Can I erase 9 years of bad technique? I apologize if this type of thread has been done before. First let me get all you up to speed. This post is definitely long winded but I want to provide the most info possible. Back in 99 I discovered the Chili Peppers with Around the World. By May 2000 I got my first bass by trading in my trumpet. It was the Fender Squier bass set. I was 15 at the time so I figured Ill just stick with tablature and figure out everything else myself. That was a mistake I think well not I think, I know. Also, all I played (and play currently) is Chili Peppers. Its all purely for personal enjoyment. Anyways, I finally got my Modulus Flea Bass in August of 2004. I started to realize around then that my playing was not very good (Ill elaborate later). It was my thinking that I could try and fix my playing problems by getting good equipment and setting it up perfectly. I tried to get the perfect tone so I bought a Lane Poor, I setup my bass exactly like Fleas (down to string and pickup height), I got all the pedals he has. By April 2007 I got my final items; the GK2001RB paired with the 410RBH and 115RBH (WAY overkill for a bedroom rig, I know). I soon realized I had hit a brick wall with my playing. It took me so long to figure out that I am a pretty poor bass player. Sure, my family and friends think Im good but they only hear short little snippets I play from Chili Peppers songs. Any musician would notice I have serious playing problems. I have tried to teach myself how to play by reading online lessons and books but I have ADD so I cant focus for long. Below are what issues I believe I have and need to fix. First, I have bad finger technique. My hands and forearms cramp up after 4 minutes on certain Chili Peppers songs (Charlie is a good example). My right hand technique has numerous issues. I have trouble reaching for the D &G strings, I dont hit them right and my fingers get stuck. I have very small hands however after reading these boards that doesnt seem to be a problem for other people with small hands. I also rake the strings, I do it without even realizing it, even when I am trying not to (an example would be the end of the chorus on Hump de Bump). I cant play fast when going from E & A strings to D & G strings. My right hand just has like a traffic pile up. Ive tried to figure out how to fix it but nothing works. Lastly on both hands, I am unable to keep my wrists straight no matter how hard I try (again, hands are small). Next, on my left hand I reach things and play songs with alternating strings fast, pretty much the same issues I have as with my right hand. The second big problem I have is a big one especially when playing bass. I have little to no rhythm. When I record myself playing along with a song and I cant bear to listen to myself. It sounds like Im trying to imitate the song. I constantly get off beat or behind in a song. The last issue is that I dont know how to read music. For 9 years Ive just used tab, thats it. I have some basic knowledge of music since I played the trumpet for like 3 years when I was 10. When I say basic, I mean mostly I know some terminology. I need to learn to read music. It probably is part of the reason I have no rhythm and cant remember songs and cant improvise at all. So thats all the problems I can think of. Now I know I need to branch out to playing stuff other than Chili Peppers (sometimes I do) but just go with me on that one. I am open to other music suggestions; I like funky stuff like Sly and the Family Stone and Rage Against the Machine. To wrap things up Ive been thinking about getting lessons finally but I fear they would be a waste of money if I cant erase 9 years of bad technique. Should I get lessons? What suggestions do you all have? Im open to all suggestions. Im convinced having small hands is a hindrance. I simply cannot reach for certain things and keep my wrists straight. What do you all think? Thanks for your help, - Bill Whew that was long.