I started playing bass because of Geddy Lee, and in my current situation (prog-metal) he and Chris Squire are probably the two biggest influences on my approach. I'm extremely happy in this band, because I'm playing material I love with excellent musicians who are committed to technical and compositional growth. However, there's another side of my musical personality: I am a closet jazz-monkey. Ever since I got into King Crimson and Jaco Pastorius, I've wanted to play jazz. I have a decent-sized collection of jazz albums and MP3s, so I'm not hurting for ideas of what to play. I know who the great players are and have studied their styles. I've spent many long nights studying and practicing scales and arpeggios, learning what scales go over what chords, etc. I know a few of the standard tricks--playing an altered scale over a V7, tritone substitutions, switching to parallel minors, etc.--but nothing special. My problem is, I just can't get it together. I've been humiliated at jam sessions by players not much more experienced than I who have nevertheless developed some very competent jazz chops. Like many players in an ostensibly competitive scene (although there are hardly any bassists at Cornell to begin with), they are rather loath to reveal any details of their learning. Where does a rock guy who knows a bit of theory (but not nearly as much as guys like Jazzbo or Chris Fitzgerald...you guys blow me away) start to learn how to play jazz? Should I get a teacher? Are there any books I should read? Any jumping-off points?