The 10 Greatest Bass Players of All Time

"The 10 greatest / most important bassist of all time"

Introduction

Bass Players

They are the back line.

They put the “low” in the low-end.

They lock in with the drummer to pave a solid foundation for the guitarist and singer to wail all over the top of.

They are the bass players.

But somewhere along the line, those “not seen and not often heard” bass players decided enough is and enough.

We want some of the attention, too, was the battle cry.

Taking matters, along with those four big ‘ole strings, into their own hands, bass players boogied out of the shadows and into the spotlights and, just like that, another lead instrument was born – the bass guitar.

This is a list of 10 of those pioneers, 10 of the most important bass players of all-time.

Players who carved enough space out of the music they played on to finally get some of that much-deserved attention. These players are all masters of the four-string (or five-, six- or seven-string) and all helped define they way that bass players are viewed as integral parts of the band unit these days.

For this list, I narrowed my scope to focus on bass players mostly associated with the R&B, Funk, Jazz and Soul worlds.

Virtuosos like John Entwistle (The Who), Chris Squire (Yes), Geddy Lee (Rush), Les Claypool (Primus) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), icons from the rock-n-roll genre, would certainly have to occupy space on this list had it been broader in scope.

But for now, let’s look at the top 10 bass players who put the bump in the rump. Those that made us get out on the floor and shake what we got. Those that played on some of the most legendary hits to ever grace a radio dial.

Incidentally, this list is arranged in alphabetical order, not by numerical ranking.

Aston “Family Man” Barrett

 

The Rastafarian Jamaican sensation.

Along with brother Carlton “Carlie” Barrett on drums, Family Man was the rock-steady and ever-ready rhythm section for Bob Marley and The Wailers, along with Lee “Scratch” Perry’s original Upsetters. Family Man helped forge the template for reggae with his booming, thunderous bass patterns and ever-so-tight turns. But more than just a bass player, Family Man also played a large part in arranging Marley’s songs and co-produced a number of the late icon’s albums. Family Man’s weaving bass patterns are very much a part of the new wave of dancehall reggae that had found its way onto the charts as of late.

Check out: “So Much Things to Say” from Bob Marley’s Exodus album, released in 1977.

Stanley Clarke

 

A ground-breaking member of the jazz fusion club.

The Philadelphia-born Clarke was at the epicenter of a new movement in the early 1970s, when the worlds of jazz and rock began to collide. Along with Chick Corea (keyboards), Al DiMeola (guitar) and Lenny White (drums), Clarke helped popularize a new form of music – jazz played in a rock style, or rock played in a jazz style – called fusion, in the group Return To Forever. Also a noted composer, Clarke cast a spell on bass players worldwide with the way he played his Alembic electric basses in an almost upright kind of style. Not limited to just the fusion world, Clarke has also added his touch to recordings by old-school jazz masters like Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver and Art Blakey.

Check out: “School Days” the title track on Clarke’s 1976 solo release.

"Bootsy Space Bass Solo"

Bootsy Collins

 

The outrageous, larger-than-life cartoon character.

Look past all the science fiction trappings, ignore all the garish costumes and forget about the humorous lyrics that dominate a large chunk of his solo work. Because deep inside the being of William “Bootsy” Collins lies the heart of possibly the funkiest man on Planet Earth. And a Rock-N-Roll Hall of Famer, to boot.

After finding James Brown too demanding of a taskmaster to suit his own tastes, the Cincinnati-born Bootsy left JB’s band in the early 1970s and climbed on board another funky vessel – one piloted by the genius of George Clinton. As a member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy helped breathe life into some of the most driving, pumping, get-out-and-party songs of all time. Songs that have long since become a wellspring for today’s generation of rappers to slice, dice and sample from.

Check out: “Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples” on Parliament’s Mothership Connection album, released in 1976.

Donald “Duck” Dunn

 

The backbone of Memphis soul.

In the late 1960s some of the most soulful music on the face of this earth was being produced in a little studio in Memphis, Tenn. Right at the center of all those soon to be classic tunes appearing on the Stax record label was Donald “Duck” Dunn.

Dunn’s solid bass playing – jumping when needed, laid back when required and always with just the right feel – can be heard on everything from Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign,” to Otis Redding’s “Respect” to Sam & Dave’s “Hold on, I’m Coming.”

Born right in Memphis, Dunn’s rise to bass-playing prominence began in ernest in 1965 when he joined what was soon to become Stax records’ primary backing band – Booker T. & The M.G.’s.

That group had a ton of funky instrumentals themselves and wove soul, blues and jazz numbers into a groovy, almost psychedelic-looking tapestry.

Check out: “Last Night” from The Mar-Key’s 1961 album, The Last Night!

Larry Graham

 

The father of the slap-and-pop.

Larry Graham may be responsible for teaching more suburban Americans how to dance than anyone else.

Playing in his mother’s group during his formative years, Graham found himself one man short of a rhythm section – the group had no drummer.

But instead of letting that sink the ship, Graham simply invented a new technique. He discovered that slapping the strings of his bass with his thumb made a kind of “bass drum” sound, while popping the strings with his middle fingers made kind of a “snare drum” sound. And thus the slap-and-pop – and a whole new kind of dance groove - was born. Graham found a suitable home for this revolutionary sound in the middle of psychedelic San Francisco’s leading soul band of the times, Sly & The Family Stone.  

Check out: “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” from Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits, issued in 1970.

Jaco Pastorius Solo

James Jamerson

 

The original Funk Brother.

For a long time, James Jamerson was criminally deprived of the credit he deserved.

As a member of the ace session staff at Motown Records, Jamerson played bass on 30 tunes that went straight to number one on the pop charts. That’s stuff that not even The Beatles can lay claim to. But until the early 1970s, studio musicians at Hitsville USA went un-credited, leaving Jamerson and his fellow Funk Brothers, “standing in the shadows.”

But thankfully all that has changed and the late Jamerson is now a member of the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame and is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of electric bass guitar.

Using a syncopated style that was anything but bass-by-the-numbers, the South Carolina native played on hundreds of releases from now-legendary performers like The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Temptations and a score more.

Check out: “I Can’t Get Next to You” from The Temptations’ 1969 release, Puzzle People.

Jerry “Fingers” Jemmott

 

A session player’s session player, Fingers was maybe THE first-call studio bassist during the late 1960s and on into the 1970s.

Able to change styles like a chameleon on demand, Fingers worked with some of Atlantic Records’ biggest stars during the day, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett.

In the jazz realm, he nimbly backed up Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock and George Benson.

The blues were richer thanks to Fingers’ appearances on cuts by the likes of Duane Allman, Otis Rush and Freddie King. One of the most famous and beloved songs in the history of the blues is B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” and that’s Fingers on bass, steering and driving the King to Nirvana.

The Bronx-born Fingers is also the author of four books and numerous instructional DVDs on the art of laying down the ultimate groove.

Check out: “Why I Sing the Blues” off B.B. King’s Live & Well from 1969.

Marcus Miller

 

The Grammy-winning, multi-instrumentalist.

Brooklyn’s Marcus Miller is almost as renowned for his touch as a producer as he is for his touch on the five-string Fender bass.

As a producer, Miller has been responsible for helping to bring the work of superstars like Bob James, Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, David Sanborn and Miles Davis to life, earning him several Grammys for his efforts.

Miller is also a composer and when he was a member of miles Davis group in the late 1980s, penned the incredible “Tutu” for the famed trumpeter.

Clearly skilled at anything he picks up, Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays guitar, saxophone and keyboards.

But it’s on the bass guitar that Miller causes fellow musicians to sit up and take notice. Building on Larry Graham’s pop-and-slap method, Miller has added an aggressive, powerful attack that gives his sound a plastic kind of resiliency, jumping around like a metallic rubber band. Tuneful but tough.

Check out: “Power” from Miller’s 2001 release, M2.

Jaco Pastorius

 

The world’s greatest bass player.

That’s the way that Jaco Pastorius introduced himself to future Weather Report band member Joe Zainwul.

That’s also the plain, unvarnished truth.

Jaco was the baddest of the bad. And he influenced all that came after him.

His story is the stuff of legends and is both uplifting and gut-wrenching at the same time.

Suffering from a lethal combination of mental illness and substance abuse, Jaco left this earth way too soon, beaten to death by a bouncer in front of a Florida nightclub at age 35.

As a member of the stellar fusion group Weather Report, Jaco took electric bass playing to a level it had never been. His use of harmonics and vibrato created a whole new style of bass playing. His solos could move from intricate, whisper-soft to louder-that-thunder, all within a couple of flicks of the wrist.

Check out: “Donna Lee” from Jaco’s self-titled debut, released in 1976.

George Porter, Jr.

 

Spreading Crescent City funk all across the globe.

George Porter, Jr. is much more than just one of the founding fathers of funk.

He is also one of the truly great ambassadors of the city of New Orleans, the city he was born in.

As a member of The Meters, a group that came together in the mid-1960s, Porter helped take a base of soul, jazz, blues and Caribbean rhythms and melt them into a juicy gumbo known as funk. It was music that just made you move. And the key ingredient in that spicy dish was Porter’s long, looping, greasy bass guitar. More than just keep the beat going, Porter helped make it OK for the bass to take over the reins and head down new trails. This helped sprout the seeds for a future generation of jam bands.

And it also made you want to get on the dance floor as soon as possible.

Check out: “Look-Ka Py Py” from The Meters’ 1970 release of the same name.

Stanley Clarke

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Comments 106 comments

Dink96 profile image

Dink96 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

I do believe you have hit on the heaviest of bass players here. And all are firmly rooted in jazz, soul and world beat. I wonder if Bootsy was ever influenced by MY favorite man from Saturn, Sun Ra... Very well done.


illminatus profile image

illminatus 7 years ago from Chicago, IL Author

Thank you. I would definitely say Bootsy was influenced by Ra. I think Bootsy has to be my favorite of all.


Catlyn profile image

Catlyn 7 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

In one humble Hubbers opinion, Abraham Laboriel is right up there with the rest. If you are not familiar with him, check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C5xv08SrCU

Thanks for taking the time to put this great Hub together


SP 7 years ago

"Beck, Boget & Appice", "Cactus", "Vanila Fudge", "Blues Mobile Band"


SP 7 years ago

TIM BOGERT


Sup3rD0Od 7 years ago

Where is Victor Wooten?


EdG. profile image

EdG. 7 years ago

Hey, what about Derek Smalls...hehehehe


elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

well written with lots of good info, thanks for the hub!


lisakprice profile image

lisakprice 7 years ago from Ohio

Les Claypool! I like his unique style and sound!


Life of Bryan 7 years ago

Let's not forget the late-great John Entwhistle

(of The Who.) For the uninitiated: check out

The Who's landmark album "Quadrophenia" (circa 1973.) Entwhistle may not have been a household name, but he was a bass player's bass player!


Rowan Campbell 7 years ago

John Entwhistle is the be the greatest bass player ever.

Listen to his bass solo on my generation amazing.

John Entwhistle playing is awsome.

Other great bass Players Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix experince, Bill Wyman of The rolling stones, Aston Barrett of The wailers, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden John deacon of Queen and Lemmy of Motor head


Nick B profile image

Nick B 7 years ago from Normandy, France

I gotta say, you got it right with Stanley Clarke. His album "He wants to play for you" is just awesome.

I'm surprised that you haven't got Mark King down there. Check out Mr Pink on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKI8pFqWm0s, I think you'll see what I mean...


Wyldflow3r profile image

Wyldflow3r 7 years ago

You simply must include Willie Weeks!!! He played for Donny Hathaway and was heavily influenced by Jamerson. On the song (Voices inside)Everything is Everything He does wt is probably the greatest bass solo since Bob Babbitt on Dennis Coffey's Scorpio. Gotta add Babbitt too! Great hub, the bass is one of my favorite instruments.


SpudGie 7 years ago

How can you forget to include Louis Johnson on your list?


Portamenteff profile image

Portamenteff 7 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

When you see Steve Harris from Iron Maiden live, you'll have to give him a nod as well. He was playing 64th note lines harmonized with the guitars in perfect rhythm. He held down the bottom end, and yet played "leads" at the same time. Another great one is Robert Trujillo. He played aggressive punk with Suicidal Tendencies, slap-pop funk with infectious grooves an now speed metal with Metallica.

Great hub! People forget without bass, it's just some guys jammin. with bass, it's a band!


elliot.dunn 7 years ago

people have already mentioned victor wooten and les claypool - two of my all time favorites. mike gordon from phish definitely sits in my top ten as well.


PunchLine 7 years ago

Finally a list that does not include Flea, Les Claypool, Cliff Burton and numerous other very OVERRATED bass players. Good stuff!


BigBlackRod 7 years ago

What about Paul S Denman, the bassist for Sade? Bernard Edwards of Chic should have been a given, or does groove count for nothing here? PEACE.


garyK 6 years ago

some great bass players are not part of the band ensemble .. which is a highly important part of the skill. I'll add Andy Fraser of Free .. for "writing the book" on super funky and groove bass playing in a rock band (Free) .. also wrote a lot of the songs for good measure. And yes, Entwhistle deserves a gong in there.


MsFikou 6 years ago

No Victor Wooten? No Tony Levin? No John Myung? No Billy Sheham?...... man...... too bad -.-"


DC 6 years ago

CLIFF BURTON DUUUUUUHHHHHHHH


moondive profile image

moondive 6 years ago from Modena,Italy

Great hub!!


chillbnyc 6 years ago

you must include bernard Edwards of chic he was one of the great bass players and his baseline was infulential for the start of hip hop going main stream the song good times which stared hip hop on main stream radio which the group the sugar hill gang started.


Jomark 6 years ago

I think Sir Paul McCartney is the greatest bass player on planet. Because on his experience with the beatles Paul McCartney is totally genius on bass and composing of the song.


Damann 6 years ago

nathan East belongs on this list...


ericsomething profile image

ericsomething 6 years ago from Charleston, SC and Riverside, CA

Good choices, especially Jaco. Now if you want to add upright bass, let's not forget folks like Charles Mingus and Oscar Pettiford. Aww, gee, I think I opened another can o'worms. Great Hub, though.


Me 6 years ago

Paul McCartney and Geddy Lee should be on there


Tony 6 years ago

Since Paul McCartney actually composes melodic, well-structured bass lines which subtly complement his work (not to mention the fact he's white), he has no place on this so-called "list."


the national 6 years ago

Paul McCartney is the greatest bass player of all times!


roy 6 years ago

did u ever heard of victor wooten he is the world number one bassist awesome


dave 6 years ago

Victor Wooten...awesome bassist, should be on the list.


erick williams 6 years ago

i know that verdein white from e.w.&f should be on the list


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...well one thing we do know .... this is the greatest hub of all time on the greatest bass players of all time - and Dave Holland who played with Miles????

..and Danny Thompson .....


johnshade profile image

johnshade 6 years ago from Pandora

WHERE IN GOD'S NAME IS CLIFF BURTON? Best is measured my influence and creativity. Cliff one of the first bass players to utilize effects and distorition and take lead in Metal.

He got a one hell of a legacy and fan bass


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Stanley Clarke is fantastic ! I saw him a long time ago play with Chick Corea and Al Di Meola on guitar. What a jam ! And Bootsy is a classic too. I would like to add one no one gives much thought too. Listen to the bass playing of Bruce Thomas who was part of the Attractions , Elvis Costellos backing band back in his early days. The guy is phenomenal ! And Flea from the red hot chili peppers is pretty respectable too.


Neil Salo 6 years ago

Man wheres Steve Harris on that list he has to be the best bass player of all time look him up he is the bass player of the band Iron Maiden


Jim 6 years ago

I know that guy how posted in front of me thats not his name is Anthoney Mattson


Ryan K 6 years ago

I agree with that Anthoney guy Steve Harris IS THE BEST!!!


Ravi Barnes 6 years ago

Jaco on bass is what Chick Corea is to piano, Al Di is to guitar and Jean Luc Ponti is to electric violin. These players have transcended the unimaginable.


tony ray james 6 years ago

Overall I think you did a good job, every bodies list will be different. I would have had Joe Osborn & Carol Kaye on my list. 10 is not enough :-D maybe 50 / 5 groups of 10

1) R&B 2) JAZZ/FUSION 3)FUNK 4)ROCK/METAL 5)STUDIO GET STARTED LOL !!!!


Miller 6 years ago

Where is Steve Harris? Up The Irons....


armstron 6 years ago

Wojtek Krzy?anowski.!


Peter Fitzwell 6 years ago

Why the hell is Matt Freeman from Rancid not mentioned on any "best bass player" top 100. That guy is friggin amazing!


SHEYI KEHNNY 6 years ago

HOW COME ABRAHAM LABOREAL IS NOT AMONG THE TOP 10 OF ALL TIME. VERY RIDICULOUS.


Bassmastwer 6 years ago

Wtf?

Cliff Burton should be on the list,he was the most influencial bassist in metal and he was one of the first to use distortion.

Seriously,listen to anesthesia pulling teeth and tell me taht it is not a bass solo,he was the one and only lead bassist,i dont care what you say he was a great innavoator and composer.


efffwegfwe 6 years ago

where is Tom Jenkinson?


wasim 5 years ago

FLEA!!!


Norm 5 years ago

In my top ten would be Norman Watt-Roy, Gerry McAvoy, Carl Radle, and (seriously) Paul McCartney.


Harry 5 years ago

There are a bunch of "top 5 players". All I read on here is....what about such and such..? Everybody has their favorite, depends on if you like jazz, rock, metal, fussion, etc. Actually, as for who is the most technical and clean, there are several. But it all depends on your favorite type of music... !!! Dumbass's :)


Dave 5 years ago

A few others for consideration, Victor Wooten, John Pattituci, Abe Laboriel and Brian Bromberg.


josh 5 years ago

How can you make a top 10 bass player list without Les Claypool? The Man is a beast.


Rob 5 years ago

Lol..I don't care what order you put other guys in..Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins and 1 and 2


Josh 5 years ago

WHERE IS CLIFF BRUTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


jayjem 5 years ago

I appreciate your appreciation of me as as one of the 10 greatest bass players of all time. In 1958 I just wanted to be one of the best but it was the stuff that they were turning out in the early sixties that fueled my fire. Great site great writing.

Thanks,

Fingers.


hamdyns 5 years ago

PAUL McCartney is the best for me


jbyrd 5 years ago

Very good list & great info. But I must say that Bernard Edwards & Flea should have been somewhere on the list. Thanks for the time you took to compile this list with info!


doc 5 years ago

Quit bitchin' about "Senor X" not being on the list!

I think illminatus gets it right.

Every single one of these guys are influential.

Sure, personal taste is involved. So what?

Write your own list.

Some people just can't go beyond metal.

Go listen to what these masters are all about.

Oh, and about "one of the first bass players using distortions and effects."

Jaco said "Been there, Done that".


Peter Wallace 5 years ago

I'm a scouser so officially I should say Macca, but I'm listening to Chilli Peppers right now, though my mate says Jack Bruce?? Bye the Way I think I'm right


zeeter 5 years ago

I'm always amused when people make up lists that exclude the obvious best in the particular category in favor of a bunch of semi-obscure people who most people never heard of. It's quite simple. John Entwistle was the greatest bass player of all time. While some best of lists are subjective depending on the listener's tastes, Entwistle is at #1 even by the most objective measurements. For him to not even make the top ten pretty much makes this list irrelevant and a joke. The man shaped bass playing for 40 years and his legacy is still influencing players today. Sometimes the obvious choice is obvious because it's the right choice.


sargent hulka 5 years ago

The best bass player of all time is Paul McCartney. Period. Even if you don't know shit about music, when you put McCartney 1st, it validates the rest of your list. He is the best ever.


62 Fender P 5 years ago

James Jamerson should be Number 1


shiek salami 5 years ago

Renaud Garcia-Fons. If you haven't heard him - look him up


shiek salami 5 years ago

Victor Wooten might also deserve a mention for sheer virtuosity. If I dare expand into classical, Rodion Astarkhin should definitely be on the list for being a powerful bass soloist when bass was still considered to be strictly an accompaniment. Personally, I would also list Mick Karn in my Top 10 for his sound and originality.


McCoy 5 years ago

I'm sorry but Flea is defiantly one of the greatest and undoubtedly the most influential bass player of all time besides sir. Paul McCartney and Geddy lee.


jj 5 years ago

CLIFF LEE BURTON should be number 1 !!!


timi  5 years ago

richard bona is the best for me, and he is african.


robin 5 years ago

leeland sklar!


Ward Troetschel profile image

Ward Troetschel 5 years ago

Tyler Nicholas of WHITE LIGHTS


david engram 5 years ago

marcus miller and derrick dock murdock should be at the tippy top of any list


gerrysmomma 5 years ago

I am sorry, I am a pro musician and "flea" is noteven worthy of a mention unless you are 12 years old. One dimensional players are not impressive


HankB44 5 years ago

I'm very disappointed that my main man, Louis "Thunder Thumbs" Johnson, of the famed duo, "Brothers Johnson", is not on the list.

Heck, his solo performance on the hit song, "Stomp", is all you need to hear to include him.

Also, check out the song, "Q", off of the CD with Strawberry Letter 23 on it.

Peace


5 years ago

Louis Johnson, Leland Sklar are omitted, as is Motown's Bob Babbitt.

Do the list again.


Reg Gage 5 years ago

The greatest Jazz Bass Player that I have had the opportunity to have experienced was the late great Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. On double bass, he was as fast, articulate and in tune as any electric guitar bass player I have ever heard.


Rev. Bobby Jones 5 years ago

Louis Johnson is the best Bass player entertainer of all time! Bill Dickens ,Armand Sabal-Lecco, Freddie Washington, James Williams of "Mcfadden and Whitehead"


peter parker 5 years ago

'The world’s greatest bass player.

That’s the way that Jaco Pastorius introduced himself to future Weather Report band member Joe Zainwul.'

you mean 'ZAWINUL'


Roscoe 5 years ago

You all mentioned some great bassists. I appreciate all genres of music. And all have contributed greatly with their own distinct style. That's what keeps us interested in this great thing called music. It's creative not competive. So enjoy it all.


rhundrgod70 5 years ago

I love your list! Very concise and imformative. Especially concerning the session guys I may not have otherwise focused my attention to. It will hopefully learn some new insight for my playing. I can't believe all the attitudes of the rock/metal guys. I understand when I was a14 yr old, I shared the same passion for Cliff B, Steve H, Geddy L, Billy S, etc.. so I spent 8 or more hours a day learning to emulate their styles. In the 80's GEEEEZZ! My current influences focus on one of the most crucial elements for great bassline composition and song structure' ...timing. I really like the simple grooves from Rick Showalter of Liquid Soul. Jamiriquai has an excellent guy too. I


farhad 5 years ago

CLIFF BURTON is greatest.


mike 4 years ago

sid vicious????------ :p


bubba 4 years ago

how about Paul Chambers and Jimmy Garrison


Jim Enriquez 4 years ago

There is an up and coming young player you should have a listen to. His name is Henrik and he plays with a group in Sweden called Dirty Loops. Please enjoy his solo in this 100% improved version of Baby by Justin Bieber.

http://youtu.be/KjVGJ3YFDc8


chandanjyoti hazarika, assam 4 years ago

where is victor wooten..!!??


Mike J 4 years ago

Really.... No Victor Wooten OR Les Claypool.... For shame...


Faye 4 years ago

What about bass player Daryl Johnson ...played with the Neville brothers for years ...black dub


woodymd1963 4 years ago

steve harris of iron maiden not only a great bass player but a dam good son writer to boot


fenderman 4 years ago

All mentioned are and were great players, but also don't forget Geddy Lee


link logan 4 years ago

so many great Bassist and various styles that it's very difficult to pin point just one.so many wonderful teachers,mental and physical,my humble opinion lets keep practicing and study them all.


4 years ago

Very surprised not one mention of Chuck Rainey


Rhada 4 years ago

Well, if you include Paul McCartney, then you definitely can't forget Tim Foreman!


Ardent Muse 4 years ago

MARK KING of LEVEL 42 HANDS DOWN!


MassielFrusciante 4 years ago

Gerrysmomma i don't Give a Sh*t if you are a ''PRO'' Flea is an AMAZING bass player i don't know in What WORLD you live in but Flea is amazing... tough ILOVE Jaco (and By the way im not just sying this about Flea Cuz im a Peppers FAN) but he should totally be on the list And Cliff :) Thankyou


slappy 4 years ago

OK....we are talking "of all time".......There are several peeps I think were omitted here. I am talkng about talent not record sales or any other "outside" influence rate scale. I realize everyone has their favorites. But lets not forget Bob Glaub. Now go look it up. Something to think about.


Etienne 4 years ago

I have learned over the years not to compare the talents but to appreciate the talents that each person has been blessed with. This list could go on on and on...e.g. Mark Adams (Slave); Leon Silvers (Solar Records);Bernard Edwards (Chic); Buddy Hankerson (Aurra); Louis Johnson (Brothers Johnson) etc...


fenderman 4 years ago

i seen metallica open for ozzy in 85 and cliff burton was the one that got me into playing bass. but on album he should not be on a top ten list, probably not a top 100 list. he is an awesome bassist, but not one of the greatest. not when you listen to bassist like jaco, victor wooten, billy sheehan, marcus miller, i could go on and on. cliff burton will always be my favorite, but not one of the greatest.


Tyler 4 years ago

This list lost all credibility due the to the fact it lacks Steve Harris and Cliff Burton.


Tyler Stafford 4 years ago

This list has absolutely no credibility without the god of 'lead Bass Playing' cliff burton


seamless 4 years ago

Steve DiGiorgio!!!!!!!!!!!


gerrysmomma 3 years ago

MassielFrusciante You, your name and your taste is a joke.


Clint 3 years ago

Victor Wooten is the best


rhs 2 years ago

Great list but Ray Brown and Victor Wooten should also be included.


Steve 2 years ago

The killing of Jaco that night robbed all of us from ever hearing the greatest bass player again create a sound that players today only wish they could produce. Jaco was fighting his own demons,not a bouncer,the night he died. For those of you who never saw Jaco play live, I can say to you, his

ability to give the world a sound, style and technique has never been matched. Jaco and I are from the same town and our paths crossed many times. What a loss for our musical world. Check out his work. It speaks for it self.


Remays 2 years ago

Because he is amazingly talented in so many areas, people overlook who is actually the best bass player to ever live. Paul McCartney is the best bass player ever. Melodic, smooth, original, perfection.


Michael Harris 2 years ago

Jeff Andrews,

Badass Jazz Fusion Bassist

Played on I remember Jaco.

With Steps Ahead

Vital Information

Michael Stern

Brecker Brothers

And more.......


Brian Flood 22 months ago

There were a few different bassists on Paul Simon's Graceland, but I find that album to be truly one of the best and most overlooked bass-centric records I've ever heard. (Most will agree it's just a timeless pop record to begin with.)

The bass playing on that album is so rich, melodic, textured and imaginative. And to the producers' credit, there's such a different approach to the bass tone and the role is plays in the compositions and the mixes.

Some of those basslines are timeless gifts to the world of bass playing.


stu 21 months ago

Being crazy technical is impressive, but its nothing without groove. Therefore, Bernard Edwards has to be I be in there? Hands down one of the greatest.


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MichaelBowman25 18 months ago

Did a child put this list together? Where is Louis Johnson, Mark Adams, Bernard Edwards? JEEZ!!!!

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