Last night, while auditioning some less-than-stellar drummers and a not-so-good guitarist for a new project (we are still searching), I came to learn something about myself. The sloppier and less-musical the song is, the more I over-play. We were doing pop, and a couple basic top-40 rock tunes, and I, as I do, had them down beat for beat, note for note, but when the kick drum started deviating, and the timing started fluctuating behind the wall of guitar-noise, I found myself playing like a rank-amateur again (only with more...flair?). I've noticed this previously with 'busy' drummers, and I understand that, but it was a bit of a revelation that the slop brings out 'too many notes syndrome.' It's almost like a subconscious reaction to frustration...or something like that... This phenomenon is not to be confused with 'this section of jamming is amazing and I'm playing conversationally with other great musicians.' I believe the tasty extra notes are justified in those (unfortunately rare) situations. This feels like a good litmus test: If I'm smiling while playing root notes on the down-beat, I know the drummer is doing their job well... So, do you find yourself overplaying in sloppy situations? Do you have some other way of coping with unfortunate 'drummers?' Or do you just play it 'correctly' regardless of what's going on behind that kit?