The Woodshed

How much “Body English” do you use when playing?

26

i move a lot...more from the body than the face. a lot of it has to do with teachers /musicians who mentored me, who talked a lot about the physical relationship you have with the instrument. Cecil Taylor, who moves a lot when he plays, told me he doesnt consider the source of sound originating from the fingers but from the heart, solar plexus, lower back and pelvis. Dont fake it, but be aware thats where you connect with it, that primal body source., he said. Tune in to your body as you play.

29

I never used much body English when I played although I do make guitar faces.

Now that I'm so old and fat, body English could be very detrimental to the universe. Let me explain.

As I walked past the fruit bowl the other day a grapefruit, an orange, a plum, a tangerine and a grape began to orbit me. I'm afraid if I used body English now, it could disrupt their orbits and have an effect on the space/time continuum.

30

I tend to be somewhat minimalist, which probably comes from the Celtic acoustic days. My licks and solos, such as they are, don't come with a bunch of physical gyrations or weird facial expressions. I think it's because I am usually trying to sing at the same time.

31

From photographs I've seen, I seem to get a very sly smile on my face when I play the guitar. It looks funny, as if I'm about to do something unexpected and thinking something like "ha ha, if you just knew what a surprise I have for you!". It's probably an effect of being nervous and tense, and I'm totally unaware that I do this when I'm busy playing. I don't move about much, on the other hand, and that is very wise of me. I once saw a video of myself doing that; it was a a dance number on stage, which I participated in dressed as a policeman. It was just awful. I looked like John Cleese doing funny walks in slow motion among a bunch of pretty and graceful chorus girls that looked about half my height. A mysterious smile while sitting in a chair playing the guitar is so much better in comparison.

32

Bear and Kevin, you made me smile. Made my day. My left leg moves constantly, I guess it's part nervous and timing.

33

Not much. Bear and myself just messing around.

34

I think the foot tapping is an important part of keeping time. The face-making? No!

Where I live we have two kinds of blues players - I call them the jump blues players and the white-man-face-making blues players. I prefer the jump blues players. Play with a big smile and entertain. The guitar face just comes across as pretentious to me.

I know that sometimes it just happens, but there is a guy around here who makes guitar face just tuning up. It's ridiculous! You can be so moved by bending a string?

35

I think the foot tapping is an important part of keeping time. The face-making? No!

Where I live we have two kinds of blues players - I call them the jump blues players and the white-man-face-making blues players. I prefer the jump blues players. Play with a big smile and entertain. The guitar face just comes across as pretentious to me.

I know that sometimes it just happens, but there is a guy around here who makes guitar face just tuning up. It's ridiculous! You can be so moved by bending a string?

– JimmyR

Ha ha....yeah, that string bending stuff gets pretty emotional!!! I do love the jump blues stuff though.....happy music and gets ya going. Norm was right on the mark about Doc Watson.

36

I've never been a real demonstrative player, but have been prone to the dreaded Guitar Face on occasion, but that occasion has to be really really good... One thing I picked up in my grandmothers holy roller church that I saw the guitar player do when I was just a small kid stuck with me a bit and I do it now and then unconsciously.

If I hit a "good" note or bend, I tend to raise my picking hand in a "testifying" thing.. It's an unpracticed and unexpected thing to do, but it happens and it usually brings a smile, at least to me...


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