...so it looks like I`m a better drummer when I`m drunk

Hi peeps!

Went to a jam last weekend to perform a couple of songs with this Keith Urban cover band I just started. The performance went really well and lots of people who are really really great musicians complimented me on my playing. They approached me, not the other way around. And they didnt have to that if they didnt mean it. They actually asked me to come down to play more often.

The problem tho is that I was really nervous before entering the stage so I had 6 beers to calm me down. I ended up quite drunk but at the same time really relaxed and that night it really improved my ability to perform (no its not just in my head. It sounded really great). On the other hand I dont wanna get drunk every time I join in on a jam. Btw I do not have a drinking problem.

Have any of you had a similiar experience? And if so..how did you get to perfom at the same level sober?
 
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jim_gregory

Senior Member
I started drumming and gigging in my 50's. I was quite nervous on stage. So I had some rum drinks. Then in the morning I didn't feel good! So now I just play nervous until it goes away. I play about the same either way though. Maybe a bit more imagination sober.

Bottom line is you should not need or seek drugs or alcohol to do your job. For recreation it's one thing but for work it's another.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
And all the chicks were stunning looking, the sound was sublime, your chops were faultless, & the audience fell at your feet.

Be very wary of selective memory. Wearing "beer goggles" is not a great thing to make a habit of. Sure, one drink to dispell the nerves, but 6 pints! Really, find a way of dampening those nerves without resort to drug assistance, you'll find you're actually a much better player for it.
 
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TFITTING942

Guest
And all the chicks were stunning looking, the sound was sublime, your chops were faultless, & the audience fell at your feet.
haha all these years I thought I was awesome. You just opened my bloodshot eyes KIS, hahaha
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
for me, drinking and drumming don't mix. i usually will have one beer before going on stage to calm the nerves a bit and because i like beer, but if i start having multiple beers, things get out of control. i get real sloppy. i play wild. i hit rims and i swing at cymbals and miss them. i forget where i am in the song and i miss transitions. it's not good. besides, the way i look at it, we are on the job and being paid to entertain, not to party our asses off.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Hi peeps!

Went to a jam last weekend to perform a couple of songs with this Keith Urban cover band I just started. The performance went really well and lots of people who are really really great musicians complimented me on my playing. They approached me, not the other way around. And they didnt have to that if they didnt mean it. They actually asked me to come down to play more often.

The problem tho is that I was really nervous before entering the stage so I had 6 beers to calm me down. I ended up quite drunk but at the same time really relaxed and that night it really improved my ability to perform (no its not just in my head. It sounded really great). On the other hand I dont wanna get drunk every time I join in on a jam. Btw I do not have a drinking problem.

Have any of you had a similiar experience? And if so..how did you get to perfom at the same level sober?
Drink one beer, six times slower. Mind over matter
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Hmm...a better player when drunk? I don't believe it. Maybe more calm and relaxed, but I doubt a "better" drummer. But then again, you could be that one drummer that actually is, in which case I'm sorry for your liver. :)
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Drink one beer, six times slower. Mind over matter
LOL! Totally... I think there's definitely a middle ground between nervous and drunk. I don't really get nervous, but after load in and setup I'm usually kind of wound up and just ready to play. I have a beer or two, and it does take that overthinking edge off of performing. But theres a difference between relaxed and drunk on stage. 6 beers is definitely over my limit for playing clean. But hell, if you got compliments, more power to ya'. Rock out with your ---- out.
 
And all the chicks were stunning looking, the sound was sublime, your chops were faultless, & the audience fell at your feet.

Be very wary of selective memory. Wearing "beer goggles" is not a great thing to make a habit of. Sure, one drink to dispell the nerves, but 6 pints! Really, find a way of dampening those nerves without resort to drug assistance, you'll find you're actually a much better player for it.
Haha well actually I remember the entire evening and I did not get like really wasted stumbling over guitars and stuff lol. I was in complete control with what I played and how I behaved. I know I`m a decent drummer and its not like I need to get drunk everytime I`m playing a gig. I have been playing drums my whole life. I`m 35 now. But it was our first performance with this new band, I had to play on a different setup than I usually play on, the audience was packed with really great players etc. It was just a stressful situation.

BTW: I do not recommend all the young drummers on this forum to use alcohol to calm nerves!!! Sort out your issues in a more mature way. I know I`m going to.
 
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Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
If in fact your playing was stellar you very much lucked out. My advice too you is to not make it a habit just because you were lucky with this gig. In my younger and dumber days I often would be a little under the influence when playing, believe me not a scenario you want to get used to. However I will do a couple of shots during the course of a 4 set gig, but never enough to get plastered. I have literally seen and been involved with musicians who got to lit to play. I actually ended up filling in for a buddy of mine who passed out before a show, quite a big show. He has never been able to live that incident down and it has affected his status locally. He now plays with a band in the next largest city, about 52 miles away, and yes he did get fired from that band after the show, and no I did not take his spot, just could not do it to him, very well known local band who is always playing out.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I don't think you were better when drunk. You probably played OK, a lot like you normally would, and people just happened to like what you were doing. I'm not a great drummer by any stretch, but I am highly self-critical and self-aware. What I am able to do, I expect myself to do well. I can tell you, I've had people, even musicians, come up after a pretty shitty show by my standard, and tell me how great I played, etc. Them saying it, doesn't make it TRUE, lol! It just means they had a good time and liked what you did.

I think the nerves just have to be dealt with. They become less of a problem the more different experiences you have and the more confident you are, but some situations can still make the most experienced player nervous. So you have to cope in your own way, but I would try something besides six beers! Gruntersdad's idea seems like a decent one...
 
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Hellwyck

Guest
I like jamming when I've had a few beers, when you fo some Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden it's fun but I hate to play drunk... That's a huge no-no in my book.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Good thing it was only a couple of songs- can you imagine if you had to play another three hours like that? I suspect they other musicians wouldn't have been so enthusiastic at the end of the night. Drugs and alcohol in music are legit- they've been a part of the process probably forever- but sketchy. They provide rapidly diminishing returns, and they're at least as likely to ruin a performance and/or life as they are to help. I'd look for another moral to the story besides "I need to drink six beers to play well".
 

braincramp

Gold Member
I don't drink anymore and when I did never drank until the show was over and if there are any nerves they usually go away once I start playing..6 beers is alot for a person that doesn't have a drinking problem...and at 48 one thing I have learned and I may be very wrong in your case but people that don't have a drinking problem never have to say they don't have a drinking problem..
 
I don't drink anymore and when I did never drank until the show was over and if there are any nerves they usually go away once I start playing..6 beers is alot for a person that doesn't have a drinking problem...and at 48 one thing I have learned and I may be very wrong in your case but people that don't have a drinking problem never have to say they don't have a drinking problem..
Haha hold your horses mister. I appreciate your concern but I do not have a drinking problem lol!

I rarely drink at all because I get so sick the day after. I also like to stay in shape and work out at least 3 times a week so drinking is something I do a couple of times a month maybe. I dont use drugs and I dont smoke so I would consider myself quite healthy. Yes I know that amount of beer sounds like a lot but maybe the Norwegian beer isn`t that strong or something.

This is getting a little out of hand. All I wanted to do was to share this experience with you to see if any one of you guys had any tips on dealing with nerves when doing a gig.
 
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TTNW

Pioneer Member
I will have a few drinks when I play out but not so much for nerves.

If I'm nervous before the first downbeat then I go with advice I got here a several years ago.

I come out of the starting gate at 110%. I try to play with extreme confidence that shows. I make sure I totally drive the band and I make sure we start out with a tune that is high energy (which usually everybody is OK with because nobody wants to start out with a mid tempo ballad anyway).

This overdisplay of confidence always does the trick for me and by the time we start the second tune, I'm over my nervous thoughts.

BTW, I don't mean overplaying or being louder. Just make sure you own it, totally, and all the bullshit thoughts will go away.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Talk about your can of worms. Innocent as the thought behind this thread was, it detoured from it's original intention to an alcohol debate.
I'm all for personal freedoms in equal measure with personal responsibilities.
I'm glad you had a great gig. Did you record the gig to see if what you were experiencing was actually what the audience was experiencing? As long as the 2 are in sync with each other, that's the real important issue.
You can't let beer ears or any "other" ears delude you. Recording yourself will highlight any differences.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
Unless it is just a jam session, I don't mix drinking and playing. It's not that I get sloppy drunk and can't function well - the main problem is I start to feel tired and lack energy, which is a major problem when you are trying to get through three long sets.

Although many years ago I was at a bar and had a few drinks, and then the band asked me to come up and play drums on one song. The first whack on the snare to start the song went haywire as I hit the rim and the stick went flying into the keyboard player's back. I then had to scramble to find a spare stick. It was embarrassing, to say the least. LOL

Our bass player says he needs to have a beer or two to coat his throat so he can sing. I think it is more to calm his nerves, and I have read that alcohol is not good for the vocal chords when singing. So I stick to plain water until I'm done playing,
 
I definitely understand where you're coming from. When I started playing gigs regularly, I used to have a couple of pints before our set to calm down. I had pretty bad nerves. I still have those couple of pints before sometimes, but now I tend to stick to water before, beer after.

I think once you get over your nerves, you'll be fine.
 

brownie1969

Senior Member
On the list of people's biggest fears.....public speaking ranks as # 2...just behind death.....I suppose being on-stage is somewhat the same thing. But 6 beers to calm down....LOL....remind me NOT to ask you to be my Best Man.
 
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