I was watching an interview with Billy Howerdel (guitarist/composer of A Perfect Circle), where he mentioned how he felt that once you are involved in music enough, you begin to lose touch with the overall picture, the beauty of music. You get very caught up in "this is mixed badly, this guy should be turned up, more cowbell ( )" or "they should have played 4 more bars before the vocal came in", and so forth. I tend to agree. When you get really caught up in the details, you (or I, at least) sometimes forget about what makes music enjoyable for people who are totally unaware of any of those details, i.e., the "civilian". Besides the technical aspects of mixing and all that, I feel like, when you learn how to play a song, when you have it down perfectly, you kind of lose the magic of what made it so great in the first place. I used to put on a cd, and play it from start to finish (after I had learned it, obviously). Sometimes I would play it 2 or 3 times in a day. While this was a good workout for my hands, it made me appreciate thwe music in a different way. The way you feel about a song you wrote. Most people in bands don't listen to themselves (I've heard Dave Mathews does, though). They experience the song mostly from "behind the scenes". You can be proud of something you wrote, and love to play it, but sometimes it's hard to step back and appreciate the song as a whole, from the perspective of someone who's totally "innocent" about music. It's like seeing a magician when you were a kid (actually, I always thought they were doing tricks, not magic, but you get the point). Once you realize the trick, it's not special anymore. I've decided that I'm not going to play anymore Tool, or any other band that I feel will lose it's magic. Bands like System of a Down aren't the type that will be spoiled by knowing how to play them (though I rarely play them), so I'm not worried about those kinds of bands. But I realize that when I could play every Tool song perfectly, I wasn't "feeling" the music anymore. I haven't played any of their stuff for a while, and I'm getting back that feeling of amazement, the innocence, that I lost (sorry for the dramatic use of words). I'm seeing it all as a whole, and feeling as special and alive as I felt the first time I heard them. I may continue to learn albums, but not the ones I truly love (and if I don't love them, what's the point? So probably none). I think I've recaptured what I had lost, and this is a huge breakthrough for me, as I've had a lack of interest in playing bass recently, and no inspiration. I'm posting this partly just to share how I feel, and partly to ask if anybody feels the same way, or disagrees. If you have any stories, please tell. And if nobody replies or cares, I'm still glad I posted this. Thanks for reading.