Playing while high

Playing while high

You should maybe not respond to this discussion if you live in a place where cannabis isn’t legal. Otherwise, what are your impressions of playing this music while high versus not?

Alcohol is pretty much a given in session playing, which, not coincidentally, occurs as sessions often take place in pubs and alehouses. But seldom is heard anything about the effect of marijuana on playing. With alcohol, in moderation, I feel more relaxed and confident in my playing. With THC I feel more adventurous and creative. And the tune are still there.

I lived in Alaska when it was legal to grow and smoke your own marijuana. In the course of taking advantage of this policy, I came to notice that with THC I often perceived a tune from a somewhat different perspective than when straight; it’s hard to describe, but something like getting deeper, or more focused, on the details of a tune – a micro view; seeing new patterns… It’s no doubt an illusion brought on by the altered state, but it does make you think. And sometimes it gave me insights into different approaches. Variation within the tradition is good, right? The art is sorting the best from the rest.

http://maryjanesdiary.com/weed-has-influenced-nearly-every-music-genre/

Thoughts?

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What?

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I’ve played drunk, I’ve played high, I’ve had lots of friends play drunk and/or high in many musical genres. I’ve never seen or heard someone actually play better high. They all thought they played better but when you review the recordings (audio and/or video) they don’t play as well. If you think you’re a musical stud when you’re on drugs you’re delusional.

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Wait…does this mean that the opposite sex is not more attractive after I’ve had a few? I want my money back.

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You’re supposed to get high on the music. Period.

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Loads of people smoke weed because it is most enjoyable, loads don’t for all sorts of other reasons!
It’s no bg deal is it?!!!

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I like to get high pretty often. As a result I play music while stoned pretty often, and I love it! It often makes me feel like I’m going back in time. Re-living those emotions that that person was feeling 100, 200 years ago or whatever, really interesting… Also, I find learning by ear is much easier when high, anyone else get this?

I obviously enjoy the music sober as well, and I never ever get high before performing, but if I’m just relaxing at home then it’s pretty much a guarantee I will smoke up and then whip out the fiddle.

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What you feel……." I often perceived a tune from a somewhat different perspective than when straight; it’s hard to describe, but something like getting deeper, or more focused, on the details of a tune – a micro view; seeing new patterns… It’s no doubt an illusion brought on by the altered state, but it does make you think. And sometimes it gave me insights into different approaches."


What the audience sees:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s22PZRXAIY

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"You’re supposed to get high on the music."

Indeed - and I suspect all of us here do. But you can get high on more than one thing at a time. I like playing after a cup of strong coffee (just the one, mind) - I may not play any better, but I enjoy it more.

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"I may not play any better, but I enjoy it more."

The music or the coffee Creadur? :)

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Canada is about to legalize weed [but we’re only selling it through the LCBO because we don’t want people to have TOO much fun…being Canadians] so does that mean more stoners at sessions?

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For anyone who feels they get "new insights" et. al. from smoking pot and then playing music, I can strongly recommend making a recording of the music you play while high, and then listening to it when sober.
I accidentally left my recording device on once while I was high, and then found the recording several months later. After that I stopped smoking weed. It didn’t sound at all like my memory of how it felt at the time. I also asked a musician friend I know if he had ever listened to a recording of himself playing music stoned, and he had the same experience. Simply not good.
Tionlacaí’s video above pretty much sums it up :-)

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Over the years I’ve played in bands where some fellow musicians have played under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, and a few other substances. I noticed they always " Looked Euphoric, " but to a man " Performed Dismally. " Sadly in latter years, the same phenomena applies at some sessions.

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Some of the best live acts I’ve ever seen/heard were as high as kites. Most of the albums I love have at least a hint of the "exotic" surrounding them. I’m too old for that 5h1t3 these days but man alive :-) I find it very hard to imagine the state of popular art without.

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That said though I did have the misfortune of having to work at a well known music festival last year. The headline act were one which I have had many a wild night enjoying. Stone cold sober it was a rather different affair, just a load of wet and vaguely bored looking kids in a muddy field with a shed load of high tech production gear blasting dizzyingly away. Desperately dull and disappointing.

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@hnorbeck

I do that on a regular basis, because I like to listen to recordings of myself so I can see where I improve, I happen to be stoned for a lot of this and I can safely say that it does in no way make me appreciate cannabis any less. I still feel the new insights and new perspectives on music after smoking. It doesn’t make me a BETTER player, but it definitely doesn’t make me any worse. It’s unfortunate that your experiences with cannabis have been so lacklustre, because you’re missing out… ;)

I jest, each to their own, but honestly smoking cannabis and playing are two of my favourite things in life. Both at the same time is literally my favourite past-time.

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For me, effects are instrument- (task-) specific. My playing is often enhanced on (only) fiddle, flute and drums or bass - where I’m feeling much more than I am thinking. However, I’m completely unable to play at all upon instruments that involve more simultaneous ‘multitasking’ (for me it’s box, harp, keyboard, any ‘chording’ instrument involving fingerings from memory). I’m more absorbed in the sound under the influence (which of course is the characteristic action of the substance - sensory sensitivity) and playing is further unencumbered by vision, linear reasoning, other distractions; but of course memory and other cognition is impaired.

Alternatively, I’m unable to execute anything at all on any instrument with even the smallest amount of alcohol which impairs my physical coordination as well as mentation.

Now, improvising is something else: I can be endlessly entertained and fashion patterns from virtually anything - creativity generally is enhanced; whether an audience would find it entertaining is another matter..

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I agree with everybody who commented in this thread. Even with those who thought that they played worse while stoned. Especially with those who enjoyed playing while they were stoned.
Is this site more fun when you’re stoned?

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Tony’s got the right idea:

The famed accordion player also revealed he was back performing live again and revealed that smoking marijuana had helped him with “a terrible tremor” he has in his right hand.

“I was advised by a very competent person that a small smoke of marijuana before playing on stage would cool off my right hand and allow me to play. So I tried it four weeks ago at a concert in Dundalk. I went out on stage in terror and I played one tune to good applause. I played a second. I went on and played a third.

“The stuff I had smoked began to kick in midway through the third and I have never played better in my life and I brought the bloody house down,” he said.

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"…while stoned…"

Oh, well THAT’s something else. While STONED I’ve played the coolest, polyrhythmic grooves on drums ever! (only, it was on a country-western gig)

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Nearly everyone I play with is on drugs - Lipitor, Crestor, Lisinopril…

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Playing ‘better’ or ‘being improved’ from an audience perspective is not what playing high is about. It’s not why you would do it in the first place.
Playing high is a fun personal journey into a world you are already familiar with, yet now see anew.
Rhythm and sound patterning invite exploration as never before. Sometimes it’s like watching/listening to yourself play as a advisory yet passionately involved third person. Other times it’s just totally immersive.

It’s personal, high cannot be judged by non high.

The practice of getting high and playing an instrument is a personal one tapping as it can into the deeper creative nature of the player, finding new expressions in the familiar and having fun with it
I do agree it doesn’t turn you into a maestro to smoke weed then play but it is a great pastime and can give you a whole new perspective into already familiar music in the most thrilling and satisfying ways.
The point here is that the exploration is personally experimental, not a performance aid or trick.
So, I will not play a performance whilst high yet happily indulge in a little musical exploration in the safety of my own home.
It’s fun.

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I cant even touch a half Guinness before getting the whistle out, then again, i’m not Irish and possible dont play that well with a clear head either!!!! As long as you enjoy yourself, upset no one generally have the audience on your side, who cares???? unless of course you are crap and are being paid to be better ha ha

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Quite agree there freespirit. Anyone who’s enjoyed relatively good heath and the freedoms to think for oneself and play a musical instrument, what with all the catechisms of mind humans tend to cultivate for themselves, has likely experienced enough peak states of being and that for which to be ever grateful - particularly as compared with our ancestors. The freedom to explore mind is still something to cherish.

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Oops, posted before I was finished -

Also, the realms of music, sound and audition - especially in the field of music therapy, as it has enjoyed burgeoning professional activities including efficacies in various use of hallucinogenics (Helen Bonny ca. 70s) - will see avid application in psychotropic and other environmental factor research and practice (despite the current circumstantial savaging of US NIH, et al) ; medical and health milieu often does provide the impetus for regulation.

So, yes ‘performance’ or session playing with substance use (including alcohol) will be the responsibility of the individual, as always. But as we’re pointing out - there’re efficacies and utility for materials - other than just getting shite-faced at the local pub .

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Yup! I totally agree with freespirit and Catty.

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It can be very useful for those times where you want extreme focus on proprioceptive factors like feeling the distance between buttons when making large blind jumps on the 5-row chromatic button accordion. I can’t imagine performing while stoned.

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We had acouple of guys in our band that liked to toke at rehearsals. After watching this for a period of time, I came to one conclusion, it’s a no go. While under the influence their playing became progressively worse dependant upon their intake. Timing was difficult for them, note accuracy suffered, and phrasing got tossed out the window. They also had no recollection of decisions about or changes to the music. From that point on, flying at rehearsal was frowned upon.

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For me, it is like someone handed me the remote control for time, but the PAUSE button is sticky. The results are not pretty.

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I haven’t been high, while playing Iirish, but at least jam rock with some friends was quiet funny, while being high.
And alcohol ? Mhm..Now I tend to avoid alcohol completely in sessions, because I tend to feel quiet insecure, while playing, especially when I start a set. After some beers I had been to adventurous on different, started sets that I wasn’t competent enough, playing in public. I on the other hand, being a bit drunk makes it much harder for me, to really listen to the other musicians, and as a result I then play the tune faster faster, sometimes.

So for me, at least at the moment, I avoid drinking while having a session. Some drinks afterwards are fine, or on other evenings. But drinking and playing hasn’t been so successful for me.

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Good weed & a good session mates — who could ask for anything more !!

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