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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    12.08.17 @ 06:54 PM
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    Default Help...Can't play without a beer buzz...have to stop

    I have always had a problem of playing gigs having to have a good beer buzz on. I've been playing for over 20 years in cover bands. When I have tried in the past to play stone cold sober, my playing was stiff and I would think to much while i was playing. I really just didn't enjoy playing at all, so I would go back to my old habit.

    So, anyway I played a new years gig a few days ago...and I got busted for DUI...and now I've got to find a way to play without alcohol, or just quit playing altogether. The thought of not playing is very depressing to me.

    Has anyone else had the problem of having to play lit, and had to quit, but found a way to keep playing thru some other legal vice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! emm5150's Avatar
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    07.13.17 @ 06:45 PM
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    The last time I was in a band, I found that I sang backup vocals much better after smoking pot. It never caused any problems legally for me, I just made sure I was OK before a gig or practice was over....usually a bag of Doritos took care of that problem. No joke either, everyone though I was crazy when I told them this but it's true I swear!!!

  3. #3
    Eruption Junior's Avatar
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    12.20.07 @ 05:39 PM
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    I've had that problem too. I just could not play as well or enjoy it as much without catching a nice buzz first.

    Push through it. It's really just a different feeling than you're used to. The more you go on stage sober, the more comfortable you'll feel. For example: You probably feel more at home now than you did playing your first gig right? Because you've gotten familliar with it. It'll only take a few shows before you find your comfort zone again.

    If you find that you absolutely can't play without a drink, get some help...or join a Van Halen cover band. (ouch! cheap shot).

  4. #4
    Top Of The World stratogibson's Avatar
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    It's funny, I just came to this site to vent about my decision last night, actually this morning, to refrain from smoking out during rehearsals and gigs. I've been not smoking any bowlage for the last month and a half, and my playing with the band at first was a little stiff, but then, over the last 4 or 5 rehearsals, and our last show, my play was without question the best I've ever played live, and I was stone sober.

    Then, low and behold rehearsal last week, and this week, a "friend" shows up with some lovely fine Canadian. I take a man sized pull, and voila, can't play guitar to save my life, can't remember where we are in the songs, can't remember the arrangements, can't remember my solos, almost forget I'm even playing, terrible. Last night, again Puff the Magic Dragon stops by rehearsal, I'm playing like a god, and bammo, I can't play worth crap.

    I'm giving up grass and guitar in a working band situation. I love the 2 together, and I'll probably combine the 2 for writing new music, but for playing and playing well, it is my now strongly held belief that the more sober you are, the better you will play. Take for instance our hero, EVH. His playing on the balance tour and the 3 tour was crisp, the tour I just saw, not so much.
    You know the best tone I ever had was with that little bandmaster cranked to 10. Edward Van Halen, 1980, Guitar Player Magazine.

  5. #5
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    Playing half-cut is a fast track to some pretty serious problems. The idea that a guy can't play sober isn't true. Like it's already been mentioned it's just a matter of getting used to it. I played with another guitar player a few years back who had the same idea, he ended up fired and wondered why. The guy was an awesome player sober but after a few he went to shit fast, but thought he got better. It actually got so bad that he ended up knocking over his amp while playing one time.

    Listen to Ed on this last tour. It was overall the worst he's ever played and I suspect that the wine had something to do with it.

    It's funny because I'm the opposite of a lot of guys. If I have more than 3 beers while playing live I go to shit. I'm not a prude or anything. I'm all for have a few while rehearsing or gigging, but anything more than that and anytime it becomes required in order to pull off the show forget about it.
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  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
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    11.04.17 @ 06:01 AM
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    The best way to break the mode of gettin a buzz in order to find your groove is you just have to practice sober and stay that way for every gig. It probably took you quite a while to build your playing ability with a buzz you just didn't notice it. Simple thing though the more you do the more you will most likely improve your playing as well. Then when you do have a drink or 5 while playing you'll notice how quick you can go down hill.
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  7. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    ...thanks everyone for the input...i really appreciate it...i am going to practice tonight stone cold sober....god it is really going to be weird

    so glad Brett has kept this board alive...i've been a long time lurker, rarely ever posted....but i read this site like some people read the newspaper in the morning

    fyi - for those who don't think being thown in jail ain't that bad....it sucks..big time

    just got back from my first visit with my lawywer...this thing is going to cost me around $3000, an ignition breathalyzer for 6 months, probably get my insurance cancelled, plus the humiliation when everyone reads it in the newspaper in my hometown

    hope someone can learn from my screw up

  8. #8
    Top Of The World stratogibson's Avatar
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    Well, practice at home with no beer, rehearse with a bottle of water nearby, so you get that between songs thirst quench, and before you know it, you'll actually play better.

    I didn't mean to improve, we just ran out of weed.
    You know the best tone I ever had was with that little bandmaster cranked to 10. Edward Van Halen, 1980, Guitar Player Magazine.

  9. #9
    Good Enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsm40
    fyi - for those who don't think being thown in jail ain't that bad....it sucks..big time
    No shit. I got popped (1st timer) after a Christmas party gig. It was a duo gig and I didn't get the sobering that comes with a typical loadout. Now I don't drink AT ALL. Fuck that nasty ass blanket and that cold muthafuckin concrete!! It took two weeks to even start to get over the emotional pull this thing has had on me. I ain't been right since...

    My first gig back was NYE. Sober, mostly (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I had a 1.5 hour drive home and was only worried about oncoming traffic crossin the line. I'm not too worried about my playing. I'm capable of sucking as much sober as I am drunk.

  10. #10
    Eruption Steven B's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 03:05 PM
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    Interesting topic. I've played gigs strait and way messed up. Being a shy type guy, I try to find a middle ground. I get too much nervous adrenalin and need the booze to level it out. But I don't want DUI's or health problems either!

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Wolfman's Avatar
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    07.20.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by homeunit
    It's funny because I'm the opposite of a lot of guys. If I have more than 3 beers while playing live I go to shit. I'm not a prude or anything. I'm all for have a few while rehearsing or gigging, but anything more than that and anytime it becomes required in order to pull off the show forget about it.
    That's totally me as well. Yeah, a nice buzz makes you feel loose at first, but you can go to shit fast even unintentionally.

    I can hold my booze very well, but have had some bad stuff on occasion where I was totally ripped after only two drinks. (I'm a bourbon drinker primarily, but drank beer more in my early gigging days.)

    Depending on a cool buzz to play is roulette IMO, though. If you need ONE beer or drink to "loosen up", fine. Anything more than that is just risking potential embarrassment and unprofessionalism from the stage. I've seen some bands that I wanted to ask for my cover charge back from because they were more interested in getting fucked up and having a personal good time than they were in providing a good set for paying patrons.

  12. #12
    Eruption Casemeister's Avatar
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    03.22.17 @ 07:01 AM
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    I've only been so drunk that it's hurt my playing on stage once. I was drowning my sorrows, so to speak. But, yeah, usually the singer and myself like to drink before and during a gig. How can I describe the amount? Hmmm. Enough to be loose and interact with the crowd but not enough to be saying "What the hell is a guitar?!"

    Hell, at one gig (a VH tribute gig of sorts), drinking Jack Daniel's from the bottle was part of our "act." But, you know, it was all just a good time.

    You certainly don't NEED any "chemical aid" to play, though. Everyone plays better sober. If it's a problem for you, then play sober. Sobriety is actually not bad -- try being sober in a room full of people under the influence (of whatever). You start to feel like a very smart person. It's nice.
    Waylon Jennings: 1937-2002.
    "There ain't nothin' quite as sad as watching your heroes die."

    RIP, Hoss!

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Practice exactly like you are going to play. If you don't want to play lit, don't practice lit. Don't worry, your playing will come around.

    Simply put, if you need to be wasted to be on stage then the odds are you don't feel that you belong there.

    Then there are the side issues, if you get a reputaion of being a band that is drunk or stoned then you will loose gigs. Drunk or wasted people argue, often over stupid things, this wastes time and can cause a good band to loose members. Plus if you are stoned, you will pick up members who suck.

    I party as hard as the rest of them, but not when I play and not until my gear is secure and locked up do I hit the suds.

    Good luck with a very, very smart move!
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  14. #14
    Eruption
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    04.28.16 @ 08:41 PM
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    I've only played live drunk once.(played buzzed/high many times)Me and the band have a tradition of having a shot of jager waiting on us before every show. One night I happened to of been going through hell so...I polished off a bunch of beer and a bottle of Jager and then went out to play. Made it through the show but I was tripping over stuff....had to be propped up against my stack at one point my cord came disconnected and I didnt even know it. It was pretty bad. Personally I prefer playing sober...but it takes practice if your use to doing it drunk.

 

 

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