got a call 2 nites ago and was asked if i could fill in for 3 shows next week with a band that's here on tour from europe (www.thebelgiansinger.com), and desperate. their bass player had a problem at the last minute. i was once advised that when given such an opportunity, just say YES, and THEN figure out how the hell you're going to do it later. these guys are entirely out of my league, the music is not my style, their bassist plays standup, and i'm nervous - yet more excited and thrilled that they asked me to play. the very next day i read "practice like the pros" in the Nov. B.P. Oscar Stagnaro (who i never heard of) talked about playing with musicians that are better than you. it got me thinking. just about any time i ever grew as a musician it was because i was lucky enough to hook up with others that were out of my league. my very first band was going to be with some drummer i idolized at the time. he gave me a whole bunch of songs to learn that i thought i never could - i learned them, the band never happened, but the fact that i was going to be playing with this guy got me to an entirely different level. i once stayed on top of this other guy who is probably the greatest guitarist i ever heard in my life (www.bumblefoot.com). finally got to play with him. can't tell you how much i learned. never made it to the stage with them though - broke up right after 9/11. played in a rock band with some jazz musicians for a year or so. learned all about my position in the beat - on top of, behind.... countless other things too. i could go on and on. i've been fortunately able to play with lots of people who were better than me. i'm gonna put an ad out. bass player looking for band he's not good enough for. just thought i'd rant about all that and see if anyone had experiences, thoughts or whatever that they'd like to add.