There have been a lot of threads by older (> 40) players lamenting how they cannot get into an interesting band due to their "advanced" years. Maybe we old fogies should be counting our blessings. Backstory Ted, (age 45), a close friend and drummer (also a 6th grade teacher) with whom I have worked closely on many band projects over the past decade and a half, has created a band around his 13 year old daughter. He staffed it with a former student of his (now age 20) on keys and her guitar teacher (also ~20). He is the drummer and the band rehearses in his basement. He asked me at that time to not only participate as bass player, but also as a producer. I could not join as their bass player, but said I'd be happy to act in the role of silent producer meaning he could send me what they were doing and I could offer suggestions and opinions about what I heard. Over the course of the last few months I've reviewed a number of recordings of their originals and offered my thoughts. How I Got In Flash to last weekend - Ted called Saturday evening and explained that their bass player was not in the picture any longer, that he's booked some time at a local studio to record a three song demo and wanted to know if I could step in to help out by playing bass AND acting as arranger, producer. I agreed and told him I'd be at their rehearsal the next day ready to get to work. The three songs they are going to be recording include, "To Sir, With Love" and two originals that his daughter wrote (which are quite good, 13 year old or not!). The originals are in desperate need of arranging, but otherwise are really solid pop tunes. The Meat and Potatoes HERE'S the crux; I get up Sunday morning and proceed to learn and examine these songs. I arrive at rehearsal to find the guitar player there, dutifully warmed up and ready, Ted's daughter (of course) there and ready - no keys player. OK, this happens. We begin to go over "To Sir" and I quickly realize they've got one of the changes completely wrong. I let 'em know - they're shocked and insist on listening to the recording to verify. Fine - Verified... "Wow! We had no idea!" OK, keys player finally shows up and walks in attitude on full. We proceed to go over "To Sir" and I stop us when we hit the bad change because I realize Johnny come lately didn't have the benefit of our recent discovery and I acquaint him with what's up. He, with his wealth of wisdom and experience, proceeds to tell me that it's not possible that the change I am talking about is correct. So we have to prove it yet again to him before he'll believe that's the case. It's proved, he's still indignant and feels the change they had in place was better - (Fm as opposed to F#m) - a minor discrepancy, sure, but a minor second is a minor second... That was the first episode... As we went through some of the original tunes I pointed out where the singer was sounding flat (keys dude didn't like that...) - I asked if they'd be interested in adding a brief solo section since all of the original numbers were such that the vocals basically started at the beginning and were non-stop present through the entire song - in every song - no space, no interest, no dynamics - start - sing, sing, sing, sing, finish... A logical and rather obvious arrangement move, I thought... Keys dude thinks otherwise and this time needs a break to go outside and vent alone. The rest of the rehearsal went on with that vibe. We pause to discuss the nature of the song, what could be done to improve it or fix a problem that needed fixing, he gets uppity and snotty, etc... This behavior really gave me worms. I was not being personally abusive or critical toward anyone in the room. Rather, I was doing what I know to be what musicians who are serious about making a good recording do - being very detailed and focused about the songs, fixing mistakes, improving soft spots, clearing clutter and building interest. I told Ted afterward that I was a little disoriented by this odd dynamic, but if this is the way things are going to be in this project that I have much better things to do with my time than be the object of some know-it-all, whipper-snapper's scorn. Ted agrees and is taking corrective measures. It's been confirmed that this kid was indeed "offended" by my presence, comments and directness since he perceived me as a new-comer and himself as the voice of musical reason in the group. The Moral of this Story Kids, please. Now I feel old. When you are in a session with older, more experienced players, regardless of how much you may feel you are God's gift to music and music theory, defer initially to the older, more experienced players. You may not fully appreciate what they are saying, but at LEAST behave respectfully and give them the benefit of the doubt. More often than not you will probably be surprised at how good they are at what they are doing and how they can actually show you a thing or two that you'd have never thought up yourself. At bear minimum, your deferential and respectful disposition with be very much respected and appreciated, but even better, if you indeed ARE God's gift to music, your input and suggestions will be MUCH more well received - even sought - if you behave in such a fashion.