Sit in request on the gig

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
The only guys I and my band let sit in are guys/friends in other bands on the scene that we know personally. We all sub for each other so these are known quantities. But a complete stranger? Nope, sorry.
 
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drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I read a snappy comeback here a while ago intended to be said to the daft individual who puts a drummer on the spot like that. It was something to do with a temporary swap with the requesters girl friend.
Lately, I have been actually taking a lot of enjoyment out of completely stonewalling people like that. I yelled at some pretty young drunk chick last week who came up on the bandstand after we were done for the night and started hitting my rack toms with her hands while I was breaking things down. My voice can get really loud really quick and that’s what happened. I said YO KNOCK IT OFF really loud and it startled her.
She looked at me and said “one of your ears are bigger than the other” and stormed off. Lol.
A few weeks ago a drunk Netflix actress who shall remain nameless walked on stage and started talking to us. We asked her to step off cause we were playing. She went nuts and called us lame and mean.
I tried to explain to her after the set and she just said she didn't care and how she was a better drummer than me. I said, "you have a nice night" and walked away.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I would never ask myself.

Generally, I think it is less than cool to ask. I'm not a fan of someone replacing someone else on an instrument. But, occasionally we Will invite people up to join us on stage - to sing along with us, or play the tamborine - to get the crowd into things. I consider that a completely different situation.

We have had people get up and grab a guitar - if it is a fellow musician in town we know. Again, after we invite. But, if someone asks, and we don't know them, that's a strict - no way.

Now on a different but related note - when a child during a break asks to check out my kit, I Always oblige. I consider it a privilege to possibly help stoke the music passion of a young person, and while some don't like hearing the kid make noise, I consider it a small price to pay for something very positive.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I read a snappy comeback here a while ago intended to be said to the daft individual who puts a drummer on the spot like that. It was something to do with a temporary swap with the requesters girl friend.
Lately, I have been actually taking a lot of enjoyment out of completely stonewalling people like that. I yelled at some pretty young drunk chick last week who came up on the bandstand after we were done for the night and started hitting my rack toms with her hands while I was breaking things down. My voice can get really loud really quick and that’s what happened. I said YO KNOCK IT OFF really loud and it startled her.
She looked at me and said “one of your ears are bigger than the other” and stormed off. Lol.
I would have yelled back, "What did you say? I'm sorry, I can only hear out of my small ear."
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
First of all, this is tacky for someone to even ask.
Second, I'd just tell them no unless everything had been pre-arranged beforehand.

The only time I remotely ran into something like this was several months ago, I played a benefit for a guy who passed away suddenly (All of the people playing had been friends of the guy who had died). There were a few acts, but only two had drummers (me being one of them). I supplied my drums, but the other guy was to bring his own cymbals, drum throne, sticks, snare, and kick drum pedal. In terms of the order of bands, we were supposed to play, several solo acts play, the other band (and drummer play), then I was supposed to get up there near the end and ALL of the players get up and play together (Yup, it was to be a "wall o' sound," but they were going to be simple songs, so who cares). It got time for me to go up and play the second set, but the other drummer was having such a great time playing with others, I just let him. It was great watching him have a good time, and I knew in advance that his one band he plays with doesn't gig very often. I gig quite a bit, so I just let him stay up there and have fun with it.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
At least you get asked, I get pissed up women (for some reason it's always women) that try and sneak behind the kit at half time when I'm nowhere near the stage and I hit the roof, so rude. I hide the stool and sticks now. If someone is an arsehole sober then drink only makes it worse so don't encourage them.

It's always a no if I'm asked by a stranger. If I know you and know you can play then that's different. A real musician won't ask because:
1) It's not their gig and the other musician is working.
2) A real musician knows how much high end gear costs and how much it costs to keep it high end.

Don't feel bad for saying no, you stood your ground. If they don't like it, tough :)
 

Polska

Member
I agree with everyone here. I would never ask to sit in myself, and will not let anyone I don't know sit in with my band, especially with my gear. I just had someone ask me this past Friday. He saw me starting to break down while some of the guys were still noodling at the end of the night. He says "Hey, I could play if you want a break. I'm a drummer too". I politely said no thanks, and that I had to pack and leave in a hurry. It was true, the night was over and I just wanted to head home. But also, no way are you jumping up to play on my gear.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
"No, but I sure would like to see you come down to the jam that runs regularly at <<insert name of place/days and time of the jam you attend>>"

"Will I see you there next <<insert day here>>? Its always a great time!"

Serve your business needs not just situations. Make a fan/potential future band mate/fill-in musician.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
Given the pretty much unanimous opinion stated in the above responses, it makes me wonder: who are these drummers asking to sit in?

I've never done it myself. And unless I know you, you DO NOT ask me. I'm the one who learned the songs, cleared the night for the gig, lugged the gear, set it up, and will have to break it down and lug it back afterwards.

You just showed up and downed a few courage-inducing drinks. And you want me to turn my precious drums over to YOU?...
 

Durbs

Senior Member
Given the pretty much unanimous opinion stated in the above responses, it makes me wonder: who are these drummers asking to sit in?

I've never done it myself. And unless I know you, you DO NOT ask me. I'm the one who learned the songs, cleared the night for the gig, lugged the gear, set it up, and will have to break it down and lug it back afterwards.

You just showed up and downed a few courage-inducing drinks. And you want me to turn my precious drums over to YOU?...
Also - what are they trying to achieve?
  • If they're worse than you, they'll look bad (except to their mates?), but will have fun at everyone elses' expense.
  • If they're better, they'll look like a show off
  • If they're the same, it's nothing but ego-stroking
Never happened to me either
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
My last band has a monthly gig at a neighborhood ethnic club that's billed as an open jam, but they didn't tell me...

One of the regulars wanted to play my drums. I said, "okay, but don't move anything." The guy said, "I'll only move the snare drum." Strike one.

I watched as he moved the snare and knocked it into the toms. Strike two.

He brought a HUGE stick bag with him - probably dozens of pairs of sticks in it. The sticks were filthy, and my new heads were instantly all marked up. Strike three.

It was really weird, the guy had great skills and chops, but his fills never landed on the one. No sense of time, over-played horribly. It was awful.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Perhaps just some drunk person. It happens. I wouldn't over think these things.
I've been drunk from time to time. Even once asked a group if I could sit in. They politely said no.
I've also said no to people who've asked to sit in.
This comes with the territory of playing gigs in bars for drunk people. It is one of the unpleasentries of being a working drummer for sure, but it will happen from time to time.

Politely say no, give them a business card and ask them to reach out and perhaps they can sit in the next show as long as they prove to you that they play well. Playing music is about making the audience feel good and if you can stage a sit-in drummer who plays well the audience will really enjoy it.
 

doggyd69b

Active member
It depends on the gig and the people involved. At a high-profile gig, it's an automatic no. If it's casual enough and I know the people, then I'll say yes.

I feel like asking to sit in is kind of rude. It's putting someone on the spot in a way that I'm not comfortable with. If it's my gig, I put in the hours of practice, I drove to the rehearsals, I lugged my gear in and now somebody wants to just jump up and take time away from me playing? Even when I agree to let someone do it, I'm not crazy about it.

I can understand new drummers or people who don't play out often getting excited about it, and I'll try to accommodate that. But when a seasoned player expects it, it annoys me. I can say no, but I feel like I shouldn't even be put in a position to have to. I never ask to sit in and I play out enough that I don't even want to; it's nice to sit back and let someone else do the work for a change.
I agree, after putting the time to practice, taking and setting the gear (because let's face it most of us here don't have roadies) and setting the gear for you (i'm 6'5'' so my drums are spread apart so as to not make me feel cramped).
The only two times i let someone else play my drums they broke a cymbal. there will never be a third time.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Has anyone had someone get up on the drums on break who didn't ask, and just walked up, sat down, and started playing with zero permission?

This happened to me only I wasn't close enough to hear. I was told about it after the gig. The bandleader put a stop to it. I don't know how I would have behaved if I caught the person. Probably pretty badly. It's probably good that I wasn't there, I picture myself grabbing the guys shirt and dragging him off my set, off the stage, and throwing him out of the bar.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Given the pretty much unanimous opinion stated in the above responses, it makes me wonder: who are these drummers asking to sit in?

I've never done it myself. And unless I know you, you DO NOT ask me. I'm the one who learned the songs, cleared the night for the gig, lugged the gear, set it up, and will have to break it down and lug it back afterwards.

You just showed up and downed a few courage-inducing drinks. And you want me to turn my precious drums over to YOU?...
I would guess that it's someone who has never played in a live situation, or they are intoxicated, or they have a kit at home but have never had any lessons nor are they very good. It's the guy that sits down at a kit in a store and absolutely bashes the crap out of the drums because they don't understand musical instruments. They just perceive drums as "fun toys". JMO

I would never ask to sit in. I've refused to sit in a couple times, in order to not show up the other drummer (I'm not saying I'm special. Just sayin he wasn't AT ALL). That was years ago. I'd sit in, in a hot minute these days!
 
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