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Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: paulq on April 15, 2009, 03:36:41 PM

Title: Melodeon face
Post by: paulq on April 15, 2009, 03:36:41 PM
Does anybody else have a problem with the face they make while playing the melodeon?

I've been playing for less than two years and have already developed a "melodeon face". It veers between the comical and the frankly alarming. I know this because I've been told by friends. "You're going to have to lose the face," was one comment.

I know a bit about this because I've been a drummer since the age of 12 and I've always had an unconscious "drumming face" which makes me look somewhere between angry and upset (however much fun I'm having). But - here's the strange thing - my melodeon face is completely different! Second instrument, second weird face. And not being hidden by a drum kit, or buried in a guitar or keyboard, completely visible, too. 

I noticed on YouTube Tim Edey maintaining a relaxed smile while playing something fearsome. It's a part of the performance that he looks so calm. Could he have adopted a face deliberately? Can you practice a face? Do other famous melodeon players have faces? I've often thought Jon Spiers looks a bit strange while he's playing for example, like he's about to be mugged.

Before you ask, no the face isn't great to start with but it's not that bad  ;)




Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on April 15, 2009, 04:00:11 PM
I don't think I make any faces....but then maybe it only happens if you play from memory...I'm too busy following my scribbles to make faces....
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 15, 2009, 04:02:28 PM
Yes there have a been a number of threads on this subject - including this one: Help!!! - Funny Face « 1 2 » (http://Help!!! - Funny Face « 1 2 »)

It is a really difficult problem to overcome - just give in to it is my advice!
AL
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on April 15, 2009, 04:16:47 PM
Yes there have a been a number of threads on this subject - including this one: Help!!! - Funny Face « 1 2 » (http://Help!!! - Funny Face « 1 2 »)

It is a really difficult problem to overcome - just give in to it is my advice!
AL
your link isn't working  :o
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 15, 2009, 04:34:03 PM
Quote
your link isn't working 

Sorry - not very good at this stuff  :'(
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on April 15, 2009, 04:37:43 PM
Quote
your link isn't working 

Sorry - not very good at this stuff  :'(
I can do computers but then I'm not good at this music stuff :|||:....so I think we are even ;)

found it http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,913.0.html
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Mike Higgins on April 15, 2009, 04:45:34 PM
Quote
I can do computers but then I'm not good at this music stuff

I'm a bit of a dimwit when it comes to youtube and myspace due to my advanced years, I see some links at the bottom edge of the ladydetemps posts which look as though they need to be clicked, when clicked they ask me to do stuff, is the stuff it is asking me to do kosher?
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on April 15, 2009, 04:53:18 PM
Quote
I can do computers but then I'm not good at this music stuff

I'm a bit of a dimwit when it comes to youtube and myspace due to my advanced years, I see some links at the bottom edge of the ladydetemps posts which look as though they need to be clicked, when clicked they ask me to do stuff, is the stuff it is asking me to do kosher?
of course one is my myspace page...(you can only view that if you are added as 'me friend') and the other is my youtube page where you can see my videos of my concertina/melodeon playing and other stuff I've videos (all above board and family friendly).

(if you need any help just pm me....I've got a btec national diploma in computer studies you know)
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Mike Higgins on April 15, 2009, 04:56:31 PM
Quote
I've got a btec national diploma in computer studies you know

Phew  :o ???
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Lester on April 15, 2009, 06:08:04 PM
if you need any help just pm me....I've got a btec national diploma in computer studies you know

Well I'm impressed, I may be the Chief Engineer of Advanced Systems for National Air Traffic Services but you are better qualified in computrickery than I am  ???
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 15, 2009, 07:25:29 PM
Thanks Sara - I knew if I left it long enough someone would sort out my ineptitude (which I think is a word) ;D
AL
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Owen Woods on April 15, 2009, 11:55:58 PM
When I play the melodeon I look as if I am in as foul temper as it is possible to get without actually screaming. I have a face like thunder and occasionally grimace in apparent agony. This is interesting, because I love playing the melodeon.

My Piano face makes me look petrified however, which is far more accurate...
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on April 16, 2009, 09:02:58 AM
Well I'm impressed, I may be the Chief Engineer of Advanced Systems for National Air Traffic Services but you are better qualified in computrickery than I am  ???
am I...your job sounds much more fun. I just do graphics.

Quote
I've got a btec national diploma in computer studies you know

Phew  :o ???
Did I mention it was the programming 'pathway' too.

I also have a GNVQ in ICT.. ;)
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Malcolm Austen on April 16, 2009, 12:12:21 PM
I have RSA Arithmetic and Cycling Proficiency with a certificates to prove it.
malcolm
and come to think of it a Ribena swimming award.
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on April 16, 2009, 12:14:12 PM

Quote
Ribena swimming award.
you swam in ribena?
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Malcolm Austen on April 16, 2009, 12:56:27 PM

Quote
Ribena swimming award.
you swam in ribena?

I seem to remember it involved swimming in pyjamas but that might have been the lifesaving certificate.
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 16, 2009, 02:22:24 PM
Quote
Ribena swimming award.
you swam in ribena?


I seem to remember it involved swimming in pyjamas but that might have been the lifesaving certificate.

It was the one where you had to swim against the 'currant' ;D
AL
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Curamach on April 16, 2009, 02:57:56 PM
Check out the wonderful carp-out-of water face of the incomparable Jimmy Shand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hAtxZXNrA

Dan
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 16, 2009, 03:19:40 PM
Quote
Check out the wonderful carp-out-of water face of the incomparable Jimmy Shand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hAtxZXNrA

Dan

I just love the little sideways look he gives to the band as they're approaching the end as if to say the 'tune finishes here boys'. Wonderful stuff & what a great man!
AL
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: melod-ian on April 17, 2009, 02:52:56 PM
Does anybody else have a problem with the face they make while playing the melodeon?

I've been playing for less than two years and have already developed a "melodeon face". It veers between the comical and the frankly alarming. I know this because I've been told by friends. "You're going to have to lose the face," was one comment.

I know a bit about this because I've been a drummer since the age of 12 and I've always had an unconscious "drumming face" which makes me look somewhere between angry and upset (however much fun I'm having). But - here's the strange thing - my melodeon face is completely different! Second instrument, second weird face. And not being hidden by a drum kit, or buried in a guitar or keyboard, completely visible, too. 

I noticed on YouTube Tim Edey maintaining a relaxed smile while playing something fearsome. It's a part of the performance that he looks so calm. Could he have adopted a face deliberately? Can you practice a face? Do other famous melodeon players have faces? I've often thought Jon Spiers looks a bit strange while he's playing for example, like he's about to be mugged.

Before you ask, no the face isn't great to start with but it's not that bad  ;)






I’ve been told I’ve got an eyebrow thing going on when I play… … a bit like the Roger Moore Spitting Image puppet
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: juker on April 18, 2009, 09:28:32 AM
I want to do the swimming in Ribena thingy. Where do go Malcolm?
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Ebor_fiddler on April 18, 2009, 09:14:02 PM
The River Riber in Pome?  ::)
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: juker on April 18, 2009, 11:48:07 PM
The River Riber in Pome?  ::)
haha! If only!
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 19, 2009, 08:43:06 AM
Quote
The River Riber in Pome? 

Don't you mean the Riber Piver in Tome?
AL (:)
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Folkiekay on April 21, 2009, 07:03:10 PM
I say don't worry about the faces you make when you play!  Just remember to smile real big whenever you make a mistake!  That's what I do and it works for me.

Kay
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: sqwzboxstudent on April 21, 2009, 09:48:29 PM
why dont you where a balaclava mate? in two hundred years time "clava wearing box players maybe the new morris dancers???/
you would beet the credit crunch and stay warm too
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Malcolm Austen on April 21, 2009, 10:32:42 PM
The Ribena swimming tests in my case were in Maidstone swimming pool, can't recall the name (Arlington Bathes?) but as they were used all week for schools swimming it was neither in Ribena of pure water.

Too much thread drift: last night at our session I kept finding myself thinking what face am I making, then the fingers stop working and the I started scowling so I am of to practice the smile and enjoy it face which can't be any more difficult than trying to use 4 fingers on the bass side.
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Owen Woods on April 21, 2009, 10:39:34 PM
The Ribena swimming tests in my case were in Maidstone swimming pool, can't recall the name (Arlington Bathes?) but as they were used all week for schools swimming it was neither in Ribena of pure water.

Too much thread drift: last night at our session I kept finding myself thinking what face am I making, then the fingers stop working and the I started scowling so I am of to practice the smile and enjoy it face which can't be any more difficult than trying to use 4 fingers on the bass side.

Trust me, it is. I have been playing various instruments in various settings for around 15 years and have never once looked as if I were enjoying myself...
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 22, 2009, 09:03:30 AM
Quote
Trust me, it is. I have been playing various instruments in various settings for around 15 years and have never once looked as if I were enjoying myself...

The important thing is...what faces are your audience making?

 (:)
AL
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Ellie on April 22, 2009, 09:31:06 AM
Quote from: Malcolm Austen
last night at our session I kept finding myself thinking what face am I making, then the fingers stop working and the I started scowling

Now I wish I'd popped my head round the door after all - I'd like to have seen that! ;D

Quote
so I am of to practice the smile and enjoy it face which can't be any more difficult than trying to use 4 fingers on the bass side.

Which is easy, so no problem then :D Come down to the Waggon and Horses Thursday week and show us what you've learned  (:)

Meanwhile, back on topic...I have no idea what sort of faces I make as I play, but I think I alternate between smiling and 'concentrating very hard' depending on what and where I'm playing...agree with certain others though that the far off concentration look can be quite appealing!
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Accordion Dave on April 23, 2009, 04:19:58 AM
I have been told that I look like I am sleeping whilst playing my squeezebox.

I often close my eyes and really get into the tune I am playing the same as I do when I am alone on my front porch.

I play during intermission at the local German Club which means that most people are not really paying attention to the music. There is all sorts of distraction including people wanting to carry on a conversation during my performance.

When I am playing with a group, I tilt my head to the left so that my ear is closer to the bellows. I was thinking of attaching a small microphone to the accordion and using a small amplifier connected to an earphone.
 
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Bob Ellis on April 23, 2009, 09:46:04 AM
'Girning' (putting your head through a horse's halter and pulling grotesque faces) was once a popular rural pastime in Cumbria. A Cumbrian of my acquaintance unintentionally combines girning with playing the melodeon: when he plays, his face goes through more contortions than his melodeon. We rarely seem to notice what he is playing, being far more enthralled by his facial contortions. When it was pointed out to him, he said that he was aware of it and had tried playing with a straight face, but he discovered that if he stopped girning he couldn't play at all!  ::)
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Malcolm Austen on April 23, 2009, 03:17:24 PM
Ellie
We missed you (and Lester and Rob) at the session and as for the face you make I have no idea I try not to stare at people in pubs and in particular not at young ladies.
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Lester on April 23, 2009, 03:18:44 PM
Ellie
We missed you (and Lester and Rob) at the session and as for the face you make I have no idea I try not to stare at people in pubs and in particular not at young ladies.
Sorry in Vienna again
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on June 22, 2009, 04:30:43 PM
Does anybody else have a problem with the face they make while playing the melodeon?
I was reviewing my latest vids and noticed that when I'm playing from memory I tend to stare into the top righthand corner of the wall in front like I'm in a daze...is this the early signs of melodeon face? Will it get worse?
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Ellie on June 22, 2009, 04:34:26 PM
It's a good sign - it means your brain is hard at work remembering (:) When my housemate and I play together (she on concertina), we generally sit on the sofa and stare off in opposite directions!  ::) So obviously one of us is making it up...
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: butterfingers on June 28, 2009, 01:24:47 AM
   I too have experienced the comments of musical friends [I like the music but you've got to work on the face...something like "nice legs, shame about the face"...remember that song?]...recently I had a little breakthrough in my playing where I started to use the pads of the fingers to make the notes rather than hammering down from above with the fingertips...probably obvious to most readers, but I'm a slow learner...and using less bellows as well, trying to be aware of what notes require a shift in direction and whether to push/pull from the top or bottom...the facial tics have mostly disappeared [I've looked in the mirror, the picture ain't pretty but I'm no longer grinding my teeth]..I've found that sound [the clacking of the keys, and how to minimize it, has been a great help]...now I've got my fingers spread-eagled as much as possible on the right hand so I use the minimum effort to make the notes, and the left hand fingertips actually rest on the body of the instrument [single row pokerwork] at such an angle that I can only press hard enough to make the bass and chord...there are no pads on the stoppers, so I had to do something to get rid of the awful clacking, and as a side-product, the grinding of teeth...hope this helps, probably stating the obvious...
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Ebor_fiddler on June 29, 2009, 11:59:00 AM
And I thought I was doing it WRONG by using the pads rather than fingerends!  :( I feel so much better now  ...  ..  ;D
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: tiny on June 29, 2009, 12:27:39 PM
I don't know if I use pads or fingertips rushing off to check. Is there a right and wrong?
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: tiny on June 29, 2009, 12:29:43 PM
checked........ I use finger pads 
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Ebor_fiddler on June 30, 2009, 02:18:38 PM
I've never been photographed playing the melodeon (yet anyway!), but when fiddling I do a face that looks like "melodeon face". The question is "Did I have it before I started to play the melodeon?". Is it catching?
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Martin Duffy on July 02, 2009, 10:56:42 PM
I have a fiddlers face (oo-er!), and having only just taken up melodeon, appear to have a seperate melodeon face, which my partner finds frightening!  Thank the heavens we wear masks when morris dancing!
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: mikesamwild on July 03, 2009, 01:15:22 PM
I learned to sing while playing the melodeon to get rid of the face.  Now I've developed an Anglo concertina face that looks like a rabbit on speed chewing its lips

It's only when I play tunes that have become second nature that I can play with the Buddha face and a beatific smile
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Rob2Hook on July 03, 2009, 01:22:06 PM
I'm told I either look bored (vacant), scared or confused while playing.  Doesn't matter for Morris, but can lead to alienation of a ceilidh dance!  Usually countered at a gig by members of the band pulling faces at each other until we're all grinning like Cheshire Cats.  Beer usually helps.

Rob.
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Folkiekay on July 03, 2009, 06:26:57 PM
Hi Rob,

I bet 90% of people look unhappy when they are playing melodeon - particularly without reading music.  It doesn't really matter in the long run, but when I play on the streets I have to smile a lot, so I'm becoming used to it.  Just be glad you don't drool.  I sometimes drool when I am off in my own little world playing melodeon.  Talk about embarrassing!!!!!!  I did the same thing when I was young playing piano and violin.  I'd get so carried away that I guess I wouldn't swallow and would drool on the violin or piano keys, and it was always awful!  Usually when I drool, someone is watching and witnesses this embarrassing phenomenon.  Ah well.....in 100 years nobody will remember.

Kay
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: butterfingers on July 04, 2009, 12:20:30 AM
   Speaking of drool reminded me of an old friend from Newfoundland, a great player of 2 and 3 row Hohners who actually chewed on the top of the bellows while playing...a super smooth musician with both right hand and left, the only marks of wear on the bellows were on the top...the strain of concentration necessary for playing the "musical typewriter" finds an outlet in many different ways...also a friend who played cajun style whose foot unfortunately didn't really keep time, was more reminiscent of a dog scratching a flea...in one case you couldn't see the face, the other I think the fellow seemed quite relaxed [as long as you didn't look at his foot]...
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on July 04, 2009, 11:16:11 AM
Fortunately I only drool in my sleep! However, I'm now developing the 'wedding photo face' as an adjunct to my melodeon playing. The only thing is, I have to 'fix it on' before I sling the melodeon over my shoulder. That's the only way I can find to maintain it.

Some folk really scowl a lot when they play - have you noticed? My four year-old daughter at last years Whitby attended the family folk club one night - a venerable member of this forum was doing a set and afterwards my daughter questioned me as to 'why the man with the accordion was so angry'. I had to explain that he wasn't angry, but in fact 'concentrating', now whenever I get angry she often says to me 'daddy, are you concentrating or are you angry?' Perhaps we should have a melodeon face emoticon? Actually, he may very well have been angry - we were a pretty poor audience!
AL :D
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Owen Woods on July 05, 2009, 01:58:39 AM
The other day I was told that I looked constipated when I played the melodeon... I've also been compared to someone giving birth (that was with a particularly nasty one in Bmin that I've since got the hang of, the bellows were so out of synch with the tune it did my head in)
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: Susi on July 05, 2009, 06:59:17 AM
I don't think I do too bad faces when playing the box but I know I do when I play the mandolin or fiddle. In one of my fiddling pictures I look like something from a horror movie. Mostly I just look VERY serious or even angry and always looking down.... I've learned to live with it but try to look happy and cheerful...
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: HallelujahAl on July 05, 2009, 11:27:00 AM
Quote
I've also been compared to someone giving birth (that was with a particularly nasty one in Bmin that I've since got the hang of, the bellows were so out of synch with the tune it did my head in)

'Birth in B minor' would be a brilliant song title wouldn't it?
AL
Title: Re: Melodeon face
Post by: ladydetemps on July 27, 2009, 08:07:56 PM
I was watching back a vid i recorded and noticed my lips were moving on closer inspection i was mouthing the button numbers. Lol