A Beginner's Guide to Facial Expressions

1. Single Eyebrow Raise

This one is used to facilitate small slides, or to acknowledge mistakes. Do this by simply raising one eyebrow. Bonus points if you can do it with either eyebrow for variety. Make sure to lower it after the event is over.

2. Double Eyebrow Raise

A lot easier than the Single Eyebrow Raise, this one is used for slides larger than a half-step. Make sure to lower them after the slide is over.

3. Nose Crinkle 

It's like a sneer. Just draw your nose up to your forehead (like pretending to be a rabbit) and hold for 2 seconds. This one is used for others' mistakes. Make sure you're looking directly at your guitarist as you do this.

4. Cold Focused Stare

If your guitarist is ignoring you and you're trying to signal a transition, just give them this stare for 7.5 seconds maximum and they will for sure feel it and look back at you.

5. Glare with Lowered Eyebrows

Expression of hatred. Use sparingly.

6. Held Double Eyebrow Raise with Closed Eyes

Used for spiccato or similar bouncy passages. Use for duration of passage. Make sure to change elevation of eyebrows for variety.

7. Tightly Closed Eyes with Semi-Lowered Eyebrows

For octave passages in the lower range of the instrument. Works better if the passage is in a minor key, but major works as well.

8. Tightly Closed Eyes with Face Pushed back into Neck

Useful for improvised solos. It takes a lot of effort to improvise over those weirdo chords, so you should look like a boss at least.

9. Half Smile

For when you do a subtle cool thing that no one noticed.

10. Full Smile

For when one of your band members does a cool thing that EVERYONE noticed.

11. Scrunched Eyebrows and Wide Open Eyes

This is one you do when the piano to your right literally drops its keyboard to the wood floor of the stage and sounds like an atomic bomb exploding.

12. Wide Eyes with Open-Mouthed Scream

When you improvise a major scale over a minor chord by mistake. At least, I hope it was by mistake...

13. Tightly Closed Lips Curled Inside the Mouth

Reserved for extremely difficult passages requiring a lot of concentration.

14. Mid-Tune Laugh

When you played something so badly that it's just only hilarious.


It is strongly recommended that you practice these expressions in front of a mirror. If you scare yourself, try toning it back a little bit. An audience will be even more sensitive. Remember that the minute details are very important in facial expressions.

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