Can my boyfriend sit in on Bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Aug 7, 2022.

  1. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA we go again. If only people had the self awareness to realize how tacky and awkward this is.

    Friday nights gig had a female guest singer sit in...she apparently messaged the B/L about sitting in and singing some Janis Joplin tune. The two weren't connected before this and the B/L being a big hearted person said yes.

    Apparently the chicks boyfriend plays bass, and she basically hounded me about letting the guy sit in on a tune to the point where I was getting pretty irritated about it. I Didn't know her or the boyfriend and she was pretty pushy about the whole thing claiming he knew all the tunes we were playing, etc..etc...

    Generally I am not a fan of sit-ins....they interrupt the flow of the music, and if they involve someone sitting in on bass interrupt the energy I built up playing previous tunes. There is also the fact that I basically play one gig a month at best these days, so I am not at all interested in giving up playing time.

    If you come to our gigs, and I get to know you, and you are cool and chill and I like you enough and know you are a competent player, I might be inclined to invite you to sit-in on a tune. If you approach me in an aggressive, opportunistic manner, you will never ever be playing through my gear at anytime in the future.

    For the record I don't do sit-ins either even if I am invited up to play. I pretty much consider them pointless. You get up to play one tune, on someone else's gear you aren't familiar with and then by the time you start getting comfortable with their instrument, the song is over. To me that just isn't worth the disruption it causes to the other musicians on stage and to the overall performance.
    JPDsma, JC BASS 91, MrBeta and 93 others like this.
  2. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    Not a fan of the sit ins either way. I wouldn’t ask to sit in - not my style and flat out say no when asked. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by additional instruments (fiddle or harmonica) sitting in but that is very rare so we/I don’t allow it.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Tell the BL that an enlarged heart can be potentially fatal. To @Cave Puppy's point, a "no sit-in" policy is very helpful to avoid all of this annoyance. The only exception should be when a well-known pro musician happens to be in the audience and it's carefully prearranged. I've seen this happen exactly once in 30+ years of performing.
    mindwell, Axtman, basslifter and 10 others like this.
  4. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Please don't tell me it was "Me and Bobby McGee."
  5. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002

    nope..someone did request that tune though. The sit-in check wanted to play piece of my heart.
    MYLOWFREQ, Oleran, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  6. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    Or Piece Of My Heart. I’m doing a sub gig in a couple of weeks and “Me and Bobby McGee” is on the list.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  7. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    "OK. Can I sit-in with your girlfriend?"

    Our BL likes to haul people up from the audience to sing. It's usually a song I've never played and barely recognize. :sour:
    MarkJC8, 2pods, Virwill7 and 24 others like this.
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    It seems to me that the way to think about sit-ins is from the audience perspective: i.e., is this person's appearance going to enhance or detract from their enjoyment of the show? If the sitter-inner is someone well-known to the audience (i.e, "famous") it's a great idea as it adds value to the show. But if it's just some unknown sitting in because they happen to be friends with someone in the band, it's like telling inside jokes to the audience that they won't get.
  9. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'm a bit confused...
    Has the sit-in already happened?
    Has/Did the BL agree?
    Have/Did you, despite misgivings, agreed anyway?
    Will/Did he bring his own bass?
  10. dangevans


    Mar 26, 2014
    My philosophy is if you aren't in the band= you don't sit in. This isn't a jam session.
  11. 2112

    2112 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Sit-ins can be useful for building relationships with other bands and musicians. That said, our shows are not really set up to accomodate them. We play very tight, faithful covers and keep things moving right along and don't really want to shut down the momentum and flow. So, in general, we avoid them. Most of the few sit-ins we do involve some pre-planning with the musicians in other bands who we're close to.

    I for darn sure would never expect one of my mates to accommodate a sit-in on their equipment. I might allow a sit-in on my equipment if I know the player well and my mates are okay with it, but no way for randoms.

    If I'm asked to sit in, whether I accept depends my level of respect for the band asking. I'm not trying to be arrogant, I'm just not really interested in being associated with some bands, and I don't want to generate expectations for reciprocity. It would also depend on my level of sobriety: I wouldn't want to crab their performance because I was too rubbery to do a good show lol.
  12. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Yeah send them to the local dive bar blues jam. That's some serious amateur-hour BS with no place in a pro setting.
  13. Wambemando

    Wambemando Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2020
    I almost feel like I know who this singer was.
  14. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002

    thats my philosophy of it also...

    Granted...we play a lot of popular tunes that are standards, but still..asking to sit in, or worse yet having your girlfriend ask if you can sit in is just such an awkward thing that I can't even wrap my head around it and if my girlfriend were to do such a thing I wouldn't be happy about it at all.
    PeteOlig, 2pods, cjmartin and 5 others like this.
  15. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Eugene, OR
    My response is usually a variation of “I’m sorry but I don’t let others play my instruments; my bass is only slightly less personal than my toothbrush, and I don’t let others use that either.”
  16. ebo


    Jul 15, 2012
    Bay Area, Ca
    . Sounds like the singer was asking if the boyfriend could sit in so the proper response would have been, “ he can sit in for me if I can sit in for him.” Not a bad heckler response. I consider people asking to sit in as hecklers and should be treated as such.
  17. DRBP

    DRBP Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    i don’t usually want to unload here but boy do i agree with you. a week ago one of our drummers asked a guitar playing buddy of his to sit in at our last gig. to be fair we know the guy and have shared stage with him at a couple of other gigs that ended with planned jam sessions. he is a shredder but not nearly the pro the drummer thinks he is. drummer says he is a pro, will follow our lead player to not miss any changes, etc, etc. so he sits in on SRV’s tightrope, misses almost every turnaround before the choruses and in the solo, plays louder as rhythm than the lead is playing, and then HE ends the song without his solo and cutting off our lead players solo in the process! so being nice, lead vocals ask if the audience wants to hear him solo so we fire it back up, he goes on and on and on, breaks a string on our rhythm players guitar. yeah, right, pro! made every novice screw up in the book (and i know he knows better) and just made us look goofy. to be fair he went and put on a new string and tuned up the guitar for our player, and the drummer texted the next day that he was sorry for his lapse in judgement… still grated on me even though i was trying to be gracious, team spirit and all that.
    Sushi Box FX, 31HZ, Dust2Dust and 2 others like this.
  18. Bajo Clarkko

    Bajo Clarkko

    Aug 9, 2015
    If for no other reason, I’d rather not have anyone sitting in, because I wouldn’t want them playing my bass. (Did the person bring their own bass?)

    My hands are not the least bit acidic, and my strings usually last a long time. That last thing I want is some knucklehead with acidic hands ruining a perfectly good set of strings.
  19. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
  20. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Sit-ins are great as long as you, who have the responsibility of providing a decent performance to the paying owner, know what to expect from the guest players. This person, however seems a bit annoying, especially if the song was "Me and Bobby McGee", which I suspect it might have been. I don't mind the tune itself, but I find many people that insist on doing it all the time a bit too precious in a very grating kind of way. That might really break up the flow of your carefully crafted set.