Mike, I'm fairly new to TB and feel like being part of this group has all of a sudden made realize that I really know nothing about bass! I've been playing bass for almost 14 years now, and play bass almost daily. Although I am not playing in a band now, since I started playing bass I have played in about 4 or 5 original rock bands. With one of them, we even made a cd (in 1996), which got decent airplay at some college radio stations around the country. With this band, I must have played at least 100-150 shows over the course of 4 years, everywhere from Atlanta to NY. I don't think the stuff I played veers from much the rock context, but since it did have some jazz elements and was mostly instrumental, some of the music required a decent amount of technical playing. For some whacky listening, click here: http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/279/tractor_hips.html (If you check this out, I only recommend listening to "Sesquialtera" or "Luciernagas" - everything else is not very good) Now here's the thing - I know what a major scale is, and a minor scale is, but I don't know a damn thing about modes, chords, etc. I never learned the circle of fifths, I can't play but the most simple bass lines without having to look at the fretboard. It has dawned on me that I have a good ear and have learned about music "from the gut". I've always thought that I am a decent bass player, but lately, after spending a lot of time in TB I realize that I never developed the musical skills that might allow me to become and even better player. I feel like I'm totally stuck in a rut these days - I have one style of playing, but never veer much from it. I really want to develop my MUSICAL skills as a bass player. In addition, I just bought some recording software and have a keyboard that I use to complement anything that I may write on bass. My lack of even the most rudimentary music theory is probably preventing me from being able to write music. I find myself coming up with a bassline, but always running empty when it comes to writing new sections to my initial bassline - probably cause my brain doesn't process what key, or scale of anything I'm on and what can come next. Can you help a brother out? I'm trying to figure out what the best place is to learn this stuff from scratch. Can you recommend any books to help me get the basics of music theory down? Also, I think I need a new way to envision playing bass - how can I do this? I find myself constantly playing the same old tired basslines that I've been playing forever. I want to learn something new and to learn how to incorporate music theory into my composition skills. Any other ideas? (I've even thought about going to take some lessons from somebody, but have not had good experiences with people teaching me bass before - when I started out I used to have a bass teacher. After a while, I stopped seeing him because I felt like he wasn't teaching me anything useful, just showing me how to play tunes that he would pick out). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.