Letting audience members sit in, playing your guitar....

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by standard24, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    I play in a 9 piece corporate event/wedding band. Once in a while, one of the big shots in the corporation, or the "best man" will ask if they can come up and play a song.

    NOBODY plays our band leader's guitar. Never, ever. So when it happens, he usually asks me if the guy can play mine.... (If I'm playing a PRS, he won't even suggest it.) Most of the time, I bring easily replaceable/indestructible Stratocasters, so I say OK. (I want the audience to think we're nice folks, and not a bunch of pricks.) Never have I had a bad player attempt. We're a very good band, and it takes balls to want to participate onstage with us.

    One night, some corporate VP type guy wanted to play, and leader asks me if it's OK.... "Yeah, sure". Well, I think the guy wanted to play the leader's Gibson, because when I handed him my p*ssy pink Squier Strat, he looked totally dejected. (BTW This is a very fine, MIJ Squier with full boutique components.)

    He looked really embarrassed playing a pink guitar in front of his corporate buddies, but the guy flat out ripped! I could practice 100 hours a day, and never play like that!

    I'm always a little apprehensive, letting a stranger play my axes, but so far, nothing bad has happened. And once in a while, I get to hear my guitar in someone else's hands.

    How do y'all feel about strangers sitting in, and playing your gear?
     
  2. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    Unless I know the person, no, not happening.
     
  3. AParrotLooksAt4O

    AParrotLooksAt4O Member

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    Unless its an old friend who is a player and sober, never. Call me a prick.
     
  4. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Uh, no.

    Well, okay. Mind if I give your wife a go while you sit in with the boys?
    I brought my own penis and everything.

    No? Really?

    Geez.
     
  5. imaxeman69

    imaxeman69 Member

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    I only let it happen if it's someone I know, and they're not in the bag.
     
  6. Simon

    Simon Supporting Member

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    About 20yrs ago I let a good friend play my Custom LP, he managed to crack the neck.
     
  7. Stike

    Stike Member

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    In a band like yours sounds like it's occasionally part of the territory. My band plays 80s Camaro rock covers in the kind of venues you would expect. If it's someone I don't know then no way.
     
  8. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    My sentiments exactly...
     
  9. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Usually only if they let me make out with their chick, or have some of their food(if the date isn't good looking).

    I don't look like a cool guy, or a guy that would be cool with that, so it rarely comes up.
     
  10. Sid

    Sid Member

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  11. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

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    Your lucky streak is not something most of us can identify with, as the percentage of the population who are hacks is rather high.

    In addition, prospective guests often have one or more liabilities:
    1) Intoxication, usually heavy
    2) Have learned song in the wrong/different key, from tabs, don't know arrangement etc.
    3) Are more interested in mugging for friends & family than in playing a song
    4) A large chasm between stated and actual ability
    5) They tend to encourage others to follow suit

    If it's a situation with some political implications as you describe I think it's reasonable to do a 60-second 'audition' between sets to gauge respective levels of ability & BS and if he passes, go all-out on the theatre and act as if you've plucked him from the audience at random.

    Although it's often frustrating for musicians to watch someone else's gig, I try to remember that if the tables were turned I wouldn't necessarily want someone pestering me for a guest slot so I let them do their thing.
     
  12. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Nope, unless it's a friend.
     
  13. Xian Forbes

    Xian Forbes Member

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    If it's a gimmick that your corporate band wants to do regularly I'd say get a super cheap strat or lp just for that purpose. Make sure it's a macho looking machine with a decent setup, wouldn't want Mr vice president to have to fight a crap axe. Make everyone feel important and get asked back for next year's Christmas party.
     
  14. astainback

    astainback Member

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    That could have only been better if the strat was the hello kitty model.
     
  15. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    Never comes up. Maybe I look unfriendly or whatever.

    Once had a drunk audience member insist I play HIS guitar.
     
  16. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    At a bar gig, my policy is never unless it's someone I know well. Even then it sets the "hey you let him sit in can I too?" precedent. Suddenly every asshole in the place seems to pull a harmonica out of his pocket.

    At a corporate gig I'd have a spare axe if I thought this situation might come up.
     
  17. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Yep, that's true. The audience gets a different/positive view of the band.


    *****Make everyone feel important and get asked back for next year's Christmas party. *****

    True also.... If the guys who make the decisions expect they'll get to play again next time, it's a very good way to be listed "first choice band" for next year's party.

    BTW.... I almost never gig my best/expensive guitars. I have 3 Strats I assembled strictly for gigs. I bring whichever one I want to play tonight. It's pretty hard to damage a Strat.

    And these are very different than bar/club gigs. Mostly upscale "country club" clientele. No drunks, no stoners, no smokers.
     
  18. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne P&W--Praise & Western--on 6, 8 and 12 strings. Silver Supporting Member

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    We lefties never have this problem.
     
  19. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Ah, but then you never would have seen Jet get George to play a Dead song, without George knowing it! :rotflmao
     
  20. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    My guitars are just a tool, If I can make someone happy it's fine with me. I don't usually allow sit-ins unless I know them though. But at a corporate event when some ex player who's paying the bill wants to play... why not... let him do his thing... he'll soon realize he lost his chops 30 years ago.. and his people will love your band for it. Heck, I've got $100 bill in the tip jar for doing so...:>)
     

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