Hey all. After decades of being an on and off hobby guitarist, I've been playing bass seriously for a little over 7 years now, and fallen in love with the instrument. I've always loved prog rock/prog metal/jazz fusion styles of music and have been playing fretless bass since the day I started. I'm in three original bands and write songs. No one can fault me for ambition, lol. The thing is: playing always seems to be such a roller-coaster ride. One day, I think I'm doing well, my fingers are really doing what I want them to do, my tone is improving and I'm getting places. The next day, I can barely stand to hear myself play and severely question whatever ability, I may have. One day, I love my pedals and effects and sound, the next day, the sounds coming out of my rig make me cringe and I wonder if there is something wrong with my bass or amp! Honestly sometimes it seems like it requires a PHD, or some form of unfathomable, arcane preternatural knowledge, to understand how to make pleasing amplified sounds with equipment. Is this normal?! Do others have these same feelings? Is there any way to overcome them?