Most influential bassist(s)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Roy Vogt, Apr 7, 2014.


Who is (are) the most influential bassists?

Poll closed May 7, 2014.
  1. Monk Montgomery

    3.3%
  2. James Jamerson

    66.4%
  3. Paul McCartney

    45.9%
  4. Geddy Lee

    21.3%
  5. Chris Squire

    20.5%
  6. John Entwhistle

    36.1%
  7. Larry Graham

    33.6%
  8. Stanley Clarke

    17.2%
  9. Jaco Pastorius

    53.3%
  10. Victor Wooten

    10.7%
  11. Marcus Miller

    13.9%
  12. Louis Johnson

    9.0%
  13. Victor Wooten

    6.6%
  14. Duck Dunn

    18.0%
  15. Gene Simmons

    4.9%
  16. Paul Simonon

    5.7%
  17. Tim Bogert

    5.7%
  18. Steve Harris

    14.8%
  19. Billy Sheehan

    6.6%
  20. Write in (please post in thread)

    13.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The idea here is to vote for the bassist or bassists you feel to be the most influential as far as how the instrument is played and how players have developed in their evolution. This would not necessarily be your favorite, but one (or more) who may have influenced your favorite. I'll try to look at the results, including write ins, and tabulate the top 5 and then have a run-off vote in a later thread.
    Thanks for your participation. You can vote for as many as you wish.
    In order to narrow this down to the top 5 this poll will only be active for 30 days.
     
  2. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I can already see one glaring omission-no Jack Bruce! I'm sure there will be more. So even though I didn't indicate Jack Bruce as a write in I'm doing it now.
     
  3. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,251
    Jamerson for making melody and syncopation an integral part of R&B bass, which carried into rock and roll.

    Chris Squire for codifying progressive rock bass and a whole new sound.

    Larry Graham for slap.

    Steve Harris for his always-present, hard-hitting sound that merges well with both guitars and drums. Bonus points for his massive songwriting chops.

    Other: Domenico Dragonetti, while a double-bassist, was hugely influential in making the double bass its own instrument in orchestral music.
     
  4. joe vegas

    joe vegas

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    40ยบ 45' 21" north latitude
    i respectfully submit Lesh, Casady and Anthony Jackson.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Bump to remind everybody that this poll will only be open for 30 days.
     
  7. bass_case

    bass_case Used Register Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    497
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    John Paul Jones, please.
     
  8. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    3,574
  9. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    where's Duff McKagan and John Paul Jones?
     
  10. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    291
    Location:
    South Deerfield, MA
  11. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    You just added them. Click "write in" and post in the thread like you just did.
     
  12. Precision101

    Precision101

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    736
    Mick Quinn and John Entwistle.
     
  13. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    If you don't see your bassist in the list, click write in and list them in your post. Remember, the bassist should be influential, not necessarily just your favorite or from your favorite band. By influential I mean they should have significantly contributed to bass guitar's evolution.
     
  14. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    2,197
    I voted -- it was actually more difficult than I expected, because it forced me think about what it means to be influential. Cool exercise.

    E.g., I don't deny that Paul McCartney was incredibly influential...and influential to bassists. But I question whether the type of influence he had is/was as overt as the type of influence someone like, say, Larry Graham or James Jamerson or Jaco Pastorius had.

    Paul's influence strikes me as more abstract: He influenced bassists to recognize that they could play interesting lines that weren't completely background foundation/support parts (and yet that still provided the necessary foundation/support). He influenced bassists to recognize that they were valuable members of a band, both in terms of musical contribution and band image. He influenced bassists to recognize that they were worthy of the spotlight.

    But you almost never hear bassists copping McCartney's lines or licks or phrasing. Unlike Larry, James, or Jaco, Paul's influence was almost extrinsic to the bass guitar. He influenced the way bassists thought about playing bass, rather than influencing the way they played bass. That's a fascinating distinction imho.
     
  15. Tampabass

    Tampabass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Tampa
    Disclosures:
    not a rocket scientist, but I play one on TV
    In terms of giving the bass guitar a solo voice, helping it break free from its role as simply driving the rhythm section (not that there's anything wrong with it; obviously, that's an art unto itself), and doing so in a very dramatic fashion, I'd vote for Jaco, with Stanley not far behind. Jaco simply rewrote the rules for what could be done with bass guitar, particularly as a lead instrument. Others on the list -- particularly Jamerson and John Entwistle -- also helped reinvent the bass guitar's role, but not to the extent that Jaco did.
    BTW, not trying to start a big Jaco discussion here -- please go elsewhere for that. Just trying to offer a succinct explanation of why I chose Jaco. I'm a huge fan of much of the music represented by the bass players on this list. Although not sure why Gene Simmons is there -- I think KISS had a pretty large impact, but not sure that Gene's playing did.
    EDIT: I wrote this before I realized we could vote for more than one -- in trying to think of those who had the most impact on how the instrument is played, and in affecting its role, I voted for Jaco, Stanley, James Jamerson and John Entwistle.
     
  16. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I wanted to put forth a list with a variety of Rockers as well. For some reason Gene Simmons shows up a lot so I thought why not?
     
  17. bass_case

    bass_case Used Register Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    497
    Location:
    Miami, FL
  18. blue4

    blue4

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    St. Louis area
    I voted McCartney, Entwhistle, Jamerson, and Geddy Lee. I see these guys as having an effect on the widest range of people. The guys like Clarke, Wooten, and Miller I see as having a very profound effect on a much smaller group of people.

    I would put Geezer Butler on that list just for the sheer number of metalheads he has influenced with both his bass playing and his lyrics.
     
  19. E.J. T.N.T.

    E.J. T.N.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I must add Geezer Butler for sure.
     
  20. Tampabass

    Tampabass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Tampa
    Disclosures:
    not a rocket scientist, but I play one on TV
    Probably right. KISS certainly has had a great impact, and Gene has his fans. I've heard that quite a few bass players WERE inspired to take up bass after watching him, etc. So in that sense, yes, probably substantial impact.
     
  21. esa372

    esa372

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,576
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are only five cats:

    Jamerson
    McCartney
    Entwistle
    Graham
    Pastorius

    ...everyone else is just copping their licks.
     

Share This Page