Just went through the worse sitting in experience of my life. Seriously. I had just done a bass/piano duo gig at the waterfront in DC and a longtime friend of mine had been hounding me about going to The Fishmarket in Clinton, MD afterwards. It's a restaurant with live music and some pretty good musicians drop in. He's a drummer and he wanted me to sit in with him. I'm very familiar with his playing so my agreeing to do it was stupid from the start. I truly had no idea how bad it could get. Anyway, I show up at the club and see that Gary Granger is playing with the band tonight. Cool. Gary's an excellent player and nice guy to boot. He had his new PRS and it sounded pretty good. After almost three hours my friend got on the drums on a Jill Scott slow tune ("Is this the way...") that their drummer didn't know... and proceeded to butcher it. Constantly changing tempo, crazy fills where the one couldn't be found afterwards, just general herky jerky playing. They got through that song and then Gary calls me up to play with my friend. I hoped for the best The band started playing "Play that Funky Music" and it was without a doubt the most painful, embarassing performance of my life. I'm not exaggerating. The groove was so f'ed up I couldn't even figure out safe places to play any of the actually bass line and spent a large portion of the song pedalling, trying to figure out where the one was going to be each and every measure. Accents? There were none. We didn't even have a straight beat to latch onto. And of course the best part is this is the first time I've played in front of Gary After we mercifully finished and had gotten away from the bandstand my friend tells me that that was fun. I looked at him like he had horns. "Are you serious? I'm never doing that **** again", I said, meaning sit in with him. He starts laughing and tells me yeah, it was kind of messed up, the guitarist and keyboard player were really screwing up. I think everyone has a button and that really pushed mine. I told him to come outside. After letting him explain himself again, still blaming everyone else but him for the debacle I did what I should've done years ago... I told him the truth. Just like on "American Idol", he didn't even have a clue that there were any issues with his playing, like his inability to play even the simplest thing consistently. He mentioned that others had told him he sounded good on more than one occassion and I told them they were being polite... just like Gary had been when he told me I sounded good after that trainwreck of a jam. I sounded like ass. I don't like sounding like ass. I usually don't. I told him I was telling him this as a friend because others wouldn't tell him to his face that he's simply not ready to be playing live with other people. That he really needed to record himself playing with others or even with a cd and then listen, really listen to it and then maybe he'd have a clue as to how bad he sounded. He didn't want to hear any of this. He countered with the fact that he thinks he can play with a metronome (he can't consistently), that he has a lot of drum videos, has talked to lots of drummers and he's been taking lessons. He's been playing drums for more than ten years and still doesn't get it. He also plays keyboards but doesn't have the same songwrecking capabilities on that instrument. He said that other people screw up and I tried to explain the difference between an occassional mistake and a completely f'ed up total perfomance. That consistent time was critical in playing the type of music he wants to play. I'm pretty sure it went in one ear and out the other. Hey, maybe he even blamed me for how screwed up it was. Anyway, it felt good to finally get that out in the open. Whether or not he still considers me a friend after this isn't really all that important, it'd be nice if he finally gets the message and either gets serious about the instrument or quits making a fool of himself (to talk to him you'd think he was a fulltime pro). In any event I'm through with knowingly putting myself in a situation like that again. I honestly think it made me sound like I play on his level. I love a good drummer. I hate playing with drummers who suck. I pity musicians who suck and don't even know it. Why didn't I just go home after the gig?