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  #81  
Old 09-10-2009, 11:58 PM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
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.
You have to recognize that it was a different game back then. With bands and labels doing everything they can to salvage a bottom line these days, it's no surprise that the industry took a shift towards the "safe".

Freddy makes a valid point, even outside his personal experience, bands that don't allow themselves to be distracted by things like drugs or alcohol tend to get further these days.
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  #82  
Old 09-11-2009, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Having spent a good amount of time in Europe I can tell you that the French, British, Spanish and Italians drink all day, including the musicians, and it doesn't seem to affect them at all when it comes time to hit.
The British drink like fish, but I guess they're used to it. Whenever I was in France there was always a glass of wine in front of me on the table. And so on. It's a cultural thing, I think. Americans go a little overboard about the evils of drinking in my opinion. I've been around booze all my life; it's impossible not to be in this business, and I know what my capacity is for alcohol.
That's the whole point, whether you're a musician or not. Knowing what your capicity is. It's unrealistic to tell young musicians, or young people in general, to never, ever drink alcohol, it's really rather ridiculous. It's also pretty silly to say "Don't get drunk." EVERYBODY is going to get drunk sooner or later. I think it's best if it happens sooner. One really embarassing night and a hangover the next day that makes you wish you could just die is all it takes to be convinced that you never, never, ever exceed your capacity for alcohol. Anyway that's all it took with me. Well, maybe more than one time but I did learn. BUT. I've never in my life been drunk on a gig. Never. When would you find the time to drink that much anyway when you're working?
It wouldn't be a gig for me without a few drinks to accompany the whole experience, but then I'm a drinker. And I don't apologize for that. I always had plenty of work, I never had a reputation for over-drinking and anyway I always enjoyed playing too much to turn any gig into a night on the town.
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  #83  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by jer View Post
You have to recognize that it was a different game back then. With bands and labels doing everything they can to salvage a bottom line these days, it's no surprise that the industry took a shift towards the "safe".

Freddy makes a valid point, even outside his personal experience, bands that don't allow themselves to be distracted by things like drugs or alcohol tend to get further these days.
Continuing on that point, a lot of band probably had some certain level of success but the drinking and drugs probably took a toll on the band as a whole, not just the individual musician. Think about it like this, there's one Aerosmith, but there were probably a heaping helping of Aerosmith like bands that did the same thing (booze and drugs) how many of them are around. Biggest thing is just don't take it to an excessive level. Damn I could use a Guinness right now.
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  #84  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I love beer.

I love drums.

The two just do NOT mix for me.
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  #85  
Old 09-11-2009, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Caffeine here.

and that actually helps you play better.
I don't think anyone can criticize that...
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  #86  
Old 09-11-2009, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Freddy makes a valid point, even outside his personal experience, bands that don't allow themselves to be distracted by things like drugs or alcohol tend to get further these days.
I don't think it was really different back when, either. Plenty of bands started partying prematurely. Think of all the One Hit Wonders. One hit, go to pieces celebrating, infighting and stressing over what comes next. Poof, you're gone.
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  #87  
Old 09-11-2009, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I have a water for during the set and a couple of banana's during the two intervals. A recent gig, I was hanging around for ages waiting for the other guys to get themselves sorted so thought I'd have a Cuba Libre, worst gig I ever played in my opinion, I just didn't seem to be able think properly my mind kept wandering...so since then I'll be sticking with water and 'nana's

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  #88  
Old 09-11-2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Dr. Pepper or soda water...I can't drink alcohol and stay focused.
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  #89  
Old 09-11-2009, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

if you can't stay sober while you're gigging then stay home.
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  #90  
Old 09-16-2009, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I don't drink alcohol at all. The stuff is nasty!
Same goes for drugs and smoking.
I must be one of the few in the West that can say "I have never been drunk in my life" !

I find that the power of music and drumming alone gives me my kicks i need and relaxes me.
A short meditation is good too before gigs, to be focused yet relaxed, ready to give your best!

Also during the gig I drink water infused with an ayurvedic herb (medicinal herb from India, which I bring back when there) that is great for avoiding cramps and staying hydrated.

Aum Namah Shivaya

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  #91  
Old 09-16-2009, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I never ever take alcohol...Hard Drink can damage your lungs so be careful and avoid HD and take Soft Drink. :)
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  #92  
Old 09-17-2009, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by Steady Freddy View Post
I can't think of any job where drinking before of during work is acceptable.

Why would being a musician be any different?
How about PR people for big business. They schmooze clients. They are on the job and the take in alcohol. Actually part of their job to do so.. Granted the smarter ones do so in moderation. So, here is at least one job (and we are talking Fortune 100 Companies) where an employer doesn't mind their employee drinking alcohol on the job...

So there is at least one job! I could think of quite a few more but won't take the space here!

One more is, well, music. It IS considered acceptable, and I don't know of any club owners that would frown if they saw a member of the band having a drink.
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  #93  
Old 04-09-2010, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
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.
Alcohol and drugs might make for inspired songwriting, but it is VERY clear whether anyone of any of those bands have been drinking while on stage - it always sucks. By the way, for me the best albums of those bands have been written and recorded completely sober. Moreover, for all these bands, drugs and alcohol have in one way or another been their undoing. So yeah, being amongst spirits (ha ha) while writing or recording your album might have its benefits, but in the long run it'll break you down. Moreover, for us mortals alcohol usually has the effect of convincing yourself that your playing is great, while anyone in the audience thinks you're an idiot.

I think it's pretty simple, just don't drink and play. One beer, maybe two, that'll make little difference, but in general it doesn't mix.
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  #94  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I agree with Rascul. I've always been of the opinion that great bands are great despite their alcohol and drug abuses, not because of it.

For me personally, I don't usually drink at all at gigs. Especially for more difficult prog/jazz stuff, I need a perfectly clear head. When playing with a cover band where the songs are simpler, I might have a drink or two over the course of the whole night, but any more than that and it will start to adversely affect my playing.

I know some people who get really nervous on stage, and a drink or two helps them relax and actually play better. Whatever works for you, I guess!
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  #95  
Old 04-09-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

mmh, i don't personally but i do play with people who like to drink/consume drugs before gigs though. i've tried to get them to calm down a bit though, it really isn't needed at all, and imo it just makes them play worse.

i'd much rather get crunk after the set.
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  #96  
Old 04-09-2010, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I save the beer for AFTER the show... water only on stage for me. I find drinking booze on stage to be incredibly unprofessional.
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  #97  
Old 04-09-2010, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Maybe an occasional beer for me at a gig. Mostly water, one of those 5 hour energy drinks for a long night. Two years ago I played a New Years Eve gig, the band was "set up" through out the night with shots of Tequila and beer. I didn't feel it until we loaded out and I drove home....I was $hit faced. Not a good situation at 2:30 in the morning while driving. I pulled over at a rest stop and chilled for awhile before I went the rest of the way home. Never again! I felt pretty foolish for being that stupid.
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  #98  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I love beer.

I love drums.

The two just do NOT mix for me.
Same here.

I treat showtime like a workout...no greasy foods, eating fruits and drinking alot of gatorade.

Afterwards tho beer and tequila shots go down like grape juice!
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  #99  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I can't really play drunk, but anyone claiming that bands today are stone sober is just crazy. Let's not forget The Rev.
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  #100  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

My .02 here. Im a linesman in the AHL as well as a drummer in a regionally touring band. As a band we do a shot of our favorite 1 hour before a gig to get our heads together in the greenroom or the trailer. There is always loads of booze/beer available for free, but it is too easy to get carried away with it. People are paying their hard earned cash to see you, why would you want to disappoint them with mediocre playing or run the risk of being labelled a bunch of drunks/bad performers. We do save the partying to afterward as a sort of reward for work well done. The audience alone is typically enough to get your juices and adrenaline going. How does this all work back to the AHL stuff? Our Director of Officials once told me (he was an ex-NHL guy) that to counter the effects of the adrenaline and energy you get from skating (in this case drumming) hard, that two beers or drinks after a game was necessary. Not enough to get you buzzed, but enough to at least allow a solid nights sleep.

best to all!


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  #101  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I'll have a few beers over the course of the night. There's a big difference between drinking and getting drunk that's often being overlooked in this thread IMHO.
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  #102  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Ever watched drunks (try to) dance? That's what alcohol does to your rythm and coordination.
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  #103  
Old 04-09-2010, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
I'll have a few beers over the course of the night. There's a big difference between drinking and getting drunk that's often being overlooked in this thread IMHO.
I'm with you on this one. I' m starting to think I exist in an alternate universe. I understand if you're playing really demanding music, but you can't have a few drinks and play Brown Eyed Girl?
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  #104  
Old 04-10-2010, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

The stuff I play is physically and mentally demanding for me atm so getting drunk or stoned or whatever before a gig is a big no no. The most I've drank before a gig was 1 pint about 2 hours before we were on, and I wasn't ever sure if that was a great idea.
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  #105  
Old 04-10-2010, 05:29 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by Martinloo View Post
I never ever take alcohol...Hard Drink can damage your lungs so be careful and avoid HD and take Soft Drink. :)

Damage your lungs???????????????????????????
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  #106  
Old 04-10-2010, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Alchohol does not work for me at all while playing. That's for the bass player.......:-)
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  #107  
Old 04-10-2010, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

don't get plastered for gigs.

if not for screwing up the tunes, or coming off as a jerk to chicks, then don't do it because of your equipment you saved so hard to acquire.

i love my gear. if you're on a bill with three other bands and people are sharing equipment, it's hard enough to keep track of everything sober. get wasted and you're bound to forget/lose something. i'm not willing to take that chance...

play an awesome show, pack up all your stuff in the ride, make sure you and your bandmates/buddies have a safe way home from the gig, THEN do what you like...
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  #108  
Old 04-11-2010, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

ive been at a party once were there was a drum kit, i wasnt wasted but i wasnt sober either

i hated the feeling, it just didnt feel right


i wont be drinking before i play anytime soon :D
or if i did it would be a nice sprite or innocent smoothie :P
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  #109  
Old 04-11-2010, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
I'll have a few beers over the course of the night. There's a big difference between drinking and getting drunk that's often being overlooked in this thread IMHO.
Yup. It depends on a lot of things. Booze in any quantity does affect coordination. Fact. However, nervousness can affect coordination too. A moderate amount of booze can act as a relaxant and improve the performance of some players who are prone to nerves.

In the old days I would be very intense before gigs. Of course I always had the nonchalant face on but inside I'd be wired, especially in venues I'd not played in before. Having a drink before playing in a new venue was a way of settling into the vibe of the place, just settling down. I think it helped rather than hindered.

The ideal would have been a lack of nerves and no alcohol but the ideal doesn't seem too common in this life. I admit to also sometimes using other things before gigs, some of which were worse for my playing (i.e. I experimented to see what would help with my nervousness) and a couple of things that definitely improved my playing - not just to my ears, but based on feedback from our regulars.

For some reason, in public conversations many people fail to distinguish between use and abuse of chemicals (or anything, for that matter), which I find odd since there's a vast chasm between use and abuse. It's as blind as not being able to tell the difference between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane.
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  #110  
Old 04-11-2010, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I can't drink and drum at all. Period.
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  #111  
Old 04-11-2010, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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I can't drink and drum at all. Period.
Why not, Malti? What happens?
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  #112  
Old 04-11-2010, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Thought I might throw this in.....whenever slash had a gig, over the course of the day he would drink 1 gallon of vodka.......I could'nt do that in a month.

was he just exceptionally talented? Don't think so, imo you can get used to it....god knows he did
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  #113  
Old 04-11-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

Booze? Good!

Drums? Good!
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  #114  
Old 04-11-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I don't drink and drum, if I have one beer it throws me off. Besides for me playing music is a high in its self. There is nothing better than a cold beer after the show.
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  #115  
Old 04-11-2010, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Why not, Malti? What happens?
Her drumsticks get caught in her mouth apparently...
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  #116  
Old 04-11-2010, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Why not, Malti? What happens?
I'm taking an antidepressant thant intensifies the effect of alcohol. The other night I had a glass of Chardonnay and a nonalcoholic beer. You'd have thought I was dropping Jaeger Bombs all night. On the bright side, I never get hangovers and I'm a really cheap date!!
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  #117  
Old 04-11-2010, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I think it is a personal thing,And I have known some players that play worse sober,only a couple,but they do exist.I have only played really drunk on a couple of occassions,with a good buzz a couple of times.I found that even being buzzed on alchohol I would loose my feel.But that is me.When I hit my thirties I found that even one beer would make me more tired than if I had none.I played a gig at a starbucks where they plyed us with multiple shots of expresso,we finished a 45 minute set in under 30 minutes.
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  #118  
Old 04-11-2010, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I used to drink a hell of a lot from about the age of 16. I'm almost 22 now and last year I decided to pretty much give alcohol up. I still have the VERY occassional tipple (I've had 3 beers so far this year!). Not only have I lost a stone and a half in weight since I gave up alcohol, I actually feel a hell of a lot better health wise and my drumming is so much better now. My band has kind of a rule that we won't drink on the day of a gig although some of the other band members will have a drink after we've done our set and to be honest I think for me and my band thats the best formula for a sucessful performance.

On the other hand, a good friend of mine is in a band where the guitarist is quite notorious for drinking about a crate of beer before during and after the set and they are awesome live lol!
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  #119  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

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I played a gig at a starbucks where they plyed us with multiple shots of expresso,we finished a 45 minute set in under 30 minutes.
hahaha, right? There's a lot to be said for a guy who can hold tempos where they should be in spite of adrenalin, fatigue, excitement, boredom, alcohol, caffeine, rushing musicians, dragging musicians, etc. without a metronome. I would think it's akin to having perfect pitch... Perfect Tempo. Now there's a goal, right?
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  #120  
Old 04-12-2010, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Alcohol and playing

I'm going to reiterate that some people in here are either "two beer queers" or lack the self control necessary to land somewhere between "stone sober" and "fall on your @$$ drunk".

At the bars I worked at, bands constantly got drinks from the crowd and only in one instance did it screw up the show at all.
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