Grumpy Button Box players

Grumpy Button Box players

Why don’t Button Box players smile when they play?

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Same question could be asked of banjo, Uilleann pipes, fiddle, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, and piano accordion players… Flute and whistle players get a pass.

I’m happy if I can avoid drooling. Smiling is too much to ask.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Accordion face is a medically recognised condition brought on by concentration and the vagaries of the chosen system. (citation needed).

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

But Sharon Shannon. (How does she DO that?)

Playing the box allows me to cultivate my RBF.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

further to sfmans post…

‘Risus sardonicus or rictus grin is a highly characteristic, abnormal, sustained spasm of the facial muscles that appears to produce grinning. It may be caused by tetanus, strychnine poisoning, or Wilson’s disease, and has been reported after judicial hanging.’ - from Wikipedia

Obviously there has been little or no research into the phenomenon relating to box playing. ;-D

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

ooops…..and Michele Sims’ post.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Carrying on the Pure Drop musical tradition while under attack by legions of little girls with curled blonde hair and spangly dresses, and bhoys in 10 gallon hats from way out Westmeath (“plastic cowboys”?) is serious business.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

This is a classic “pick two” situation. Music Played Well? Music Played With a Smile? Music Played Without Staring at the Floor? Pick Two…

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Man I’m just happy if I don’t look like I’m completely mental when I’m playing. Being to able to smile or talk is just not possible.

My reasoning is because I started with the mouth organ and directly transferred my skills to accordion, I also inhale and exhale with the bellows as I would’ve on the mouth organ. But then again, even players who didn’t take a similar route seem to have the same issues.

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Re: Grumpy Button Box players

looking at footage from the 60s or so, many Irish seem to have frowned upon their music or at the very least upon its obvious enjoyment. so it’s just continuing that tradition

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Seconding Michele - Sharon Shannon has the performance-oriented smile perfected! John Whelan, too.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

They are very kindly supporting the fiddlers…I feel so bad when I am playing and someone ask me the name of the tune…I can’t speak (yet)!

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Fergus Bogue always looks like he’s having a good time

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

personally i look like a *&*^ing loon when i play and i don’t even play the box so fair play to them

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Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Tim Edey is the happiest camper when it comes to smiling while playing - box or guitar, it makes small odds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv1GVpGWiHw&list=PLGOj1Zj-pJIkLcbSah-b602IFYB493Je6&index=3

And i play whistle but apparently thats no reason not to smile because i remember on one notable occasion upon releasing a CD, someone complained in all seriousness that the cover art proved we were pretentious because nobody was smiling. Lol.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Looking at my pals when we’re playing together, some of the fiddlers look positively ferocious, not just grumpy: wouldn’t like to meet one of them on a dark night! They claim it’s “concentration”: my theory is that tucking a fiddle under your chin paralyses the facial muscles!
As for whistle players: no, you can’t easily smile with your mouth, but I have noted some able to “smile with their eyes”.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

“Why don’t Button Box players smile when they play?”

I smile if I’m having a good time.

Re: Grumpy Button Box players

Somewhere I read a story about the early days of Lúnasa, saying the band would all play staring at the floor until Kevin Crawford joined. The life of the party, brightening up the whole band

“As for whistle players: no, you can’t easily smile with your mouth, but I have noted some able to “smile with their eyes”.”

Smiling is tough on flute too. Nuala Kennedy somehow manages at least a partial smile while playing the flute without messing up her embouchure. I’ve never figured how how she does that.