Well, I've played A LOT of bass gigs. I've been part different kinds of groups including rock bands, jazz bands, wind bands, metal bands, wedding bands, theatre bands and even a flute choir (playing bass..!). I have regular bands that I play in and also fill in (often at the last minute) for other bands if they are a member down. I've played at venues all over the country from Devon to islands in Scotland as well as overseas.
I'm happy playing from dots (I read music) and charts but I prefer where possible to learn songs off by heart (I don't think it's good when band members have their noses in music, they should be interacting with the audience). I've done gigs where we have rehearsed the songs to perfection and then others where I've only met the bands members just before. I've played in musical theatre productions nationally playing bass guitar and occasionally electric guitar.
I've spent a lot of time recording bands I have been a part of and working on their sound. I currently use reaper for home recording which is an extremely powerful but very affordable piece of software. I think room acoustics are very important and spent a lot of time researching the subject, building bass traps and measuring the spaces that I use for recording. I plan to share some of the things that I have learned on this subject on my blog in the next few months - hopefully some people will find this useful.
As a bass guitarist, you get used to playing what's needed for the song as opposed to what will help you show off your most flashy techniques. I love this instrument and enjoy the bass the most when it holds down that solid, low end with power and consistency. Like a foundation on which you can build the rest of the music. Victor Wooten had the right idea when he said
The bass is the link between harmony and rhythm. It is the foundation of a band. It is what all the other instruments stand upon.
I try to bear this in mind when playing with other musicians. To be aware of what they and the music needs from me. Often this becomes an exercise in restraint and working out which notes NOT to play. In the end what matters is that the bass fits inside the music. Often you wont know its there. You only realise it's gone when things sound empty and hollow. Like the soul has been taken away. That is what the bass is - the soul of music.