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  #1  
Old 06-04-2017, 02:04 AM
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Default Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

I see many musicians closing their eyes when singing or playing an instrument. I know drummers do it too. Just wondering if you do it and how often. I must admit that I never close my eyes live, just in practice occasionally. I get nervous that I'll miss my target or not see some crazed person about to leap at me! Haha!
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

I do all the time. I've seen plenty of other people do it to. Check out Ainsley Dunbar's solo in this tune. I don't think he ever opens his eyes !! Solo starts at about the 4:50 mark in the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djsp6bjb3cE
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Yes I do ut ehile gyping s well
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Yep I do it occasionally. I honestly feel you should be able to close your eyes and hit any drum or cymbal in your setup, that's when you know everything is in the right place, your setup is working for you you aren't working for your setup.
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

I would only close my eyes if I was playing with a very well rehearsed band. A band that I have been playing in for a long time and I know exactly what we are going to play and when.

Otherwise NO, I never close my eyes. I need to look for signals from the other musicians. I play at a lot of open mic jams. And fill in drumming. Playing with a group of musicians Iíve never played with and/or songs we have never played before.

One interesting side note. last week I was playing a Beatle song live on-stage with a band. And I tried to bob my head like Ringo did. And then I closed my eyes while bobbing my head. I got very dizzy and almost fell off the throne. I dare you to try that while you are playing. Man I got dizzy Miss Lizzy !!!


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Old 06-04-2017, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

My eyes are closed right now reading this.
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Jack DeJohnette routinely closes his eyes as I've seen on his videos dating from '85 to 2014. His eyes are often closed whether keeping time or doing fills.

I tried doing this a few times while practicing and realized my bearings were a bit off without sight.

I don't feel any benefit, maybe if I kept at it, it would allow a deeper appreciation of the feel of whatever is being played.?.

Guitar players always seem to be able to do this, their hands cover a smaller area of real estate.
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

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Yes I do ut ehile gyping s well
Brilliant!
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

yeah I pretty much have my eyes closed the whole time I'm playing. I tend to just open them at the end of the song to look at the lead guitarist so we can end it together.
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

If it's going really well and I'm playing at a level where I don't have to think about anything mechanical, I do tend to have that "out of body" experience where I can enjoy the music. Occasionally that leads to eye closing, although more often than not it leads to me getting to look at the audience a bit more closely than normal, and feeding off their energy (which is almost always high if I'm feeling it going this well).
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:39 PM
Stitch Kaboodle Stitch Kaboodle is offline
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Yeah all the time. I'd prefer not to but it became a habit for a few reasons. One is that I used to play in the dark so as to practise being able to hit any part of the kit without needing to see it (muscle memory). Another is that when you're trying to hear your playing as you play (not just physically feel your playing) it can help with concentration here. Also on stage quite often bright flashing lights can be really distracting and jarring with your rhythm. And finally, just sometimes you need to 'center' yourself like if you've had a bad start to a gig or are not feeling quite settled yet.

Ideal lights would be something not too bleachingly bright and with little change. Really bright lights tend to ruin a gig for me. Strobes are fine for really energetic pieces of course. I can see why miles Davis experimented with different lighting during the recording of Kind of Blue. It can have a huge affect on playing and mood.
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Closing your eyes frees up considerable brain power, because your brain doesn't have to process complex visual images. If I could, I'd close my eyes the entire time. Playing drums is twice as easy for me with my eyes closed.
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

I close my eyes if I'm in a shitty band so I don't have to look at the crowd's reaction (or lack of crowd).
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Old 06-04-2017, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Yes, I do it nearly every time I play. We played six songs at church this morning, and I closed my eyes a few times. I could probably play that kit blindfolded. Peace and goodwill.
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2017, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Only when things are really in the pocket for all the players and it feels "effortless" can I close my eyes, but I do like to do it.

Typically, though, I watch whomever is "leading" the part so I don't miss any cue or body language. Once you've been playing for a while you can watch a guitar player or what have you and tell basically by his posture and movements if there's a big change coming up or he's comfortable with the tempo or is ready to come out of that solo.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch Kaboodle View Post
Yeah all the time. I'd prefer not to but it became a habit for a few reasons. One is that I used to play in the dark so as to practise being able to hit any part of the kit without needing to see it (muscle memory). Another is that when you're trying to hear your playing as you play (not just physically feel your playing) it can help with concentration here. Also on stage quite often bright flashing lights can be really distracting and jarring with your rhythm. And finally, just sometimes you need to 'center' yourself like if you've had a bad start to a gig or are not feeling quite settled yet.

Ideal lights would be something not too bleachingly bright and with little change. Really bright lights tend to ruin a gig for me. Strobes are fine for really energetic pieces of course. I can see why miles Davis experimented with different lighting during the recording of Kind of Blue. It can have a huge affect on playing and mood.
there is some kismet here. I do the same for about the same reasons. I like closing my eyes as it is more comfortable for me in regards to feel and hearing. Our stage set has lights on me as wash from behind as well as coloring from the front, so it gets tiring on my eyes to look ahead. In response I will either close my eyes or stare at my drums, which looks bad IMO, so I usually just close em and enjoy the gig.

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Old 06-05-2017, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

My eyes are closed most of the time unless i'm just doing rudiments and watching tv or something. but playing they are closed.. my biggest fear is that i will open them and someone will be standing in front of my kit. i will have a heart attack..
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

It depends who I'm playing with. When you have extroverts in the band everyone looks silly if you're tuned out while they are trying to communicate on stage. But if you're jamming with eye closers then it's nice to either drift off too - or laugh at how they look while they're blissing out :)
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Old 06-06-2017, 12:44 PM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

If its a song I really enjoy i tend to loose myself in it and close my eyes. But never through a case of tiredness or anything. I mostly keep my eyes open though for communicating with the rest of the band.
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

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If its a song I really enjoy i tend to loose myself in it and close my eyes. But never through a case of tiredness or anything. I mostly keep my eyes open though for communicating with the rest of the band.
The same for me, I close them sometimes but most of the time, I like to have an eye contact with the bass player / guitarist.
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Never while playing with others, but at home during practice, quite a bit.
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  #22  
Old 06-07-2017, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

In a non-related eye closure topic.


I am a Surfer and a Bodyboarder.

When you are "Getting Barreled" on a body-board, which means that you are inside the Tube of the wave, you close your eyes until you leave the barrel and complete the ride.

Amongst board riders, this is called doing a Stevie Wonder
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:45 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, for a few seconds quite frequently, because I feel that it allows me to get a better feel for the music, the harmony, the metrics, check if all players are "in tune". It all flows - I open my eyes lookt at the band and we all have and sense that inner smile that is so satisfying. Your open eyes can distract you from all that.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:49 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

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Originally Posted by Icetech View Post
My eyes are closed most of the time unless i'm just doing rudiments and watching tv ...
I have my eyes closed when watching tv. So satisfying.
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  #25  
Old 06-07-2017, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

I do when I'm trying to concentrate on my part.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Do You Ever Close Your Eyes When Playing?

Since I was a kid, I always liked to close my eyes and walk. It's both exhilarating and a bit scary because you might get hurt.

There are two versions of the game, 1) open your eyes only randomly and at long intervals. Try to judge the distances and keep in mind a mental picture of what you're about to walk though and 2) It's also really fun to find a really big field, close your eyes and just walk out into it with abandon. At some point I like to open them and see where in the field I ended up and if I kept going straight ahead or not.
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