Mattbass6945: Yes, your advice has been helpful. Thanks! And you are right. While the hours and hours of practice is necessary, If your not playing the right things or simply don't know what to play, then you are probably just playing random notes. While doing that might sound good, that isn't gonna help no matter how much you practice. When I listen to a song, lets say its a heavy metal song, Most of the time I haven't a clue what they are doing or playing. I can play what I think should be played but what I find a lot of times is that I'm either playing way too slow or I am playing waaay to fast and I'm not even at the correct position/notes from what the bass player is actually playing. Take Geezer Butler from Sabbath. He tends to play fast in the majority of the Sabbath songs (at least that is what the way I have seen him play live). But other bass players can surprise you. Some may take a fast song and instead of playing really fast as you would think, they are playing a bit slower than the actual song or the guitars are playing. So I think your right in that I just need to understand how to apply what I know already to useful real world situations.
I don't know if this helps in any way but I used to play the french horn when I was in middle school. The french horn was interesting. You never actually played the melody of a song. I remember playing the theme from M*A*S*H and I didn't play the melody we all know. If I remember correctly, I played in between the melody (if that makes sense). Occasionally I would join in with the melody but only a few times in the whole song. I guess I kinda felt like I was playing the off the beat rather then on the beat (if that makes sense). I don't know if this would apply to the bass as well but I figured I would throw that out there.