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Used to play quite hammered in the past where circumstances allowed (ie where I wasn’t driving).
 

Wouldn’t have occurred to me to ease off the booze if all the rest of the band at the time were drinking too. Never sure if it made us loose or just sloppy.


These days I don’t drink anyway so it’s sober every time. And I suspect my playing is a lot better as a result. 
 

 

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19 minutes ago, bassbiscuits said:

Used to play quite hammered in the past where circumstances allowed (ie where I wasn’t driving).
 

Wouldn’t have occurred to me to ease off the booze if all the rest of the band at the time were drinking too. Never sure if it made us loose or just sloppy.


These days I don’t drink anyway so it’s sober every time. And I suspect my playing is a lot better as a result. 
 

 

So it means You like to drink before, but now You don't ?!?

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A pint before and one during seems to work well for me (as long as not driving obviously). Played a pub a few years ago where the landlord was a proper real ale guy and we were set up next to one side of the bar. We chatted with him before and are all beer lovers so got on great, during the gig he would send four pints over every quarter of an hour or so. We recorded the gig and I still amazed how good we sounded at the end. It was only 100yds from the guitarists house and we finished the night with a few more pints. The crowd were properly up for it as well and it’s probably the best pub gig I have ever played. I could barely find my way out the door when we left. Sadly it has now been closed and is being bulldozed for housing.

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23 minutes ago, nilorius said:

So it means You like to drink before, but now You don't ?!?

Exactly that.
 

Mind you I’m in different sort of bands now, where it wouldn’t really be in keeping with the vibe anyway. 

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1 hour ago, White Cloud said:

 

Interestingly, I met Allan Holdsworth before a gig and he was putting them away. Apparently helped him with his stage fright. 

 

When show time arrived he was staggeringly good...

 

 

I saw AH in Oxford in the 80's, but i never saw him before he got on stage, so whether he was tanked or not, i couldn't say, but hell, if he was, it didnt affect his guitar work, which was sublime

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Nope, playing and drinking don't mix for me - you'd have to ask the audience whether my playing suffers but I really notice the loss of focus and it's no fun. Which is a shame because otherwise I'd quite enjoy a beer or two (not much more, I'm cheap to run) in the atmosphere of a gig or jam session. Maybe I just need to practice more, or practice drinking more, or practice more, drinking.

 

It has to be said that there are alcohol-free or very low alcohol beers now that are actually not bad, which is a revolution compared to a few years back.

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If meeting with friends to jam we'd meet the pub across from the rehearsal room and have a pint and share a pizza. Not enough to have any effect on our playing, and in any other setting or with any sort of audience then we'd tend to abstain. 

 

I've known plenty of players who think a drink or three helps to loosen them up and get them playing their best. It really doesn't. You might feel like Yoshihiro Naruse up on stage entertaining thousands and playing like a wizard but you will sound sloppy and bad. Whether or not your audience can tell or care is another matter. 

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Beer goes straight through me , so any pints before gigging means an emergency bathroom visit at some point in the first set .

I just take a small bottle of water with me to gigs , I’m always the driver , so I’m used to gigging with zero alcohol.

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Genuinely never played with anyone who played better when they were drunk, and I play with quite a few people who drink. I have however played with many people who said they played better when they were drunk, I guess that is down to their perception!

Our drummer drinks enough to limit the length of any set we can do to the size of his bladder, which is about 1:15!

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I don’t drink alcohol. If I did I’d never drink on a gig or at a rehearsal. I can’t think of any job where drinking alcohol while working would be allowed.

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23 minutes ago, ambient said:

I don’t drink alcohol. If I did I’d never drink on a gig or at a rehearsal. I can’t think of any job where drinking alcohol while working would be allowed.

Not now, but during my lifetime it was allowed. Rum rations ceased in 1970 for the Royal Navy.

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10 hours ago, ambient said:

I don’t drink alcohol. If I did I’d never drink on a gig or at a rehearsal. I can’t think of any job where drinking alcohol while working would be allowed.

 

I can think of one - playing in a rock and roll band...! 

 

This thread does seem to somewhat resemble a temperance meeting. Remember that Alan Holdsworth and many other well known musos quite happily drink on the job. When I worked in a theatre many years ago, the guys in the pit band used to plan their boozing around their stage cues! The only reason that I rarely drink when I'm playing is because I'm usually driving.  

 

Edited by peteb
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Generally speaking, it's big no no.

 

That said, a lot of the gigs I'm doing are theatres which usually involve long drives and have early load in's typically around the 2pm mark. I usually travel with the guitarist and we like to start the day early. We check into the hotel, then go to the venue for 2pm, load in, check the functionality of everything and wander off to find something to eat and occasionally have a pint (maximum of one pint at least 3 hours before show time). Sound checks are usually 5pm and last for an hour, so we make sure we're back for 4.30. Green Room for 7pm with showtime at 7.30. The best thing about this gig is that theatres are full of crew that want to get home just as much as you do and will carry out your stuff as quick as you can break it down.

 

I think our record is: Show ends @ 10pm. Fully loaded out by 10.35pm. Gear loaded into Premier Inn by 10.55pm. Band taxi'd to local Wetherspoons by 11.05pm.

 

I would agree with the consensus here. If people are willing to pay good money for a ticket, the least you can do is turn up fit to play to the best of your ability.

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I'm always a little surprised by how many people I know who say that a drink makes them believe they'll play better or have more fun on stage. Having a drink before getting on stage makes me firmly believe I'll play worse and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy so I have no fun at all. I'll try to concentrate on things that just need muscle memory, fixate on the mistake that just caused, make another mistake whilst analysing the last mistake... all whilst totally ignoring the audience and feeling quite disconnected from my band and the music. In short, I'll actually play significantly worse because of the knowledge of the alcohol, not the alcohol itself. I know that I can enjoy what the CMO would call an irresponsible amount of Scrumpy Jack in the comfort of my own home, then pick up my bass and play along to Spotify just fine whilst feeling well and truly under the influence, but that knowledge doesn't translate in any way to public performance so I gig sober.

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Stevie Nicks once said "cocaine wasn't a problem for this band until it became a problem". I think the same applies for alcohol. I work with 4 people across two bands who could be described as functioning alcoholics. For me, I won't go on having more than a second pint. I've done gigs having had more and they don't work well for me. I am lucky in that alcohol has never been a problem for me. On a big session, I only ever manage a few pints at best. I'm just not very hardcore and eternally grateful that this is the case for me. 

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10 hours ago, ambient said:

I don’t drink alcohol. If I did I’d never drink on a gig or at a rehearsal. I can’t think of any job where drinking alcohol while working would be allowed.

I used to work in television. Just about everyone would be in the club bar lunchtime and evening. A lot of useful networking was achieved in the club.

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My first ever gig on drums was captured on VHS. It was pretty up tempo punk/metal with some random jazz/country/funk thrown in for a laugh. I'd had 5 pints and god knows how many spliffs before we went on, and the 4 of us got through a bottle of sambuca during the 20 minute set. Watching the tape back, I'm always amazed at how tight we were. It was definitely wild, but there were no actual mistakes, no going out of time, no speeding up frantically.

 

Every time this comes up here the consensus seems to be that those who think they play better after a drink never do, but I've got plenty of evidence to the contrary :)

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18 hours ago, miles'tone said:

Two things I never drink before driving: cars and bands.

Can I add bicycles to that list? I made that mistake on Monday night. A few grazes and a very sore shoulder has taught me a lesson.

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I've only been playing for a couple years and haven't had more than a two glasses of rum in one go before picking up a bass in that time, didn't notice any real difference with that volume though I was nowhere near drunk.
I'd have to say I prefer sober only because I doubt I'd pick up an instrument while properly drunk, I'm more of a 'go out for a walk...or stagger' while drunk type of guy.

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19 hours ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

I had to read that twice... 😳

Why?  If you stick 2000* people in portacabins for 8 weeks at a time they will find ways to amuse themselves.

 

* there were 2000 people in my employers management camp,  about 20000 people in total.  We had swimming pools, gyms, bars, a cinema, a couple of football pitches, and the Koreans even managed to get a driving range.

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