Hi, I'm not sure if i'm in the right place here so please except my apologies for the long post. About me: I'm new to talkbass.com but not to playing bass. I've actually been playing music since I picked up the Trombone back in middle school about 10+ years ago. I only began to explore playing bass about half way through High School (while I was still playing t-bone) roughly 5 years ago. During that same period of time back in high school I meant a friend who played guitar; him and I have been playing together ever since. I'm currently a 3rd year college student who doesnt play t-bone anymore, but rather bass instead. My friend and I jam when we can but because we go to different schools our time practicing together has been significantly reduced, so for the most part I just practice on my own all the time now... My problem: The trouble is that all my friend and I ever really played was Alt. Rock cover stuff (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, etc...) Unfortunately that means that a lot of my practice time has been spent by learning tabs and catching things by ear. Not necessarily playing the instrument-just having fun (perhaps too much?). Now I'm finding that we both tend to agree: playing the same covers again and again all the time just becomes boring. It seems that we want to start writing our own material. So needless to say i've discovered a few major flaws about my playing as of late: 1. I don't know how to "jam" in any key. I'm not sure of my playing when I try to do this so instead I just sort-of "feel" my way around the fret-board by ear, sometimes playing the right notes, often times not. 2. Because of #1, I can't seem to write a meaningful bassline on my own 3. I'm not sure of which instructional books to go with because i'm not a complete beginner (I know a few scales, some theory, etc...) but i'm no expert either. So, if your still reading this (and I thank you if you are), I'm not sure where to go from here in terms of instructional books, jaming with other musicians while in college, method etc... Essentially I feel as if i've lost direction- tired of playing covers all the time yet unable to write original material. I should note that on my own I very much enjoy listening to Rush and watching Lee's style...now if I could only make my fingers do that-LOL Any help at this point would be great, thanks for listening.