As I progress through the learning process, I have recently discovered how much the bass guitar is a rhythmic instrument. Just wondering if anybody has come to this point, where you are focusing on the instrument as a rhythmic instrument, instead of a melodic instrument. When I play now, I am thinking about the instrument as a drum - mainly a bass and snair drum, and the possibilities for different drum patterns for a given piece of music when you imagine what a bass and snair drum would be doing, and follow that. It's so amazing what you can come up with when you find a great rhythmic structure, and then apply melodic concepts to that pattern. I'm sure it doesn't hurt to also be in sync with your drummer, but having this "rhythmic" mindset also makes it much easier to sync with what the drummer is doing, and insures that you won't be in conflict with the drummer.