Do I have a problem
I've noticed that my practice sessions go much better after a scotch and cola or two. Three is detrimental, but just a little seems to relax me and things go better
The problem with this is that it doesn't make practice sessions before 6.00 in the evening seem right There is no way I'm going to have a 'drinkiies' before this time.
What do you all reckon?
Well, only you can really decide if it is a problem or not.
As someone who doesn't know you at all, I would say that since it limits the time that it feels right to practice, it may at least be something that holds you back a bit if you let it become a pattern to not play before having a drink. The easy solution is to play before that sometimes even if it doesn't feel as relaxed. You may learn different things in those different sessions.
Music can be very sensitive to even little things. If I skip breakfast before practising in the morning, I don't play as well. Much as I am fond of coffee, if I have too many cups over my usual amount, my hands and other muscles tense and I screw up more often.
So I think it is very possible that it makes a difference for you. The big question would maybe be if you are ok with possibly training yourself to not play as well before a drink and as such also possibly limiting the times of day you can play at?
Ok, heres my 2 cent…and about what its worth
I like to drink and play. backyard jam with friends or jamming alone while tippin' a few is a great way to unwind and have fun. But I myself separate practice from playing.
When I practice I want to be totally clear and focused and even one drink can effect your reaction time and your motor skills. Lets look at the definition of motor skills..A motor skill is a learned sequence of movements that combine to produce a smooth, efficient action in order to master a particular task.
Now thinking of motor skills in that way one can come to the conclusion that if you are "training" yourself under the influence then you are teaching yourself to play in an other than normal state.
So my advice, practice sober and by all means have a few drinks when you just want to play for enjoyment.
Bach Rules !!!
I agree with most of the above. I find the same thing that you do, John. A glass of wine makes me relaxed and often I seem to play better (or I think I do). But, I don't want to limit my practice times to when the sun is over the yard arm nor do I want to make my performance dependent on having a libation.
I agree with Daniel that many things can influence performance. The other night I played right after eating dinner and it seemed to affect my playing. The food had been too heavy and too garlicky and that was distracting.
Wait…are you supposed to wait a half hour after eating before playing?
I tend to lean more towards what Barry says. A few beers during a jam session with friends it just for fun, but I believe all the hard work is during practice. Like football. You have fun during the game, but all the real works comes out of practice. So enjoy your drinks when you're there for fun, but during the learning time, stay focused on the art.
Unless you are REALLY thirsty…
Thanks for all the good advise folks.
Its not that I don't practice without having a scotch and cola. I usually practice three times a day, seven days a week, and two of those sessions per day are always before six in the evening. But the third session is more fun and I tend to be more uninhibited and try things that are a little more advanced than 'I' am. Unfortunately I don't have anyone to 'jam' with.
The thing that I find that 'I' have to be careful of is that I like to play while sitting on the sofa (called a 'lounge' in Australia) Its very comfy but not good for a playing posture. I have to keep reminding myself to stand up and play.
Hmmmm………. Sound's like a lot of excuses to tip the glass. It's like saying, "I drive my car much better when i've had a couple drinks", i'm more relaxed, i'm very carefull.
Can you imagine what a symphony orchestra would sound like if everyone were tipsy? When we drink i'm sure the intonation is great, everything sounds better at that point so we assume we're doing fantastic. We need all our faculties about us while playing this thing.
Don't get me wrong,,, I've done my share of "relaxing" over the years. I'm soon to be 69, I relaxed for over 50 years. When I played guitar in a couple bands in the 60's and 70's, the member's of the groups could tell who had been drinking and who hadn't.
But I guess,, whatever make's you comfortable is ok.
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