Over the last few months, I've rededicated myself to the bass. So I've been practicing a ton, back to the basics with a metronome and a new scale method thanks to Pacman. My playing is opening up to a whole new level. I've always been a pocket player and I don't aspire to be Vic or Jaco, but something funny is happening to my lines. They are getting more and more melodic. Not necessarily more busy. In fact, I'm playing less busy on most tunes. Specifically, I play a lot of countryish lines and I find I'm almost unconsciencely leading or doubling the melody between chord changes. I noticed it even more when I played with keyboard play last week. I felt like I was competing with his RIGHT hand too much, if that makes sense. I back off my passing tones to give him more space, and after the jam I asked if I was too busy. He laughed and told me he was too concerned with not being too busy himself to notice if I was. Now that I know what notes are available all over the neck, I'm afraid I'm abusing the knowledge. So I guess I'd like to know this, how much melody most of you use in your playing? Is it just a style thing? Mostly, our band is two or three voices, drums, bass, and acoustic guitar. With that line-up, I feel pretty good about using melody, but we are doing some shows with keys, and that's my main concern. I'm talking rock, not jazz. When you are creating lines for a small groups, how much do you act as a lead instrument?