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When I'm playing (learning) difficult chords on guitar (ex: F,B7) my facial muscles (basically lips) form a weird action (I felt it and I saw it in the mirror).

I feel I'll get used to it as I go and I have seen some good players also do that (may be they can't help it).

You may also have faced this experience in learning stage and got over it. How did you overcome this?

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My good friend plays the piano with his mouth wide open. I almost frown when playing the piano, and I close my eyes when playing the guitar. Et cetera. It's no big deal IMHO :D – yo' Aug 8 '15 at 21:26
up vote 8 down vote accepted

At first this happens because you are concentrating so much on your hands that the rest of your body can move in sympathetic ways - not just gurning faces, but you find some guitarists twist their bodies, arching their backs - not always deliberately :-)

Once you have learned the 'muscle memory' to a level that playing is automatic, the gurning reduces and you become much more relaxed. If you are pushing the limits of your capabilities it may happen.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it - once you can play well, you'll be forgiven a lot of things.

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"once you can play well, you'll be forgiven a lot of things" ofcourse – DinushanM Jul 25 '12 at 12:23
A pretty famous trombone player makes many facial expressions, especially with his eyebrows, while playing. The way he has said it, it's because he's concentrating so much on the tiny variations in his embouchure and the aperture in his lips. As Dr. Mayhem said, you'll be forgiven a lot of things once you can play well, and he's one of the best in the world. – Josh Fields Jul 25 '12 at 17:59
@JoshFields Alessi eyebrows? Also, that's nothing compared to Bartoli faces. – NReilingh Jul 28 '12 at 17:55
@NReilingh, Yes, Alessi eyebrows. Completely worth it with his playing though… As with her faces… I've seen videos of her before, but the singing is worth it! – Josh Fields Jul 30 '12 at 0:06

If you Google "guitar face" and click images, I bet you won't worry so much about making faces. In fact, you might realize it's practically required. :)

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The jazz nod and the blues grimace are things that many players practice for hours in front of a mirror to ACHIEVE...and you want to practice to ELIMINATE them?


Try singing along. You can't make weird shapes with your lips if you're using them at the same time as you're playing.

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