So I had my first lesson ever last week (first time ever playing a musical instrument), and I practice daily. I always start off by doing the exercises my instructor provided me, but then once I nail those to my satisfaction, I end up not wanting to stop there. So then I end up playing the bass lines I remember from songs by ear, and recently, looking up tabs for more bass lines to play. Given that these songs require fretting/techniques that I haven't been taught yet, and I'm only improvising like the amateur I am, I'm most likely going "out of bounds" and doing everything wrong, lol. I just rely on sound. Today I asked two musician friends about this. One, a guitarist, said that it was the way to go - learn on my feet, etc. He said he was mostly self-taught. Another, a violinist, jumped on my ass about it. lol He said that I was undoubtedly "instilling bad habits" in myself. If I'm focusing on proper, taught technique for the instructor-provided exercises, and doing my best to maintain the fundamentals when I branch off and have a little fun with my bass, is the violinist guy right in that it's a bad idea? To me, it's just exploration of the instrument and what it can do - what my instructor says definitely takes precedence, since I want to do things right, ultimately. I'm hoping the guitarist is right.