How does alcohol affect your music producing creative abilities?

I’m writing this because I always see some beer/spirits bottles in home studio setup photos.

I don’t drink much but I came home earlier tonight a little tipsy with the intension of jamming and learning more about the machines… instead I just ended up looking up random shit till I sobered up as I could not focus at all. This seems to be th norm with me, though I’m sure a lot of people do excellent work while after a few drinks.

So, I pose this question… A few alcoholic beverages and production… yay or nay?

One or two, perhaps, but beyond that I’m very firmly in the nay camp.

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Ill drink a beer if I’m doing sound design or just messing around. But I’ve noticed that if I smoke I’ll get nothing done. I try and stay kind of clear while in creation mode. I feel like if I drank before I made music it would be dumber then it already is. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I should try making wasted beats. Maybe not.

I honestly don’t remember having ever made anything that I’d consider to be worthwhile when under the influence. These days i don’t drink.

But a few years ago I was doing music with a mate of mine - we’d both drink like fish when we hung out. He’d start programming some fantastic stuff half-plastered, or I’d show him stuff I’d been working on and he’d add to it. Then I’d finish it off once I’d sobered up as he wasn’t particularly fussed about the arrangement or mixing. Worked well for us.

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Ehhh… I like to drink on weekends, but I definitely get my best work done while sober.
Sorry for the brag, but I have gotten fairly skilled at programming the Octatrack while drunk, so that has made jamming with friends on a Saturday afternoon extra fun! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
For serious sequencing/arranging though, I’m pretty dry more often than not.

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I can get pretty F’d up and make music all night, and do quite often.
Granted, I wont finalize a track or anything, but I’ll put in a lot of work.
Understanding volume on a good buzz is just out of the question, but I can still rock a beat and tweak some sounds.
There’s plenty of sober days though doing the same, tweaking, practicing, writing, experimenting, etc.

People are just wired up different sometimes.
My tolerance for inebriation is and art form itself.
Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes it feels like a mistake.
I’d say half of the highly creative people I know create sober, and rarely let it go, the other half are fucked, and still do great work.

However, when it comes down to putting on that last bit of polish, I keep my mind pretty clear.


I can’t do anything once I start drinking. One drink, and it’s party time. That said, I stopped smoking cigarettes about 3 months ago, and had my last drink a couple of days before that and haven’t felt like tempting myself by having a drink. To be honest, alcohol started to impact me differently after I turned 30 a few years ago, and now it sometimes seems like I get the onset of a hangover before I even catch a buzz, so it’s pretty unappealing to drink now. Probably for the best, as booze really hasn’t ever done a lot of good for me.

I do smoke plenty of weed tho, and it’s certainly a part of my creative process. I often forget to actually smoke once I’m in the studio (too busy twisting knobs), but usually start off high. At least for me, it helps me to focus and has never been something that impairs me, but it does help me to relax and get motivated.

I’ve tried making music in various other altered states as well, to varying degrees. It’s not always good, but can be a lot of fun if you’ve got everything set up to just jam and see what happens. One that was especially fun tho is DiPT, a research chemical that specifically causes audio hallucinations. Absolutely useless for actually creating music, but fascinating for playing with sound:


I stopped alcohol consumption before delving into music production…

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Karl Hyde from Underworld, a former alcoholic:
“Adrenalin is my drug of choice. The kick drum is my dealer”
(Osaka gig, 2005)


My experience has been that if I start chasing a buzz it starts to take up huge chunks of my time. I can still make music but I choose to do it less often. I can’t really be objective about how good the music is, but working on music less often means less practice and less skill. So for me, it’s just a question of how focused I am in the long term.

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Kinda reminds me of this music video of the band Moones. They replay their song over and over, each time more drunk than the last. The results speak for themselves :wink:


write drunk… edit sober :wink:



to be more clear: alcohol greatly effects my music productivity…
i agree with the " Write drunk, edit sober"mentality… to a point.
But it has been literally killing me over the years and i decided to stop that.
So, as far as drugs are concerned, alcohol has actually held me back i believe.
Sure, moderation is a great thing and it helps with flow…
alcohol feels so good in the blood, it has always helped me keep going, but inspiration? not so much.
marijuana is really good for that.
psychedelics make me want to listen to music, for sure, but as far as creating it on these devices is concerned, I’m more likely to want to bury my face in some grass and wait until it grows through my skull than i am to want to get lost in the hypnotic beauty of my loops.
as a person who has been chasing the dragon for so very long…
i am tired of substances having an influence over anything that i do.
doesnt stop the bong rips from happening…
but god DAMN it, i am tired of listening to my own music the next day and deleting it all because its drunken garbage!!!
so, just weed… in moderation, for now…except tonight…
Edit: Ive found, over the last few months of this pandemic, that the music that i make is meant more to be a hypnotic escape/soothing “wall of sound” than anything else. so, does it matter?


I can’t remember the study, but it was basically saying coffee (or other caffeine) is great for repetitive tasks while alcohol is great for creative tasks.

But, just like anything… balance and moderation.

I definitely like to have a beer or 10 while working on stuff. It makes me more prone to explore stuff just for fun.

But, without a super simple workflow, that’s all out the window. Getting tipsy and hitting a roadblock is pretty frustrating.


very rarely drinking anything alcohol when noodling in my home studio. for me, drinking at home is about being too relaxed for creation.

but before gigs i like something like ~150 ml of rum for subtle effect.
(avoiding beer or long drinks before gigs because who knows when they’ll want out).


i love rum drinks.
in fact, they are the drinks that keep me from sayin NO…
i can not imagine life with out a daquri , with out a mai tai…a painkiller…/etc…

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accidental post, but it holds true. the last track is bonkers good… and drunky… so hey.

Ive always felt the main positive effect of alcohol/weed is a social one: calms the nerves and lowers inhibitions so your willing to share what your self-consciousness might otherwise hinder you from sharing.
Not only for music… i have friends who are fascinating/hilarious once they loosen up with a drink or few. But I dont think its the booze making them so, once you get to know them better they are always like that, just sober too guarded/shy to express themselves.


yes. me too.