The top bass players of recent history

By: Domingo Basso

Okay, well, since the electric bass is like the coolest instrument ever (very factual statement) I’m sure you’re wondering just who exactly are some of the best bass players in the world? Well allow me to show you what my research has led me to conclude. And before I continue, I’ll make the disclaimer that there is no truly factual best bass player(s) in the world, so this is, of course, based on my opinion.

My list of the top bass players will also align with that of one done by ‘Rolling Stone’ in a poll, so I highly recommend that article if you want to learn more. Anyways, enough with the introductions, here are some of the top bass players: 

8: Victor Wooten- 

Victor Wooten is a famous bass player who’s most known for his amazing jazz bass playing, great knowledge in music theory as a whole, and most of all his fantastic improvising skills.

7: Cliff Burton- 

Cliff Burton, who’s known for his role as the bassist of the band Metallica, was a great influence for bassists in the future with his frequent use of pedals creating a more distorted and aggressive sound. He also would play his bass in a way that allowed it to be a more prominent sound in the band, even being mistaken for a lead guitar at times. 

6: Jaco Pastorius –

Now, while the name Jaco Pastorious isn’t all that well known, the bass playing community highly respects this man for his sheer mastery over the instrument, having him be a very sought after musician to work with. This allowed him to work with the likes of: Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Herbie Hancock and many others.

5: John Paul Jones- 

John Paul Jones, known for his involvement as the bassist of the band Led Zeppelin, was a master at using the bass with his interesting percussive and rhythmic style inspiring many bassists around the world.

4: Les Claypool-

Les Claypool is known for being a bit of a weirdo and you can kind of tell that after listening to some of his music. His most famous music act was being the lead singer and bassist of Primus. Doing bass lines that are already very difficult to master, he pairs that up with also being the lead vocalist for the band, earning him a spot on this list. Funny enough, after Cliff Burton’s death, Metallica was in search of a new bassist and Les tried out for it but was eventually denied the role.

3: Geddy Lee- 

Geddy Lee, known most for his role in the band Rush, is very talented at playing the bass. But, he also plays the keyboard for the band, as well as being the lead vocalist, so he earns a spot on this list for his sheer variety and key role in his band.

2: Paul Mcartney-

While Paul Mcartney (known for his role as the bassist of the band The Beatles) isn’t the most skilled bass player out there, he still manages to earn a spot on this list because of the amount of influence that he has over bassists around the world to this day. This arguably makes him one of the most famous bassists of all time.

1:  Flea-

Finally, on the number one spot of my list is Flea, known for his role as the bassist in the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. I put him on the #1 spot because he’s a very well renowned slap bassist and really helped boost the popularity of the bass guitar (also I’m super biased, but that’s like, whatever).

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