Alright, like most of you, Im in a band and have been in various bands throughout my bass playing life. Some time ago, I wanted to stretch myself as a musician and also break away from the typical music I play, and Open Mikes became that venue for me. I love the challenge of walking up on stage, not knowing who I am playing with, or what I am going to play. Lately, I have primarily been playing two open mikes a week. The first is a real easy going blues jam. Great food and beer at the bar, and real straight ahead music. Nothing challenging here, just an opportunity to get out, get up on stage, and make some good music and friends along the way. The second is a Fusion jam which doesnt start until 11PM and stops at about 2AM. This is hardcore and in a total s--- hole of a bar. This is the place the drunks go to when they dont want to go home. The musicianship is awesome, eclectic, and always challenging. Many of you must know a similar scene. When it is off, it is terrible, but when it is on, IT IS ON. Needless to say Im addicted. Ive also observed a few things along the way. 1. The other musicians are very friendly to each other, and to the other bassists. Guitarists compliment guitarists and so on. But the bassist are very stand offish to other bassists. I guess its because multiple guitarists will play with each other on stage, while us bassist fly solo. Are we inherently aloof? Im sure competition plays a role as well, being that the more bassists there are the less we are going to play. But why cant we collaborate, or compliment each other? This really bothered me a couple weeks ago when I approached a fellow bassist and he blew me off. I decided that I would be the change. Last week, I made it my mission to go up to each bassist and encourage him, and make him feel good. I broke through!!! Soon they were coming up to me and introducing themselves and being complimentary and encouraging. 2. The talent of the bassist is directly disproportionate to his or her stage antics. When you see a dude strutting around, doing clichade (spelling) posses found on an MTV video, he/she is going to suck. 3. So many times I would get caught up in the macho bs, I can play faster, or do funkier tricks than the other dudes, only to have the song go no where. When I just lay it down and groove, the song is going to sing, the people are going to dance, and the other musicians are going to notice me for all the right reasons. When my chance to solo comes up, bring out the tricks and the 1/16ths, otherwise, stay in the pocket and groove. Ive got more, but this is getting long. What observations do you all have either at Open Mikes, or playing live in general?