Just who are your favorite five Bassists?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by eljuapo, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. So I took a look at the archives and after searching pretty thoroughly I did not find a topic like this.

    I was interested in knowing what your 5 favorite bassists are!
    Now remember, this is just an opinion thing. And may not have anything to do with how good they are or how technical or any of that. These bass players just move you somehow. They affect you and maybe how you play. :eek:

    So, rules go like this:
    1. Pick 5, count 'em, 5 players. Don't just post that you like Jaco or FiElDy and leave it at that. It's all or nothing!

    2. Tell us why they're your favorite. Could be because they played the songs that made you want to play bass, or maybe they are the people that help you stay interested or want to tackle new challenges.

    3. Tell us, if you can, which of these players you liken yourself most to. In other words "Which one do you most relate to?" Is it because your playing style is similar, or lifestyle?

    Anyway, I'd sure like to get some responses to this. All in the interest of getting to know your fellow TB'er. Right?

    P.S.- I'll post mine in a response, I think that this post is long enough as it is.

    Thanks all!:bassist:
    btmpancake likes this.
  2. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Hmmm... only 5?

    Blanton, Stewart, Brown, Chambers, LaFaro, Meyer

    Jamerson, Dunn, Miller, Shannon, Pastorius, Lee, Flea

    Hon. Mention: Stevie Wonder

    Although they are all different, I love their playing for the same reasons - creativity, originality, musicality; also their playing uniformly transcends the instruments and issues forth as the spoken language.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
    btmpancake likes this.
  3. I'll allow Honorable Mention I suppose.:rolleyes: But I was really refering to electric players since this is on the BG side of things.

    :edit: Oh, and thanks for the response!
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    like my site and profile say, Geezer got me started and Watt changed my life. Lee, Squire and Clarke rounded my early years out.

    There was a few years that Claypool and Flea would have been on the list as well.

    In today's mind I'd have to say:
    1. Dave Holland - my Favorite bass voice... just speaks to me
    2. Marcus Miller - The man is funky & melodic at the same time. He's got a slick aggressiveness that is a perfect balance of reserve to cockiness
    3. Chris Wood - a student of Mr Holland, plays in one of my dream gigs... bass, drums & Hammond doing jam tunes with a jazz flavor
    4. Stu Zender - as others have said he's got the funk weither busy or simple
    5. Tony Levin - 'nuff said... Tony is the MAN
    6. Mike Watt - man in the van with a bass in his hand. He's always got great to say on the bass... 165% always
    7. Randy Hope-Taylor - tasty... just super tasty
    8. Talkbasser Tim Sway click - I found Tim's playing in the Summer on a 'way too much coffee' night. I was reading posts and downloading random TB'ers stuff from their web links. Tim's groovy, solid, creative, etc. He's got killer tone on both electric and upright. I can't wait to get some of his CDs (I just emailed him for the payment info)

      :p how about 8 :bassist:

      I guess Watt is who I closest identify with. Since the mid 80's he's who I messure my own work against. In conversation with Mark White the other week (another of my favorites... great guy too) he said I remind him of Bobby Sheehan. I've never been a fan of Blues Traveler but I think I can hear the similarities... it could just be the fact we are both bassists from North West NJ schooled in the early 80's while trying to avoid the Jersey Hair Band Scene.
  5. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Why do people have such a hard time playing by the rules? He asked you for 5 names, people. F-I-V-E, five.

    ;) :D

    Here are mine, in no particular order:

    Peter Steele (Type O Negative)
    Jerry Only (Misfits)
    Casey Orr (ex-GWAR)
    Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica, Voivod)
    David Ellefson (Megadeth)

    Some of Burton's lines blow my mind. He's part of the reason I took up bass. He taught James and Company how to be more "musical." "Orion" is one of my favorite songs and probably my favorite instrumental.

    I like Newsted, because he's a solid player who writes solid lines and has a thick, meaty tone. Jason was a big part of the once mighty Metallica.

    Peter Steele, because he writes some cool ***t and he's a total badass. I love his tone too -- thick and fuzzy.

    Jerry Only, because he also writes some cool ***t and is a total badass. Nobody sells a product (himself and his band) like Only.

    David Ellefson, because like Newsted, he lays down a solid foundation and has a killer tone. Plus, he was badass enough to put up with the likes of Dave Mustaine. The intro to "Peace Sells, But Who's Buying" used to frustrate the hell out of me.

    Casey Orr, because he's ex-GWAR, man! IMO, he's one of the most underrated bassists in the industry. Killer tone, solid player.

    Yeah, I know these five dudes are probably not the best five dudes out there, but they're my favorite five dudes anyway.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Just five? Well I'll give you five.

    1. Les Claypool - The second I got the seas of cheese album, I knew I picked the right instrument. I had been playing bass, and my hero was Twiggy from Manson (and now A Perfect Circle) and that was all fine, but then I heard Seas of Cheese, and though I couldn't comprehend all or any of the playing, I was amazed. Now, roughly 3 years later, I sound like a Claypool wannabe half of the time, the other half I sound like crap.

    2. Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas) - As a fan of avante guarde music, I've noticed that "good" basslines don't really fit in it a lot of the time, but Trevor makes it work. A vast majority of his work remains strange enough for Mr. Bungle while remaining musicially brilliant. Jeez, it's hard to describe this guy.

    3. Flea - Before I sounded like a Claypool wannabe, I sounded like a Flea wannabe. He's cool, one of the most well known bassists, probably because he jumps around like the naked idiot that he is ;) but he's given the bass a great amount of recognition.

    4. Victor Wooten - I normally wouldn't list him as a favorite, or a hero, but after seeing the Flecktones live... yeah.

    5. Geezer Butler - The first bassists to make metal that grooved that was actually metal (Zeppelin isn't metal). Sometimes, he'd be playing something completely different than Iommi that due to the fact that both of them have such a rhthymic style, it was more polyrhthymic than polyphonic though it was both. Amazing Amazing player that I can't say enough about.
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    My list changes a lot!, but These cats

    Donald "Duck" Dunn


    Jaco Pastorius

    are always somewhere on it

    Right now I'm of a mind that James Jamerson and Bob Babbit are two of the greatest ever(just watched Standing in the shadows of motown)

    Michael manring too, he never ceases to amaze, AND inspire me.

    And there are so many others that I listen to a lot and get so much from.
  8. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    John Entwistle
    Roger Waters
    Jack Bruce
    Phil Lesh
    MasonMinor likes this.
  9. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    :mad: :bawl:

    Mod Intervention :: :rolleyes:
  10. theaterbass29


    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    1. Will Lee, bassist for the CBS Orchestra, Late show with David Letterman. Will is probably the most under rated bassist in the business, yet he can play any style of music, any version of bass (Electric, Upright, Fretless, 12 string, keyboard bass, you name it, and sings like a bird.)

    2. James Jamerson, bassist on Motown/Tamala records of the 60s. James wrote the book on electric bass and groove playing. Nuff said.

    3. Victor Wooten, if Jaco were alive today, he would have a hard time hanging with this cat, Victor IS the worlds greatest bass player ever, and he does it without the arrogance of the great Pastorius.

    4. Prince Rogers Nelson, The Artist, in case you didnt know it, the man can play anything and sings 5 or 6 octaves. He may not be the most sane individual, but give credit where credit is due, Prince can play some bass, ask Larry Graham.

    5. Jaco Pastorius, of course, Jaco, like Stanley, created a voice for electric bass that had never been heard. He had incredible chops, unbelievable groove power with solid 16th note prowess, and a great ear for intonation. Im not big on guys who brag about their own greatness, but I have to give the man credit, he raised the bar for all others to follow in his footsteps, too bad he dug his own grave by doing so.
  11. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    1. Matt Garrison - For everything from grooves, to soloing, to composing and so on.

    2. Stuart Zender - Funky goovin' (both busy and tasteful.)

    3. Hub - Pure in-the-pocket hip hop with jazz overtones thrown in.

    4. Marcus Miller - Slap style/technique.

    5. Oscar Stagnaro - Latin styles.
  12. Caeros


    Jul 24, 2002
    Branford, CT
    Hmm, here goes:

    1.) Geddy Lee - I rip him off all the time. The way he plays, very up-front and melodically, but still very tastefully and with excellent tone, has always managed to astonish me and make me try to improve myself.

    2.) Jaco Pastorius - When I first heard him play I was shocked. I've heard many fast bass players before, but his taste and the way he makes each note groove with feeling (Continuum, Coyote, Havona, Hejira, Teen Town, etc) has inspired me in my own playing a lot.

    3.) Tony Levin - IMO he can make the most fitting bassline for ANYTHING. All the music I've listened to featuring Levin seems to have a "featured spot" for his part-that is, if there were any other line in a song it's quality would be altered drastically. His groove and taste combined with huge sound are also very inspiring to me.

    4.) Jason Newsted - While not technically the best (and he knows that), he's rock solid and has a passion for music that shines through in whatever he plays. He has a very jazz musician mentality in that he'll play with anyone and get the job done well. Awesome tone as well.

    5.)Tie: Doug Pinnick/John Wetton/Paul Chambers/Stanley Clarke/Steve Harris- I like 'em.
    Zodion likes this.
  13. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    1) Chris Squire
    2) Geddy Lee
    3) Paul McCartney
    4) Tony Levin
    5) John Wetton
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    - Jamerson. Exploding with talent. A man who redefined not just his instrument, but an entire genre. He's influenced more bass guitarists than anyone else I can think of. He was absolutely fearless.

    - Paul Chambers. He kept it simple and strong. So eloquent and yet so powerful, both at the same time. His lines amaze the ear and yet are so logical.

    - Nathan East. Very much in the style of Jamerson, and so heavily influenced by him, yet with many traits completely his own. While part of me wonders if he would have been the same without Stevie, it doesn't matter. He is who he is, and he is amazing.

    - Jaco. It came down to him or Rocco Prestia. Jaco got the nod because Rocco probably wouldn't have been Rocco without Jaco. Jaco was able to be a musician playing bass, instead of a bassplayer.

    - Christopher Freeman. He taught me how to write a bassline for a song, through his playing. His lines stick in my head so stubbornly, second only to Jamerson. Freeman is a madman.

    I would say that my playing is closest to Jamerson. He is the one I relate to most.
    jp8848 likes this.
  15. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    mine in no particular order:

    1. Flea
    2. Larry Graham
    3. Rocco Prestia
    4. Boosty Collins
    5. Stefan Lessard
  16. Nicklas


    Mar 15, 2003
    1. someone called Mccartney

    2. George Harrison (Golden slumbers)

    3. John Lennon(The long and Winding Road)

    4. John Entwistle

    5. Will Lee
  17. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    1. Tony Levin. T-Lev is the man with the groove, in all situations.
    2. Geddy Lee. Melodic playing, yet still very grounded with Neil.
    3. Ron Carter. His philosophy of the instrument, and of music, is amazing, not to mention his playing.
    4. Trey Gunn. Not really a bassist, but the man grooves very deeply and is very creative.
    5. John Turner. Up front playing, totally grounded, great songwriter.

    Honorable mention to Victor Wooten and Stew McKinsey.
  18. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    1. Tony Levin ~ The Bassist's Bass Player!
    2. Anthony Jackson
    3. Lars K. Norberg ~ This guy's SCARY!! :eek:
    4. Michael LePond
    5. Sean Malone
  19. Caeros


    Jul 24, 2002
    Branford, CT
    Oh crap, I forgot Mike Gordon. Because of his great tone, melodic and improv playing. Oh and songwriting (Inside In!)
  20. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Les Claypool - Monster player, monster tone
    Geddy Lee - proved to me that bass is more than just the underlying quarternote root
    Justin Chancellor - took Tool from fantastic to, well, more fantastic.
    Victor Wooten - "That's just 4 strings with no overdubbing???"
    John Myung - *** did he just play?