I’ve been playing bass for 40 years. I’m not going to list my resume, but I’ve done some big shows, rubbed shoulders with household names, played on a ton of records that went nowhere. Local hero, plus. If I could go back in time and give 16 my year old self some bass / music career advise this is what I would say: Sing! Become a strong lead singer and a stronger backup singer. Your singing chops will be just as important as your bass chops. Maybe more important. You will be expected to be a strong bass player, that’s a given. Scales AND chords. These are the ingredients you need to create great bass lines. Play other instruments and get a decent grasp of music theory. Jazz is your friend, even if you are a rock, country, pop player. Become a songwriter. Write at least one song month... good or bad, finish the song and write it down (record it if you can). Just keep writing. Become a decent guitar player. You need guitar to communicate your ideas to your band and the world. You really have to be a half-decent guitar player. Don’t stay in a band that doesn’t have ambition. Surround yourself with the best musicians that will have you. Artists and creatives can be eccentric and often push boundaries. Embrace your (and their) freak flag. Make musical alliances and play in one-off projects to widen your musical relationships. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two genres. Don’t be afraid of starting a band an being the band leader. People like to work with (and hang with) nice people. Be a nice person. Do your homework. Know when to speak up and know when to shut-up. Quite, assertive confidence and competence is very attractive Learn how to wave your flag without being arrogant. Be humble and supportive of everyone in your band. If you want a life of music, go to where the music is being made. LA, Nashville, NYC, Austin, London... sorry, but that is about it. There are other music towns, but you are not going to get as many opportunities in smaller markets. Looks matter / stage presence matters. Dress for gigs. Look like the music artist rock star that you are. But, you must present as authentic. Don’t let yourself get fat if you can help it. Take care of yourself... go to the doctor and stay fit. Gigging and touring is tough on your mind and body. Don’t eat too much fast food. Know your limits with drugs and alcohol. Less is more, don’t become a druggy, alcoholic. Treat the woman (men) in your life with dignity and respect. If you aren’t in a relationship, treat your girlfriend, one night stand, f-buddy well. Treat everyone from the guy sweeping the floor to Macca with honesty and respect. You will gain respect, gigs, friends, business and $$. Play quality instruments. Keep your gear in perfect working order. Spare cords, strings and keep spares for others in your gig bag. I keep batteries, guitar strings and a hi-hat clutch.