My wife and I just got back from a 4-night cruise. The ship had 5 or 6 different bands on it. I saw a three-piece with accordion, violin, and 5-string BTB, a 10-piece band with a Jazz bass, a calypso band with some kind of Jazz copy that I'd never seen before (can't remember the name now), a Beatles tribute band complete with violin basses (I was too far away to see if they were Hofners or not) and a three-piece where the piano player played killer walking bass lines on a keyboard with his left hand while playing melodies and solos on a piano with his right. Everybody used the ship's Hartke combo (even the keyboard was plugged into it), except the main theatre (Beatles & 10-piece) acts, which used a GK head & GK 4x10 cabinet. Maybe most working bassists are used to this, but I was blown away by the sheer professionalism of these bass players. They had their stuff down cold. The tone was incredible in every case, the musicianship & creativity was amazing, the technique was unbelievable, guys were singing & playing complex lines at the same time, everything I saw amazed me. This trip was sort of a bass-playing epiphany for me. My musical career has brought me into contact with mainly independent & local original bands. Not that there aren't some fine bass players in that arena, but these guys playing cover songs in a huge variety of styles, some reading sheet music, some not, in some cases inserting flashes of their own creative, unscripted brilliance in a supportive, non-flashy really showed me what practiced, professional musicianship is all about.