Originally Posted by larryace
When it's sounding bad, a good musician should know it, no matter what substance they imbibed.
Ideally, but there is a mental game that we play with music - you have to be confident as a drummer. No ifs or buts. If the drums aren't confident then it distracts the entire band. But what if your playing is stinky and yet you need to remain confident? Obviously, if your head is on straight, you just take subtle corrective action.
However, there are times when I'm getting worried looks from the band that suggest that I'm sucking (when I'm "on" they pretty well ignore me), but I feel like can't let negativity get in my head and make me second guess myself so I try to bully and bluff my way through. Sometimes in that headspace I have so much nonsense in my mind that I cannot shut it down, even though I really want to, and deep down I know I'm not grooving right but I can't break the negative momentum.
So I simplify to a point where I hope I can catch the threads and but sometimes I never manage it. Recordings afterwards tell me that that little voice saying "you suck" that I was trying to ignore was the truth. Often I think I've sucked and the playback is right on.
Yet it's all so simple ... there's the time, now just play what you've done 1000 times before ... so simple ... yet sometimes trying to focus is like grabbing a bar of soap in the bath. It's been the same deal for the last 38 years of playing :( The dynamic is state dependent - straight, drink, smoke make almost no difference to this ... If I'm on, I'm on. If not, nothing seems to help.
Bottom line is some days my ears are better than others. Some days I hear lots, some days I hear diddly. Not sure if there's some ADHD mess involved in all that or if it happens to everyone and it's just a matter of degree.