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  1. #1
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    Default So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Oh Boy. We're playing an outdoor summer club thing. Big stage, big sound system, blah blah blah. The guy who sat in was really nice but the context was wrong. Young guys - here's the rule.

    If the guys on stage are a lot better than you - do NOT ask to sit in.

    This is the time you listen a learn. There are exceptions but if you don't know anyone on stage use this rule. I've been on both sides of this one and have made my share of mistakes. It's also important to understand that working bands often book tons of weddings from these outside events so every part of the show needs to be fairly professional. Please don't take it personally if someone says NO when you ask to sit in. That's what Tuesday night open mics are for.

    Tenor - '61 Mark VI w/Tenney Slant Tone Edge 7
    Altos - '66 Mark VI w/Meyer 6M/Caravan
    Soprano - JDS (No Name from Mystery Country) w/Tenney Tone Edge 6
    Clarinet - '70 Buffet R13 w/B45

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Fader's Avatar
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    Default

    Many years ago (70's - I think) I talked myself onstage with a young unknown band that was really good (Little Feat). They said up front - "you better know how to play!". From the first note I sucked so bad, that by the first chorus I was jumping about only pretending to play. I did this for a whole set. I was mortally embarrassed. Afterwards a fan came up and said, "That was great - Sax is what you needed all along!" I did not get invited back. I guess they didn't agree.

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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    That is a great story, Fader!

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    I'll never ask to sit in anymore. Just drop clues, and if they ask they ask. If not, enjoy the show.

  5. #5

    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Also,,,Musical ediquette is kind of like common sense,,,it cannot usually be learned. You have Guys come up and play over everything that you are doing! Usually when someone asks to sit in...It's not a good thing,,,and trying to get them off the Stage,,,,Whewwww. T

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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by TyroSax View Post
    Also,,,Musical ediquette is kind of like common sense,,,it cannot usually be learned. You have Guys come up and play over everything that you are doing!
    "When you can walk the rice paper without tearing it, then your steps will not be heard." -Master Kan
    “There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.” - Joshua Reynolds

  7. #7
    Mike Letus's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    This is all rather bizaar to me. As stated earlier, there are open Mic nights for this. It's kind of like walking into a restaurant and saying "I've taken some cooking classes. Is it OK to go back to the kitchen and make a few dishes?" Or saying "I've messed around a bigt on my car. How about me helping with this tranny job you're doing?" at the repair shop.

  8. #8
    Mike Letus's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fader View Post
    Many years ago (70's - I think) I talked myself onstage with a young unknown band that was really good (Little Feat). They said up front - "you better know how to play!". From the first note I sucked so bad, that by the first chorus I was jumping about only pretending to play. I did this for a whole set. I was mortally embarrassed. Afterwards a fan came up and said, "That was great - Sax is what you needed all along!" I did not get invited back. I guess they didn't agree.

    GREAT band!!!!!!!!!!!!! They did use sax and other horns at one point as I've heard a few versions of 'Dixie Chicken' with them. I can't pinpoint when it was though.

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member Bebopalot's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by A Greene View Post
    Oh Boy. We're playing an outdoor summer club thing. Big stage, big sound system, blah blah blah. The guy who sat in was really nice but the context was wrong. Young guys - here's the rule.

    If the guys on stage are a lot better than you - do NOT ask to sit in.

    This is the time you listen a learn. There are exceptions but if you don't know anyone on stage use this rule. I've been on both sides of this one and have made my share of mistakes. It's also important to understand that working bands often book tons of weddings from these outside events so every part of the show needs to be fairly professional. Please don't take it personally if someone says NO when you ask to sit in. That's what Tuesday night open mics are for.

    Really? You let just anyone sit in without knowing how they play? Not a good idea.......for the band. Great idea for the player that wants to see what it's like to play with a real band instead of Jamie Abersold. Really easy fix to that problem........... When someone asks to sit in, say, "Sorry, this isn't open mic night".

    To the players that can't play well, I say keep on asking. It's a good experience even if you get rejected.
    To the bands that don't want players that can't play well, I say, you should know better.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bebopalot View Post
    Really? You let just anyone sit in without knowing how they play? Not a good idea.......for the band. Great idea for the player that wants to see what it's like to play with a real band instead of Jamie Abersold. Really easy fix to that problem........... When someone asks to sit in, say, "Sorry, this isn't open mic night".

    To the players that can't play well, I say keep on asking. It's a good experience even if you get rejected.
    To the bands that don't want players that can't play well, I say, you should know better.
    To clarify - This is not my band. I didn't make the call on this one. Somehow he knew the drummer - sort of. But I agree, unless it's a wedding and the bride has asked if someone can play with the band, sitting in is just not something that happens with this particular group.

    Tenor - '61 Mark VI w/Tenney Slant Tone Edge 7
    Altos - '66 Mark VI w/Meyer 6M/Caravan
    Soprano - JDS (No Name from Mystery Country) w/Tenney Tone Edge 6
    Clarinet - '70 Buffet R13 w/B45

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    There are occasion when it's okay to sit in / let people sit in. Both sides need to consider context before doing it though.

    Down here in New Orleans, people sit in all the time on the more "laid back" gigs, or if they know musicians in the band. Sitting in is a great experience albeit a possibly very challenging one. Making it a rule to not allow people sitting in whatever the circumstances is just being a ****. Trying to sit in with every band is also being inconsiderate.

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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Letus View Post
    (Little Feat was a) GREAT band!!!!!!!!!!!!! They did use sax and other horns at one point as I've heard a few versions of 'Dixie Chicken' with them. I can't pinpoint when it was though.
    Oh yeah, I saw them live featuring the amazing Marc Russo.
    Jorns Bergenson - Raised in the great nation of Texas. Folks call me "JB".

  13. #13
    Bill C's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by magical pig View Post
    There are occasion when it's okay to sit in / let people sit in. Both sides need to consider context before doing it though.

    Down here in New Orleans, people sit in all the time on the more "laid back" gigs, or if they know musicians in the band. Sitting in is a great experience albeit a possibly very challenging one. Making it a rule to not allow people sitting in whatever the circumstances is just being a ****. Trying to sit in with every band is also being inconsiderate.

    that sums it up quite perfectly.

  14. #14

    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bebopalot View Post
    To the players that can't play well, I say keep on asking. It's a good experience even if you get rejected.
    I dont get that. besides being inconsiderate why embarass yourself.

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member Fader's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with many of the comments about "sitting in". I would never ask a band that already had a sax player but I'm at least decent enough these days to lend some fun to just about any band without. There is, as someone stated - a time and a place for this. The tighter the group on stage, the more careful you should be about asking. The worse they are - the less likely you'll want to ask. Between that and the fact that many gigs it's simply not appropriate, there's not a lot of times its likely to happen. Of course 35 years ago I was only vaguely aware of any of this. The Little Feat incident educated me quickly. Public embarrassment has on more than one occasion taught me a life lesson.

    For example: Don't think for a moment that no one will notice if you try to pass off white boxer shorts as a swim suit.

    PS. Especially not in cold water.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member Honeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fader View Post

    For example: Don't think for a moment that no one will notice if you try to pass off white boxer shorts as a swim suit.

    PS. Especially not in cold water.
    Oops! I better put some shorts on when I put out the garbage can!
    11th Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's axe.

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member Bebopalot's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Quote Originally Posted by alljoe View Post
    I dont get that. besides being inconsiderate why embarass yourself.

    Asking to sit in with a band is inconsiderate? It's part of being a musician. As is embarrassing yourself or being rejected.

  18. #18

    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Sure, this has occurred with me at times too.
    I've always said no but I always told them I'd prefer they get up
    and dance in an rather unbridled way. They usually looked at
    me like I was kidding with them.

    I think a little free improvised choreography would have been much better theatre.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008 The A Train's Avatar
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    Just the opposite:I went to see my former concert band mate in his new (r&r) band last Friday and he tells me the day before "Bring your horn" "No thanks" says I, "I would never get up with ANY band un-rehearsed!" I know me, if I am unprepared it won't be pretty.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: So this guy wanted to sit in last night....

    I understand both sides of this. Back in the day ( or night ) when Bird or a big time player came to to town the jam sessions were held after the main attraction. You could get up there and find out how good you are real quick.

    Or everyone met at another club and jammed.

    I remember being at a club in Cincinnati where Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson was playing and Miles' whole band came and jammed with Cleanhead sans Miles of course. Oh yeah he sang " Cherry Red " that night. The real deal.

    Nobody outplayed Cleanhead that night. You could set a glass of water on that alto sound it was so lush.

    So I was sitting at the table with Miles' percussionist Mtume ( Jimmy Heath's son ) and Cleanhead when Cleanhead said out of nowhere " I put Johnny Coltrane on the tenor sax ".

    Everyone was in awe after he said it because we knew we we're getting history from the source. Coltrane joined his Rhythm and Blues band around 1948 as an alto player and he told Coltrane to go to tenor.

    And ain't no use coming on here with refutations ( is that a word? ) because I'll believe Cleanhead over y'all.

    Oh yeah I almost forgot we're talking about sitting in. Go ahead sit in if you're bold enough to ask and they're crazy enough to let you.

    The only way to learn how to swim is get in the water. Of course you better know something about swimming if it's deep.

    You gotta know what you don't know.

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