This thought had occurred to me today, and it's kind of aimed mostly at the folks who are self taught and in bands, or just play songs by ear. When I first started the bass a few years ago, I assumed that to play an instrument one NEEDED to know how to read music. It didn't take long to find out that over half of all the players I talked to around town knew next to nothing about it. Most are better with their ear (at least rock players), and a few have no idea what notes they're even playing on the fretboard!!! Well, in my case around the 1.5 year mark of home learning, I got in a band (where only one member knows any theory) and we normally just jam on somebody's riff idea that *poof* magically morphs into some great full fledged songs (with everybody coming up with their own part.) Around then is when my study of theory pretty much ended, as i spend all my time now in a couple bands writing songs and trying to improve my ear (which seems way more useful to me at this stage.) Any notes I take to remember lines & structures are just shorthand on scratch sheets that pretty much only I can read. I know my fretboard, & can slooowly read basic bass clef. Sharps, flats, 5ths, octaves, minor 3rds vs major (including 7ths + the other scale degrees) are perfectly clear as well. Whole notes vs dotted quarter... no problem. I understand how the 7 main western scales and the circle of 5ths came to be, and a little more, but that's where it ends. I can't definitively say to another musician "this one is in D minor, the change goes to blah blah for 8, then blardy blar blar blar, & yada yada etc." Don't misunderstand... I think knowing theory is a great thing that can in no way hinder one's progress. The point of my post is to get better at it without going back to the Hal Leonard books, possibly by writing out my own lines on paper and analyzing them for theoretical information, as I already know these songs inside and out. (Though, I'd have a harder time transcribing what the other instruments are doing.) I guess it's not much different than analyzing cover songs that you already know, but I don't think that I've ever seen this way of gaining knowledge of theory suggested to somebody who already plays and wants to learn more of it. Thoughts?