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Sittin' in etiquette

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ryco, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Let's talk about good manners when sitting in. If I'm invited to sit in on someone's set I'll usually confine myself to 2 or 3 numbers, say thank you and go sit down. Last night I invited a guy my chair and he finished the last half of the set for me. I was hopin' my mates would say something but they are too nice, and I certainly didn't want to make a scene. He wasn't crappy - but man I wanted to play! Haha! Jazz gigs are rare in these parts and it's one of my fav things to do! What would you have said or done?

    A couple of weeks ago (same gig) the trio is playin' along and all of a sudden we hear a flute playin' along with us. At first it sounded nice and cool. Having a horn join in can be refreshing. But she started playin' on every tune and while she wasn't crappy, it got old. She started steppin' on solos and playin' on stuff she obviously didn't know (that's MY dept! haha).

    Sometimes havin' someone sit in can be the most awe inspiring thing! Last year a lady asked if she could sing "Girl from Ipinema" (sp?) and proceeded to sing in Portuguese - in Db! Wow!! Goosebump time. What a beautiful language!

    Of course the flipside horror story was the guy who came in drunk with a 'bone. When he put that thing to his lips and this big ol' Brahhwrarrrrah came out I nearly keeled over with laughter. Man, I thought I was in a Mel Brooks movie! It was so classically bad. Thank god a couple came over and invited him for drinks at the tav across the street. Man you never know if your gonna hear genius or not.

    Any common sense rules or opinions you care to share
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    You can't really be upset unless you told the guy he could only play a certain period of time, or number of songs. An open invitation is just that, open. On the reverse side, if it is your gig, don't feel bad about asking the guest player to have a seat while you finish the set. Something like "Thanks, excellent job. I'll take it from here. Feel free to come back next week".

    As far as the flute player, did someone ask her to play? If not, just kindly let her know that you aren't looking for a flute to accompany the current songs. Then suggest a song she can play along with later in the evening.

    The key is to let any guest players know up front what the "rules" are.

  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I make it a point to always just say out loud, in passing, "two tunes".
  4. If someone is nice enough to let me sit in, I always make sure to set my beer on their amplifier as a token of thanks. Nobody ever buys their amp a beer, they get thirsty too.

  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    If I invite you to sit in, it's because I know you well, I know you won't damage my gear, and I know you won't fiddle with any of my settings.
  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Personnaly...I don't care. You can play the whole night if you want. Just be gone when the money gets passed out :)

    If I did care...I would invite the guy up towards the end of the set so they would be limited to however much time that was and no one would have to feel bad about throwing him off the stage.
  7. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I've always gone by the "two song" rule.

    I think the NUMBER ONE sit in etiquette IS, NEVER ask to sit in. Only do so when invited. I don't ask anyone to sit in unless I know them. I've seen too many nightmares when people ask to sit in.

    If you invite someone to sit in and they are overstaying their welcome, just walk back up on the stage. That normally gives them the hint to hand your bass back to you!
  8. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    It's like letting someone ride your bike and they take off around the block. Just keep in eye contact and they'll know when to give it up.
  9. You should have simply walked back up on stage at the end of one of the songs and thanked him for sitting in, complemented him, and take your bass back.

    But it happens...

    We used to play this crapy little dive where they had a few regular patrons. Well one of these patrons was none other than Mr. Tambourine Man himself. Oh boy, Have you ever had someone play the tambourine badly right next to you? Well this guy had no concept of rhythm not to mention he was pretty well lit. He would be there almost every time we played that place. Finley, one night the singer asked him not to play, he was disappointed to say the least but it had to be done. NOW....harmonica, There is another instrument of the damned when played badly.
  10. Ryco, you crack me up man! Hahaha..a Mel Brooks movie! I love it... :D

    Alot of good points have been made here....I had the same thing happen last year at a gig, where this fairly well known (locally) bassist from a really good local band happened to show up at our gig, just to have a few beers and hang out. I had just bought my Ampeg SVT4Pro and was haing a great night getting her all dialed in, when one of my friends in the audience introduces me to this other bassist and tells me how great he is blah blah blah...and that I should let him "sit in" for "a song". Long story short this idiot played the last 30 minutes of my set on my rig, changed all my settings around and just like you...I "didnt want to make a scene". (he was really good, but it wasnt like he was stealing the show or anything). I did pull his ass aside after the show and dressed him down for wearing out his welcome and ESPECIALLY for dinking with my rig. Bottom line is, if youre asked to "sit in", and you dont have the presence of mind to give the main cat his gig back after a couple of numbers...then youre an idiot. I still see this guy around and he still apologizes all over the place...but Ill never forget just how mad I was!
  11. Oh great, the guy with the avatar lounging around in his underwear is giving us etiquette tips.... Marvelous... :D

  12. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    dude , i know you were only kidding , but
    i guess thats' one of my big gripes ...
    i can't stand to see anyone put their beer { or other drinks } ,
    on an amplifier .

    we used to have a guitarist who would walk up and set his scotch
    on top of my amp ...

    i warned him , but he acted like an a$$ about it , like i was being unreasonable or something ...
    so i fired him after the second gig .
  13. That's why I posted it, its mine too... Lets see, $1000 high watt power amp, $700 preamp, $700 Xwire wireless that's irreplaceable/unrepairable therefore priceless..... Kind of an expensive coaster if you ask me...

    I took one of those plastic can holders for car windows, clipped the edge off the lip, super glued some velcro on the inside of the corners.... voila! Its a cup holder that velcros itself to any of the carpeted cabinets on the market. On the side, so spillage only hurts the carpet, not the electronics, not the speakers. The velcro holds the vertical surface on side of cab AND the horizontal surface on top of cab, the beer causes a shearing force perpendicular to the velcro, making it VERY resistant to coming off.

    The beer is adequately protected as well from being kicked over if on the floor, or knocked over if on the amp. It has a plastic railing to hold on to.

    I'd support you if you meant you fired him out of a cannon after the second gig.

  14. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    One bar I play at has a shelf running along side the stage on my side. I dig having that drink holder! NEVER NEVER NEVER put drinks on top of an amp. Other than that, I usually use the floor method of drink holding.
  15. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's what I used until a glass of coke ended up inside my sansamp BDDI and killed it.Coke is so darn corrosive! Nowadays I only take bottled water on stage, with the cap sealed.
  16. Hahaha! At last nights gig some very well meaning honey brought some beers up to the stage for the band, and in the process of trying to line them up at the fromt of the stage for each of us, she knocked my mic stand over and the SM58 it was loaded with landed right on the screen and dented the crap out of it. Didnt spill a drop of that beer though, bless her heart!