Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Pazza on February 10, 2019, 09:05:48 PM

Title: Smiling
Post by: Pazza on February 10, 2019, 09:05:48 PM
Hello I’m a beginner,  and after watching some TOTM And various other video clips could someone tell me if ithe player is allowed to smile when playing? Thanks
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: arty on February 10, 2019, 09:16:30 PM
Smile?.....not something I would recommend but then, a smile is just a grimace like all the other facial expressions you find on here. So, why not?
Some, (that's me), prefer to cut their heads off when filming as they don't want to scare anyone.  :-[
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: malcolmbebb on February 10, 2019, 09:25:06 PM
You seem to be encountering what is known as Melodeon Face - a loss of control of the facial muscles while concentrating on the tune. Especially on camera.

Smiling is indeed permitted, for those capable, but remains optional.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: george garside on February 10, 2019, 09:46:41 PM
I find that it is best to keep the mouth shut  in order to prevent the onset of 'breathing with the box'  i.e less than silently making sucking and blowing noises in unison with the bellows. It also makes it difficult to put on a genuine smile at the same time

george
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Pazza on February 10, 2019, 10:04:00 PM
I also suffer from breathing  with the box I blame years of playing blues harp.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Fred on February 10, 2019, 10:19:12 PM
Yes we are indeed allowed to smile and a few of us even do it on camera.
One of my favourite examples is John Spiers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7_GWq78gnE

Watch at 2:10 and admire that smirk. And the relief smile at the end of the video is also worth a medal. (:)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Anahata on February 10, 2019, 10:21:20 PM
I am convinced that some professional accordionists (especially noticeable with PA and Steirische Harmonika players) are trained to smile while they are playing, and the result is a forced grin that is no more appealing than natural melodeon face.

I also suffer from breathing  with the box I blame years of playing blues harp.
I used to get that too, without any blues harp background to blame it on.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Fred on February 10, 2019, 10:24:45 PM
I am convinced that some professional accordionists (especially noticeable with PA and Steirische Harmonika players) are trained to smile while they are playing, and the result is a forced grin that is no more appealing than natural melodeon face.

Absolutely agreed!
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 10, 2019, 10:25:45 PM
To busy thinking to worry about smiling, save that for playing tunes embedded in my subconscious mind but the breathing thing you describe is just something that can happen. If it does, it may be something you are stuck with, though people say they have fought it and won. Worst comes to the worst, plan your bellows use to match your lungs. At least you won't faint. 
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Scotty Gring on February 11, 2019, 01:30:48 AM
Of all things to jump in and make my first post.  My son and daughter make more fun of me for the facial expressions I make than the awful noise I produce while playing.  And then there's the dreaded drool.  Don't know why playing makes me start to drool.  I'll need to get a head strap and a tin up to hang from my chin or I'll surely damage my box.  I wish I could just smile.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 11, 2019, 08:53:22 AM
Hello and welcome Scotty.
The noises can only get better but the the grimaces and the drool are yours for life.
Good luck.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Lester on February 11, 2019, 08:59:58 AM
You can find >500 videos of me HERE (https://lesters-tune-a-day.blogspot.com/) and in not one of them do I do anything that could be described as a smile.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Winston Smith on February 11, 2019, 09:05:01 AM
But is that not just because you're such a serious "Melodeon Man", Mr Bailey?
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Lester on February 11, 2019, 09:19:15 AM

But is that not just because you're such a serious "Melodeon Man", Mr Bailey?


Nope, it's because of science and maths:

Amount of available brain power required to play treble end - 65%
Amount of available brain power requiredto play bass end - 15%
Amount of available brain power requiredto keep breathing and not fall off chair  - 15%
Total 95%

Amount of available brain power requiredto smile whilst doing the above - 10%
Total 105%

Thus if I smile something has to give, either playing, breathing or staying sat upright.

See that, that's science that is (:)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Ellison on February 11, 2019, 09:55:45 AM
I usually force a grin when I've made a fluff or hit a bum note to denote "Ah well, that's life, all part of life's rich tapestry". But inside I'm actually dying and will reply the moment in my troubled dreams for years to come.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Chris Peacock on February 11, 2019, 01:25:12 PM
Here’s my first post also. I hope to get a melodeon soon, but writing as one who plays the Northumbrian small pipes, I cannot even tap my foot to the music - let alone smile (without looking like I’m leering☹️). Maybe I should make smiling part of my practicing when I get my melodeon? Maybe someone could make an instructional video on how to smile, and upload it to YouTube lol.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Clive Williams on February 11, 2019, 01:36:59 PM
Can't smile to save my life, to be honest. I do agree with Anahata et al though; many accordion players have grins that I find distinctly offputting - I think it's a similar psychological effect to clowns, where the face is "right, but not quite right", and apparently humans are evolution-conditioned to run away from things are not quite right.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Fred on February 11, 2019, 02:31:47 PM
humans are evolution-conditioned to run away from things are not quite right.

Might that be the reason why PAs are so awful while BAs are so awesome? :thinking:
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Clive Williams on February 11, 2019, 02:40:00 PM
humans are evolution-conditioned to run away from things are not quite right.

Might that be the reason why PAs are so awful while BAs are so awesome? :thinking:

Indeed. It's a piano, but it's not quite a piano. Run away! :-)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Dick Sadler on February 11, 2019, 03:49:31 PM
As a new new player I cannot believe that Lester only attributes 15% of brain power to his left hand! At the present time it’s about 80%, right hand 20% as I am still forgetting to breathe. And...when I do it’s in time with the bellows😀.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Stiamh on February 11, 2019, 04:01:40 PM
The solution is staring us all in our glum faces: stop using the left hand!

Your right-hand playing will improve, you will look happier and breathe easier, and everyone listening will be happier too  >:E
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: sticky fingers on February 11, 2019, 07:09:30 PM
The solution is staring us all in our glum faces: stop using the left hand!

Your right-hand playing will improve, you will look happier and breathe easier, and everyone listening will be happier too  >:E
Seconded!
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Lester on February 11, 2019, 07:13:01 PM
The solution is staring us all in our glum faces: stop using the left hand!

Your right-hand playing will improve, you will look happier and breathe easier, and everyone listening will be happier too  >:E


Are there any videos of yours to prove this?   (:)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Eshed on February 11, 2019, 07:45:10 PM
I cannot even tap my foot to the music - let alone smile (without looking like I’m leering☹️).
Chris, I think you hit the nail on its head . An almost-consensus in my Foot Tapping thread was that foot tapping should come directly from the music, and not be a conscious effort. In essence it's making a brain-bypass, you need the music playing in your brain and then it goes out to the hands, arms and legs. I suppose smiling is the same, if you're happy when you're playing you should be able to let go of your face and the smile will appear.
Are we happy when we play, then? While I find it enjoyable, I'm mostly stressed because that bum note is just around the corner! If I manage to force a song into submission you might see something resembling a smile :)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Pazza on February 11, 2019, 07:59:37 PM
Thank you all for your very interesting comments, I have now decided not to try to smile when playing, everyone says I’ve got a miserable face anyway. Lester I think I have probably watched all of your videos in anticipation of a smile and never seen one. Still time though perhaps one day  😁
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Stiamh on February 11, 2019, 08:59:53 PM
The solution is staring us all in our glum faces: stop using the left hand!

Your right-hand playing will improve, you will look happier and breathe easier, and everyone listening will be happier too  >:E


Are there any videos of yours to prove this?   (:)

Well, I wasn't the one putting forward the mathematical proof... but come to think of it, if you saw me playing basses I think the point would be settled.

I think I'm a bit better now but in the early days of my trying to play box with a dance band one of the other musicians, after studying my face for a minute or so, asked me if it was painful.  ;)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 11, 2019, 09:17:32 PM
... you need the music playing in your brain and then it goes out to the hands, arms and legs. I suppose smiling is the same, if you're happy when you're playing you should be able to let go of your face and the smile will appear.
Are we happy when we play, then?

Playing is one of the things I love  best. It makes me happy. You can't tell from from my face, but I'm happy.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Stotty on February 11, 2019, 09:49:42 PM
I play quite a bit with a very competent singer/song writer who plays guitar at the same time as singing, and it is interesting to compare the difficulty that most melodeon players have in managing even a smile, with the widespread capability of guitar players to sing as they play.

Are guitars slightly simpler to play than melodeons so that they leave enough "brain power" for singing? (should I run for cover?)
Or is it because so many guitar players learn to play at the same time as they sing - singing right from the off?

Perhaps the movement of melodeon bellows in and out, together with coordinating finger movements on both hand does require more "coordination" than playing a guitar?
 
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Mike Carney on February 11, 2019, 09:53:15 PM
Stotty, as a guitar player I think you have got it about right. Two things versus four things at the same time (bellows button is the fourth)
Mike
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: AnnC on February 11, 2019, 10:03:56 PM
 ;D it's suprising how many mistakes you can get away with if you can master smiling and just carrying on playing the tune  :|||: ..... listeners see the smile and either don't hear the errors or assume it's an "arrangement"  ;D
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Squeaky Pete on February 11, 2019, 10:10:24 PM
Vic Gammon usually has a genial smile when he's playing his many Hohners though these days he mostly plays to accompany his singing.
I do remember many years ago playing with him at a dance and he was quite happily calling while playing box.
Actually I seem to remember Bob Cann calling too while playing solo.
And I can't even smile. A slight raise of the eyebrows when it's time to change tune is sometimes beyond me.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on February 12, 2019, 06:39:17 AM



Are there any videos of yours to prove this?   (:)
[/quote]

Sharon Shannon ?
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: smiley on February 12, 2019, 09:22:11 AM
Naturally I'm smiling a big toothy smile during all my videos ... but you'll just have to take my word for it    ;)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: george garside on February 12, 2019, 09:34:09 AM
Vic Gammon usually has a genial smile when he's playing his many Hohners though these days he mostly plays to accompany his singing.
I do remember many years ago playing with him at a dance and he was quite happily calling while playing box.
Actually I seem to remember Bob Cann calling too while playing solo.
And I can't even smile. A slight raise of the eyebrows when it's time to change tune is sometimes beyond me.

if I try to talk while playing the playing stops  , I can however manage a nod of the head for tune changes or a 'dirty look'  if  a bandmember is making a balls of it.  But  it is apparently a well known fact that scowling takes a lot more effort than smiling???!!

george (:)


george
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 12, 2019, 10:58:29 AM
... it is apparently a well known fact that scowling takes a lot more effort than smiling???!!
george (:)

Not if you take into account the effect of gravity. Scowling works with it, rather than against it.
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on February 12, 2019, 02:31:27 PM
‘‘Tis true Pete , Bob Cann could indeed call a dance whilst playing including sorting us idiots out who couldn’t dance right at the end of the hall. He just kept on playing perfectly.  :o
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Stiamh on February 12, 2019, 03:48:26 PM
Quote
Are there any videos of yours to prove this?   (:)
Sharon Shannon ?

A very natural, unforced smile is never far from John Whelan's face, playing or not playing.

My favourite. (https://youtu.be/zcSdU7L64J0)

But pick just about any video (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=john+whelan+accordion). (He often plays the basses too!) (:)

Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Scotty Gring on February 13, 2019, 03:47:09 AM
I don't necessarily feel I have to smile, but I'd love to look like I'm having fun and do the Fats Waller "eyebrows"...
(https://media.giphy.com/media/zSZC6kyaMmR2w/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Barry Tolson on February 13, 2019, 10:38:17 AM
The Happy Wanderer, really puts the smile on in his videos. I really enjoy them!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BqHSCGpas0&index=74&list=UUF0iY7TbTF8k4ZtSXX0BsoQ
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: baz parkes on February 13, 2019, 12:32:18 PM
‘‘Tis true Pete , Bob Cann could indeed call a dance whilst playing including sorting us idiots out who couldn’t dance right at the end of the hall. He just kept on playing perfectly.  :o

And also hold a conversation with the rest of the band, God bless him... :|glug
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: ChrisP on February 13, 2019, 03:08:57 PM
Dave Roberts could play, morris dance, play the basses, smile, and make you smile too, all at the same time!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rzRdgsquak (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rzRdgsquak)
Title: Re: Smiling
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on February 13, 2019, 04:56:35 PM
Yes I remember Dave doing his solo jig in the Sidmouth Jig competition playing and dancing. Quite remarkable!

A couple of years back I was watching Kirkophony, JK and sons playing at a ceilidh. John playing some of his self penned tricky tunes on his BCC# whilst calling the dance. Another remarkable feat!
Must be an alien, tid'n natural.... but amazing to listen to!
Q