#28
i tend to focus very strongly on the fret board, it's a bad habit, i can play without looking but i always end up just looking back again
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#29
I play with my eyes open, but without seeing anything.

Since i'm the vocalist for my band, i'm hearing the words in my head, and feeling the music with my body, just letting my hands play. If I think about vision my brain will overload and i'll just fall apart; forgetting lines or what i'm playing.

Also, because my performing background has meant I'm used to being under a conductor or director, I'm used to watching band members ect. when jamming.
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#30
im one of the guitarists that sometimes get a little too into what they play haha

i do close my eyes sometimes and do move my mouth in bizarre ways that make me appear like an idiot haha, i think im listening to too much satriani and vai hahahaha

but i also play sax, and in jazz ensembles and all that i close my eyes too, it kind of lets your head forget about looking at what you're doing and switch into going with your feel
#31
Meh, I close my eyes a lot of the time. It's easier to play with your eyes closed because you're simply less distracted. Breaks in concentration are the only thing that make me fuck up a song. So I'd wager it's probably better practice to play with your eyes open so you can hone your concentration and get used to phasing out or dealing with distractions.
#32
I close my eyes when I'm really at an emotional part of a song, most often when improvising (perhaps it helps me focus?). I also close them sometimes when I sing, although I always keep them open when singing in a choir or playing guitar from sheet music, for obvious reasons.


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#33
Quote by Corwinoid
Looking at the fretboard makes you less accurate. Proven time and time again. Learn it with your hands, not your eyes -- your eyes are too slow anyway.


I didnt say I did, I just cant completely ignore the fact my guitar is there. its like trying to balance on one foot with your eyes closed, its much harder than having them open, and looking at your feet doesnt help, which is what you said basically.
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#34
I think its fine for just playing, but while practicing its probably much better to pay attention to what your hands are doing.
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#35
I don't close my eyes when I perform, but when I'm practising it can be helpful to close my eyes and actually listen to myself play, while I'm playing. I find I focus less on putting my hands in the right place, and more on how I sound. It's like taking a step back and listening to someone else. This is for classical guitar though, when I've spent months learning a piece and know it well. I haven't a clue about whether it helps improvising, but then I can't improvise

I think all genuine benifits aside, playing with your eyes closed does make it look as if you're really 'feeling' the music, so might look good in a soulful blues solo, but might make you look like an idiot if its not appropriate.
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#36
I practice quite often without looking. What I've found is that too often, you rely on your vision to give you a frame of reference on the guitar. After seeing Michael Romeo live, I was impressed with his ridiculously hard solos, yet he never had to look at the guitar.

I feel not looking while playing gives you a better overall feel with the guitar. You start putting emphasis on your other feelings (like feeling the string making contact with your fret hand/pick, and hearing the notes as they are played)

I've found i make fewer mistakes this way as well
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#37
well the other day i decided to give it a try. i played with my eyes closed and i found i came up with a lot better licks. i dont really know why but maybe i wasnt focusing on what i was play sight wise and just let it come out. i think ill try to close my eyes more.