Ive been playin the bass, and some other instruments for that matter, for about 8 years now. I took a few formal lessons back in the day just to get my bearing, but I'm more or less self-taught. The thing is, I dont know anything about theory. In fact, the only scale that I know is the blues minor. I don't rely on that to play. When I'm jamming, I just listen to what is going on around me and I know what will sound good. I'd imagine that buried deep inside my brain I know scales but I just don't realize it, but I hope you understand what I mean. I also don't understand why people spend thousands of dollars on their instrument. My bass was about $600 when I bought it and I wouldnt trade it for anything in the world. Just to set it straight, I'm not trying to knock anyone for how much they spend, theres nothing wrong with that. I just don't understand it. I've played my current rig for years now, playing God only knows how many different styles. I've always had people telling me that my tone is incredible and the likes. Total I have maybe $1500 in gear. Pretty modest compared to many. I know I'm rambling, and I myself am beginning to forget where I'm going with this post, but please bear with me. Lets recap. As far as musical knowledge goes, I have absolutly no idea what I'm doing when I'm playing, and I have cheap gear. But put me in any situation, tell me to play anything, and I feel confident that I could pull it off just as well as someone who went to college for music or whatever, and someone that could buy a a small country if they sold their gear. So does that make me any less competent of a musician?