My question ties in a bit with Pacman 's sure fire scale practice method - how does learing scales help me play in a band? I've been through two teachers in this area, and maybe it's me, but I don't quite grasp how drilling on scales is helping at all. Maybe in the figer dexterity dept, sure. Learning the fretboard dept, sure. But how do I get to the point where I know instantly the "appropriate chord scales and modes"? I know what it says in the books - that this mode works well over this chord (like mixolydian over dominant, right?), but how do you internalize all that? It would take me a few moments (or minutes, depending) to figure out the notes in a certain chord, and then to place a mode over it... gah... is it just practice and repetition? Never have been good at that... Like languages vs. math - math is easy, once you understand the concepts. Foreign languages are tough; memorizing is tedious and difficult (for me at least -- my wife is the opposite). I've got a number of good books, like Serious Electric Bass, Fretboard Harmony, Levine's Jazz Theory, and yours, but I can't seem to figure out how to learn it in a way that will be helpful in a rock band context. I want to be able to jam and play covers, etc. and it seems that the more effective way to get to that level is to learn Zeppelin, The Who, etc. - it would certainly impress band mates and get me hired, wouldn't it? That, vs, "Hey guys, check out this mixolydian scale in G major - freaky, eh? Now, go ahead, play a D dominant!!" gah.. sorry, been bubbling up for a number of weeks, and your comment set it off. Your comment makes sense Mike, I just don't know how to get there. Edited: it's Pacman's method, not Jazzbo's - my mistake.