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#1
We've all heard the stories about musicians getting rocked before a gig. Jim Morrison drinking a six pack before every show, Eric Clapton recording entire albums on the floor smacked out of his mind on heroin, Jerry Garcia tripping balls on acid, etc. I'm wondering if these stories are actually true.

Basically, when I drink even two beers, I lose all ability to play guitar. I have no timing and rhythm, I can't control volume, and I can barely even feel the strings. I do have a slight lack of feeling in my left hand, from shattering two metacarpals and slicing open the other two fingers with electric hedge trimmers (22 stitches), but my right hand is also useless when I'm sheets to the wind.

Is my lack of skill after drinking simply due to the fact that alcohol destroys any and all coordination? Or, should I just play more when I've been drinking? OR, is it just a refection of my skill level, and is something that I will eventually be able to do when I get better at guitar? Perhaps it is a combo?

This thread is not about any other drugs except alcohol, unless that is OK. I don't want violate forum rules. I am also 24.
Last edited by MattMurph at May 12, 2013,
#2
maybe you just shouldn't drink and play guitar then

what are you, an alcoholic? how hard is it to wait till after the gig?

i mean it's all fine and good if you're jim morrison, but you're probably no jim morrison.
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#3
No I am not Jim Morrison. Jim got head on stage in front of thousands of people. I play on my porch.

Waiting until after the gig would imply that I have a gig, or have had, or will have. I guess I've been pretty lazy in that area.
#4
m8 dis 1 tym me n da lads got fookin smashed m8 yer get me wuz fookin trollied off triple VKs at wethurspoons n den we get to da club n i knock bak about 5 jagerbombs n den dis burd was givin me the eye lyk n so i fookin got ma geetar out n played sum ****in sweeps n shit n she wer lyk propa luvin it n l8er on i tuk 'er bak to myn n smashed her bk doors in yer get me n den i pluggd in my strat and playd eruption at twice da normal speed wifout any mistakes u jus aint got wat it takes 2 be aswel as me wen ur drunk m8 pro tip jus dont drink if u wana play geetar 2 get birds bruv no wat im sayin?

n den dat bish txt me sayin she got da clap n i fort o well at least i got 2 clapta dem cheeks amirite?
Last edited by griffRG7321 at May 12, 2013,
#5
Quote by griffRG7321
m8 dis 1 tym me n da lads got fookin smashed m8 yer get me wuz fookin trollied off triple VKs at wethurspoons n den we get to da club n i knock bak about 5 jagerbombs n den dis burd was givin me the eye lyk n so i fookin got ma geetar out n played sum ****in sweeps n shit n she wer lyk propa luvin it n l8er on i tuk 'er bak to myn n smashed her bk doors in yer get me n den i pluggd in my strat and playd eruption at twice da normal speed wifout any mistakes u jus aint got wat it takes 2 be aswel as me wen ur drunk m8 pro tip jus dont drink if u wana play geetar 2 get birds bruv no wat im sayin?

n den dat bish txt me sayin she got da clap n i fort o well at least i got 2 clapta dem cheeks amirite?


What in God's name are you blabbering about?

Long story short, if you are less than a superhuman, you are not going to play better after drinking, right?
#6
I actually play and sing pretty decent when I'm drunk. As long as I'm only playing the Guns 'n' Roses version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door...
Originally posted by supersac
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#7
Quote by MattMurph
What in God's name are you blabbering about?

Long story short, if you are less than a superhuman, you are not going to play better after drinking, right?


the same people who play better drunk are the ones who play better on heroin

Quote by mitchgosche2011
I actually play and sing pretty decent when I'm drunk. As long as I'm only playing the Guns 'n' Roses version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door...


i lold
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#8
Back when I smoked weed regularly I think it helped more with the creativity and writing more than anything. As far as the actual playing, definitely a little more sloppy, didn't help the timing either.
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#9
i shouldnt be proud of the fact that i can play pretty decently drunk its nowhere near my sober levels but no one at a gig is going to notice


you just need to learn how to function while also being pretty hammered its no diffeerent than people who can go to work high or whatever
#10
Quote by MattMurph
What in God's name are you blabbering about?

Long story short, if you are less than a superhuman, you are not going to play better after drinking, right?


rong m8 jus come out on da town wif me n da lads n get sum vodka redbulls down ya n il show u how its dun m8
#11
I'm not a fan of it, unless maybe it's a "Band shot" year the end of a show.
I enjoy being clear headed and to play all of my parts correctly. Oh, and then I enjoy not driving home drunk with all of my gear in my car because I didn't think to have a backup plan.
#12
I noticed a couple of nights ago that not only does being drunk make suck in every way,but I had a hard time remembering how to play stuff that I have had memorized for years.My memory goes when I'm drunk.And for the people who say they can still play when they are drunk,record yourself sometime doing just that.It was a real eye opener for me,I thought me and my buddies got into some kind of magical zone jamming all ****ed up,then I heard the recording sober.
#13
Excellent stuff so far. I guess I can now say that I play a lot while stoned (marijuana). I've recorded myself sober and stoned and I sound virtually the same in both states of mind, although I LOVE playing stoned. I get high and practice repetitive exercises and play for sometimes 7 hours straight, with breaks of course. I wouldn't play publicly while high though, unless everything was going great. It does make me paranoid at times, and for myself that is as bad as having a few beers, feeling socially loose, and not being able to play at all. I've only played in front of maybe 5 people, so what do I know anyway.

The first guy mentioned alcoholism. Perhaps the reason these people were able to operate so well under the influence was because they were addicts, and were under the influence most of the time, allowing them to learn how to operate under the influence. From my familial experience, after a while some people need a few beers to feel normal, a normal they would consider sober, which is a normal a sober person would consider "under the influence." Or they are superhuman. Or I'm addicted to weed. LOL. JK.
Last edited by MattMurph at May 12, 2013,
#14
Quote by rickyvanh
I noticed a couple of nights ago that not only does being drunk make suck in every way,but I had a hard time remembering how to play stuff that I have had memorized for years.My memory goes when I'm drunk.And for the people who say they can still play when they are drunk,record yourself sometime doing just that.It was a real eye opener for me,I thought me and my buddies got into some kind of magical zone jamming all ****ed up,then I heard the recording sober.



look at my youtube and soundlcoud link on my sig

few of those were reocrded completely sober
#15
I was in a band that banned me from drinking energy drinks, I could should be high or as drunk they wouldn't care but me speeding up tempo of everything by at least 50bpm and running arround like a lunatic didn't help.
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#16
Quote by supersac
look at my youtube and soundlcoud link on my sig

few of those were reocrded completely sober

I'll check your stuff out.I actually don't ever play completely sober either.I don't normally get the urge to pick up my guitar unless I've got my beer and bud buzz underway.But my playing suffers once I've had too many.I enjoy playing buzzed though,I put the headphones on out of consideration for others.
#17
Slash couldn't play unless he had been drinking - because his hands shook to much from withdrawal and he would get sick if he didn't drink hard liquor first thing in the morning.

Same with a lot of those guys. Their drug and alcohol use was beyond recreational. They were full on addicts with a real chemical dependency on the drugs they were taking, and without them they couldn't function.

You don't want to get to that point.

As you get better in general you also get better at playing drunk - but you will pretty much always be worse drunk than when you are sober.
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#18
Quote by rickyvanh
I'll check your stuff out.I actually don't ever play completely sober either.I don't normally get the urge to pick up my guitar unless I've got my beer and bud buzz underway.But my playing suffers once I've had too many.I enjoy playing buzzed though,I put the headphones on out of consideration for others.



i enjoy playing i often play whenever i can...i just drink alot

#19
Quote by 20Tigers
As you get better in general you also get better at playing drunk - but you will pretty much always be worse drunk than when you are sober.
I think there's probably a point where the dis-inhibiting effect of alcohol is beneficial as it helps with self confidence and combats stage fright. At some dosage point, the benefits gained probably out weigh the impairment it causes.

Keep in mind I'm talking in terms of maybe a shot or a can of beer, not a half bottle of Jack.

Those things said, I'd avoid any benzodiazipine to combat nerves. That shit is a muscle relaxant also, and even a small dose kills both my will to play, and my coordination.
#20
I rarely drink at all playing now. I used to have a couple of beers before and during a gig but it would get to the point where I wasn't sure whether I was ok to drive home after.

I recently had a couple of beers before a show, maybe 4 or so, had a crappy day at work and juat wanted beer. It was pretty fun, feeling pretty free on the fretboard and confident. People told me I played well, it definitely felt good. However I'd played close to 100 gigs with that band before, could easily play any song of theirs in my sleep. I dont think that the beer "helped" in any way. If you know the songs you don't get stagefright, or alternatively if you gig weekly or more like myself (played around 60 gigs last year) you don't get stagefright even if you don't know the songs :P
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#21
Is my lack of skill after drinking simply due to the fact that alcohol destroys any and all coordination? Or, should I just play more when I've been drinking? OR, is it just a refection of my skill level, and is something that I will eventually be able to do when I get better at guitar? Perhaps it is a combo?


Its a matter if you can handle it. I can drink about 2 and a half beers and still play. Much more than that and I'm out of the game
#22
Quote by Hail
maybe you just shouldn't drink and play guitar then

what are you, an alcoholic? how hard is it to wait till after the gig?

i mean it's all fine and good if you're jim morrison, but you're probably no jim morrison.

Jim also didn't play an instrument. He just sang.
#23
The secret to playing drunk is to practice drunk.

For serious though: in performance, more than 1 beer per hour is about as much as I can do before mistakes start showing up. Of course, the better learned and practiced the music is, the more you can tolerate before you start sounding like a drunk guitarist. Same with being stoned.

Sometimes if I'm jittery a beer gets the juice going again. Being stoned is a lot of fun on stage, but only if you know the music inside and out.

Really, the one thing that keeps my head focused after beer/pot is looking up at the audience. Surefire way to avoid getting stuck in your own little guitar world.
Last edited by cdgraves at May 13, 2013,
#24
TS, why do you want to play drunk? What's the point? If you can play better sober, why would you play drunk?
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#25
Quote by MaggaraMarine
TS, why do you want to play drunk? What's the point? If you can play better sober, why would you play drunk?

This is kind of what I'm wondering. I mean, can't you get drunk after you play? I assume you're doing like 30-45 minute sets anyway. I think it can wait until after that. People can exert self-control; and if you want to put on a good/decent show, you'd better exert enough self-control to be able to put on that show.
#26
Adderall+Beer+Weed: health-wise it is a very bad idea to use them in conjunction. (I have stopped using all three (except an occasional beer))

But, those three together can lead to some awesome results. only problem: the hangover the next day is not worth it, trust.
#28
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
^
Your liver must hate you.



The worst side effect experienced during those days, was feeling like I would have a heart attack at any moment when coming down( from 75mg or above ).

Yes, I know, I was ******ed.

Learn from my mistakes and please don't do adderall(or any variation of amphetamines!)

Fortunately, it was a short lived phase; I now take Milk-Thistle, S-adenosyl methionine, & Omega 3-6-9 in hopes to reverse any damage that was done.
#29
Think it depends on who you're playing for and your goals in the moment.... can't be argued that many famous names caught a healthy or unhealthy buzz while doing this or recording that. But if you're performing, don't be Whitney Houston and forget your own songs. If beers aren't helping you play... i guess you could condition yourself, but why make it harder? Or fall for the illusion that bourbon inspired words and playing will do more for you or anything at all? Good thread. Interesting to see everyone's views.
#30
I'm an alcoholic, I also have a prescription for Xanax. (Wonderful combo to get wrapped up in, I know.)

Both still allow me to sound like shit..... like always.

So....yeah. I don't know about other people but I'm not good at guitar to begin with.
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#31
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Jim also didn't play an instrument. He just sang.


i wouldn't know i never listened to the rolling stones
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#32
Quote by Hail
i wouldn't know i never listened to the rolling stones

I do hope you're joking.

He was in the Doors.
#33
It's extremely unprofessional to play drunk/high/whatever, especially if you're getting paid.
#34
Quote by ccannon1
It's extremely unprofessional to play drunk/high/whatever, especially if you're getting paid.

It's extremely unprofessional to play badly. I feel like if you're able to perform at a decent standard, the 'state' you're in is not that relevant (although alcohol often is an excuse for people to act like pricks, which is never acceptable). When I have gigs I generally smoke some weed beforehand, just because it makes me feel more comfortable. It doesn't impact my playing much, apart from being a little better simply because I feel more comfortable. I do drink the occasional beer during gigs, but drunk playing is a no-go here, sloppy and horrible.
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Last edited by Kylianvb at May 14, 2013,
#35
Quote by Kylianvb
It's extremely unprofessional to play badly. I feel like if you're able to perform at a decent standard, the 'state' you're in is not that relevant (although alcohol often is an excuse for people to act like pricks, which is never acceptable). When I have gigs I generally smoke some weed beforehand, just because it makes me feel more comfortable. It doesn't impact my playing much, apart from being a little better simply because I feel more comfortable. I do drink the occasional beer during gigs, but drunk playing is a no-go here, sloppy and horrible.

Just because weed calms you, that doesn't make it professional to smoke weed.
#36
When somebody says they can get ****ed up and make music, it's because theyve trained themselves to be forced to do it. But imagine if you can do it sober. It'll turn out better in the long run and thats a fact.
#37
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Just because weed calms you, that doesn't make it professional to smoke weed.

Nor unprofessional in my opinion. If one can perform to the same standard and doesn't use it as an excuse to be an asshat, I simply don't see the issue.
Tell me who's that writin'...
#38
it's also unprofessional to get high off smugness
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#39
Quote by Kylianvb
Nor unprofessional in my opinion. If one can perform to the same standard and doesn't use it as an excuse to be an asshat, I simply don't see the issue.

The thing is, 90% of people think they can perform to the same standard, but they can't. If you're one of those who can, more power to you.
#40
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The thing is, 90% of people think they can perform to the same standard, but they can't. If you're one of those who can, more power to you.
There's probably an axiom in there somewhere. Like, "are any of us as good as we'd like to think we are". Or perhaps, "do any of us have the capacity to realize how much we lose we we're under the influence.

However, I still think there is such as thing as, "better living through chemistry" Plus there is such a thing as, "state induced memory". You act and react in the same way, when your mind is in the same state. So, when you're high on weed, (or whatever), the experience and actions are very similar each time.

Although you have to assume the rock stars that do abuse drugs and trash hotel rooms, are magnets for publicity. But, it's also interesting to note how many top stars were involved. A long, long list indeed.

Anxiety can force errors, perhaps as much being impaired can. So, this topic could be the subject of a fairly involved psychological/pharmacological study, with many, many variables involved.

The question sort of proves my theory that some of have a "music gene", that allows them to excel almost effortlessly, while others can practice, (and "practice perfectly"), yet never attain that level. Jimi Hendrix died of an overdose. That says something right there.

If Dylan was correct when he said, "when you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose"! Then it must follow, "if you've got way too much, (talent), then you've got plenty you can afford to spare"!
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 15, 2013,
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