My breakthrough story started about a month ago now ... When I finally decided to purchase a bass after playing guitar for about 20 years. Up until that time I had always approached playing music as more of a solo thing. Something that I was perfectly content on doing in the privacy of my own home, at my own pace, and definitely never aspiring to get out and perform professionally in front of other humans. Sure, I always wanted to find someone to jam with, but I was just too self concious about my abilites as a guitar player (Or lack there of) to ever seriously pursue finding someone to jam with, or play professionally. Not to mention that I do not trust most people, did not want to have strangers in my house knowing what I have to steal, and just being too scared to put an add on craigs list looking for strangers to jam with in the first place. Well, that all changed within 2 weeks of purchasing my basses. After I realized that the bass is a "Support" instrument first, and a solo instrument second (In a typical band environment), I found myself really enjoying the thought of playing the support role, and not having anyone expect anything extrordinary from me except to be able to keep the groove (Read timing) going in the background for the rest of the band to play to ... And that this could be accomplished by simply playing roots, 5ths, and octaves, which I already knew how to do due to the fact the bass is tuned exactly like the top 4 strings of a guitar. So, after another couple of weeks of practicing some tunes and other stuff on the bass, I came to the conclusion that I could figure out any bass line (Or make up my own) to everything I already knew how to play on the guitar, and anything that I actually see someone else play on a guitar. I also realized that I could do the same thing with the tunes in my guitar books that I have not learned yet, just by simply learning them on guitar first so I know the correct root notes and timing to start with on the bass afterward. This caused me to want to find someone to jam with really bad. So bad in fact that I was willing to take a chance on someone coming to my house before I really knew who they were before hand. Very scary proposition for me! So I forced myself to place my first craigslist add looking for someone to jam with early last week. I received a few B.S. replies just fishing for my actual e-mail address, but I also received 4 replies from people who really wanted to jam with me. I invited the first candidate over to my house last Saturday before I knew anything about him except that he had an appartment that was too small for us to play at instead. This really freaked me out, but I kept telling myself that "You need to let somebody love you before it's too late" (Eagles: Desperado), meaning that if you do not take a chance you will never know, and will be stuck in your cave playing alone for the rest of your freakin life. I am already 40.5, so I have already wasted 20 years playing alone in my cave! I SAID, NO MORE! Last Saturday was one of the top 5 best days in my entire life, folks! This guy and I totally clicked. He is exactly my age, and his b-day is within days of mine. He plays rhythm guitar, and is into Rock-A-Billy, Buddy Holly, and 50's music. I LOVE THIS STUFF TOO, but never really tried to play much of it because it seemed either waaay too boring to play or waaay too hard. I kicked off this tune I just love to play called "No new tale to tell" by Love & Rockets, and he could not only play it too, but he loves it just as much as I do. He can sing & play at the same time, which I can not normally do at all, but I could do it without any problems at all while playing and singing with him at the same time for some reason. I guess I just did not think about it, and it just happened. WOW! Then I tried to play the bass to some of the tunes he could play, and because I do not know them yet, I could not pick up more than about 25% of the groove until I got his strum patterns and chord changes memorized. Not bad at all for my first time, or so I thought anyway! He he he! Then he gave me the best compliment I ever got from anyone ever, although only a select few have ever actually seen me play before ... He told me that he thought I could pull off the leads to most of this stuff, and said that he also thinks I am good enough to play gigs with him if I wanted to do so. So, yesterday I decided to look at the leads instead of the rhythm parts I would normally only look at, and realized that not all leads are as hard as they may sound. I started looking at them with an open mind. A can do attitude rather than the "That is impossible" attitude that made me always give up on them before I even tried to play them. ... And you know what? I found that I actually do have the chops to play these leads now. Just yesterday I was pullling off the intro to "Stray cat strut" by the Stray cats & what I thought were totally untouchable leads by the master himself, Mr Brian Setzer. In less than an hour I had it sounding perfect, and actually had it in time with the backing track I have for it. I was totally freakin amazed with myself, and on top of that I had learned the bass line for it at the same time without even having to pick up the bass to do it. I am even contemplating getting out there and playing gigs someday now. I am getting the confidence that can only come from the feedback you get from other musicians and other humans. In closing this book I wrote for you, I would just like to say that if it were not for the bass I would have never broke out of the musical shell I created for myself over the past 20 years or so. It is the bass that has set me free musically, and I WILL NEVER EVER LOOK BACK NOW!!!! I truly hope that my story casues you to force yourself to get out there and jam with other humans as fast as you possibly can, even if you do not think you are "Ready". Do not waste time being a pussy about it like I did for so many years. You only live once! You will learn more about playing music quicker, you will get the confidence you need quicker, and you will have a MILLION times more fun learning and playing music in the process. Good luck to you, and thanks for taking the time to read my very long winded story, folks!