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Beer and the Piano

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Beer and the Piano

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:25 pm

One of my other hobbies used to be drinking some beers after the kids went to bed for the night. However, with my newest hobby (playing the piano), the only time I get to play much is also when the kids go to bed, and now Iím finding the two donít mix too well together. I mean, I just donít get it.

Before, I could have a few beers and still accomplish most mundane tasks, like gambling, operating an automobile, or just generally impressing other people.*

But now I find that even after 1 single beer, and even halfway through the first beer, my piano playing totally and completely falls apart. Itís kind of a bummer because I really do enjoy a beer or two. On the other hand, itís ok because I really donít need the beer and Iím better off learning something new like the piano.

Has anyone else here (of legal drinking age, of course) found the effects of alcohol to almost seem exaggerated when playing the piano?




* these are NOT true and only serve to humorously describe the impairment of alcohol. Do not try this at home (or anywhere for that matter.)
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by pathetic_pianist on Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:26 pm

It has happens with me as well. As such while playing the piano, there is so thin margin between playing correctly and playing a wrong note or two. I guess beer can interfere with the muscle memory so necessary for piano. But I have seen people performing better at reflex actions after a couple of mugs. There was this friend of mine who broke all the best times of collin mc rae rally (a computer game of rally) after 3 mugs of beer, and his record remained unbeaten in the hostel where I stayed for quite long :-) He he, no idea if he ever tried his hands on piano :-)

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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Jason Scott on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:24 pm

Im perrty shy on the piano.. WHen i drink and play i lose this shyness.. and so it kinda helps a bit if im not hammerd too much.. Oh yeah and my ear! when drinking i have more of a respect for my own style and the sounds.. and that really helps me play. If i dont respect my own style there is no way i could bring any feeling into the songs lol..

I would suggest keep practicing sober!
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by aendym on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:39 pm

Geez, Im gonna have to try that out! The only problem is, I dont like beer... I might try it with some Vodka then!!! Twisted Evil
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Thomandy on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:47 pm

Haha Smile Well I have come home after a party and I tried to playe Maple Leaf Rag Razz ... Loooots of mistakes, hehe Smile
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Odeken on Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:27 am

Yeah vodka definately over beer. But its personal preference Razz

I will have to try tho lol
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Klavier on Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:03 am

I don't drink alcohol and never plan too! However! I also had a friend who played Tetris when she was younger and she basically was in one game for around 3 hours, I didn't think that was possible, but it is, I was there and it was scary, because she was drunk and she had this high score which went off the screen... very odd what alcohol can do to some people!

And yeah, beer is meant to make your reactions slower and put a mental damper on your mind so its a toss of a coin what might happen, some musicians sound better stoned (on drugs) in their opinion and others, maybe its the type of music you want to play? Something like Moonlight Sonata may sound better for you if you're drunk but trying to play say... Rachmaninoff's "Red-Riding Hood" when you are drunk would probably be a super disaster! Razz
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by aendym on Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:54 pm

Hey...
tried it out the other day: the vodka-piano-combination... and I found out that it is a rather unpleasant combo for my ears AND for my fingers... It seemed my fingers worked at doublespeed and started getting all twisted up but my brain was really too slow to get it all sorted out. So it was like walking drunk: just stumbling around going back and forth but really not keeping a straight direction!!! hahaha

So here's Andrias Conclusion to the fiasco: Dont drink and play! Laughing
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:04 pm

What a funny topic Laughing Razz Razz Razz

I dare anyone to make a before and after video of one of their favorite songs! Twisted Evil

(only to demonstrate the negative consequences of alcohol impairment, of course Wink tongue tongue Razz )
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by aendym on Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:12 pm

Well... since Im not even able to play a piece without mistakes when Im sober I bet you wouldnt even see a difference!
As soon as I can play something perfectly I might try it out again and I might have a sober-versus-vodka-version posted for you! sunny
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Admin Andrew on Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:13 pm

lol, I have to say, this is a very hilarious topic!! I've played piano a few times after a beer. I find that it makes you care less if you hit the right notes or not, that you play with a harsher tone and also it impares your ability to absorb any new information. It makes all playing completely counter productive (at least in my experiences with it) ^_^ So whenever I do drink on occasion, I avoid the piano ^_^ I also do agree that it impaired your muscle memory, so that could be a big problem. I could see that drinking before going up to play in a very uptight competition that you would normally be very nervous for might actually work to your advantage because you would be very relaxed. But I'd never try it ^_^

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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:43 pm

Admin Andrew wrote: It makes all playing completely counter productive (at least in my experiences with it) ^_^ So whenever I do drink on occasion, I avoid the piano ^_^ I also do agree that it impaired your muscle memory, so that could be a big problem.

I had suspected this, so thanks for the reinforcement. Very Happy
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by endre on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:35 pm

I quit smoking this spring so I drink (much) less beers also. Lucky me.

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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by ROBIN on Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:15 pm

hehe i had a play once after a few drinks .and i gotta admit ..my fingers looked like fairies dancing in the garden but the noise was like a dog playing with an empty beer can drunken

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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Thomandy on Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:53 pm

ROBIN wrote:hehe i had a play once after a few drinks .and i gotta admit ..my fingers looked like fairies dancing in the garden but the noise was like a dog playing with an empty beer can drunken

lol!
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by ciberratt on Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:44 am

I've worked with a lot of musicians who actually seemed to play their instruments *better* when they were mildly intoxicated (I'm not recommending it - just stating a fact).

The keyboard player for one band I used to do sound for used to crouch down under his keyboard, during songs, to take tequila/whiskey shots - *while* he kept playing with the other hand.

Jazz musicians seem to favor pot over booze (though I've known plenty who were boozers) and say it opens new doors to improvization for them. Allows them to see musical possibilities they would have never considered before.

On the other side of the coin, I've known plenty who could not play soused. I'm somewhere in between. The first time I ever took my guitar to an open mic to play I was nervous so I had a few beers, then a few more and then a few more. By the time I got up to play I was so pissed I was falling off the darn stool and couldn't remember all the lyrics. My playing wasn't that off but I kept getting lost and having to stop and then start again. Part of that was due to slipping off the stool... it was actually pretty funny - if you were not *me*. jocolor

How well you play smashed depends, I think, largly on how good you are to begin with and what type of music you are playing. Obviously it will be harder the more complicated the tune.

Generally though I'd advise against getting lit before you play. No

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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by Elishia on Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:50 am

When I sit behind my piano with a glass of wine, it has a maybe a kind of positive effect since I can play more smooth & expressive (for the songs I know), but for really practising new songs or stuff it doesn't really help Smile

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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by pianohama on Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:15 pm

Yeah I hear ya man, I tried to fly the airplane after a few scotch and soda's. The result? 9/11
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Re: Beer and the Piano

Post by willis77 on Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:00 pm

Most people accessorize their pianos with a bust, a candle, or a woman with a flinty voice in a sparkling dress. Careful with this last one if you have anything less than a baby grand. It looks tacky on an apartment sized.

I have a bottle of wine on mine (on weekends) and the music just seems to flow. Maybe alcohol affects coordination differently because if I have a beer at hockey or baseball my feet turn instantly to clay.

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