My chops have totally gone to hell. I admit it. I just spent the past 90 minutes or so trying to play some of the songs I grew up playing in bands, and a lot of them were pretty hard...maybe not Jaco/Stanley hard, but they definitely took some chops. Stuff like "La Villa Strangiato" by Rush, "On The Radio" by Joe Jackson, "Strawberry Letter 23" by the Bros Johnson, "The Trooper" by Maiden...I used to be able to pull all that stuff off and then some. But I'd try to pull them off tonight and they all sounded like crap, even after I'd practice them. What broke my heart, though, was not even being able to play the solo in "My Generation" anymore. That solo was ingrained in my DNA, or so I thought. Man, I used to be good. I was never the kind of bassist who could hang on a Flecktones gig, but I could play. Don't get me wrong, though...I can still play, thank you. But about 15 years ago I started playing almost all oldies from the 50's, 60's and 70's, and very little of the stuff I do is hard to do. It's mostly about being solid rather than being able to dazzle people. The hardest stuff I have to play these days is Motown, which can be hard, but not in a chops wankery kind of way. But dang it, I miss having the wankery. And it's all because I let this oldies stuff make me lose focus on what's important...chops. I don't care what anyone tells you...yes, you need to be solid. But if you don't have the chops to go along with your solidity, what are you going to play? You won't always need them, but what happens if you do? You suck, that's what you do!!! It's clear I've let myself go because I could. I knew it all along, to be honest, but tonight really drove it home for me. And I'm not getting any younger, and if I don't do something about it now, I may never get it back. So it's clear what I have to do. I practice very little because I don't need to. Nothing I'm doing requires it. So I'm going to resolve to practice an hour a day at the very least and way more most days, and I'm going back to the jazz stuff to get myself back up to speed. Might get a couple of those trombone etude books Jeff Berlin likes. Might even start transcribing again, which I hate, but it really does help your playing to do it. But first I think I'll need to buy a couple new basses and 4 or 5 dirt pedals.