Do you do it with your eyes open?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by mikelyons, Mar 27, 2005.


See below

  1. Open

  2. Closed

  3. See

  4. Don't see

  5. Conscious thought

  6. No thought

  7. Valves

  8. No Valves

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    OK folks I'm really curious about this.

    When you play without music;
    1. do you play with your eyes open or closed
    2. do you 'see' the music in your head or not
    3. do you actually think about the music or does it just happen
    4. do you actually think about your valves
    You can see what I've voted for. How does it work for you?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2005
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    3 (b) !!! - it just happens!
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    1. do you play with your eyes open or closed.... Open
    2. do you 'see' the music in your head or not... No
    3. do you actually think about the music or does it just happen... Just happens
    4. do you actually think about your valves.... Playing Kit or Xylophone, thankfully not :p
  4. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Is that four different questions or one?
  5. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    It's 4 different questions with pairs of answers that add up to describe the answer to one big question! :) :p
  6. This is quite tricky...

    When you play without music;
    1. do you play with your eyes open or closed? If its a very emotional piece I'll play with my eyes closed but if its just normal i play with them open...
    2. do you 'see' the music in your head or not? If the music I'm trying to play without music is difficult then I'll try and visualise the music in my head but in all other cases i dont.
    3. do you actually think about the music or does it just happen? Think about it to start with but once i get into it i dont
    4. do you actually think about your valves? No
    Sorry just had to be difficult...
  7. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    1. I keep my eyes open
    2. Nope, my mind is generally blank... thinking only confuses things...
    3. It just happens. Most of the music I can play without music, I couldn't tell you what the notes were without thinking for a while.
    4. I have a slide... but I think I concentrate more on where my slide is than what the note actually is
  8. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    do you know how dodgey that title looked?
    I think about it all unless its scales or sumit im trying to do without thinking to hard...
    How can you see music in your head :confused:
  9. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    Generally an eyes open kind of girl.
    I'm terrible at remembering music though, so wouldn't ever really attempt it. If it's something that's very important (yet I know really well) I tend to stare slightly and unintentionally make my contacts go blurry. If it's a duet type thing, I find it a million times easier if I can see the person i'm playing with.

    In all these situations though I think my music would be on a stand directly in front of me even if I'm not looking at it - no confidence in my remembering ability, no musicality to just know it and no photographic memory.. .

  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... depends on the circumstances and level of showmanship needed! Generally, when performing, all the rehearsal should have been done to concentrate on music making ... and communicating it to the audience. :cool:
  11. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Usually open - I like to see what is going on. If I shut my eyes I feel cut off from the audience and other performers. Communication between players and audience is a vital part of performance - I find that when I shut my eyes, this stops happening. If you are working in a group, I feel that you should ALWAYS have your eyes open. If you are all keeping in eye contact with each other, you stand a much better chance of playing in a the same style. I was never sure of this until working with a good friend from the States (Rex Richardson, Yamaha artist and member of Ryhthm & Brass) and we tried the same piece with eyes shut and then eyes open. The difference was incredible. When we were able to have good eye communication the performance level went through the roof.

    Usually no, but if it is something I have arranged I find that this can happen. Probably because I have spent so long working on it as a visual thing (the arranging) that it becomes something I see whether I want to or not.

    Depends what the music is. Some pieces I don't dare think about (if I start thinking I realise that I can't actually do it!!), others I need to concentrate on. Some of the pieces I find myself playing without music (not something I enjoy) involve an amount of improvisation - this I NEED to concentrate upon, it is not something that comes naturally to me.

    No. I don't think about valves when I am playing. They are part of me - just an extension of my body. The only time I think about the valves is when something goes wrong. If one valve sticks, then my mind starts going into overdrive, working out all the alternative fingering that will allow me to carry on - this has happened to me on a gig, nobody in the audience noticed, just the other trumpet player, who couldn't work out why I was using some strange fingering for certain notes.

    I don't often play without music. Even when I have performed pieces hundreds of times, I still prefer to have the music there. I am capable of playing it without, I just prefer to work with music. When I play with one of the quintets I work with, we do a couple of numbers without music (and on the move), I have just had to put in the hours to make sure that those pieces are completely secure in my head - so that even if anything goes wrong, we can continue without giving the game away to the audience.
    Being able to play without any music is a skill that is worth learning. Whether you use it or not is up to you.
    Some of the finest players I have worked with have always had music there. I would hazard a guess that the majority of them could play the music without it there, but they choose to have it present anyway.
  12. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    It depends on what I'm trying to play.
    If it is something I know well, I can do it without thinking.
    If it's something that I don't know so well, I'll play with my eyes shut and will be constantly thinking about the interval I need to get from one note to the next and put my slide/valves in the relevant position. I'm very rarely right doing that though!!
  13. zak

    zak Member

    Lights off best!!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
  14. Sellers_Bird

    Sellers_Bird Active Member

    eyes shut, lights off... lets get it right :tup :clap:
  15. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    That's what I like to see - a potentially informative thread descending into innuendo :rolleyes:
  16. fitzy

    fitzy Active Member

    I hear the music in my head and see the notes in front of my eyes. I do a bit of both open and closed eyes when I play. Depends on how high and loud it is. ;)
  17. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Of course they could have been referring to the 'House' lights within the concert venue! :rolleyes:

    But just in case - back on topic folks!

  18. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    I can hear voices in mine...
  19. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    If I'd known you wanted an innuendo I'd have given you one. :eek:

    Now that we've got that out of the way, can we look at this seriously please. I might do a dissertation on this if I can get a big enough sample. (Oh God! here we go again! :roll: )
  20. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Yes, but what's your hypothesis? What does it prove, when people have eyes open/shut thinking/not thinking etc?
    Wouldn't you have to measure stuff like brain waves?
    Is someone a "better" musician if they do it a particular way?
    Is it a left brain/right brain split?
    Is it a male/female split?
    Pondering Badger

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