Drums and Drugs...

Max Crespo

Member
thank you for reading my post, my name is max and I have been playing the drums for a little more then a year now and I'm a senior in high school.I practice about 10 hours a week; 15 if you count practice pad. I play drums for my church praise band, they practice once a week and play mass once a month. I also play drums and do the programing for a local metalcore band that also practices once a week and plays around 3 shows a month. I love the drums more then anything else in the world, and dream of making a career out of it one day.

I have been smoking pot on a regular bases since sophmore year and have played the drums while high countless times. Every single one of those times I notice myself being more creative, faster, and on perfect time. I bust out lighting fast double strokes around the toms and sharp off beat snare pattens to perfection. The best music I have written I wrote fresh off the dank.

So does maijuana give all drummers super powers or does it depend on the person? I want to if this is something you've ever tried and what your experience was like. your comments and advice are always welcome.

thanks
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think the pot has only made you feel at the time that you play better. I would video both with and without pot and really see what's what. I would also reconcile with your church band about your habit.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I think the pot has only made you feel at the time that you play better. I would video both with and withoutpot and really see what's what. I would also reconcile with your church band about your habit.
Nail, hit, head! It's your perception, unless you're usually a super nervous/reserved person. A bit like "beer goggles". Who was it that said they'd never gone to bed with an ugly woman but woken up with hundreds?
 

Spectron

Silver Member
I hear ya man, but the truth of the matter is
that is what weed does - it makes you think
whatever you are doing, thinking, saying is incredibly profound.

Don't ever place a dependancy on any substance to cultivate creativity
you could wind up feeling like you have to get high to play well and believe me that is not where you want to be.

I toke up once in a while myself and after 30+ years of experience with this drug
I can tell you straight - you're not actually playing any better or more creatively - you just think you are.

But don't just take my word for it
try this: record yourself playing while high as a kite but don't listen to the play back
until you stone cold sober.

I think you'll be surprised.

Not downing weed - I puff too.
But don't fall into the trap that it enhances your playing or creativity.
My.02
 
I'm straight-edge but many people think I do drugs because I'm really fast. But my method is actually just soooooooooo much tea or coffee that I can stay awake through a gig and sometimes I end up playing really fast. However, the bassist in one of my bands smokes pot to calm her down as she has to care for her mum etc. etc. But it's a risky thing dude. I'd be careful as it's illegal (in the UK for certain, you get a couple of years for possession of marijuana).

However, I do advice you to be careful and not to think you play better. The real way to get better and more ideas is by listening to loads of music. I listen to alot of Mathcore, Prog and Jazz. Mainly all I listen to with like Alt. Rock too and some metal and I can say I get alot of ideas and also by learning techniques. I find that doing the moeller technique and the heel-toe technique wow's people into thinking your much more than you are and playing open-handedly on the floor tom creating a fake double bass.
But I read alot of books and transcriptions in drum mags. I've also found exercise to help too and I'm going to start riding my bike alot to strenghten my leg muscles to help my pedal techniques :)

But hey, everyones different :)
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
Every response so far has been right on IMO. I haven't been a regular smoker for over ten years but I've been there. I do my best playing when I'm sober. Even a beer or two can throw me off. I like being buzzed and I love playing drums but these things do not mix well for me.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Sure why not start a thread that will get deleted. You my friend have opened a family sized can of worms. One one hand do you really think people are going to advocate smoking cannabis before playing? On the other hand, of all the drummers that play, what percentage are completely 100% not under the influence of some substance, not limited to cannabis? Aside from the legality part which is a joke, (you can use these poisonous drugs but not these non-poisonous drugs) people will alter their consciouses as they see fit. It's always been like that and always will. Comes with being an adult. Some use various forms of alcohol, some use cannabis, others, use prescription drugs, some use mild stimulants like caffiene... the list goes on and on. So yes it goes on. That's about as personal a choice as there is and a thread like this is a guaranteed lightning rod of strong immoveable opinions. So good luck with this one.
Me I like it, and I say so because I'm sick of hiding it, while people legally get inebriated and black out. I support anyone's right to use whatever that person feels is OK for them, and the government should not have the power to micromanage the blood/brain barrier. In the end it's your personal choice. Me I say if it feels right then it is right, but I am pretty liberal when it comes to individual rights.
 
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ambientgreg

Senior Member
Don't ever place a dependancy on any substance to cultivate creativity
you could wind up feeling like you have to get high to play well and believe me that is not where you want to be.

It may sound corny but it's absolutely true. Getting high always takes you further than you wanted to go, and the price is always higher than you think.
 

Max Crespo

Member
I wanted to thank you guys for reading and commenting on my thread and clear a few things up.

first in no way shape or form depend on pot for anything, that includes to play the drums well. Its something that I enjoy doing similar to playing chess(yes just compared maijuana to chess) which I also enjoy.

I think the pot has only made you feel at the time that you play better. I would video both with and without pot and really see what's what. I would also reconcile with your church band about your habit.
Please don't assume that I puff before I play in a church, I don't believe in god but I definitely respect others religion, and its very much against that particular religion to do drugs which I find hilarious because if god created earth then... Back on topic. Like I said I don't rely on pot at all and please keep your assumptions to yourself.

That's about as personal a choice as theyre is and a thread like this is a guaranteed lightning rod of strong immoveable opinions. So good luck with this one.
Me I like it, and I say so because I'm sick of hiding it, while people legally get inebriated and black out.
Thats exactly it a personal choice, and I wrote this not to hear opinions not change them. I also agree with you on the legalization but thats another story.

Thanks again guys from responding so quickly
 

Max Crespo

Member
I also really like the idea of recording myself but high and sober, my band is recording a few songs this weekend so I'm going to try to get to the studio early and test this theory that I only believe I'm playing better.
 

kettles

Gold Member
The best music I have written I wrote fresh off the dank.

So does maijuana give all drummers super powers or does it depend on the person?
No, I think that what it does, is slow down the part of the brain that reacts to what the ears hear. But the part of the brain that actually plays the music (the mental process as well as the muscular actions) remains unaffected. So there is a slight delay to the brain receiving the sounds that it creates. It's this enhanced listening which makes you think you're on a higher level of creativity - you're hearing as an observer more than a player.

When I want to write music I'll record myself improvising (drums or guitar) for 5-10 minutes. Usually nothing much stands out when I'm actually playing, but reviewing the tape as a listener I hear it totally differently, then isolate the cool parts and actively extend upon them.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I think that what it does, is slow down the part of the brain that reacts to what the ears hear. But the part of the brain that actually plays the music (the mental process as well as the muscular actions) remains unaffected. So there is a slight delay to the brain receiving the sounds that it creates. It's this enhanced listening which makes you think you're on a higher level of creativity - you're hearing as an observer more than a player.
OMG, I feel like I'm stoned just having read this! That's exactly how I envision the process. I would add that the problematic part is that the feedback loop is slowed down (just as you describe) and so making adjustments becomes less precise and micro-timing issues become exaggerated. I suppose that if your muscle memory is adequately dialed in, this might not be a problem. But you still need all your processing power with the ability to execute in real-time without audible delay to make it work.

Whatever makes you feel like playing and inspired to create can't be a bad thing, right? (within reason that adults can decide on for themselves) I'll never record in a studio under the influence again (learned that one the hard way long ago), but I know at least one other drummer who can smoke a truckload of weed, guzzle a 12-pack of cheap beer and still sound phenomenal ON TAPE. Very bizarre - never seen anyone else able to do that. So I'd say it's different for everyone.
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I wanted to thank you guys for reading and commenting on my thread and clear a few things up.

first in no way shape or form depend on pot for anything, that includes to play the drums well. Its something that I enjoy doing similar to playing chess(yes just compared maijuana to chess) which I also enjoy.



Please don't assume that I puff before I play in a church, I don't believe in god but I definitely respect others religion, and its very much against that particular religion to do drugs which I find hilarious because if god created earth then... Back on topic. Like I said I don't rely on pot at all and please keep your assumptions to yourself.



Thats exactly it a personal choice, and I wrote this not to hear opinions not change them. I also agree with you on the legalization but thats another story.

Thanks again guys from responding so quickly
You said you played for "my church praise band"...

I play drums for my church praise band, they practice once a week and play mass once a month.

And now you say you don't believe in God. But I made an assumption. Don't think I did. Only based my "assumption" on your words. I also didnt say you puffed before church. I only find it hypocritical to be in a praise band at "my church" nbot believe in God, and smoke pot. All of the assumptions are yours. You also say "if god created earth." if you believe God created earth then you believe in God.
 

Thud

Senior Member
I remember reading once that Satchmo was a regular weed smoker. I was very surprised at that. Just think how much better he could have been without it!
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
I failed grade 8 smoking dope, so it definitely did not help me in any way. Like many have said I think you have the false impression that you are doing better under the influence. It might be good for playing Reggae though. :)
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I remember reading once that Satchmo was a regular weed smoker. I was very surprised at that. Just think how much better he could have been without it!
Or perhaps how much less great he might've been without.
 

kettles

Gold Member
I would add that the problematic part is that the feedback loop is slowed down (just as you describe) and so making adjustments becomes less precise and micro-timing issues become exaggerated.
Feedback - that's the word I was looking for haha :)

Another way I write on guitar is to set up my delay effect with the delay time set to one bar, I play a few notes and it repeats those back to me so I can just listen and then extend on it, hopefully ending up with a good riff. It gives you a very different perspective, to write as a listener as opposed to writing as a player.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Or perhaps how much less great he might've been without.
Yes, was there ever a great jazzer who didn't puff?

My experience is that the benefit comes from the element of relaxation, physical and mental. It may 'soften' you up musically, and there's a greater perceived inspiration.
These effects are quickly negated if symptoms of self-consciousness/paranoia set in, however slight.

It goes without saying that coming to depend on weed in order to enjoy playing or making music is a useless situation. Be warned - that can creep in without you noticing.
 
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