Video nasty

09Sep13

Recording yourself practicing a musical instrument is inevitably disappointing. I have discovered this in the past. For some reason it never sounds the same and somehow the recording has picked up a lot more errors and squeaks than I heard when I was playing.

But an audio recording is benign, compared to a video recording.

I wanted to listen to myself playing a piece on the saxophone. I just couldn’t get the timing quite right and thought that a recording would help me spot where I was going wrong. The nearest gadget to hand did not appear to have an audio recorder, so I propped it on my music stand and used the video recorder instead.

Why did no one ever tell me what I do with my eyes when I’m playing?

During the straightforward sections I stare. Or rather I STARE WITH CRAZY BULGING EYES. Before a high note, I signal my intention with my eyebrows, raising them slightly in advance to a level proportionate to the pitch of the note. Worst of all, when I am improvising or playing from memory, my eyes roll up and my pupils disappear as I search the corner of my right hemisphere for the next note.

No. I am not going to post the video for you to see.

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7 Responses to “Video nasty”

  1. 1 Mike S

    From those symptoms, it sounds like you may be playing too much jazz.

  2. 2 Graham

    I remember James Galway, who had amazing eye movement whilst playing the flute.

  3. I feel the video needs to be seen! promise not to take the mickey..! 😉

  4. Go on, post the video! I think I still play most of my music with my eyes closed, it’s the reason I was given the “blinddrew” tag. I have tried to work on it but…

  5. 5 Adele

    Unfortunately spectacular eye movements are the side effects of Saxophone playing – I’ve suffered from it for years. So much so I now avoid practicing in front of my hubbie as he laughs at me so much…

    Go on, post it, you know it’s your moral duty!

  6. If you ever want feedback on how you look and/or sound when you’re playing, I’d be happy to oblige.

  7. 7 ben

    I guess when you’re playing sax there’s not much else left to express yourself with. Your arms and hands are occupied, as is your mouth all you can do is blow and use your eye/brows. Unless you can wiggle your ears…..or dance.


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