Who´s your favorite bass player?


Tom Sklenar
Registered User
Joined: 07/25/17
Posts: 52

I have a simple question, which is just mentioned above. Who´s your favorite bass player? Doesn´t matter on the music style. For what reasons is he/she your favorite?


# 0
Tom Sklenar
Registered User
Joined: 07/25/17
Posts: 52

Well, maybe I should say something about my favorites.

When I started play bass 13 years ago, my band No.1 were Iron Maiden. So there´s no surprise that for a long period of time was (and still is) my bass hero Steve Harris. At the beginning, it was totally incomprehensible for me to understand his playing skill. Through the time I´ve learn many songs from Iron Maiden among others, and what´s the surprise, when I realize that I can play similar like him.

In time, when my music horizon get wider, more bass players influenced me a lot. From rock music I have to mentioned Patrice Guers (Patrice Rondat, Rhapsody of Fire), whose playing is fantastic, but I have to mention also jazz bassists such as Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter and Marcus Miller.

Despite this, Steve Harris is certainly the person, who influenced me at most. So he will probably remain as my No.1 bass player forever :)


# 2
Matthias Hornstein
Registered User
Joined: 07/20/17
Posts: 50

I really like Jaco Pastorius. The way he plays and especially how he has shaped the bass playing. Great player


# 3
Tom Sklenar
Registered User
Joined: 07/25/17
Posts: 52

JP is awesome. I am learning A portrait of Tracy right now. It´s an incredible composition.


# 4
maggior
Registered User
Joined: 01/27/13
Posts: 1,723

Of rock bassists, it's a toss up between Geddy Lee of Rush or Chris Squire (RIP) from Yes. On the jazz side of things, I'd have to go with Stanley Clarke. I'm a big fan of the fusion stuff he's done through the years. Marcus Miller is fantastic too.


# 5
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,859
Originally Posted by: Tom Sklenar

Who´s your favorite bass player? Doesn´t matter on the music style. For what reasons is he/she your favorite?

Fun question!

I've seen a ton of great bass players. Guys that are jaw dropping good. In small clubs over the decades I've been fortunate to see Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten (w/ Bela Fleck), Jimmie Johnson (w/ Allan Holdsworth ), tons of other jazz & blues guys.

On the rock big stages I've seen Geddy (Rush! :D), Flea, Sheehan & tons of other giants of bass.

But when I think about my favorites, I start to think about who's bass style or lines influenced me. When I play bass or write a bass line for a song, who I am chasing? These guys!

James Jamerson. Mr. Motown. All those great Motown hits, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder's golden years. Funny thing is that I heard & copied his bass lines long before I learned who he was, since he was a session guy & not "one of the guys on the stage".

Paul McCartney. The early Beatles stuff is a master class on how to play pop rock bass. Always melodic, while always keeping the rhythmic pulse.

John Paul Jones. His influence is all over what I love to hear, play & write for in blues-rock & heavy rock. And he wrote the riff to "Black Dog"!

Honorable mention to Louis Johnson. Whenever I think of a funk bass line or try to do something like that my first point of reference is Johnson, the guy who made Michael Jackson's early solo albums so funky & danceable.


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 6
Tom Sklenar
Registered User
Joined: 07/25/17
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: Tom Sklenar

Who´s your favorite bass player? Doesn´t matter on the music style. For what reasons is he/she your favorite?

Fun question!

I've seen a ton of great bass players. Guys that are jaw dropping good. In small clubs over the decades I've been fortunate to see Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten (w/ Bela Fleck), Jimmie Johnson (w/ Allan Holdsworth ), tons of other jazz & blues guys.

On the rock big stages I've seen Geddy (Rush! :D), Flea, Sheehan & tons of other giants of bass.

But when I think about my favorites, I start to think about who's bass style or lines influenced me. When I play bass or write a bass line for a song, who I am chasing? These guys!

James Jamerson. Mr. Motown. All those great Motown hits, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder's golden years. Funny thing is that I heard & copied his bass lines long before I learned who he was, since he was a session guy & not "one of the guys on the stage".

Paul McCartney. The early Beatles stuff is a master class on how to play pop rock bass. Always melodic, while always keeping the rhythmic pulse.

John Paul Jones. His influence is all over what I love to hear, play & write for in blues-rock & heavy rock. And he wrote the riff to "Black Dog"!

Honorable mention to Louis Johnson. Whenever I think of a funk bass line or try to do something like that my first point of reference is Johnson, the guy who made Michael Jackson's early solo albums so funky & danceable.

Your list of names is great. Some of them are obvious for me, some of them less. Thanks for mentioning Louis Johnson. I am quite surprised, that I met many people, or better said many bassists and musicians, who don´t know him. According to me, his style and playing is fantastic. And I have to agree with you about his basslines in Michael Jackson´s albums.


# 7
stevelankford313
Full Access
Joined: 11/19/16
Posts: 187

Paul Goddard, Atlanta Rhythym Section


# 8
Tom Sklenar
Registered User
Joined: 07/25/17
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by: stevelankford313

Paul Goddard, Atlanta Rhythym Section

Why is he your choice?


# 9
stevelankford313
Full Access
Joined: 11/19/16
Posts: 187

Well let's see, not sure i have a good edgemacated answer for that. Just seemed like some of those songs were built around Paul's bass lines. Angel, Help yourself, Solo at 6:14 on Another Man's Woman are worth a listen. The speed and those high notes would give me chills. Dude seemed so unassuming on stage, but when he would cut loose it could get serious. Just a regular guy that always comes to mind when i think of Kick Ass Bass!


# 10
Tom Sklenar
Registered User
Joined: 07/25/17
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by: stevelankford313

Well let's see, not sure i have a good edgemacated answer for that. Just seemed like some of those songs were built around Paul's bass lines. Angel, Help yourself, Solo at 6:14 on Another Man's Woman are worth a listen. The speed and those high notes would give me chills. Dude seemed so unassuming on stage, but when he would cut loose it could get serious. Just a regular guy that always comes to mind when i think of Kick Ass Bass!

There´s no doubt about it :-)


# 11
ooloncoluphid
Registered User
Joined: 07/24/19
Posts: 3

John Entwistle from The Who, of course. Chris Squire from Yes is another good one.


# 12
bbriant
Registered User
Joined: 11/07/17
Posts: 95

Felix Pappaladi (sorry if spelt wrong) with cream for is improvising.


# 13
negan22267
Registered User
Joined: 08/05/19
Posts: 1

Cliff burton is awesome

Flea is my second

John deacon is underrated also


# 14
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 07/05/00
Posts: 2,907

Juan Nelson.

Phrasing, phrasing, phrasing, & taste.


Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator

Careful what you wish for friend
I've been to Hell and now I'm back again

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 15
twowrunkles
Registered User
Joined: 03/21/20
Posts: 4

In no particular order:

Geddy Lee....super smooth and ubelievable live, makes it seem so effortless.

Felix pappalardi, great tone and always recognizable. Extremely melodic.

Jack Bruce, pure energy

Flea, character and sound, again always recognizable, and can cover so many different genres.

Robert DeLeo. Underrated imho, very often victim of unfavourable mixes but really fills out the one guitar songs.

John Paul Jones, great all round musician and pioneer.

Just my 2 cents


# 16
f1kss22l
Registered User
Joined: 07/08/19
Posts: 14

Jaco Pastorius is my favorite by far. Couldn't find any better.


# 17
dsk6
Registered User
Joined: 05/09/20
Posts: 13

Victor Wooten


# 18
doug.h.pickett
Full Access
Joined: 04/21/20
Posts: 4

Claypool


# 19
round44
Full Access
Joined: 06/10/20
Posts: 2

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)

Used the bass as more of a rhythm guitar

Great sound !


# 20