Drinking and Drumming


Silver Member
Following on from Madge's tennis thread, I was wondering how consuming alcohol affects drumming. Does your drumming improve after you've had a beer or two? I'm not talking completely bladdered, rather just a couple of drinks.

I've not tried it yet but, some years ago, I did find my bowling improved after a couple of jars.

Your thoughts?


Silver Member
My playing does get a tad worse, but I care less about my performance, so I worry less about making sure my playing is perfect. Its a two edged sword.
A shot of Jack and a frosty barley pop are a pre-gig ritual for me. Loosens me up and bottles up the nerves pretty well. Any more than that and I'm all over the place. I save the heavier imbibing for after the gig. REAL heavy if it's a bad gig. Ha!

gaz farrimond

Senior Member
I never drink alcohol and play, and I wouldn't expect anyone else to do so. How would you feel if a pissed up paramedic attended a scene of an accident, your tax advisor smelled of beer as he was assuring you to how much you could expect as a refund, or a teacher drinking during lessons? (Well, knowing the behavioural standard of kids some teachers I know teach, they may well do)

For those who say it makes them a better player, does it also make you better at everything else? (Driving, sex, parenting...... et-al)

Sorry, but this is definitely one thing to light my (Metaphorical) blue touch-paper.

Now, time for another bottle of water, 30 mins to wrapping up todays rehearsal. Then a few Sam Adams Boston lagers.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I don't drink when I'm working. I did that during a gig once and quickly turned into a completely useless mess.


Platinum Member
Gosh when I drink I sound stellar, till I listen to the recording of my playing and realize I was gone-zo. You shouldn't drink in drive or drink and drum. But when I do drink-I drink Dos Equis-so "stay thirsty my friends"-hee,hee,hee. Back in my college days my friends would encourage me to drink when I would play pool because I was so much better polluted. Actually one my Guru snare contest videos I was quite inebriated-explains a lot no?


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have found that I drive better, swim better, operate machinery better, look better, I could go on but NO I dont do any of those things better. You may feel more relaxed, but its just a crutch. Does your drum teacher start you off with a few beers. NO. Must be a reason. Practice and confidence make you Play better.


Platinum Member
Ah, the annual Temperance Movement thread. Was just thinking it was overdue this year.

Yes, it's been well established that one or two quiet beers gets the vast amount of DW drummers so outrageously pissed that they fall off their drum thrones. In fact, history tells us that there are guys here who have found themselves completely legless merely driving past a pub on the way to the gig.
I find that 1.5 beers is about perfect in a studio songwriting capacity. Gets the creative juices flowing, but will generally re-record everything the next day if I still like the idea. Tempos usually drag when under the influence so will have to be adjusted when sober. As a general rule, anything that is going to be committed to a deliverable track or performance must be done sober. I've tried it both ways for years and, looking at my "track record" (forgive the pun), it seems that the things I am OK with playing for folks have all been recorded sober. Just sayin'.
Ah, the annual Temperance Movement thread. Was just thinking it was overdue this year.

Yes, it's been well established that one or two quiet beers gets the vast amount of DW drummers so outrageously pissed that they fall off their drum thrones. In fact, history tells us that there are guys here who have found themselves completely legless merely driving past a pub on the way to the gig.
Yeah heaven forbid I have a couple before I play on the off chance I perform heart surgery afterwards.

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Yupyup, it did come a bit late this year.

I saw the title and scrolled down till I found the angry guy that refuses to even smell a beer before he plays.

I sat in on an open mic night last week after a few beers. The guy singing lead must have been shooting up junk or just drinking a lot. Homeboy was practically nodding off. Never done (what I assume was) heroine before but after seeing how badly it did affect this fellow's performance I think I will avoid it in the future. Just booze for me thanks.

Tony Trout

Senior Member
I've never drank anything more than water or Coke during a gig. I have no use for the stuff because I had an uncle who died after suffering a heart attack after being an alcoholic for many years. :(

I think drinking or drugging either as a musician or even before a gig is a bit on the stupid side. It does not affect your performance in a good way. I used to be in a band as keyboardist with a guy who drank regularly before, during & after the gig and he thought he was the greatest guitarist. He was real good but...seeing him playing while chugging a beer didn't make me think: "WOW! Lemme go grab a couple and maybe I'll be a better pianist/keyboardist!"

In other words, I think the stuff hinders you, musically, more than helps. Plus, I like to stay focused on what I'm doing while I'm playing.

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
I find that alcohol affects my tempo very quickly! I am good with one or two at a gig, but more than that any my tempo and playing start to suffer.


Platinum Member
Do I play better when drinking? No. Am I able to play at an acceptable level when drinking? Yes. I have heard the recordings that prove it.

I understand the people who choose not to drink when they play. There are times, though, when I think most of us need to remember what we're doing when we're playing a bar/pub gig - we are NOT there to play perfectly, we're there to entertain and increase sales for the bar. And many times, that includes a bit of partying with the crowd and letting people buy you drinks, etc. It's fun, for heaven's sake - people are there to have fun!

Know your limits and know your job. If you choose not to drink, that's perfectly cool, but to give others crap for drinking no matter the type of gig is baloney.

Lighten up. It ain't rocket science or heart surgery for the vast majority of us here. :)


Platinum Member
Never really affected me much,but drinking and drugs on stage weren't the real issue.

It was the natural high after coming off a gig ,and wanting to keep that feeling are where issues tend to arise with drugs and alcohol abuse.

Some folks are quite adept at playing at very high levels while stoned (Charlie Parker comes to mind).

But if you classify nicotine and caffeine as drugs ,they are truly a mothers little helper in that dept.
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Silver Member
Blimey! A bit of a mixed bag of answers here.

As I stated in my OP, I found my ten-pin bowling improved after a pint. This was backed up by the associated scores. Of course this could have been coincidental but, if so, the coincidences were repeatable.

I guess it's an individual thang and each to their own. If it works for you then that's just fine.

Now, where's my scalpel...



Senior Member
Music is an intoxicant.

If you are adamantly opposed to intoxicants and want to have complete clarity of mind at all times, what are you doing playing music, or even listening to it?


Senior Member
i have a few , when im messing around on the drums and having fun , practice no, when i use to play guitar and bass in bands i did when we were just having fun for a night, we would do great practice 4 or 5 nights a week
and every few weeks we had fun night , just to cut loose and jam and mess around, never recording or playing a gig though , it always made me play worse.
but bowling lol i once went to midnight rock n bowl so waisted ., i bowled a 242 :) lol they were trying to get me to join the league ; lol i told them im so drunk this is a fluke . i bowl ave 115 lmfao