I started out my musical journey as a guitarist, but I recently joined a glam metal/hard rock band as a bassist. I've always loved the bass and had wanted to play it in a band, so of course I leapt at the chance. Because I've always wanted to play bass I've been taking a lot of care to work on my sound, my technique, etc. and just do a lot of experimentation. We haven't played any gigs yet, but we've had a bunch of practices in our guitarist's basement. The room has carpeting and a low drop-ceiling, and as such the guitarists really don't need to turn their amps up loud because it comes through very clearly. However at almost every practice I'm told I need to turn down. I stand in front of my amp (A small 50 watt 1x12 combo) and I turn it up enough so that I can hear it through the guitarists' wall of sound. But to the singer who stands further away it's too loud, and to a friend who was in the next room over he said he could hear the bass clear as a bell - In fact, this friend said that during one song where I use a heavily distorted Big Muff pedal he could hear every note I played, when to me it just blended in with the distortion from the guitars and I couldn't hear a thing from it. I'm assuming that bass frequencies travel better across distances and through walls than guitar frequencies, so it might be perceived as louder to someone further away than myself. I've heard it said that bass should be felt and not heard, and if you can actually hear it then it's too loud. Remember how I said I always wanted to play bass? None of the bassists I played with had my "dream" sound that I thought was a great bass tone for hard rock/punk/metal, like a mix of Mike Dirnt and Duff McKagan, really punchy and midrange-y. So I finally got a sound like that and it works with the heavy distortion the guitarists use, but it also cuts through a lot in the mix and every practice I'm asked a few times to turn down. We usually practice each song 2-3 times in a row to get them right, and each time I tried a different sound - Lowering the high mids, upping the lows, or just boosting the signal with the Big Muff with the tone set high to get a nastier tone. Laying off the highs and the mids immediately made the bass blend in to the sound more, even though I didn't touch the volume at all. The only problem was I couldn't hear myself and I know I was playing sloppily due to that. I think there's also a notion that bass SHOULDN'T be heard or be loud. For years I'd listen to albums and only focus on the drums and guitars, completely ignoring the impact of the bass. My singer is the ringleader of the band, and since he doesn't know any musical instruments I think he just assumes a bass player is mandatory but not necessary to the sound. In fact, this band's first album before I joined had really inaudible bass throughout the entire thing. I've done some recording with them since joining, and on one song I recorded with them there's a small bass-and-drum solo in the middle and they pushed my levels so far down you can barely hear it. So, for you guys who play hard rock and metal, how do you approach your sound and levels? Do you make yourself heard? Do you pull back and add to the atmosphere?