Top Ten Bass Players - My Favorite Bass Guitarists!


May 5, 2007 (Updated Jun 16, 2007)


The Bottom Line These bass players do more than keep the beat. They rock!

We all know we love singers and guitar players, but what about the glue that holds the band together, that guy with only four strings? I'm talking about the bass player! The often unrecognized keeper of the beat. Here is my top ten favorite bass players.

TEN: Chris Squire - Yes One of the main art rock progressive bands of the 70s and 80s released a lot of great music. One of the founding members, bassist Chris Squire had quite a lot to do with that distinctive almost classical sound.

NINE: Flea (Michael Balzary)- Red Hot Chili Peppers There is a lot that goes into the polyrhythmic funky beats of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and one of those ingredients is one awesome bass line, delivered by Flea. Listen to the bass grooves in any RHCPs song, and you can hear what I mean.

EIGHT: Paul McCartney - The Beatles The man who put the Hoffner bass on the map. Occasionally the bass player does more than just play bass. Some of them write a song or two for the band. It is my understanding that the bass player for the Beatles has written a few rather popular songs and even made a bit of money from them.

SEVEN: Sting - The Police Singer, songwriter, celebrity and saver of the rain forest, Sting was also the bass player for The Police, and for most of his solo albums as well. Combining elements from ska, reggae and jazz, Sting is a great musician and bass player.

SIX: Geddy Lee - Rush Probably better known for his falsetto voice, and song writing for popular Canadian band, RUSH, Geddy Lee is also the man pumping out the great bass riffs on his trusty red Rickenbacher bass guitar. With just three musicians, Lee's bass is an integral part of Rush's powerhouse sound.

FIVE: John Paul Jones - Led Zeppelin Someone needed to anchor Led Zeppelin, and that someone was John Paul Jones, the often forgotten member of Led Zeppelin. Jones added the depth to the band, and together with John Henry Bonham, delivered the thunderous end of this legendary bands music.

FOUR: John Entwistle - The Who The Ox, Thunder fingers, John Entwistle. While Keith Moon barely contained his energy, and didn't exactly keep a steady metronome beat, Townshend almost launched himself in the air while jumping around and doing windmills. Daltrey would swing his mouth and scream out the this maximum R&B bands lyrics. It was up to John Entwistle and his Gibson Thunderbird to keep the beat for The Who. Not only did Entwistle contribute some of the Who's most memorable songs such as My Wife and Boris the Spider, but he also had a good solo career releasing many albums. My favorite Entwistle? The unmistakable and un imitatable bass riffs from My Generation

THREE Roger Waters - Pink Floyd Not only was Waters the creative genius behind Pink Floyd since Syd Barrett left, but he also performed all the bass guitar duties of the band. Listen beyond the few occasional effects used by Pink Floyd, and you can hear Waters heavy bass lines underlying the even heavier music.

TWO Billy Sheehan - David Lee Roth /Steve Vai/ G3 For sheer showmanship, this guy is insane. I've seen him onstage with David Lee Roth when Roth was smart enough to have Steve Vai on guitar. Sheehan has also joined the likes of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani on stage providing bass guitar that more than holds its own with guitar legends.

ONE: Stanley Clarke Sometimes, bass guitar players don't hold second fiddle to the guitar player. Stanley Clarke is THE bass player as far as I am concerned. This jazz/rock musician is to the bass guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to guitar. Any serious music collection should include a few CDs by Stanley Clarke, whether its a jazz, R&B or rock collection.

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