Famous Bassists

I think it’s always a great launching pad for an aspiring musician to check out some of the best musicians in their field. Going along with that idea, here’s a very basic list of some of (in my opinion) the best bassists to ever strut the stage. This is in no way an inclusive list, it’s just a starting point for those of you who are new to the instrument. And even if you’ve been playing bass for years, it’s always useful to go back and check out the baddest and brightest bassists of the ages.

*Note: I have provided links for some of the bassists here who have good solos, but keep in mind that bass’s traditional role in music is to provide solid backing for the rest of the band: not every bassist delves into the solo stuff, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!


-John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin, Them Crooked Vultures)

Les Claypool (Primus, Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade, Sausage, many others)

Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Geddy Lee (Rush)

-Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys)

-John Deacon (Queen)

-Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big)

Cliff Burton (Metallica)


Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report, solo jazz projects)

Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck, many solo projects)

Stanley Clarke


Bootsy Collins (Parliament, The James Brown Band, Funkadelic)

George Porter Jr. (The Meters)

Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone)

Francis Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power)

Mixed Genre:

Mark King (Level 42)

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