Best Rock Bassists

The Top Ten

1 Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Weinrib, known professionally as Geddy Lee, is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush.

Influential, melodic, counter-melodic, snarling but clean; all at the speed of light. But that's just a few of his qualities. #1

It's not just his skill, speed, inventiveness, tunes within tunes, singing, keyboard playing, melodies, range, longevity, oh, it is.

Not only does Rush have an amazing guitarist and the best drummer of all time, but they have the best bassist of all time too. - marmalade_skies

No one close to his talent.

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2 John Entwistle John Entwistle John Alec Entwistle, was an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician, film and music producer. He is mostly known as the lead bassist for the rock band The Who.

Entwistle is on a technical level no one can approach. I don't think anyone can really dispute that, and though I agree poles are generally opinion based, I would say Entwistle is factually the best bass guitar player of all time. There are bassists I like more than him, but if he isn't ranked #1 in a bass pole than it is very clear that the majority of the voters don't understand the instrument

There is an isolated track on YouTube of Ox playing "Won't get fooled again." Watch that then tell me any of the rest of these guys are qualified to carry his case. Entwistle was in a class by himself in terms of style and technique.

I never heard a better solo in my life than my generation. Entwistle has all the qualities of a great bass player

He inspired me now I'm a proffesional bass player

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3 John Paul Jones John Paul Jones John Baldwin, better known by his stage name John Paul Jones, is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer.

The band with a GOAT singer, GOAT guitarist and GOAT drummer, of course, had a GOAT bassist too. - marmalade_skies

He should be number one

The most in demand bass player in England during the British Invasion...
Unreal string arranger... Played in the most popular rock band of the 70's if not all time... Played with best rock drummer who ever lived... Wrote the riff for Black Dog, RambleOnect... Bass, piano, organ, basspedals, mandolin, sitar, etc...

Arguably the most versatile musician in a band of revolutionary virtuosos, the still unequaled Led Zeppelin. JPJ was (and remains) an unbelievably gifted bassist who profoundly influenced virtually every great rock bassist. (Right now... go listen to The Lemon Song & Ramble On off of LZ-II.

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4 Flea Flea Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), better known by his stage name Flea, is an Australian-born American musician, best known as the bassist, a co-founding member, and one of the composers of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers with whom he was inducted in 2012 into the Rock and Roll Hall more.

The best Bassist between slap and melodic finger

Red hot chili peppers are the best band the world has ever seen so that makes flea the best bassist the worlds ever seen

Underrated by old people. Overrated by young people. - marmalade_skies

I totally agree with you flea should be at least top 2

5 Dickie Peterson

Is this for real. Blue Cheer is so underrated. Dickie Peterson is should be here. There can still be Blue Cheer without Leigh Stephens and Dickie Peterson kept Blue Cheer together. Blue Cheer is great and should be on lists. Dickie Peterson should too then. Dickie Peterson plays Rock how Rock is made to be. If you need to know why Blue Cheer is great look at my account. Than you would know why I thin Blue Cheer is so great. - BlueFuse

6 Chris Squire Chris Squire Christopher Russell Edward Squire was an English musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the bassist and founding member of the progressive rock band Yes.

Prog catches a lot of flak as an acquired taste but once exposed to prog it's easy to see why proggers are regarded as among the most musically gifted musicians and Squire is at the pinnacle of bassists. A few listens to roundabout and heart of the sunrise should be proof enough. It also helps to be playing with Howe, Bruford and Wakeman.

Although don't look at Rolling Stone Magazine list. They hate prog!

7 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

Simply the bassist that changed the way bass was played before any of these guys even had a chance, all of these bass players were hugely influenced by Paul. The most underrated bass player of all time. Plus he wrote the songs with this great bass playing most of these other bass players played bass on someone else's song. Much easier if you didn't write the song.all of these guys were good at their instruments but who could even come close to Paul as a writer. No one! He is the most successful songwriter in recorded music history that is not an opinion but it is 100% fact. He will be remembered long after most of these guys are long forgotten. Paul could do it all and was a superb bass player on top of that. I agree with flea!

A direct quote from an interview with Flea, "If you're talking about rock bass players, I'd put Paul McCartney at number one." Musicians know the greatness of Paul McCartney.

Influential does not mean best. He's influential and I respect him, but his bass playing was bland and boring as hell.

He knew how to do those catchy bass rifts. He was the master of the melody. - marmalade_skies

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8 Jack Bruce Jack Bruce John Symon Asher "Jack" Bruce was a Scottish musician, singer and songwriter known primarily for his contributions to the British supergroup Cream, which also included guitarist-singer Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker.

To me he brought a jazz sensibility to rock. He is a schooled classical musician and can play any style of music he wants. I don't mean to downplay the other choices here, but Jack belongs on any "BEST" list.

A line-up of three... All brilliant musicians

9 Duff McKagan Duff McKagan Michael Andrew "Duff" McKagan is an American musician, singer, songwriter and author. He is best known for his twelve-year tenure as the bass guitarist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. McKagan rejoined the band in 2016, following more.

Just the best bassist ever!

Should at least be in the top 5!

Should be number 1.. Without him guns n roses would never be succsessfull

10 Les Claypool Les Claypool Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool is an American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, author and actor best known as the bassist and lead vocalist of the band Primus.

I laughed when I saw McCartney over Les Claypool. He doesn't even compare to the absolutely original, weird, impossible bass playing of Les Claypool. Seriously, listen to ANY Primus song, and they all have bass lines better than anything McCartney could have written. End of story.

And why is Les Claypool not #1. This man does things with a bass that every other bassist on this list wouldn't have ever even thought of...

Paul McCartney is not even that good people say he is good because he played with the beatles

Les is best...period

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The Contenders

11 Cliff Burton Cliff Burton Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10th 1962 - September 27th 1986) was an American musician, best known as the second bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica, recording three studio albums. He died in 1986 after getting crushed by a tour bus in Copenhagen whilst promoting Metallica's more.

Cliff blows all these posers away... The guys from Green Day and A7X above Burton? Wow, way to piss on a dead mans grave.

Lee, McCartney, Trujilo, Jones, Entwistle, and Flea are the only ones anywhere near Cliff's level.

He should be number 1 he is the best listen To kill em all

Cliff Burton on 15! He should be on number 1. He is the best bassist I have seen

12 Mike Dirnt Mike Dirnt Michael Ryan Pritchard, known professionally as Mike Dirnt, is an American musician best known for being the co-founder, bassist, backing and occasional lead vocalist of the American punk rock band Green Day.

Yup he is a very good Bassist his playing style and he does it so fast and good. With his bass, Billie's sweet voice and Tre's awesome drumming skill makes Green Day the best Rock Band of all time.

This guy should be ranked 50 up there are so many better bassists

Longview bassline. Enough said.

Best bassist the bassline form holiday is stunnig

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13 Roger Waters Roger Waters George Roger Waters, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He was mostly known for the secondary lead vocals and bassist of Pink Floyd .

I love his atmospheric sound. Especially on "Animals"

He is the best bass player

14 Geezer Butler Geezer Butler Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and primary lyricist of heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

Awesome bassist that even to this day is the driving force behind Black Sabbath

You can hear every note clearly In every song. This guy is the bass Jesus!

He should be number tow after john paul jones

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15 John Myung John Myung John Ro Myung is an American bassist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Dream Theater.
16 Jason Newsted Jason Newsted Jason Curtis Newsted is an American metal musician, known for being the third bass guitarist with the band Metallica from November 1986 until his departure in January 2001, he was also a part of Voivod and Flotsam and Jetsam.

Inspiration bass, he is the best bassist

17 Khaled 'Bassbaba' Sumon

Hmm, finally he on the first page. He has always been one of my favorite bassists. Not because he is from Bangladesh. Because he is actually talented. And I learnt about bass solos from his songs. He plays bass solo almost all of his songs. I have made a list "Best Sumon Bass Performances". Anybody who is curious to see his bass solos/riffs can visit the list. - zxm

Talented bassist, but he's a solo artists (even though he has been with Aurthohin for 20 years) or his band is not one of the best artists (you didn't hear any of his song but you could determine whether they're good or bad). - zxm

Bassbaba is awesome, Just listen to Guti the final, you'll see what he is capable of, he can also take teeth solo like Jimmie Hendrix, he is one of the best, that's we call him Bassbaba, means the Father of bass

Bassbaba is not only a great bass player, also a legend musician. he born to be a bassist... the father of the bass guitar!

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18 Steve Harris Steve Harris Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Every one who didn't vote harris should be ashamed of themselves frankly

Awesome bassist, who deserves to be in first5

19 John Deacon John Deacon John Richard Deacon is a retired English musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the rock band Queen.

His bass had a heft and power to it while still having a smoothness and a cleanness to it. Shame he just missed the top 15. - marmalade_skies

Definitely in top 5, he was dead on all the time, very clean and crisp

Under pressure, another one bites the dust prove that Deacon deserved the big 5

I'd put him in my top 15.

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20 Dave Ellefson
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List Stats

1,000 votes
76 listings
5 years, 164 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. Geddy Lee
2. John Entwistle
3. Chris Squire
1. Chris Squire
2. Geddy Lee
3. John Entwistle
1. Les Claypool
2. Geddy Lee
3. Khaled 'Bassbaba' Sumon

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