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Smoking and harmonica playing

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Reed Triller
Aug 30, 2009 10:19 PM GMT

Just curious,,,,,considering the harmonica is an instrument played by breath,,,,how many of you smoke?

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Aug 30, 2009 10:26 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Perhaps this would fit better in the other universe section.......

Aug 31, 2009 2:27 AM GMT
walterharp Replied:

not me, but i shudder to think what would happen if jason stopped.....

Aug 31, 2009 2:04 PM GMT
eric h Replied:

smoke, but not in large quantities.

Aug 31, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
Sioux S.Seydal Replied:

sure i smoked but never inhaled!

Aug 31, 2009 6:57 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Just thought i`d ask.I am an occassional smoker.

It can sometimes take me 3-4 days to get through a pack.

Sep 01, 2009 1:40 PM GMT
Hammik Replied:

I stopped 3 or 4 years ago but I will still partake from time to time.

I know Jason and John Popper smoke so it cant hurt too bad, maybe you need to start smoking more?

Sep 02, 2009 11:00 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Maybe so,lol. I prefer cigars but my expensive taste in cigars and my paycheck do not mesh well,lol.

Sep 03, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
Damo J Replied:

Smoking can be a diva man. Last year the Black Dog had me by the balls. I was down for a lotta reasons. Out of breath. Having issues.Spitting up heaps of green and black stuff, sometimes red, coughing up more, and lighting up again anyways. Here's a smoking story for ya's all.

I was 34, and wanted to quit smoking cigarettes because I knew it was time, knew I'd been partying way way way too hard. I've always been a healthy guy, but over the years the crap in my body had built up, and I was coughing, and running out of puff, and both my parents had developed emphysema, and I knew if I kept going it was gunna get me too. The fear was kicking in, and I knew that at my age something had to be done quick.

Problem was, every time I had a drink, I'd cave. That heralded the decision to quit drinking for a month, and get over the cold-turkey hump.

Then I found out I had a drinking problem, and that I'd been in denial for about 17 years. Every weekend started on Wednesday night, and then blackouts would kick in, every weekend between about early Saturday morning and Monday morning about 11am. I was always kinda sober when I started a gig, half-pickled by the end of it, and a write-off by about 7am. Tuesdays my mates would laugh at how messy I could get, and still manage to get away with it.

So I realised I had to quit that too.

I started quitting drinking Fathers' Day 2008, just after my 34th birthday. I topped a bottle of Cointreau with my Da on that Fathers' Day, a shared drink, and then knuckled down. When I caved, and got back on it, I turned into a monster.

I still haven't had a cigarette, but I fell off the wagon (and I mean hard) a few times in the first few months.

I lost a lot of friends when I quit the drinking. No longer haunting the same pubs and bars for afternoon social-drinking sessions. No more crazy jam piss-ups at my house, no charging on at parties, no going for random missions and adventures, no indulging in all kindsa rock'n'roll fun with all kindsa strange and interesting people. Avoiding the stage, and music venues, because I wasn't mentally strong enough, for months. Crazy.

Alcohol is my gateway drug. I tried going cold-turkey on the booze like I had with the ciggys, and took quite a few hard falls from the wagon. Man was I kicking myself, and my foolish go-it-alone pride. Then the realisation kicked in that it wasn't the booze or the ciggys at fault here, just my self control. I didn't use patches, nor attend any AA meetings.

Now I no longer smoke tobacco, and I don't drink much alcohol. I've started jogging again, and returned to Tai Chi training. My lungs are noticably able to sustain, blow, draw, and hold those notes just a little longer more. I quit getting mega-wasted.

Now, when I do drink, it could be one hit towards the end of a 4hr-or-so music session, usually a Tequila to feed the music beast and keep the energy up. It could be a glass of wine with dinner; that would happen about once every 2 or 3 month. If I buy wine it is for cooking.

So that's how I managed to quit smoking. I would have been drawing on about 50 smokes per day at the peak of the addiction; heavy ones too. I would have averaged a pack a day for 17 years.

Being a Harp player definately helped. Having the harp in hand satiated the hand-to-mouth reflex (so many smokes a day, hand-to-mouth, hand-to-mouth; smoking becomes a physical habit too). Focusing on my breathing with Tai Chi exercises is doing good things also. Just as breathing keeps me alive, so too the harmonica is the source of my livelihood

I'm starting to sing more now too ;)

Sep 03, 2009 5:34 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

Darno, testify brother!! Way to go holding back the beast(s).

So glad you found tai chi to return to your center. Use it for harp playing. Go to another level.


Sep 12, 2009 3:13 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

I smoked off and mainly on for 33 years. I quit for good 9 months ago. I felt like crap for about 6 months but now I am starting to get my breath/taste/singing voice/sax lungs back. I had cut down to minimal amounts for some time before quiting. But I have come to realise that this really means nothing as far as giving up. What helped the most is a book my daughter gave to me called 'Easy way to Quit Smoking' by Allen Carr. Most people do not recognise the true feeling of addiction for nicotine. It is not the obvious cravings we all know but a lot more subtle and unconcious. That is the one to beat. Much harder when drinking alot. I know where you are coming from Damo. For me I think I have had a damn good run Smoking and Drinking to excess. I can be thankfull that I have not come out too adled. My harp playing has definately improved since quitting. Imagine if Sonny Terry never smoked the copious packets of camel he did.

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