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How . . . weird.

Posted by bj on Monday, July 5, 2010

A friend made a video of us playing. I saw it for the first time a few days ago, and it's pretty funny stuff. But it made me aware of something that is very, very weird.

The whole time my bow is moving, my jaw is moving. It's like I can't move my bow without moving my jaw.

Jane, more than once, has accused me of vocalizing certain things I do with the fiddle.

I don't.

I now know why she thought that, though. It's an optical illusion. Or backwards ventriloquism, with my fiddle voice coming out of my throat when my mouth moves.

This is MUCH worse than fiddle face.

35 comments on “How . . . weird.”

Ozarkian DL Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @6:17:04 PM

I lv watching fiddle faces.....bout all of us have em, sum more prominent than others.

wormbower Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @6:54:00 PM

Yeah, I get that embarrassing fiddle face, too. So, where's your video?....

bj Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @7:02:20 PM

LOL! Nice try! You really think I'm gonna show off that fiddle face??? Fat dang chance!

ChickenMan Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @7:25:09 PM

John Hartford looked like he was chewing the notes, and pursed his lips a lot. It's "cute".

WoodshopFiddler Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @7:51:06 PM

My wife laughs at me when I play because, she says, I make funny faces. I denied it. She got a pic of one of my "funny faces" and confronted me with it. She must have gotten pretty good with photoshop.

FiddleJammer Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @9:02:57 PM

I can play the fiddle -or- be pretty, but not both at once. I'll choose to play the fiddle. :-)

BJ, get a mic up next to your throat next time you've got your recorder out. :-)

Cyndy Says:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @9:35:57 PM

I'm pretty sure that my mouth does funny things when I'm really working hard to play but if looking stupid (speaking of me, not you!) = better sound, then bring it on. The sacrifices we make for our art . . . (laugh)

carlb Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @5:56:55 AM

When I pitched softball, as a kid, I stuck my tongue out on every pitch and wasn't aware I was doing that UNTIL some revealing photo. Blush, blush!

bj Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @6:11:26 AM

Geez, Carl, I wish it was just my tongue!

Cynthia, I agree to a point, but . . . I do play in public with people watching. But then again so does Natalie MacMaster, and yes, she does sometimes have a fiddle face, though she does also seem to have a handle on controlling it MOST of the time. I guess that's all we can do is TRY to control it. But you're right. If it gets in the way of my playing, I'm gonna end up jawing away.

Terri, I did that. No vocalizations I didn't know about, except the occasional very slight grunt when I was swinging over to catch a bass string from the E string, and that I knew about and have corrected for. I think Jane's catching sympathetic ringing with those big ears of hers, but since she doesn't see the bow on the strings AND she sees me jawing she's mistaking things.

Woodshop Fiddler, photoshop is a wonderful thing . . . ;-)

Billy, "cute" is not a word I ever want associated with anything I do, and I'm sure John Hartford probably felt the same way.

Rene Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @7:41:36 AM

Post the video and trust us to analyze it for ya.

bj Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @8:23:31 AM

LOL! Don't need the analysis, I know it looks like hell!

chippyvan Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @9:10:19 AM

Jane, more than once, has accused me of vocalizing certain things I do with the fiddle.

I don't.

Yes you do.

fiddlepogo Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @9:50:02 AM

Just another form of fiddle face- get yourself some chewing tobacco and put it to work!!! ;^D
(Just kidding!)

Back in the day when I was learning, friends and audience members noted a strange smile when I was fiddling. After becoming aware and analyzing what I was doing, I determined it was actually a GRIMACE caused by concentration combined with the use of a lot of muscles in the area to hold the fiddle stable with the chin.

In recent fiddling years, I've always had a moustache, until about a month ago... and I think the moustache covered up the smiley grimace, so I hadn't had any comments.
Should be interesting to see if the comments about the "funny smile" start up again or not!

Whatever works!!!
(As long as we don't drool!!!
we'll leave that for the banjo players!!!
Wait.... I AM a banjo player!!! ;^D)

bj Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @10:41:47 AM

Geez, next you'll be telling me I've been drooling without realizing it . . .

janepaints Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @2:56:30 PM

if chippyvan and i both seen/heard it, it's TRUE...uh, and ya do drool, never mentioned it before outta neglect, uh i mean respect.

FiddleJammer Says:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @10:20:09 PM

I'm sure Jane means that in the nicest way. :-)

ChickenMan Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @1:09:59 PM

The quotes were used in the word "cute" for a reason - no one but babies and little kids should be cute.
Drooling is almost never a conscious thing. Check your collar next time you think it may have happened.

bj Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @4:37:04 PM

With friends like y'all . . .

oh, fuggedaboudit.

john timpany Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @7:12:23 PM

I love playing Gravel Walk - I am a totally crap Irish fiddler, but I love their tunes. So I recorded it.
Guess what I do bj?

I discovered I grunted every 10 seconds!

I sound like I am being woken up.

Oh dear - now the whole wold knows!

bj Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @7:17:31 PM

Your grunts immortalized! Well, at least as long as the digital recording survives . . .

john timpany Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @7:46:01 PM

Bless your cotton socks!

bj Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @7:52:30 PM

What, are they fulla drool too?

eerohero Says:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @9:39:26 PM

Heyyy, Bj, its good to sing with the fiddle, harmonize it, this is an advantage, not an obstacle, making faces with or without singings is a natural behaviour, all the Greats are doing it, have a look at Mark O`Connor, Doug Kershaw and hundreds of others, who`s laughing?

Why are we all trying to become like others, where is the originality of artists, we have the amazing capacity to be ourselves ,always.

Im on my way to Greece about two hours from now, performing all over Rhodos Island, including a lot of Face makings, and truly glad for it, so does my audience.

Enjoy of the phenomena instead downsizing it. have a nice summer

janepaints Says:
Thursday, July 8, 2010 @5:30:38 AM

what eerohero said....

alla it

Feodosia Says:
Thursday, July 8, 2010 @8:52:55 AM

Hey John , you gotta stop recording with those condenser mics , they pick up every grunt !!

I was playing the banjo the other week and had a sudden realization ...
OMG , it's true what they say about banjo players ... I am drooling !

bj Says:
Thursday, July 8, 2010 @10:31:21 AM

I got news for ya. Cheap computer microphones also seem to pick up every grunt. It's amazing they screw up getting the other schtuff right, but GRUNTS are recorded for posterity!

john timpany Says:
Thursday, July 8, 2010 @12:08:21 PM

Haha Feodosia - I tried to leave out the bit about me drooling when I fiddle. I only noticed it a couple of times, especially when I practice the same 4 bars for hours and forever. I go into a sort of daydream.
And I agree totally with eerohero and janepaints, but I just don't like me doing it. Good job the mic can't see my face!

john timpany Says:
Thursday, July 8, 2010 @12:12:45 PM

'Bless your cotton socks' is an expression we use in the UK bj (the older ones anyway) My Nan used to say it to me when I was young and said something cute.
I also use 'whoopsadaisy'.as in the Hugh Laurie/Julia Roberts encounter.

janepaints Says:
Thursday, July 8, 2010 @4:01:39 PM

i got big news for alla you: mics capture the sounds we make. alla them. maybe ya can fix things with EQ "(Okay that grunt was at 125k, not much fiddle-noise there so just shelve anything from there on down, boys") but otherwise--aint no mic offered yet that's Guaranteed Gruntless.

oldtimer Says:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 @8:28:52 AM

BJ, you in fabulous company. Lionel Hampton grunted like fornicating hippo all through every one of his brilliant solos.
John Hartford's pursed lips moved in constant circles when he fiddled like he trying to kiss some rapidly moving target. I think it from all those 70's years when he road alone in the back of a huge bus...just him and a driver. Kenny Baker, on the other hand, is the great stone face. His face, when he plays, looks like it died several years ago, but his body keeps on playing.

bj Says:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 @8:47:19 AM

Maybe I'm just hearing my grandmother's voice saying, "That's SO unladylike!" She worked at the Clara Louise Tearoom in Plainfield NJ, serving a real English Tea to Wealthy and Well-Bred Ladies of the Area, complete with pinkie extended and tiny little watercress sandwiches with the crusts cut off. She was big on appearances, which is funny, since she was a Hungarian Gypsy gal who married a real hobo (even if he was descended from Nobility.)

janepaints Says:
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 @6:55:31 AM

holy moly such memories:
the clara louise tearoom....

(i just might adopt 'clara louise' as a stage name..can't ya hear it? "clara louise--america's best-loved so-so fiddler of forgettable so-called 'tunes')

plainfield!!!! burnt down in race place to get cheap guitar/fiddles/etc in pawn/thrift shops/home of george clinton-parliament-funkadelic/home of brooks record shop where the hillbilly discs sold dirt cheap because it was a soul music joint/texas weiners the best hot dogs ever/a lovely city waiting to be reblossomed/my first dentist EEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKK/park ave used book shops/the lovely elm tree before the elm blight killed em all/the gypsy lady ma took me to because i was so strange (really) who said "this child has a spirit double, a guardian who is always with them" which is what ma DID NOT wanna hear whilie was sitting there mute and staring at the cosmic universes spinning in every dust mote and lightbeam/thanksgiving morning 1963 driving through plainfield with dad and seeing, maybe for the first time ever, just how terrbly sad this world is.

bj Says:
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 @7:25:01 AM

One has to wonder if "the gypsy lady" was my grandmother. She was an astonishing woman of great power.

janepaints Says:
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 @9:28:36 AM

Wouldnt be surprised...'paths that cross chall cross again"...ya ever hear the lovely and haunting Patti Lee Smith song titled thus?

janepaints Says:
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 @9:32:59 AM

oops. that's paths that cross SHALL cross again...

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