Alcohol and playing

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Myself, I don't drink and play. It subtracts from me. I'm sure Bonzo, Moon, Baker, played drunk. Different strokes.
 

Spinozalove

Senior Member
I usually have one beer before a gig while waiting to go on. Never more than one though! I don't think it helps, but I don't think one beer is detrimental for my playing.
 

mcbike

Silver Member
I don't drink at all, especially not while playing. Some people can do it, not me. Most of the time my bandmates are grateful that the drummer is sober and holding it down.

I start drinking water at load in usually 3 glasses before I play. Then I drink a monster energy drink 15 minutes before I play and I take a walk around the block. During the show I drink a glass of water during each break, and usually a vitaminwater/gatorade either before the last set, or after the show. Then I drink like a quart of powerade at mcdonalds after load out.

This is when i'm playing my outside gig with 3 hour long sets... I rarely even have to go to the bathroom, it's amazing!
 

Strangelove

Gold Member
Drinking impairs your motor skills, co-ordination, timing, judgement, all of it. That's why they don't let you drink and drive.
If you get drunk before you play, you will suck. Period.
Agreed. Ever see any drunks dancing? The old adage that drunks have no rythm should be noted by all drummers.

Yes, Bonham got away with it (we know he drank to some extent in concerts and in the studio), but just think how well his timing would have been without it. The same for Moon.
 

jer

Silver Member
My advice: Know your limit, play within it.

(okay, I stole that from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, but I feel as though it applies nicely here.)
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
I think this thread speaks volumes. Each of us is different, and the affects of alcohol on each of us is different.

What is different is that all of us do not have full recognition of what these affects are to us individually. Many of us do, but, not all.

On the other hand (which is the same hand,) each of us must realize this as well. Everyone else is different from me. What works for me may not work for everyone else.

The real proof is in the pudding (and the pudding is a recording.) We are not going to believe, for the most part, what someone else tells us. Do the test. Play, and drink, One drink in between every two songs. See what the affects are on your playing. Does it get better? If so what is the point of diminished returns?

Also, try the same thing with caffeine. Man, I've done this and believe it, after my second dose of caffeine I am looped. Cannot play worth a darn. My coordination is messed up and I cannot keep time to save my life. On the other hand, a few drinks loosens me up. More than this, however, I start getting sloppy and lose control of my volume...

Put up or shut up..! @:) take the test and report..
 

Concrete Pete

Senior Member
Hey Crew,

I gotta throw in my $0.02-- I think a brew is great before a gig, as it loosens you up. My rule is no more than one drink per hour, and that has worked for me for years. Loose is cool, drunk is stupid.

AFTER a gig, heck yeah, have a beer-- BUT, remember that you have to drive home, and cops pull over people that have drums, amps, etc., etc., in their vehicles.

As far as "doobifiying", naw, I did that years ago. The stuff that's around nowadays is LETHAL OCTANE in my opinion-- I guess I'm too old for that crap.

Cheers,
C. P.
 

cnw60

Senior Member
I agree with all who have posted about having a small amount of alcohol being fine.

I have also found that if the audience gets drunk, our band sounds better.
 

arthurk1

Senior Member
I used to always drink during sets but not anymore. Perhaps one beer before the last set. The band I am in now has top notch, sober players and the bass player bitches about any tempo change and stuff like that so I can't immagine him all mad if I was buzzed. we play 2 hour sets so you get tired. Playing rock at an open stage, I would be drinking for sure, but I am a drinker anyway.
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
The only time alcohol & playing become a problem is when you get behind your kit and you realize there is a lot more drums & cymbals now then there was at the beginning of the night LOL

Seriously a couple(2) drinks is alright but don't. overdo it everybody knows there limits, you can keep climbing that hill but once you go over the top there no going back LOL

when I play I might have a couple of drinks @ the club or bar but I always have a pitcher of water with me when I play water the best thing too drink IMO when jammin' you're bandmates will thank you for it. LOL

Bonzolead
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
I agree with all who have posted about having a small amount of alcohol being fine.

I have also found that if the audience gets drunk, our band sounds better.
I always said that the more you drink (audience) the better we sound and the more we drink (band) the better we think we sound LOL

of course the more you drink the better we look LOL

Bonzolead
 

Fiery

Silver Member
In general, I don't drink more than one drink before playing (that means half a liter of beer or a shot of liquor or any other equivalent) and I very rarely drink anything except water while playing.

But I was mightily pleased some months ago when I drank a bit more before and during rehearsal (the whole band did, it was sort of a rehearsal party) and I managed to get through all the songs wihtout much trouble. It was nowhere near perfect, of course, but it wasn't worse than my talking or walking skills at the time. I took it as a sign of actually becoming a drummer, since for the first few years of my playing, any thought of playing after drinking above the mentioned minimum was an absolute no-no. My coordination and control were bad enough already, even the slightest inebriation meant a complete catastrophe, no thought of pulling off a coherent beat, let alone a whole song.

Edit: Spelling correction.
 
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Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I can't think of any job where drinking before of during work is acceptable.

Why would being a musician be any different?
 
W

wy yung

Guest
I do not drink before playing. Many do. I've seen a very high profile player down a bottle of bourbon before a clinic performance!
 

CJM

Member
Sometimes drinking helps to shake loose the stiff energies that come from a long day or a long trip from the previous city (when touring). I find that when I'm relaxed, I play much more intuitively, uninhibited, and with a bigger smile on my face.
yes it's a very fine line you have to tread. When I'm all hyped up on caffeine for the night (after working all day) my nerves sometimes jam up and I drop a beat. A drink on the first break can help relax me. But I have to hold it down or I go to pieces. I find if I drink too much too fast my arm muscles get really tired..back in the day I remember leaning over on my floor tom at the end of the night. We played 5-6 nights a week and the whole band drank quite a bit LOL. No one in my peer group of players drinks like that anymore.

Alcohol does interfere with muscle recovery. I found that out later when i got into long distance bike riding.
 

jer

Silver Member
I can't think of any job where drinking before of during work is acceptable.

Why would being a musician be any different?
The thing that has always amazed me, the higher the paying gig, the more free booze we get. Essentially, the free drinks are coming from our employer for the evening.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
The thing that has always amazed me, the higher the paying gig, the more free booze we get. Essentially, the free drinks are coming from our employer for the evening.
Yeah. Been there done that. I played in a few really rowdy rock bands and we'd party pretty hard on gigs. We just never got any where.

The bands that were more serious about the music and stayed away from drugs and booze did pretty well.
 

KnockOut86

Senior Member
Of course, all in moderation.

The last band I played with our first three shows were sort of rigid, emotionless, and probably boring to the crowd. Fourth show, Halloween show, we did 3 shots a piece before we went on, best show ive ever played, and the crowd definitely responded to our energy.

For us, we just needed to take the edge off and loosen up a bit, and alcohol helped. Of course this doesnt work for everyone, since we were all in college, we had HIGH tolerances, and three shots was just the right amount.
 

jon e rotten

Senior Member
Yeah. Been there done that. I played in a few really rowdy rock bands and we'd party pretty hard on gigs. We just never got any where.

The bands that were more serious about the music and stayed away from drugs and booze did pretty well.

Alot of bands have done alot of drugs and alot of drinking and done pretty well...Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who..etc. etc.

Now some of them are dead from to much partying and some look like they're dead, but it's hard to argue with their success.
 
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