"Favorite bass player"...?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by LadyThunder, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. LadyThunder


    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm relatively new to playing bass and started taking lessons last month. My teacher is awesome, experienced in both playing and teaching bass and I always leave my lesson time motivated to pratice so I 1) won't forget what I just learned and 2) to master what I just learned so I can keep learning more.

    Lesson before last, my teacher asked me who my favorite bass player is. Truth is, I really don't have one. I listen to a lot of different bands, but I never mentally singled out a bass player unless they were noticeably bad to my untrained ears. It's not like a specific bassist or band got me playing bass... my 30 year-old self just wanted to learn something new and my sister has a P-Bass that she hasn't played in some years. I enjoy music a lot, so why wouldn't I want to learn to play a musical instrument? $90 later for a complete set up (it was in BAD shape) and I was good to go on this adventure.

    Before I digress any further from my original point in posting this post, I want to know... who is your favorite bass player? Also, in your opinion, which specific bass players should I give a listen to? I like a wide variety of styles and ages of music, though 90s music is what's most played on my iPod. As far as bass lines and such go, I've recently realized that I like those of songs from the 50s-60s.
  2. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    My favorite is McCartney. Some other favorites are Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Mike Gordon (Phish - if you like the Dead, you will probably like them), and Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club). I've also been getting into Matt Freeman (Rancid, Operation Ivy) a bit.

    Those are just some of my favorites. Others will soon sing the praises of such giants as James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, Geddy Lee of Rush, and many others, and rightly so. You owe it to yourself to check all of them out. Have fun and good luck on your bass journey!

    Welcome to the world of bass! :bassist:
  3. I'd have to second McCartney there, along with John Paul Jones
  4. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    If you like the 1960s style bass lines, check out James Jamerson absolutely. In my opinion, he's a very inspirational player because he was so innovative, yet when you listen to him play, you can set goals around his style that are practical and obtainable. Some bassists, for me anyway, are fun to listen to, but don't offer any real hope of learning from them, whereas Jamerson was extremely talented, but his playing offers something accessible to strive for.

    John Paul Jones is a favorite player of mine, and a really good way to explore how different styles and musical influences can be blended, yet still sit within the context of rock and blues.

    Chris Squire is quite the player, and I certainly can't play like him even after years of study. However, every time I listen to him play, I am struck by how he interacted with the band, and what his place in Yes was. I'm always awed by how much complexity there is, yet how everyone has a well-defined place in the music, and there really isn't any crowding or toe-stepping going on musically. He also provides a really good way to listen to how the bass can lead the band and determine the direction of the music.

    Berry Oakley might be someone worth checking out too.
  5. I love that someone else brought up Matt Freeman. He is awesome. Check out the bass lines on Rancid's self titled albums. The song Detroit is one of my favs!

    As far as guys to listen to, here's my list:

    George Porter Jr. of the meters

    Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station

    James Jameson of..... Well Motown records

    John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin

    Bootsy Collins of early James Brown (my favorite) and parliament.
  6. Waster


    Nov 24, 2011
    My favourite bass player is Adam Clayton of U2. His lines are simple, but there wouldn't be any song without them. He also has a phenomenal right hand technique and feel for the songs.

    If you enjoy music from the nineties, then I daresay that's what you'll end up playing. You should probably listen to the bassists from your favourite bands; you'll probably learn a lot more from Mark Hoppus or Mike Dirnt than you ever would from Jaco Pastorius. In fact, focusing on players like Jaco or Geddy Lee might even damage your playing in the styles you like.

    Just my two cents...
  7. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona
    Geddy Lee of Rush is the first to come to my mind.

  8. ransombass


    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    George Porter Jr. - my all time favorite.
    Pino Palladino
    Willie Weeks
    James Jamerson
    Duck Dunn
    Raphael Saadiq

    Just to name a few of the greats.
  9. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I couldnt agree more... "Uncle Chris" has always been my guy.
    He's one of the true innovators of the bass guitar.
  10. esa372

    esa372 Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    My top 10, in order of influence:

    • John Entwistle
    • Jaco Pastorius
    • Paul McCartney
    • John Paul Jones
    • Geddy Lee
    • James Jamerson
    • Pino Palladino
    • Verdine White
    • Dougie Thomson
    • Paul Chambers

  11. Marshall Grant!
  12. NOT


    Jul 15, 2011
    Mike Watt
  13. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    John Entwsitle (The Who) and Paul McCartney (Beatles) equaly in first place.

    John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Jack Bruce (Cream), and Liminha (Os Mutantes) in second
  14. Keep it that way, don't have a favourite. Have many faves!

    Be open-minded and listen to new-to-you different genres. You've probably always listened to the bass even if you didn't realise it. Listened to any 60's pop? Kay, Jamerson, Babbitt etc. Old blues? Dixon, Crudup, Knowling etc. Etc.

    However, only listen to music you like. Exploring a new genre, but can't get past an aspect of it? Move on. There's so much great music out there that even if a bass player is great, what's the point if you're not enjoying the music overall? Even within genres you'll find bands you like, bands you don't (*bass players you like, bass players you don't). With all the great music out there, life's too short to spend time on a "great" bass player in a band/music style you can't stomach.

    I wish you utmost success in your musical journey; the goal is stay on the path, as there is no final destination.
  15. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    To Many to list.
    Here are a quick 10.

    Sir Paul
    Jack Bruce
    John Paul Jones
    Pino Palladino
    Jonas Hellborg
    Jeff Berlin
    Lee Sklar
    George Porter Jr.
    Keith Ferguson
  16. way too many to list that i like/appreciate, but my #1 would be Graham Maby. His basslines on the first 2 Joe Jackson Band albums are still inspirational to me . . .
  17. subawesome


    Jun 15, 2012
    Geddy Lee and Steve DiGiorgio
  18. CTC564

    CTC564 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ
    +1 for Graham Maby!!!

    Incredibly under-rated IMHO
  19. Illini10


    May 15, 2012
    Elmwood, IL
    Sir Paul, JPJ, Entwistle, Mike Watt, Colin Greenwood (Radiohead), Roger Waters, Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, Folk Implosion).
  20. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    Some of my favorites are Jack Bruce and Roger Glover.