Liquid Courage for "Better" Playing?

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
A friend of mine studied classical guitar at a music conservatory. Early on they warned the students that if they learned to play on drugs, they would always need to play on drugs. I don’t know if that’s true or not but he immediately quit smoking pot.
 
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Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I did when I was younger, and sometimes if I was really nervous, but not anymore. I want to have a clear head and have my mind alert. Especially when playing with someone new.

Fun story, I can pin-point it to one exact gig where I quit drinking before shows...

Playing someplace in Kentucky many years back. Place was dead on a Tuesday night and we were doing two sets. No pressure because no one was there. Except a really cute girl and her friends. Well, because of the low pressure situation I made a point to have a few drinks in-between sets with said lady as well as the bar owner. All of a sudden the place filled up! There was a military base close by that just released troops who had been overseas and they all hit the bar!
In a panic the owner pushed us back on stage early and I was in NO condition to play. I tried to impress this girl with my many stick tricks. It did NOT go well. By the end of the set I had sticks littered all over the stage and the bag on my floor tom empty. After the show this girl came right up to me and said "so, are you gonna catch one next time?"

I made a vow right then and there to never allow myself to drink like that before a show, ever again!
 

Rotarded

Senior Member
I am clinically diagnosed ADD, I also have suffered from stage fright early in my gigging days, and I am a singing drummer. I often have a drink or two (at the MOST) before sound check, just to knock the edges off. That's usually at least an hour before downbeat as I am always the first to arrive for load-in, and often that was straight from work.

I was prescribed Adderal. It did help me to a point. Struggles in remembering lyrics, which were the first thing I'd lose as my focus would shift during songs. It didn't matter that I'd known the song for 30 years, I had way to much going on mentally and physically and the Adderal did help with that..... But, I had far to many comments from friends of the band that I looked "all business and no fun" or "a robot" up on stage. I stopped taking it before the shows, and got an iPad to act as a cheat sheet for lyrics.

Tried smoking a joint before practice ONCE, and well, that was a bad idea any way you want to look at it.

Do I get buzzed? No. Do I get wasted? Absolutely not! Does it help me relax? YES!
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've never understood people who can drink to calm nerves. If I did that, I'd feel nervous AND sloppy.

Not that I was ever a heavy drinker by any stretch, but I've all but quit, period. Having one beer makes me so sleepy, so if I have a drink, everything for the day has to be done. These days, my schedule is so insane, I'm usually in bed right after the kids go to bed.

If I have even a swallow of alcohol before I play, I don't feel on my game. I feel sloppy, and I hate that feeling so bad.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
I don’t drink when gigging but one time a girl wanted to buy me a beer which I was reluctant but went ahead and later played the next set. Needless to say after the set was over she said I played better. She seemed sincere and I felt more relaxed when playing but I continue to not intoxicate myself before or during playing. My thinking on the matter is drumming is a coordinated sport and a professional would not intoxicate their self beforehand. I could be wrong, perhaps one beer could relax you a bit to smooth out the rigidity but everyone is different.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I used to drink everything that was available, then 6 years ago I decided there was a problem and haven't touched it since. Nothing ruins lives and health faster than alcohol.
If you need to imbibe, you need to find help. It should never be a need, only a "meh, maybe".
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like the meditation high when I'm playing and try to slip into it as soon as I can. The music I do makes that easy.

Funny, I have a hard time meditating when I'm not playing drums, but playing drums *can* bring it on in a minute or two. If the other players sound good to me. I can't get into that state with so so players nearly as easily.

Alcohol does me no favors while playing. If someone brings up a tray of shots (rarely, not my drink) I'll do it anyway. I think it's more important to accept their gift than to turn it down. Especially when they are pouring it down my throat because I'm playing. I can play with a little alcohol, but definitely prefer not to. Sometimes ya gotta take one for the team lol
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I've been in bands where it started out with said "liquid courage", but went to "liquid stupid" real quick.
I can't do alcohol & live music. It never ends well.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I used to drink everything that was available, then 6 years ago I decided there was a problem and haven't touched it since. Nothing ruins lives and health faster than alcohol.
If you need to imbibe, you need to find help. It should never be a need, only a "meh, maybe".
Coming from a family of alcoholism, “meh” is policy for me. If I’m feeling like I want a drink to alter my current emotional state, that’s exactly when I don’t drink. It’s surprising how little you will drink if you follow that one rule.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I didn't read the general tone of the thread but for me - I've spent my entire life sharpening the connect between my brain and my hands and be able to get in a flow state while playing and trusting that whole process.

To introduce something like alcohol or weed or whatever completely changes that relationship and it's 100% not for me.

Maybe some caffine to amp me up - but that's the extent of anything I do before a show. I don't even like eating before a show.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Eh, being slightly looser and less inhibited can be both bad and good for music. It depends on a lot of factors and what the gig is.

Foo fighters always talk about how they take pre-stage shots and stuff, and they certainly aren't alone... I'd say they still put on an alright show and it never really lacks energy or anything.

The answer is different for each person and each situation.
 

petrez

Senior Member
No, I hardly drink at all to be honest, maybe an occasional beer or two after the show if I don't drive (I usually do though, to be comfortable and using my own gear is more important to me than drinking). I'd like to give the audience the best show possible, and that is not happening while I'm under the influence. Sure, I might get some nerves before a big event, but nothing that I can't control, or gets forgotten after the first song or two.
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
Eh, being slightly looser and less inhibited can be both bad and good for music. It depends on a lot of factors and what the gig is.

Foo fighters always talk about how they take pre-stage shots and stuff, and they certainly aren't alone... I'd say they still put on an alright show and it never really lacks energy or anything.

The answer is different for each person and each situation.
The Foo Fighters don't have to set up and tear down their gear.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Depends.
I can have a drink or two before a set as once autopilot kicks in ,I really don't even consciously need to concentrate.
If I know I'm going to play a Zappa chart,well ...maybe not.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
The Foo Fighters don't have to set up and tear down their gear.
I don't really get what you mean. They have more energy because they don't have to setup/tear down? It's difficult to setup/tear while having a few drinks? Sorry I'm not getting it.
 

Bacchus

Junior Member
I prefer a drink after the gig in the post gig glow (hopefully) when back home with gear safely stowed....pre-gig there's too much to do and focus can be lost as others have stated.
 
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