What exactly do Sly and the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music,” ” The Beatles,” “Into the Void” have in common? Not much except: Many of these owe a substantial chunk of the awesomeness for their best bass lines.
Whether employed for the harmonic, rhythmic, or brute force capacities, the bass is equally popular music’s most popular instrument and is under-appreciated.
Some of their most influential and most widely heard bassists remain almost faceless into the public, while some are far better known for their vocal or songwriting achievements than because of their mastery at the base end.
A handful has been legends, if, through virtuosity, showmanship, or some died tragically young, but delivered with such genius within their short careers. If you want to know who is the best player of all time, it isn’t easy to find exactly a name, but Fidlar can show you the Best Bassists Of All Time.
Table of Contents
- 1 Greatest Bassists of All Time 2021
- 2 Best Bass Players Of All Time FAQs
Greatest Bassists of All Time 2021
1. Esperanza Spalding
She makes bass playing the upright bass appear simple. Her history is impressive: at five years old, she completed the violin at the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, a feat which many musicians can say they have attained.
She began out self-taught, yet another accomplishment in itself. She is the first jazz artist to deserve the Top New Artist name in the Grammys again, yet another achievement that just Spalding herself can assert.
Among her solo career highlights so far is her operation alongside jazz great Herbie Hancock honoring fellow bassist Sting in The Kennedy Center Honors in 2014.
Her rendition of fellow bass Sting’s “Fragile” is among the books. Furthermore, Spalding’s leading NPR Tiny Desk functionality has gained more than one million viewpoints to-date.
Flea attracted slap bass to the significant point of the 1990s. The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist is the driving force behind the funk parts of this tricky rock-leaning quartet together with his distinctive style of playing.
Alternating between rapid punk-style last-minute riffs and groovy slap bass, Flea provides the band’s hard rock bass sound with a spin. RHCP’s well-known cover of Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground centers across Flea’s smack bass line, initially played synths by Wonder.
In 2009, he published an instructional video show on his acting technique, which has turned into a tried-and-true resource for several beginner bassists. At present, he’s gearing up for the yearly Boston Calling Music Festival, which Red Hot Chili Peppers is a place to headline.
3. Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney’s bass duties as the frontman of The Beatles frequently got overlooked because of his singing abilities that made lovers swoon worldwide.
His simple picking style makes it possible for songs like Day Tripper and Once I Saw Her Standing There to groove into their fullest capacity.
His allegiance to using his Höfner bass produced the version skyrocket in popularity, solidifying its position at the lineup of bass guitar versions.
It goes without mentioning that his playing and songwriting design formed a generation of musicians (and bassists) to follow along.
4. Clifford Lee
He’s not just the best bass guitarist, but he’s a heart of gold. This is coming from a guitarist who initially didn’t like him after listening to his other things and watching what a wonderful man he is.
I feel bad for the things I mentioned about him in the past, and I am unfortunate that he died to imagine if he dwelt just how much he might have done. His death wasn’t his fault.
It had been a crash. All of Metallica was grieved, and that I will understand why. He’s an outstanding bassist that needs more appreciation.
5. Carol Kaye
While her name might not ring a bell, than her famous bass certainly will. Carol Kaye, the Wrecking Crew resident bassist, has played bass for more than 10,000 records in the length of her remarkable 50-year solo career.
She is responsible for legendary riffs for number-one hits like Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Continues, Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, and Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman. Her session function portfolio is extensive, providing bass for prominent artists like Stevie Wonder, Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, and The Monkees.
The amount of tunes that rely only on Kaye’s tricky advice, smart basslines is countless. She had been featured in the 2008 documentary The Wrecking Crew.
She casually shared her experiences on which it was like being a female session bassist from the male-dominant recording sector of the 1960s. The same as every bassist would put it, Kaye maintained it down and still does today.
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6. Victor Wooten
Bassist, Grammy Award winner and music teacher Victor Wooten wear more hats than we could count. In combination with his solo work, he played bass for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones because the groups began in 1988 and, more recently, for metal band Nitro shaped in 2017.
He is the only musician to acquire the Bass Player of the Year Award from Bass Player Magazine over once. (He has copped the name three times, to be precise.) Nonetheless, it’s his enthusiasm for the craft and remarkable playing technique that has earned him these accolades.
His design combines elements of funk, jazz, and R&B using a multitude of acting methods. His degree of agility and speed shows exactly how comfy of a player he is, gliding across the fretboard without difficulty.
To top it off, he’s dedicated much of his solo career to teaching other budding musicians. Wooten is a visiting scholar at Berklee College of Music, one of the other audio education associations.
Also, he founded the Victor Wooten Center for Music and Nature, which provides various courses that combine music instruction with the outside to bring out each student’s natural abilities and skills.
7. Geddy Lee
Let us face it. You can not speak about the top bassists ever without even bringing up Geddy Lee (and rightfully so.) Composing and acting basslines as complicated as Rush’s is a feat within itself.
Throw in singing, and you may be part-bass God, which Geddy Lee might be. As a lead singer-songwriter, bassist, and keyboardist/synth magician of prog-rock trio Rush, Geddy Lee chose the pub for prog bassists and hauled it to the stratosphere in 1970.
Hits like Tom Sawyer, YYZ, and The Spirit of Radio are propelled by Lee’s high-pitched vocal selection and elaborate basslines. Besides his bass chops, we would also like to add he is the sole frontman who can pull off wearing his group t-shirt while acting his concerts.
8. John Paul Jones
Besides producing the ultra-melodic, liquid-smooth Led Zeppelin basslines we have come to know and adore, John Paul Jones is a prolific session musician in your mind. Both on bass and supporting the soundboard, he is a jack-of-all-trades musician.
Jones has played arranged records for many notable acts like the Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, and Donovan. With Led Zeppelin, his capacity to generate the shallow end seems so ridiculously smooth and sultry is pure musical sorcery. Only offer the first moment of Ramble On a listen, and you will know precisely what we mean.
Considering his Led Zeppelin heyday, he has gone on to keep his busy career as a session player, also has combined forces with other big names to form supergroups. The creation of Them Crooked Vultures headed Jones, former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme collectively to launch a bass-driven challenging rock record for the ages.
Even though TCV’s audio is a little quirkier and darker compared to Zeppelin’s, JPJ’s signature playing style shines brightly on tracks such as New Fang and Elephant.
9. Jaco Pastorius
Master of the fretless bass along with Joni Mitchell’s musical partner-in-crime, Jaco Pastorius broke the mold. His style and sound mixed every unconventional playing system in the publication.
Low-end jazz chords, pinch harmonics, along his imaginative use of old loop pedals were only a few of the components that made up his remarkable technique.
His work with Weather Report and Pat Metheny directed him into the ears of Joni Mitchell, who coached him to donate his talents on her records like Mingus and Hejira.
A real master of his instrument, he had been understood to strut every point using a fretless bass slung over his shoulder, an ax that lots of bassists shied away from in the moment.
For Jaco, the fretless bass was his weapon of choice. Gone too soon, he passed away at the young age of 35 from psychological illness-related troubles. We will always have his groovy basslines to recall his energetic soul. This is to you, Jaco.
10. Aston Barrett
The iconic reggae songs of Bob Marley resonate with individuals around the planet, but they would not have been almost as heavy had it not been for the efforts of Aston Family Man Barrett.
Conjuring subatomic grooves with mild accents and melodic hooks, the celebrated bassist that got his nickname to be the rock band leader and principal arranger of Marley’s backing group and that leads a variant of The Wailers for this afternoon penned the humble bass lines for hits such as Stir It Up and Jammin’. But he is also mentored by other bass greats and attracted his soulful design to records by legends such as Lee Scratch Perry and Augustus Pablo.
Therefore, even though he has been denied royalties because of his gifts to Marley’s songs, his contributions to reggae as a whole are incontrovertible. Peter Holstein
11. Cliff Burton_ Greatest rock bassists of all time
Cliff Burton’s four-year operation as the bass guitarist for Metallica described his profession. Should you hear the bass in their first four records, that is all Burton’s work. He explained Geddy Lee and Stanley Clarke as one of his influences. Burton was so great that Anthrax and Metal Church both committed an album.
Aria immortalized Burton by releasing the bass’s replica, the Aria Pro II Cliff Burton Signature Bass. His parents have donated his royalties to a scholarship fund for music students in the high school he attended.
Trivia Facts: his premature and unfortunate death happened when Metallica’s tour bus turned on its side. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. He had been famous for practicing at least 6 hours each day by age 13 all of the way throughout his profession with Metallica.
12. Stanley Clarke
You might not have heard of Stanley Clarke, but he is an enormous winner. He has scored 5 Grammy’s with 15 complete nominations, chiefly and Chick Corea within their group Return to Forever. He is arguably the first bass star, headlining sold-out shows worldwide and having documents achieve gold status.
As seen from the picture above, Clarke’s bass playing technique entails a very bent wrist to approach the strings, such as an upright bass. This helps him attain the percussive assault of his slap-n-pop sound. His first aim was to combine the Philadelphia Orchestra. A fantastic thing that didn’t occur!
Trivia Facts: Stanley Clarke has watched many films and TV shows, such as Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Boyz n the Hood. In 2010, Clarke set a label named Roxboro Entertainment Group, called after his high school. His electric bass is on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History.
Best Bass Players Of All Time FAQs
1. Why are bassists significant?
It’s by far the essential tool in a rock group. It’s equally as critical as any other device. It’s necessary but not a much as drums or guitar. Most rings can get by with no bassist, but It’s a Wonderful inclusion.
2. What happened to Bootsy Collins?
Bootsy Collins will no longer be playing bass onstage. In a new post on his Facebook page, the onetime Parliament-Funkadelic bassist writes that the time has come for me to tell all our Funkateers that I will not be playing bass in concert anymore. I have decided to become a coach for up and coming musicians.
3. How much is Jack Bruce worth?
Jack Bruce was a Scottish musician who had a net worth of $20 million at his death. Born in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1943, Jack Bruce studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, but he left school after his instructors didn’t want him playing jazz. “Jack Bruce definitely opened my eyes as to what a bass player could do life,” Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler once said. He is best known as the bassist of the British supergroup ‘Cream’.
4. Do bassists use selections?
Truthfully, there’s no wrong or right way to play with a bass guitar. There is not a favorite manner. Any way you use to get audio from this item palms, select, forget, these bizarre adhere things Tony Levin utilizes, telekinesis, anything works just fine. It is only an issue of personal taste.
5. What Bass does Les Claypool use?
Although he tends to stick with his Carl Thompson basses for live work, Claypool can be spotted with a red Fender Jazz Bass in the music video for ‘Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,’ which he dons in unison with a very creepy silicon cowboy suit.
6. Did John Entwistle use a pick?
Jake starts by diving into the bass solo from the Who’s first hit, “My Generation.” Using a pick or two, three, or more fingers, Entwistle dug into the part-planned, part-improvised run of notes, achieving a great rattling sound thanks to his quick picking and bass’ low action.