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Sitting In


Tom Capasso

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The "Substitution Gigs" thread made me think of this. Also, Connie recently declined such an opportunity (I hope you grab it next time, Connie!) Tell us about both sides - have you sat in with a band? have you allowed folks to sit in with your band?

 

My band is pretty cool about letting folks sit in (especially in the third set ;) ). We've had folks sit in that we'd never heard, but they were somebody's boss, or brother-in-law, or somebody we were pretty sure about. We've had lots of guys who were former bandmates from college. It's worked out pretty well, and since we're a classic rock band, it's not too tough to find common material.

 

I've had the good fortune of sitting in. I worked with some guys who had a band, and sat in every time I showed up at their gigs. And 57pbass has allowed me to sit in with two of his bands - very generous of him, and I get to play his outstanding gear! In both of these cases, I knew the material on my own, so it wasn't much of a stretch (beyond playing with guys you don't know). Erik allowed me to sing some background Mean Ether (where he plays bass). I think I botched some notes, but Erik seemed to like it (Ben Loy was there, and I think a beer bottle broke in his hand).

 

I even "sat in" on a recording gig with Cottonmouth DN as a guest background vocalist. Learning the lyrics on the spot was tough (I had to growl the word "drop").

 

How about you?

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I sat in with a band just last weekend. We played "Superstition" and "Use Me" by Bill Withers. I blew. The guy had a mid 60s P bass that was really nice. He had an old Acoustic amp that was overdriving. I didn't have time and didn't feel comfortable switching it up. It was fun,though.
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Yeah, sometimes it's a bit of a drag using someone else's rig. Much worse yet, using a bass that's set up WAY different than anything you've been putting time in on. I've gotten so used to 17 mm string spacing and no frets that the first minute on 19 mm (standard 4-string distance) and frets is hardly "feeling at one with the instrument" ; } ...Add more relief than the cables on the Golden Gate Bridge and I'm about sick of the tobacco sunburst vintage thang (smells that way too) by the time the song is over ; }

 

I never let anybody play my bass unless I already know something of them as bassists. I don't share my toothbrush either.

.
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it drives me nuts when a guy walks up and says let me play your guitar. for one i play bass. and i have spent entirely too much money to let your drunk a$$ touch my stuff. if i knew the guy or he at least was sober or seemed competent then i might let him. but other than that it is get away from my stuff or i will bounce you my self.

when they ask i just ask them "hey let me drive your car." they usually just walk away scratching their head.

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Thats just it. I usually don't like to sit in,because you never know what yer gonna get. Like an instrument thats literally falling apart,or a singer that decides it would be a good time to do an original with 15 chords that he or she is going to shout out at you while your playing. Or at the open jam when you get up to play woth the fantastic drummer,turn around,and notice that he's gone and Captain Caveman is in his place. 1-2-3-4 Go!!!
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Originally posted by RHINO_ROB:

it drives me nuts when a guy walks up and says let me play your guitar. for one i play bass. and i have spent entirely too much money to let your drunk a$$ touch my stuff. if i knew the guy or he at least was sober or seemed competent then i might let him. but other than that it is get away from my stuff or i will bounce you my self.

when they ask i just ask them "hey let me drive your car." they usually just walk away scratching their head.

I would never ask to sit in. Most of the time it realy kind of puts me off when people do. If I'm asked,I might. Sometimes they make me. :D
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I sit in only when I know what's in store.

 

Fortunately, in (S FLA) that's a tight knit group of players who work regularly, and the set lists are familiar.

 

Otherwise, I'll decline the offer, and just listen.

 

I'm far more accepting of others sitting in on my gigs, as long as I have some kind of recommendation from somebody else in the band.

 

Truth is: If I'm out to hear a band, I want to be a spectator/customer. Those days are few and far between...I like sitting out and listening.

 

Jim

Jim

Confirmed RoscoeHead

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Originally posted by   :

Thinking about the people who want to use your mic is bad. Thinking about the people who have alredy used the mic at Open Mic night is even worse.

Hahahaha! Especialy when a certain crazy drummer gets ahold of a certain singers Mic/Harmonica bag in the back room. You don't wanna hear the rest. Trust me!
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I sometimes sit in WHEN ASKED. Usually I'll make a show of dragging my feet, but I'm actually pleased and flattered to be asked.

 

With my own band, I'm usually put off by people asking to sit in, unless I know them. But in fact, I usually have to ask the players I know if they'd like to sit in, rather than the other way around.

 

I mean, my assuption is that if they're any fucking good, they don't need to go around asking people to let them sit in. In my opinion, that's what open mics are for, if that's what you wanna do, go there, and if you're any good, word will get around. If you're not any good, please don't fuck up my show.

 

However, I'm also a soft touch, and if the person can make any kind of positive impression on me, I'll let 'em sit in (on their own axe, thank you), and it almost always bites me in the ass. :)

 

What really bugs me is when you turn down a total stranger, and they act like you're a prick. I had to work to get this fuckin' gig. You waltz in and expect to play just cuz you wanna? Bite me.

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Thinking about the people who want to use your mic is bad. Thinking about the people who have alredy used the mic at Open Mic night is even worse.
this really seems, to me, that it has a deeper meaning. care to elaborate GB??

"I'm thinkin' we should let bump answer this one...

Prepare to don Nomex!"

-social critic

"When I install my cannons, I'm totally going to blast their asses back to the 16th century; Black Beard style"

-bumpcity

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I have the pleasure of having a couple of really talented guys, who dig my band. Anytime those guys come to a show they are welcome to sit in. Since we are a bunch of jammers anyway, we come up with a couple of simple structures for open jams just in case someone we know can hang is there. We haven't done it in a while, but we used to bring a bag of tricks to our gigs, shakers, noise makers, etc. to pass out to all the audience and let them go nuts on a jam or two.

This can rile up a dead crowd in a heart beat. Fun for everyone.

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

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I do the sit in thing on occasion. It's always with somebody I've played with or am friends with and I know the material. I don't think that I've got the balls to go up to complete strangers and ask to play. I have had people do that to me though and I've politely turned them down. They may be incredible awesome, but the band doesn't know them and doesn't have an established rythm with them. One bad incident can ruin the whole gig...

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by BigKahuna855:

Thinking about the people who want to use your mic is bad. Thinking about the people who have alredy used the mic at Open Mic night is even worse.
this really seems, to me, that it has a deeper meaning. care to elaborate GB??
Not to speak for the green one, but... I'm gonna guess you've not used a shared bar mic, especially at a jam?

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by RHINO_ROB:

it drives me nuts when a guy walks up and says let me play your guitar. for one i play bass. and i have spent entirely too much money to let your drunk a$$ touch my stuff. if i knew the guy or he at least was sober or seemed competent then i might let him. but other than that it is get away from my stuff or i will bounce you my self.

when they ask i just ask them "hey let me drive your car." they usually just walk away scratching their head.

Hehe, ya I hear that. I have the problem of an older (20+ years on me) more experienced bassist who is very competent wanting to come up for a song just so he prove to the world that he is bett er than me. I let him do it once, and he goes to the microphone and says "hey i can't play this hunk o junk like this come raise the strap for me."

 

I raised the strap. next time he asks it will be a flat out "no".

Check out my work in progress.
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Originally posted by wraub:

Originally posted by BigKahuna855:

Thinking about the people who want to use your mic is bad. Thinking about the people who have alredy used the mic at Open Mic night is even worse.
this really seems, to me, that it has a deeper meaning. care to elaborate GB??
Not to speak for the green one, but... I'm gonna guess you've not used a shared bar mic, especially at a jam?
I bring my own, personal mic. No one has ever used this mic besides me.
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Originally posted by   :

Thinking about the people who want to use your mic is bad. Thinking about the people who have alredy used the mic at Open Mic night is even worse.

As a child who constantly didn't listen to his mother's warning about picking up things off the street and putting them in his mouth, I can handle the usual "public mic". If you see me at one of those, better bring a spare windscreen. (which I do now)

:eek:

 

My old cover bands came to an agreement where if someone came up to us wanting to jam on a song, we'd make some arrangement at the top of the last set so that the regular player could have an extended break. My drummer and I would often hang around to ward against equipment abuse and we'd have an extra beer or two in the process. I'm not sure if my new band will allow that as we're gearing up for mostly showcases in the future.

 

But my train of thought is that allowing another musician to sit in usually means he/she and his/her friends are going to be part of our fan list. This happened a lot in my last band, so that we had a reserved set of songs for the "regular special guest" appearances. They keep the evening fresh, especially when the band is just pulling itself together at 1:00am for that last set.

:wave:

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Thinking about the people who want to use your mic is bad. Thinking about the people who have alredy used the mic at Open Mic night is even worse.

Yeah, that's nasty. We like to bring our own mics wherever we go.... especially when we play some of these divey punk places. Some of the "house mics" wind up in very bad places during punk performances.

 

As far as the "sitting in" thing goes, I love it... within reason. For example, when I was an open mic host, I sat in with a lot of bands who needed a guitarist or bassist (or frontperson..yikes!) for cover tunes. You haven't lived until you've sung "We're Not Gonna Take It" with a punk rock drummer and chick playiing the guitar and bass parts simulataneously on a distorted accordian. Yow!

 

And I've played guitar, bass and percussion onstage with friend's bands many times. It's fun as long as I'm pretty comfy with the tunes.

 

As far as having others sit in with my bands... well... We do it all the time... in a fashion. Bill always passes the mic around so our friends can sing/scream along. It's good times. However, we only had another guitarist join us once, and I went over all of the parts with him a day or two before the show. CMDN stuff isn't really too open for "jamming" or spontaneous invention.

 

Having said this, we're definitely open to having our friends join us in the studio... after all, there's time to work stuff out and make sure we get what we want.

 

BTW, Tom "Shecky The Slidey Chair Madball" Capasso sounded fabulouso onstage with Mean Ether, and his backing vocals are MONEY on the CMDN tune. Expect a credit on the disc.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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