Being new to the bass, I don't expect to be Marcus Miller overnight (or even Mark Hoppus, for that matter!). Yet I have been diligently following the exercises in my Progressive Bass Guitar book and doing decently. I understand more about music and music theory than I ever knew before (such as in grade school when it is forced upon you). I can play the major, minor, maj pent, min pent and blues scales in any key and most of the common chords/arpeggios as well. Yet my coworkers at our recent jam session laid me to waste and left me behind. I was incredibly embarrassed to say the least. And while we are all good friends and they were just happy to have me there, it was a disaster to me. My coworkers and I have gotten together to jam in one of their garages (a classic, no?!) and twice now they have begged me come with my bass. The drummer is decent and the lead guitarist plays like Hendrix while the rhythm guitarist is decent. I fumble around with the bass trying to keep up with the insane tempo and nothing I have learned so far seems valid in this setting. 12-bar blues? Boring and not used in popular rock music like you see in any bass instructional text. Any tab I download for the songs they play is incredibly complicated, usually wrong and NOT even remotely in the structure of 12 bar blues or any turnarounds that I can ascertain. I am bewildered at my predicament. Perhaps the bass is not for me. We must all determine our strengths and weaknesses. But this saddens me since I truly love the sound of the instrument. I realize that not everyone has the talent, and perhaps I am one of those truly devoid of any musical playing genomes. The lead guitarist (and good friend) is trying to help me calling out chord changes, but I fumble and am too slow in finding the notes. While any riffs I play that I have learned so far seem mechanical at best. They are understanding and trying to help, which is great. At home, I struggle to "jam" with the MP3 of the song as I am always left in the dust by the song and then have a hard time trying to "jump back in". This does not come naturally to me at all. And if I am relegated to playing only root notes, I may as well as get a keyboard (i.e. the recent issue of Bass Player magazine). But I don't want to do that. It could take me 6 months of endless practice to learn one simple song. The song is no longer popular by then or our group has moved on to something else. These guys are levels ahead of me but being friends and coworkers, they want me to participate (and they need a bass player, even if he only plays root notes!). I learned to type at a steady rate of about 60 words per minute back when I was 16 and they only had manual typewriters back then. Being in the network engineering field, typing fast is a good thing. I don't think of the letters or even the words anymore. I haven't for like 23 years. I think and the words come out of my fingers. I imagine that the same is true for many of you when it comes to playing bass. I seem to have the manual dexterity to do this but perhaps as I have grown older, this is waning (scary thought!). I tried a bass teacher at MarsMusic but he was a guitar instructor primarily and we spent the first 4 one hour lessons learning to play chromatic note exercises up and down the fretboard in boxes. Boring and I had already done that endlessly in the books/videos I have. He spent more time showing me what he knew on bass than showing me how to play it. I have a negative view of bass guitar teachers. I would love to hook up with a local bass player who is better than me (in other words virtually anyone) and learn from them. Just seeing another bassist play would be worth the trouble. Any thoughts? Have the rest of you had these experiences before? What "did it" for you in terms of mastering the bass? What got you to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Anyway, today was not a "good Bass" day. I am alone in this type of experience?