10 Good Bass Players

The top 10 good bass players helped to push the limits of their instrument and make the bass more of a lead instrument. You may not recognize some of the names on this list, but you will probably recognize many of the bands. If you have not heard the top ten good bass players do their thing yet, then you should take the time to check them out.

  1. Les Claypool. It is impossible to make a list of the top ten good bass players and leave off bassist Les Claypool. Claypool first rose to fame as the bass player and lead singer of the band Primus. He has since gone on to write solo material and produce other artists.
  2. Cliff Burton. In only a few short years, metal bassist Cliff Burton changed the way that the bass sounded in heavy metal. Burton made his impact with the band Metallica and played on the group's first three records before dying at the age of 24 in a bus accident while on tour.
  3. Geddy Lee. Geddy Lee changed what it meant to be a rock bass player from the very first time people heard him. Lee formed the band Rush along with guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey. After the band's first album, Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart. Lee is well known for his ability to sing complicated melodies while playing intricate bass lines.
  4. Steve Harris. Steve Harris has forged his career as the bass player and chief songwriter for the band Iron Maiden. Harris is said to have the fastest fingers in rock as many of his bass lines sound like he is playing with a pick but he is not.
  5. Jaco Pastorius. Jaco Pastorious was an incredibly talented bass player who played with several jazz and rock acts throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He was bipolar and would often forget to take his medication. Without his medication he would fly into a rage and get into fights. He picked one fight in 1987 with a man with a gun and Pastorius was shot to death.
  6. Flea. Some bass playing purists may argue with putting Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the list of the top ten good bass players. But Flea crossed into so many genres and played with so many different kinds of artists that it is impossible to deny his talent.
  7. Stanley Clarke. Jazz is a musical genre that has produced many of the best bass players because musicians have a bit more freedom in jazz. Stanley Clarke is a world-famous bassist that has been credited with creating many innovative sounds and approaches to playing the bass.
  8. Victor Wooten. Victor Wooten is another jazz bass player that must be included on the list of the top ten good bass players of all time. He is more known for his technical skill and his ability to write eclectic but extremely entertaining jazz compositions.
  9. Donald "Duck" Dunn. Most people know Donald "Duck" Dunn from his stint with the "Saturday Night Live" musical act "The Blues Brothers." But Dunn was also a member of the world famous blues group Booker T and the M.G.'s. He makes bass playing look effortless and is one of the most talented blues bass players to ever live.
  10. Charles Mingus Jr. Charles Mingus Jr. is often credited with creating the notion of writing songs based on the bass guitar. His experiments with jazz compositions stand as some of the most innovative songwriting ever.
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