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Does coffee and caffiene products enhance your saxophone performance?
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Everything in moderation my friend. Caffeine has been shown to improve concentration in small doses, but I assume you are talking about larger amounts. Like any stimulant, caffeine can make you jittery and cause heart palpitations...two things that generally don't mix well with saxophone playing if you ask me.
 

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I never drink nor have drank coffee and only occasionally drink a coke, like once a week max. Hasn't held me back from being accepted to college studies. I'd imagine that it'd probably help you get your grips together if you're feeling groggy and need to sight-read, but would probably harm your physical coordination and dexterity what with the jittering.
 

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They can do - a lot depends on your 'usage'.
I know I'd find it hard to even start the day without my usual pint of tea - and after a long drive to a gig I get pretty sulky if I can't find a cuppa (or even a coffee) to perk me up...so in that respect it helps my playing.

I had a strange experience a good few years ago when I contracted Hepatitus A, from food poisoning. The doc told me to lay off alcohol for 6 months or so. No big deal for me (it was harder to knock back on the fatty foods), but it had quite an effect on gigs.
My usual regime is to arrive at the venue for a soundcheck, and thereafter retire to a pub for a couple of pints and a bit of a laugh with the band. Those two pints set me up just nicely for the gig (thereafter I tend to stick to non-alcoholic drinks).
With the Hep. A I had to forego the pre-gig pints, and found that I enjoyed the gig a great deal less. It wasn't that I played any better or worse, I just didn't feel all that involved.
I tried substituting the alcohol for a 'toke on Mary Jane'...but that turned out to be a disaster (sense of timing all over the place).

These days on gigs you'll find me in the catering marquee at half-time, scrounging a cuppa - and in my conversations with some very well-known musicians it would appear that I'm not alone.

Regards,
 

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Coffee never really effects my playing much one way or the other...OTOH, if I'm having a really tough time staying awake I occasionally have an energy drink or two (which is normally tied to an all night project of some kind or another). Now that can definitely change my playing. Dose me up with enough of that junk and it feels like I'm borrowing Charlie Parker's fingers for an hour or so.

It's not that I play better or even worse, just differently.
 

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Where's Milandro? - Our source of all things coffee!

From my experience, I drink several large cups of strong "real" coffee every day. and find them stimulating .

If I play in public, I have a pint of beer before- to "set me up to play", but , like Stephen, no more until the gig is over, as I find my concentration goes.

I once experimented on a long , French Motorway drive,with some caffeine "pick me up " pills - I sure didn't fall asleep, but felt agitated, and could not sleep at all that night . Ifelt awful next day, and had disturbed sleep during the following night.

My Verdict is that you don't get anything for nothing,so everything in moderation !.

Incidentally I once knew a guy who smoked spliffs a lot - he tended to play loud, and was often out of time , so was not an asset to any band.

Blowhard2
 

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Some nights I do look for a cup of coffee to keep me "charged up", but that's as much as I may have had a tough day at work or a long drive to the gig.
It doesn't seem to affect my playing at all, other than I'm just that bit more alive in myself.
 

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Yeah...i drink far too much coffee. Tried fruit teas, Earl Grey...nope. Great to see a little weed talk....in moderation. Forget alcohol....not for me...a
 

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Coffee has a negative effect on my playing, no doubt about it. I'm not as relaxed, not as patient with myself when practicing and I get frustrated easier. Perhaps the most noticable physical difference is in the fingers. There are some trills that I cannot do well at all after drinking coffee - it's like my fingers are all tensed up and I cannot execute them cleanly or evenly. If I give up coffee for a few days, I notice my fingers are much more relaxed - and I can trill easier, so I'm sure it affects the rest of my playing too.
 

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Where is milandro?
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Where is milandro?
He's going to be so hacked off if he misses this.. :mrgreen:

Anyway: I enjoy a nice cup of coffee or ten. Very strong (to the extent that people always complain if i make coffee for them). But remember we're talking about the uk where most people drink coffee with the taste, aroma and consistency of dishwater. At least they do at home. When they go to one of these new continental coffee joints their taste suddenly and mysteriously changes.

Is it good for you? Well yes, in moderation. (I have no real gift for moderation).

Does strong coffee make you any good on the saxophone? But of course. :bluewink:
 

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I drink so many strong espressos during the day that I feel little effect one way or the other; just so pleased that I am not hyper sensitive to it & ration my intake. It never occurs that I may need it to "wake up".....if I want one, I pull one.
One's metabolism should take care of everything.....it must be dreadful to have to take coffee to perk up, or spark up a J to calm down.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It seems to me that the overwhelming or ideal answer is in moderation. I actually read a book on caffeine last night and figure that I'll post this question. After watching some of my favorite sax players (not saying they don't have good chops) but some of them are definitely using something to get that extra energy.

Even more energizing is green tea...has way more caffeine than coffee.

Sources state that a cup of coffee has 200-300 mg of caffeine. I take a supplement called guarana from Brazil (not everyday but Monday morning only), where guarana is a native drink. It has caffeine and like my friend told me, it doesn't crash you like coffee and makes you have a lot of energy (I don't drink coffee). Even more interesting, the moderation brand I take has only 90 mg of caffeine and my memory is boosted. I was in a meeting and folk were amazed at the stuff I could recall. I knew in my heart that it was the caffeine that did it for me. Well, keep in mind there are pros and cons of caffeine, heart palpitations, jitters, nervousness. Doctors advise people with high blood pressure and diabetes to stay off caffeine.

The other interesting bit of tid bit is that one man may drink a cup of coffee right before bed and sleep like a baby while another man does the same and stays awake all night. There is no hard and fast rule. Every man's individual body has its unique metabolic rate. Each person must decide for him or herself how much is too much or even if they want to even bother with drinking coffee at all.

I recall driving my parents about 2 decades ago on a long distance trip. I heard about Vivarin which I stopped and purchased. I tried one, and I drove all night and felt like it was noon day. Substances like the over popularized 5 hour energy all contain caffiene. I only learned recently that it was the caffeine in Vivarin that gives one the extra boost. Now if you are a medical surgeon who plays the sax, stay away from caffeine due to the fact it can make your hands tremble. I also believe once a week, lets say on a monday morning will not hurt. All plants were created for the healing of the nation. It was Paul of the bible, who said a little wine for the stomach's sake.

P.S. I did not say experiment with drugs to see how much one can tolerate!
 

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It seems to me that the overwhelming or ideal answer is in moderation. I actually read a book on caffeine last night and figure that I'll post this question. After watching some of my favorite sax players (not saying they don't have good chops) but some of them are definitely using something to get that extra energy.
Yep, a little moderation does no harm...so to speak.
As for that extra energy, it's sometimes the playing itself that provides it. I'm sure many of us have been on gigs and felt somewhat tired, only to find that a sudden change in emphasis from the rhythm section suddenly kicks things into overdrive.
I often find that having good dancers (and I don't mean good-looking dancers...though I won't deny that's a bonus) on the floor is a real boost. When someone else throws a bit of energy into the mix it's usually shared around.

Regards,


Regards,
 
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