Where do your eyes glance when you play?

Posted: 6/23/2011 9:43:59 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005


Most of the collective nouns in the list you found are real, but many of them are used very infrequently. Some are invented - inventing appropriate collective nouns is a fun game for English speakers who like playing with words - for example one might have a dissonance of thereminists, or an interference of theremins.

One of the collective nouns in your list (a flange of baboons) was invented for a TV sketch show (http://youtu.be/beCYGm1vMJ0) but has subsequently been used in serious scientific research papers, and has consequently been accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary (the de facto standard for English) as a part of the English language.
Posted: 6/23/2011 10:01:37 AM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

In mundane response to the original question: I, too, find that I play better when I'm not watching my hands (because doing so engages my brain to think about how the fingers look and what they're doing, instead of what each position [i]feels[/i] like).

However, if I close my eyes, then accuracy suffers as my r.h. drifts off its proper axis ... so I get best results if I'm looking [i]past[/i] the tip of the pitch rod. (I should mention that I have terrible peripheral vision ... so for many people, this latter issue probably isn't so significant.)
Posted: 6/23/2011 10:42:31 AM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

Brian -
We should meet one of these days - I live in NH. I go to cambridge to get my MINI maintenance done, and I believe you are not too far, right?

I tried the "eyes closed" playing - though it works for about 10 seconds, my body drifts slowly and then my playing is just a bunch of noise (maybe it is due to my hearing impairment in the right one)! I guess that *when* I perform, I'll have to do it with my eyes open...
Posted: 6/23/2011 11:29:15 AM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

I also am not able to play decently with my eyes closed. This is not surprising and I don't think it has to do with any defect, but probably with the fact that vision affects equilibrium. If you try to stand on one foot with your eyes open and closed you will find that it's much harder with them closed.

I had some good laughs with the gorilla sketch, that show reminds me of Monty Python's Flying Circus, I'll have to watch some chapters. It's amusing that English has so many words for flocks of things, even if some are only used as a curiosity.
Posted: 6/23/2011 12:08:26 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

I was going to mention that closing your eyes would be a bad idea, but it looks like you all beat me to it.

Gordon and Brian have reminded me that I do sometimes watch my pitch hand while playing. That's because there's a large dresser mirror across the bed from me.

So, I do at times watch my hand, but it's in a detached, non-analytical way. Because of this, I've noticed I tend to play most like Pamelia Kurstin - in METHOD only, NOT in actual skill.
Posted: 6/23/2011 7:29:38 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I look like I'm watching my pitch hand when I play the theremin but I am not. I am actually staring at the wooden cabinet just to the left of the pitch antenna socket. While playing, I see all sorts of images, faces, animals, etc., in the natural grain of the wood and they are startlingly real. It's a bit like looking at an ink blot. When I am not playing and I look at the same spot, I see nothing at all but uninteresting woodgrain.

When I play the theremin I think I am in quite another state of consciousness altogether. Sometimes it comes out in the music - sometimes it does not.

"Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it does not". Chief Dan George in LITTLE BIG MAN

Posted: 6/24/2011 5:19:17 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Actually, coalport, you look like you're enjoying the scent of an imaginary rose held in your pitch hand.
Posted: 6/24/2011 5:26:53 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

My hand is the rose, the music is the fragrance. (sometimes it stinks!)
Posted: 7/8/2011 3:46:58 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

When practicing I tend to have a "wide" focus towards the rod, or I look forward and down.
When performing, I'll look around and try and pick a couple spots to let my eyes rest on, but I'm really focused on my peripheral vision if anything.

The sidewards position has started causing me neck pain and I'm changing it. note to self: Practice good head alignment too, along with your posture!

The forward down focus has unexpected entertainment value, throughout a recent performance a lady tapped her foot very energetically, but to no rhythm related to what I was playing. I kept smiling and almost laughing the whole time, it kept reminding me of the, tea cup tapping scene in Cranford on the BBC, which still makes me laugh.
Posted: 7/12/2012 8:55:16 PM

From: Hampshire UK

Joined: 6/14/2012

My hand is the rose, the music is the fragrance. (sometimes it stinks!)

Thanks Coalport. I now know my problem!!! I think I'm holdingĀ onto theĀ stem with the thorns.

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