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#2702300 - 01/05/18 08:46 AM Coffee  
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PhilipInChina Offline
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I have throttled back a bit on my coffee consumption. My playing seems to be less bad as a result.

Has anybody else had a similar experience?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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#2702304 - 01/05/18 09:03 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Just my guess but if I cut back on coffee mine would be worse from the sound of my forehead hitting the keys. laugh It would be cool however to have a keyboard imprint on my head.


Acoustic: Cunningham Parlour Grand
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#2702313 - 01/05/18 09:28 AM Re: Coffee [Re: Michael.]  
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Originally Posted by Michael.
Just my guess but if I cut back on coffee mine would be worse from the sound of my forehead hitting the keys. laugh It would be cool however to have a keyboard imprint on my head.

It is desirable that this was a one-time experience, otherwise the keyboard imprint will be blurred ...

#2702321 - 01/05/18 09:36 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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It may be that your sleep quality is better, and that would improve every area of your life.

Forrest


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#2702323 - 01/05/18 09:40 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I have at most 3 cups in a day. 2 in the morning, and a cup of half decaf in the late afternoon. I think it does make me a little twitchy though. My doctor says I shouldn't drink any, as he claims we become more sensitive to it as we get older.

I used to drink more coffee, probably measured in pots, but I don't think I could eliminate it all together. Maybe I could replace it with weed since it's now legal here, haha. I wonder what my playing would be like then.


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#2702347 - 01/05/18 10:54 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I find that coffee's fine so long as I get enough exercise, mainly running as it's so rhythmical. And enough is around 10 to 30 minutes a day. If I drink coffee and run (not at the same time, and at any time during the day) it helps me play the piano any other time during the day.

Coffee gives me the energy and incentive to play early in the morning, giving me extra practice time, and running prevents the coffee jitters.

#2702359 - 01/05/18 11:18 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Philip, I'm curious as to how much coffee you had been drinking on a daily basis. And the strength of the brew. If you made coffee like my mother does, you could drink a gallon a day and the only thing you'd notice would be the extra exercise from trips to the restroom. On the other hand, my sister-in-law's coffee stands up and walks on its own to your coffee cup...... smile


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#2702380 - 01/05/18 12:44 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Back when I was a student the music department would have spun to a halt if the coffee machine broke down. And this was when Maxwell House was considered gourmet coffee.

#2702395 - 01/05/18 02:03 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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It may be that your coffee consumption was affecting the quality of your sleep. Sleep is crucial for cognitive tasks such as playing the piano and the effect of caffeine last much longer than people realize. It takes many hours for the body to completely metabolize caffeine (just like alcohol).


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#2702398 - 01/05/18 02:21 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I love coffee/ I love tea/
I love the java jive and it loves me!

Except when I get a caffeine withdrawal headache. I guess that's the dark side of addiction.

#2702399 - 01/05/18 02:25 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I've wondered the same thing.(big coffee drinker) I believe TOO MUCH caffeine, relative to the individual, would absolutely effect playing. Now, caffeine can certainly increase productivity, which could be helpful in some parts of practicing. It can also have an adverse effect on focus, which would certainly hurt actual performance. There are probably, also relative to the individual, amounts of caffeine that are very helpful, and others amounts that are very hampering. Other factors also come into play.....how much food is in your belly, blood sugar levels, other meds, etc. This all probably brings up more questions than answers, but in short, it depends. Like any other drug, there is a complex formula of factors that determine how effective, ineffective, or detrimental it can be. Used correctly though, it can likely benefit is certain situations.


Currently working on:
Waltz in Am - Chopin
the Aria of the Goldberg Variations -Bach (update, just finished)
Polishing up Nocturne in Em. -Chopin
Also working on a cool variation on "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Christmas.
#2702425 - 01/05/18 04:26 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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If I drink tea, rather than coffee before playing, I find my fingers work better. I am just sort of more likely to sit down to a serious session, too. Coffee seems to make me too restless to sit down and concentrate.

Having said that I would never want to give up coffee. Or any of my other addictions for that matter.

Anybody up for anotehr piano party here?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2702431 - 01/05/18 05:00 PM Re: Coffee [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I have at most 3 cups in a day. 2 in the morning, and a cup of half decaf in the late afternoon. I think it does make me a little twitchy though. My doctor says I shouldn't drink any, as he claims we become more sensitive to it as we get older.

I used to drink more coffee, probably measured in pots, but I don't think I could eliminate it all together. Maybe I could replace it with weed since it's now legal here, haha. I wonder what my playing would be like then.


I've been missing my 2nd pot/cappuchino because I cut myself off from caffeine at 8:30pm. But I would probably need a 3rd before suffering an adverse piano reaction. My worst play of the week is always my lesson where I am only a few sips into my first portable cup.

Originally Posted by Michael.
Just my guess but if I cut back on coffee mine would be worse from the sound of my forehead hitting the keys. laugh It would be cool however to have a keyboard imprint on my head.


Only if you could get a major chord, it would probably be F# because the black keys would catch you.


"Motivation is simple, you eliminate anyone who isn't motivated." - Lou Holtz.
#2702439 - 01/05/18 05:20 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Just a minor forehead imprint then? Nothing to worry about.


"Study Bach: there you will find everything" - Johannes Brahms.
#2702441 - 01/05/18 05:25 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
If I drink tea, rather than coffee before playing, I find my fingers work better.


I'm a tea drinker, and haven't noticed any effect on my playing. Some teas have more caffeine than coffee.


-- J.S.

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#2702452 - 01/05/18 06:11 PM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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It's recommended by Government Experts (UK div.) that coffee is very good for ole guys. The more the better; at least 5 cups a day will increase your quality of life, indeed, also your lifespan. This advisory body didn't specify the size of the cup.
I packed in the caffeinated stuff because my stomach told a different story. I'm on decaf instant, and honestly can't tell the difference.
Coffee was always a good nightcap for me. And good to wake up to . . . .still is.

Now. Beer . . . . . It's recommended by Government Experts (UK Div.) that beer is very good for ole guys . . . .


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#2702525 - 01/06/18 12:28 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Without coffee, I'd be unlikely to be conscious for any practice between waking up and going to work.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2702551 - 01/06/18 03:21 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I don't believe that any part of anybody's life is improved by coffee, or that is needed for normal functioning. Those of us who have become used to it think it improves our lives in some way, or is even necessary, because the effects of withdrawal are so uncomfortable.

However, the measurable physiological and neurological symptoms of caffeine withdrawal rarely last more than a couple of weeks. After that, if you still think you would do better with coffee (and I confess that I still do, from time to time), most likely some other problem is present.

A dependence on Coffee is a Western affectation, reinforced by the false believe that people who stay up to middle of the night and then spend the morning groaning like a sick bear are somehow more interesting than those of us who get up with the lark, the way nature intended.

#2702558 - 01/06/18 04:05 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Yes, caffeine will make you ill. I have only one hit a week - I then can't stop talking and feel euphoric all morning.

#2702564 - 01/06/18 04:56 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I believe there are some health benefits to smoking, too. The Government is so darned against it, there must be . . . .

https://www.sott.net/article/221013-Health-Benefits-of-Smoking-Tobacco

I've never been able to get into smoking. I have tried and failed. But now, at my time in life . . . those health benefits might well outweigh the disadvantages!

Last edited by peterws; 01/06/18 05:00 AM.

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#2702568 - 01/06/18 05:02 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Caffeine is an ergogenic drug, but it's probably the only one that's legal under IAAF rules. Many endurance athletes use it to boost performance during races. I myself used it to post my PB (= PR in USA) in the London Marathon, in my fourth marathon - it works best if you haven't used it for a few days (i.e. have a washout period, just like carbo-loading).

Caffeine is also recommended to help keep you alert during long drives (to avoid causing pile-ups on the M6) - I routinely stop at a service station and make myself (or buy) a mug of strong caffeinated beverage during the 600 mile drive towards my namesake, Ben Nevis grin. You can go online to check to see which coffeehouse chain dispense the strongest coffee, if that's what you're looking for, or you could just get one of those 'energy drinks' in a can, which often contain more caffeine than coffee.

As for its use for piano, I can imagine a bored teacher using it profitably so that he doesn't nod off in front of a student (he might dent the fallboard), or a tired student needing a last-minute burning of the midnight oil to memorise German terms like Leicht und zart (it's in Schumann's Arabeske, since you didn't ask) for the Grade 5 ABRSM Theory exam. I myself used it to help pass my school & university exams wink . It will help to increase your concentration when you're learning the notes on an intractable score like Ravel's Gaspard. But it will increase your anxiety level during performances - trembling, shaking etc - so I wouldn't recommend it for piano exams or recitals, especially if you already suffer from performance anxiety (like me).

So, coffee is (or rather, contains) a strong drug (or not, as the case may be). Use it with discretion........ thumb

Me, I just drink it.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2702584 - 01/06/18 07:57 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I have drunk four Americano cups of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or Colombian Bucaramanga every day for the past seven years.

I play piano much better than I did seven years ago smile

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#2702587 - 01/06/18 08:36 AM Re: Coffee [Re: Beemer]  
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Originally Posted by Beemer
I have drunk four Americano cups of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or Colombian Bucaramanga every day for the past seven years.

I play piano much better than I did seven years ago smile

Ian


Nice setup. I have a Nespresso machine which I absolutely love. Makes great coffee, although I wonder sometimes what exactly is in those pods.


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#2702593 - 01/06/18 09:46 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I hate that word Americano and refuse to use it. If I order coffee I expect just that, not a cup of hot water with an espresso thrown in!

#2702605 - 01/06/18 10:31 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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cefinow Offline
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Coffee seems to make me too restless to sit down and concentrate.


Hmm, I wonder if there is something to that…
Maybe pre-caffeinated early-morning practice sessions might go a little better for me...
Guess there is a line between the stimulation of caffeine, and a counterproductive scattering effect.

#2702610 - 01/06/18 10:56 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Can't say coffee is the only solution for everybody. It is the caffeine that keeps people awake so tea and energy drinks with caffeine probably has similar effects. When we were younger, coffee wasn't consumed regularly and we got by just the same. Didn't get to play Bach Minuets & Beethoven Sonatas in my childhood so can't say if coffee would have made a difference.

#2702614 - 01/06/18 11:27 AM Re: Coffee [Re: bennevis]  
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David Farley Offline
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Caffeine is an ergogenic drug, but it's probably the only one that's legal under IAAF rules. Many endurance athletes use it to boost performance during races. I myself used it to post my PB (= PR in USA) in the London Marathon, in my fourth marathon - it works best if you haven't used it for a few days (i.e. have a washout period, just like carbo-loading).

Caffeine is also recommended to help keep you alert during long drives (to avoid causing pile-ups on the M6) - I routinely stop at a service station and make myself (or buy) a mug of strong caffeinated beverage during the 600 mile drive towards my namesake, Ben Nevis grin. You can go online to check to see which coffeehouse chain dispense the strongest coffee, if that's what you're looking for, or you could just get one of those 'energy drinks' in a can, which often contain more caffeine than coffee.

As for its use for piano, I can imagine a bored teacher using it profitably so that he doesn't nod off in front of a student (he might dent the fallboard), or a tired student needing a last-minute burning of the midnight oil to memorise German terms like Leicht und zart (it's in Schumann's Arabeske, since you didn't ask) for the Grade 5 ABRSM Theory exam. I myself used it to help pass my school & university exams wink . It will help to increase your concentration when you're learning the notes on an intractable score like Ravel's Gaspard. But it will increase your anxiety level during performances - trembling, shaking etc - so I wouldn't recommend it for piano exams or recitals, especially if you already suffer from performance anxiety (like me).

So, coffee is (or rather, contains) a strong drug (or not, as the case may be). Use it with discretion........ thumb

Me, I just drink it.


I went to a talk once by Frank Shorter who explained that until the '70s marathon runners were not allowed to take any fluids at all during a race because it was "cheating". After the IAAF backed away from that idea runners were allowed to take water or a sports drink at certain points during the race. Except at the time there weren't any sports drinks yet, so the marathoner's drink of choice was flat coke, which had sugar and caffeine. It's all different now.

#2702622 - 01/06/18 11:44 AM Re: Coffee [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Stubbie Offline
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There is a correlation (not to be confused with causation) between coffee intake and mortality and it follows an upside-down U-shaped curve. Too much or too little coffee correlated with higher mortality. The sweet spot was roughly between 3-5 cups a day.

Coffe Intake and Mortality


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#2702655 - 01/06/18 01:56 PM Re: Coffee [Re: David Farley]  
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Originally Posted by David Farley


I went to a talk once by Frank Shorter who explained that until the '70s marathon runners were not allowed to take any fluids at all during a race because it was "cheating". After the IAAF backed away from that idea runners were allowed to take water or a sports drink at certain points during the race. Except at the time there weren't any sports drinks yet, so the marathoner's drink of choice was flat coke, which had sugar and caffeine. It's all different now.

Not all sports drinks contain caffeine - the London Marathon uses one that doesn't (Lucozade Sport, which contains unnecessary vitamins instead). But it's better to ingest the caffeine about one hour before the race, rather than during it. I use caffeine tablets for my races - four tablets of 50mg each - rather than a caffeinated drink, because I don't want to risk a stomach upset while running. Apparently, 3mg of caffeine per kg bodyweight is the sweet spot.

For those who need an immediate caffeine boost, caffeine chewing gum delivers the goods (because it's absorbed straight into the bloodstream via your mouth) within 5 minutes. That's what soccer clubs give their players during half-time, to reduce the risk of them collapsing from exhaustion before the final whistle...... grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2703130 - 01/08/18 09:31 AM Re: Coffee [Re: Stubbie]  
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
There is a correlation (not to be confused with causation) between coffee intake and mortality and it follows an upside-down U-shaped curve. Too much or too little coffee correlated with higher mortality. The sweet spot was roughly between 3-5 cups a day.

Coffe Intake and Mortality


There's also a direct correlation between fatalities/serious bodily injury and people interfering with my acquisition of coffee. That curve looks more like " / "


Currently working on:
Waltz in Am - Chopin
the Aria of the Goldberg Variations -Bach (update, just finished)
Polishing up Nocturne in Em. -Chopin
Also working on a cool variation on "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Christmas.
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