Some of these may not seem so major to you or perhaps you figured them out well before me. I have played as a hobbyist for 22 years, various bands, all rock based. At times I was much more active than at other times, so keep that in mind as well. 1. Sometimes less is more. For about 15 years, I was trying to cram as many notes as I could into my bass parts. I actually thought it made me look bad to play the same note twice. I walked all over the place whenever I could. I look back on some of my bass parts and shudder. Finally, I got to a point where I felt like I wasn't as good as I should be and not getting better and backing off is what allowed me to break through and continue to progress as a musician. I started playing much simpler parts, occasionally showing some chops, but for the most part, serving the song instead of trying to prove what a great bass player I was. 2. It is okay to be the felt and not heard. This is a very recent epiphany that I had. Ever notice how the older pros sometimes say "you will notice when I stop playing"? I always hated when I would go into the studio and hear the track and not be able to pick out my notes or my part. I always wanted it at the forefront or at least sitting with the rest of the band. Sometimes, this is easy to do with certain music styles but sometimes, especially with heavy guitar and drums, it is okay if you are the foundation. You are still there. You are making the rest of the band sound 100 times better even if the average listener cannot pick out your part. It is okay. I actually take a strange pride in knowing that my isolated bass part sounds amazing, even if it is kind of "buried" in the mix. It is there and it is okay. Have fun playing your bass and being on stage. Don't worry about impressing everyone with your awesome bass part, it is there. Overall, these are lessons that helped me better serve the song. I also think, the more one can set aside their desire to stand out, the better bass player they will be overall. I look at some of the best bass players and I believe many of them learned these lessons much earlier than I did. Some of you reading this may have learned these things much earlier than I did. I was always trying to show how good I was on bass and I now realize how much more important it is to serve the song. Let me know what you guys think TB, I always love reading your opinions.