mudcat.org: Watching your fingers
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Watching your fingers

Andy7 06 Apr 19 - 04:38 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Apr 19 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Apr 19 - 05:22 AM
The Sandman 06 Apr 19 - 05:25 AM
The Sandman 06 Apr 19 - 05:26 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 19 - 05:39 AM
Tattie Bogle 06 Apr 19 - 06:34 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Apr 19 - 07:36 AM
Andy7 06 Apr 19 - 07:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Apr 19 - 10:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Apr 19 - 10:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Apr 19 - 11:12 AM
gillymor 06 Apr 19 - 11:21 AM
DonMeixner 06 Apr 19 - 11:30 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 19 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 06 Apr 19 - 12:19 PM
meself 06 Apr 19 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,matt milton 06 Apr 19 - 03:20 PM
Andy7 06 Apr 19 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 06 Apr 19 - 05:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Apr 19 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Jerry 06 Apr 19 - 06:46 PM
punkfolkrocker 06 Apr 19 - 07:22 PM
Backwoodsman 06 Apr 19 - 08:27 PM
Andy7 07 Apr 19 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Jerry 07 Apr 19 - 05:05 AM
Rusty Dobro 07 Apr 19 - 05:06 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Apr 19 - 08:41 AM
The Sandman 07 Apr 19 - 10:13 AM
leeneia 07 Apr 19 - 10:59 AM
BobL 07 Apr 19 - 11:54 AM
Tattie Bogle 07 Apr 19 - 12:02 PM
GUEST 07 Apr 19 - 12:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Apr 19 - 02:26 PM
Backwoodsman 07 Apr 19 - 02:55 PM
punkfolkrocker 07 Apr 19 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Jerry 07 Apr 19 - 05:42 PM
meself 07 Apr 19 - 08:27 PM
Andy7 08 Apr 19 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Jerry 08 Apr 19 - 03:13 AM
punkfolkrocker 08 Apr 19 - 08:59 AM
leeneia 08 Apr 19 - 09:37 AM
Tattie Bogle 08 Apr 19 - 08:03 PM
Andy7 09 Apr 19 - 10:48 AM
Mo the caller 09 Apr 19 - 11:11 AM
leeneia 11 Apr 19 - 02:12 AM
GUEST,Jerry 11 Apr 19 - 03:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Apr 19 - 03:48 AM
Jack Campin 11 Apr 19 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Andy7 11 Apr 19 - 11:24 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Watching fingers
From: Andy7
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 04:38 AM

Does anyone else find it off-putting, when a singer/guitarist (or a singer with any other instrument) suddenly starts watching their fingers, while playing a tricky instrumental bridge?

It seems to me that, by doing that, they somehow break the link with their audience. Shouldn't they have learned those parts well enough by feel, without the need to switch their attention from audience to instrument?

I'm talking here about professional performers; obviously I have no objection to players in a singaround watching their fingers to get through the tricky sections.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 04:50 AM

Whatever it takes is fine by me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 05:22 AM

Staring into the audience while not singing is not a good idea either. Let the instrument "speak".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 05:25 AM

what mmatters is the music that is made it is about content not appearance


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 05:26 AM

when i play concertina i cannot watch my fingers i find it occasionally useful with the banjo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 05:39 AM

One reason that I gave up on trying to play instruments was that I could never get the knack of playing without watching my fingers.

I would have assumed that as a touch typist it wouldn't have been a problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:34 AM

If it happens while both singing and playing, it can mean the singer turns his/her head slightly and hence goes "off mike" which is more distracting than watching what's happening.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 07:36 AM

there's no law that says you have to like everybody.
if you're thinking 'its that bugger that keeps looking at his fingers'. respect that. it is god speaking to you.

'Time to go for a wee,' he is saying, or 'I think I ought to get another round of drinks in'

when the almighty speaks to you directly. it would be foolish not to obey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Andy7
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 07:52 AM

Ah, that would explain a lot!

But if it's a paid guest that's on stage all evening, that means I'd have to keep weeing and buying rounds all evening!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 10:41 AM

Sorry mate! that's the way the truth and the light...
Theakston old peculiar and a large Jameson' s chaser for me..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 10:56 AM

When I was learning piano my teacher insisted it's bad form to look at your hands; you need to know how to position them by feel, not by looking at the keyboard. This is helpful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 11:12 AM

Probably had some sort of catholic guilt thing about masturbation. why not look at your hands? Or anything else, come to that.

How would harpists manage?.... they have their hands right in front of their eyes.

i suppose you could wear a paper bag over your head, and then no one could take any exception to you looking inside the paper bag. but what if someone did?

i don't think i would like a folk club with everyone inside paper bags. i seem to remeber yoko Ono did some performances from inside a bag. then there were the Wombles, whom rumour has it, were not really Wombles but men in Womble suits


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: gillymor
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 11:21 AM

Doc Watson, Blind Blake, Rev.Gary Davis and Willie McTell never looked at their hands and they were passable players.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 11:30 AM

Because of hand injuries I can't tell whether I am on the strings or not. I watch them a lot just be sure I am not playing between the strings. Roy Clark watched his fingers all the time. A part of his show I am sure as he always looked amazed at what was going on. So did Django.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 11:42 AM

Andy, yes it really is a bit too petty getting OCD about where a performer on stage stares whilst playing.

You shouldn't worry about it unless a performer is staring directly at your groin throughout the entire performance.
Then again that might be an unexpected bonus ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 12:19 PM

As I donít dress in a sequin suit and ensure fashion journalists cover gigs, I suppose itís the music coming from my guitar rather than where my eyes are focussing that the audience are interested in.

My eyes do occasionally peer towards the guitar neck, especially if Iím sitting. Standing less so.

I recall a similar thread concerned with singers shutting eyes. Again, itís the music. Iím some bloke, not Kylie Minogue. Mind you, in pub singarounds and small clubs I do shut my eyes quite often. Normally to prevent me getting angry with ignorant sods leafing through folders /iPads or talking whilst others are performing.

Rant over. Must remember to stare at my guitar more just in case I am ever in the lucky position to upset the op.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: meself
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 02:06 PM

I would suggest you demand a refund.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 03:20 PM

Couldn't care less where someone looks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Andy7
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 05:24 PM

"Rant over. Must remember to stare at my guitar more just in case I am ever in the lucky position to upset the op."

It's not really such a big deal to me, it's only a slight preference, and was just meant as a conversation topic.

Although I might be pretty upset if, as Big Al W suggests, it means I have to buy you drinks all evening.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 05:34 PM

Look on the bright side. These days I donít start drinking till I stop playing. Iím becoming a cheap date.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:23 PM

Talking of the bright side and staring at the audience: there are some venues that have ultra-powerful spotlights so you can't see anyone beyond the front row, though you may appear to be staring at some paranoid person in the back row. Looking at your fingers may help to cut down the glare, as may singing/playing with eyes shut!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:46 PM

I learnt to play guitar during the 1970s power cuts, when watching TV was regularly interrupted, so got used to jumping to other frets without looking. Later on though I got a banjo with a Tree of Life inlay down the neck, ie. no quick identification of 5th, 7th, 12th fret, etc.and would often jump to the wrong fret.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 07:22 PM

Let's all go fretless and reckless...!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 08:27 PM

My Lowdens donít have fret markers at all on the face of the FB, although they do have dots on the edge-binding, but Iím not conscious of ever looking at them. I do look at my fingers some of the time, so maybe I refer to the dots subconsciously, but Iím really not aware of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Andy7
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 04:10 AM

Some years ago I was looking to buy a new guitar, and the guitar shop salesman was giving me various instruments to try.

He handed me a fairly expensive guitar; and looking at it, I said, "This one's got no fret markers."

Taking it from me and putting it back, he said, "If you need fret markers, you don't need a guitar this good."

Still one of my favourite put-downs!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 05:05 AM

Classical guitars only have fret markers on the side of the neck, and fiddles donít even that, or even frets of course. So yes, going fretless is surely the ultimate test of musicianship for string players. Even so, your fancy fret inlay becomes little more than a fashion accessory once you capo up an odd number of frets.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 05:06 AM

I watch other players' fingers. That's how I steal all the best songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 08:41 AM

i only use the easy bit


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 10:13 AM

Taking it from me and putting it back, he said, "If you need fret markers, you don't need a guitar this good." he should not have been working in a shop , completely wrong and a lousy salesman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: leeneia
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 10:59 AM

I've seen piano teachers write "Look" on piano music, and I've seen Ranger Doug of the Riders of the Trail look down at his fretboard to get a certain chord. I figure that looking at your instrument is all right.

We've probably all seen fine musicians look at their instrument and haven't given it a thought.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: BobL
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 11:54 AM

completely wrong and a lousy salesman

True, if he's just a box-shifter with no interest in whether his wares are best suited to the customer or not. I tend to avoid such shops.

OTOH a put-down like that might (depending on how it was said) actually persuade me to come back when ready to upgrade.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 12:02 PM

I look at other players' fingers too to help find the key, which I can work out from guitar chords, piano accordion, D whistle, etc. If the capo goes on first fret with G chords, I'm not going to be able to play in Ab with any accuracy! (Button Accordion)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 12:54 PM

I really donít get the point of this. Some players look at their fingers, some donít and some (probably most) sometimes look at their fingers and sometimes donít. So what?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 02:26 PM

Its down to upbringing.
If they had a cold shower and a damn good thrashing every morning when they were younger - they wouldn't be messing about looking at their fingers like some big girl.

On the contrary...they would be strumming in a fine manly fashion with vigorous strokes that suffused their proud smiles with a cute homoerotic glow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 02:55 PM

If itís OK for God, itís OK for me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 03:00 PM

I'm sure I was always told to keep hands and fingers in clear sight at all times....

.. or was that in the health club jacuzzi...???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 05:42 PM

I suppose the thing is that a classically trained musician has their eyes on the sheet music, whilst also keeping an eye on the conductor, so they have to learn to play largely by feel with minimal glances at the instrument. Those of us without such training have the luxury of being able to either watch our fingers or look at the audience, ideally one should do more of the latter than the former, apart from when you might be racing up and down the fingerboard. Letís face it, staring at your fingers whilst working entirely within frets 1-3 is novice territory.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: meself
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 08:27 PM

So? Oh - you will be sneered at by the guitarists in the audience - I get it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Andy7
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 02:20 AM

On reflection, I believe my original post was wrong. There are countless thousands of musicians whose preference is to watch their fingers from time to time while playing, from beginner to expert. And I agree, there's nothing at all wrong with that, whatever my slight personal preference might be; it's the music that counts above all else.

Engaging with an audience does have an importance, so if a professional performer spent almost an entire show watching their fingers it would be rather odd; but that's another point entirely.

Apologies to anyone I might have offended with my original post!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 03:13 AM

I agree with that summation, Andy, but when performing never forget that when you ignore your audience they start to ignore you, unless you are such a wizard on the strings that they too are also happy to admire your fingers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 08:59 AM

Andy7 - what...!!!???

A change of mind and sincere apology at mudcat...???
Whatever.. whoever next..?????

Careful there, you're setting a dangerous precident..
the whole edifice could crumble..
This isn't a world we understand or recognize..
You are destabilizing nature as we know it....

Let's all pretend that never happened and carry on pointlessly arguing about trivial matters as normal...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 09:37 AM

The thing about music is you're supposed to be listening to the sound of it, not staring at the performer and critiquing every movement he makes.

If you want to be visual, go see a movie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 08:03 PM

In another slight thread drift away from performers watching their own fingers, can I say that watching a musician's fingers can be enthralling, if you happen to play the same instrument as them, though nowhere near as brilliantly. I play guitar a bit, and do sometimes find myself looking as much to what the performer is doing, as listening.
I was at a superb concert last night, with Jenna Reid (fiddle) and Harris Playfair (piano). Would have dearly loved to see more of what Harris was doing, (again being a piano player myself), but the grand piano was well over to one side of the stage, and I couldn't see the keys. Whereas I guess the many fiddlers in the audience were focussed on Jenna's immaculate playing, and trying to work out what she was doing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Andy7
Date: 09 Apr 19 - 10:48 AM

Haha, pfr, now I'm not sure whether I should apologise for apologising! ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Mo the caller
Date: 09 Apr 19 - 11:11 AM

I have difficulty if I glance at my fingers / notes on the Piano accordion. I wear varifocals and the lower notes vanish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Apr 19 - 02:12 AM

Hi, Andy. That was a thoughtful post just now.

It just occurred to me that 'thoughtful' means two things, and they both apply to your post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 11 Apr 19 - 03:15 AM

On another tack, I remember years back watching a singer guitarist performing a mildly comic song, with what I now know must have been a unidirectional microphone. Whilst you could hear him for the verses, each time he reached something like a Bm chord in the chorus, he stared stage left down at his fingers and no one could hear the words. To this day, he probably wonders why no one joined in the chorus with him, but rather sniggered where the lyric was actually devoid of comic content.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Apr 19 - 03:48 AM

I advise you all to watch your fingers carefully.... Lord knows what they might get up to!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 19 - 05:06 AM

Ouds have fretless fingerboards with inlay lines that look like frets. They are not in places where you'd ever want to stop a string - the standard playing position has the fingerboard facing away from you where you can't see it.

Mine has a few dots on the edge but I don't think anybody looks at them.

I find string spacing is more of a problem than the left hand, if you double between instruments where the geometry is even slightly different. There is a reason why so many genres begin a performance with a free prelude - it re-familiarizes you with where everything is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Watching your fingers
From: GUEST,Andy7
Date: 11 Apr 19 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for your kind comments, Leeneia!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 July 12:05 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Cafť Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.