I know HOW to play, mechanically, and I 've studied music theory- all scales, pick or finger and I've stretched and strengthened my small chick hands and fingers to the point where I could now probably crush cocnuts with em if I needed to. But-What notes do I play, for cryin out loud? I read numerous places that the best way to become a good bass player is to play along with stuff. but I'll put something on and have to stop, figure out what key it's in, and then most of the time the only way it sounds right is when it's played the way it was written and recorded- and that doesn't teach me anything except how to play that particular song. What am I doing wrong? Perhaps my choices are inappropriate for this sort of exercise (Police, most recently). I will be immensly grateful for any suggestions on approaches to creating harmonic bass lines, especially spontaneously. What's your approach? THANK YOU!