Playing while P-ssed

Playing while P-ssed

We’ve discussed this before and I believe that the general consensus is that this practice is best avoided. However, it does happen (probably to all of us). What’s the biggest problem this causes you and are there ways to overcome this without having to sober up? God forbid πŸ™‚
Do you have any interesting stories about playing music the worse for wear? Either yourself or your friends.

My main problem , apart from making mistakes, is that "my ear" plays tricks on me; ie I can’t tell if I’m properly in tune or not so I can get all fidgety and am constantly retuning all the time—it was probably all right to start with!! Electronic tuners can help in these situations but only if everyone else is in concert pitch. You have to a bit of "fine tuning" and "tweaking" at the best of times but this is much harder after several beers.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

My husband does a lot of sound engineering and the first thing he was told by an experienced engineer was not to drink because it affects how you hear. He has always stayed sober at gigs and has commented that if only the musicians had as well!!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I also learned in psychology 101 a few years ago that you should play in the condition that you practice, so following that theory, as long as you practice when p*ssed, you’ll play best when p*ssed. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll sound good either way.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Theres a piper I’ve seen many a time so pie eyed, that mid tune, he will wake up from his coma and jump on in! or ive seen him "let loose" of whatever was churning in his belly, without fluffing a note, and casually move his feet to avoid the splash - uuuuuuuuuuughhhhhh!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Urg. That was NOT the mental picture I wanted at 4:30 am, Stefan. Heh.

I play too fast and too badly when I get too drunk, Johnny J. The only solution I’ve found so far is to stop drinking, stop playing, and sober up. πŸ™‚ (Of course, when I get tired, I do the same thing. It’s like I lose all ability to figure out exactly how fast I’m playing.)

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Stefan - I think that you should have started a separate thread: "Jubbing up while playing"

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Aagh. I think I’m going back to work, now I’m feeling nauseous! ;)

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I feel the mental image that has been printed in my memory needed to be shared. It was tough dealing with it on my own….

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I’m afraid that after years of hard work and practice I’ll be damned if I’ll p*ss it all away by getting p*ssed.

I drink coffee when I play, and not overmuch of that either.

KFG

Posted by .

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Know an Irish button-box player whose drunken hand sometimes slips to the outer row thus playing a phrase a semitone sharp, then he suddenly realises and corrects it. Hilarious!

Jim

Re: Playing while P-ssed

There is a flautist I know and I dont think I have ever seen him even remotely sober - even on the main stage at Celtic Connections. But he is an absolutely fantastic player. He may be falling around drunk in between and unable to focus but as soon as the flute touches his lips and a tune gets going he develops a fixed stare and doesn’t miss a note!!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

There. That makes more sense now - sorry Jeremy!!!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I’m sure Jason is right - if you practise drunk, you’ll cope better with playing drunk - though the strain on you health and relationships might be a consideration, eh?

Also, if I start playing while fairly sober, I find it easier to keep going as I get drunker. Difficult to start well if I’m already legless.

Posted by .

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Let’s not forget, sessions are about camaraderie as much as the tunes, and what promotes and lubricates social interaction better than the drink?

Alcohol, or, as I’ve come to know it, "my deep, dark, solitary friend," has the same touch on my playing as it does on anything I do when relaxation is necessary. I’m extremely up-tight, and once the inhabitions are sufficiently drowned, I’m almost normal. As long as I play tunes I know, I can play faster, more fluently, and delve into variations galore. I’ve heard my playing go from crappy to competent within a three-hour session at the rate of about 2 pints per hour.
Trouble is, it’s a crap-shoot: I become either the funniest guy you’ve ever met, or, let’s say, less than charming…there’s often been…some…unpleasantness…

It’s the same with surgery and languages: with a good bit of The Friend within me, wine in particular, my French, Spanish, and Arabic seem to flow beyond my learning. In Italy, armed only with a week’s worth of practice from the phrase book, I was able to converse fairly well with the owner of the pensione—apologizing profusely—for having awakened her, after stumbling across Assisi to find the front door locked after a long night looking for the Saint.

If the good Lord didn’t intend for us to get p*ssed at sessions, then He wouldn’t have put sessions in pubs…he would’ve put them in convents, or Billy Graham’s house, or some other such sterile place.

Hup!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I was seriously p-sssd off (angry to us Yanks) at work yesterday. Went home with the intent of getting just plain β€œp-sssd”. Instead, I practiced on the fiddle a little more aggressively than I usually do, and had one of the most productive practice sessions I’ve had in a long time.

Deb.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I’m like Kris. If I start to play when I’m sober, it’s possible to keep on going much longer (more drink) without so many problems. On the other hand, if I’ve had a few drinks and then decide to play I’m more prone to disater.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Grymater - tell us a little more about alcohol and surgery please.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I’m so glad you asked!

Welp, since I lack any sort of medical training…that and the mental quality to pursue such training…I’m forced to make ends meet by frolicking in the medicinal arts. You may not believe this, but cutting human flesh and laying the organs bare is a serious matter. It’s not to be taken lightly, and a tense, nervous hand can bring all sorts of complications. So when I need to max and relax and prep for surgery in the garage, I scrub in and sit back with a little Colt 45…

I’m diversifying as well; I’ve been known to preside over a briss or two as well.

Try my snake oil!

Please contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Quack!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

What is this ‘Playing while you’re sober’?
Isn’t that something that recovering alchololics do?

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Musicians will be unable to play tunes at 100mph in Ireland when they’re p-ssed. Will they be able to convert to kilometres after they’ve had a few? πŸ™‚

(if you haven’t heard, they’ve gone metric today)

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Is that today? I knew they were moving all the speed signs over…will you still be able to get lost in two languages, though?

Re: Playing while P-ssed

john j - dont remind me!!!
I had to travel ina taxi this morning - youd swear this conversion is the end of normal civilisation at the moment!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

What would happen if you change to driving on the right? As they did in Sweden in 1967. πŸ™‚

Re: Playing while P-ssed

But there are better things to come.

From June 17th all cars in Ireland will have to drive on the right hand side of the road.

If after a month this is found to be satisfactory, then all the lorries and buses will change over too.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

what next?
banning smoking in pubs?

Re: Playing while P-ssed

No, never that…!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Was it them that made you take up golf?
How cruel!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I just heard another study mentioned on the radio today that says modest alcohol intake (one drink per day) improves cognition in the elderly. My experience is that the level of drinking that keeps me legal behind the wheel (one drink per hour) is a good level for my playing—I don’t get as nervous, and I can still play well. Beyond that, the accordion, with its 23 identical buttons, suffers the first. My whistle playing goes next, and last my guitar strumming (probably because I have been playing the guitar the longest). The problem with alcohol is that, while one is good, two is NOT twice as good. In a society that thinks bigger is better, that is a tough concept. And I have seen too many fine musicians ruined by too much alcohol, so if you can’t set limits, cutting yourself off completely may be the best thing you ever did for yourself.
AL Brown

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I didn’t realize the roads in Ireland even *had* two sides.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

They’re both the same side, Ker.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Well I guess there’s the shrubbery to the right of the oncoming tractor and the shrubbery to the left. You can take your pick of which to crash into.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Hint: pick the one that doesn’t have a wall behind it.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

This isn’t worth starting a new thread over, so I’ll just stretch for relevance. It’s frickin’ freezing in my studio, which is the only place in the apartment distant enough from my room-mates rooms to not be irritating while I practice, write, record, and whatever. And I’m p*ssed about it. My fingers are all stiff and my axes don’t perform well at this temperature. Anybody know any Zen meditations to create extra body heat? Or special fiddle excercises for frostbitten fingers? Anybody wanna mail me a spare space heater? I swear, this damn country…

Re: Playing while P-ssed

You could always move. Again. ;)

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhh. Please, no.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Heh.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I’ve just bundled up and I’m givin’er anyway. Little bit of frost on the bow never hurt anybody.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

I don’t understand why you’re freezing Kerri. Doesn’t your AC have a temperature control?
Being smug here in Perth (W.A.) :-]

Posted by .

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Laugh it up, fuzz-ball. Suffering inspires creativity.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

…she repeats to herself, trying to keep her tongue from freezing to the roof of her mouth…

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Look Kerri,
I’m sitting here ticking off the days to a skiing break in Italy.
But there’s bugger all snow yet.
Stop complaining and hitch a lift to Mont Tremblant. You don’t know how lucky you are!!!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

"Anybody know any Zen meditations to create extra body heat?"

Yes, but I don’t see how my doing them is going to help *you* any.

"I’ve just bundled up… "

Ah, well, I see you’ve just discovered the oldest Zen trick in the book. Works every time.

KFG

Posted by .

Re: Playing while P-ssed

God it’s awful hot here in my office (like Bren also in Perth - hopefully we are going to catch up tonight).

Re: Playing while P-ssed

For playing outside in cold weather (or cold rooms!), I have a little charcoal hand warner to warm my fingers up - that I got from a fishing tackle shop while my husband was buying a new rod.
Also a pair of fingerless gloves.

Re: Playing while P-ssed

If you play in pubs, late evenings, chances are everybody else there will be more or less in the same state. The music’s great, the women look glamorous, the men horny, the conversation’s great, the pub’s beautiful…. You know…. πŸ™‚

Posted by .

…and the music just sounds better and better

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Sorry Cath - I don’t think I can do horny any more.

I think that "mostly harmless" is about my limit these days, will that do?

Re: Playing while P-ssed

It’s the "mostly" that rather worries me…!

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Showaddydadito, anything we’ll do, given the right amount of drinks πŸ™‚

Posted by .

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Quoi?

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Sacrebleu ! (try and say that when you’re p!ssed) πŸ™‚

Posted by .

Re: Playing while P-ssed

Drink. Play. Bow keeps falling off fiddle. End of sceal.