"To me, the single most overlooked item in folks' practice routines is playing rhythm and working on their timing," he said. "I feel you should work on this with the same thought as you do working on a solo. Now, granted, it's not nearly as fun, but it is just as important. Most of the playing that I do is in a bluegrass setting, and I've been very fortunate to have worked with some of the best players in that genre. The one thing that all of these folks concentrate on as much as any other part of their playing is their rhythm and timing. This is not to say that it's always going to be perfect or mechanical, or that it won't 'breathe' a bit. But it's very easy to play over when you're soloing. If you get into a jam session and it just doesn't feel very easy to solo or play along with, in most cases it's because it's loose rhythmically.
"Working with a metronome is very helpful with this. I'll set the metronome at the tempo a song will usually be played, and then I'll just hum the tune to myself and chop along. Again, this can get boring. But if you do this with tunes that you're working on or play regularly, I can assure you that you will reap the benefits. It will make you a more consistent player both rhythmically and in your solos. Always be aware of all the folks you are playing with and be sensitive to what they're doing. If they're playing softly, adjust what you're doing accordingly. If someone you're playing with is really hammering a section of a tune, stand on it a little. Think of the dynamic possibilities when you're playing and have fun with it."
Adam Steffey, as quoted by Bill Graham in his latest article...so logical, yet profound in its simplicity...I want to approach jams like Adam Steffey when I grow up, and if at least most did, we wouldn't need the dread "Stink Eye."