That is so true !!! Now I think people don't try by themselves, if they have a problem they seek out the info/advise... before you had to try if you wanted to get any resultes event if it takes longer at least you know why it didn't work and why something else work.
And vast majority of time, you couldn't see how the bass player played on the record so you had to figure it out or come up with a tone and way of playing that is your own.
As for the question, I think putting your hand on everything you can, have a teacher and don't try to copy the tone of the record, just play.
Does not compute