Top 10 Fretless Bass Players

They may play both fretless and fretted bass, but here we are interested only in their fretless bass playing.
The Top Ten
1 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.

Master of bass players. Playing guitar/bass with frets isn't very easy, and it's much harder playing bass/guitar without frets. Really great!

The best fretless player. He didn't invent it, but damn, does he master it.

2 Jaco Pastorius John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He worked with Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader.

He invented the modern way of playing fretless.

He was the pioneer of the fretless bass.

3 Steve Di Giorgio

He plays metal and jazz. He's played for these metal bands: Death, Testament, Iced Earth, Obituary, Quo Vadis, Sadus, Charred Walls of the Damned. For example, he played fretless bass on the albums 'Individual Thought Patterns' by Death, 'Horror Show' by Iced Earth, and 'Defiant Imagination' by Quo Vadis.

4 Jeroen Paul Thesseling

He is a Dutch bass player who usually plays metal, especially fast and/or technical/progressive subgenres of metal. I've seen him playing a 7-string fretless bass (see the image). He played for Obscura, Pestilence, and a studio project called Ensemble Salazhar. For example, he played fretless bass on two Obscura albums: Cosmogenesis and Omnivium.

5 Alain Caron
6 Mick Karn

Haunting and subtle with ease, the way he made his bass sound.

Inspired and inspiring. The man was a genius!

7 Percy Jones

Lyrical and expressive, Percy Jones was the bassist for the prog rock/fusion band Brand X. If you're into fretless, you need to give them a listen, particularly "Unorthodox Behaviour" and "Moroccan Roll."

Very inventive master of the art of fretless bass playing.

8 Steve Lawson
9 Dominic Forest Lapointe
10 Mark Egan
The Contenders
11 Tony Franklin
12 Pino Palladino

A great Welsh fretless bassist. A real pro...

13 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.
14 Gary Willis
15 Sean Malone
16 Tony Levin Anthony Frederick Levin is an American musician and composer, specializing in electric bass, Chapman Stick and upright bass. He also sings and plays synthesizer. Levin is best known for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel.
17 Linus Klausenitzer
18 Jeff Ament

He plays for a famous band (Pearl Jam) but I didn't rank him very high because he plays the fretless bass like a fretted one and he rarely employs specific fretless techniques.

I guess he uses fretless bass for its different sound and not so much for its potential in terms of different techniques.

19 John Patitucci

Simply amazing. Saw him perform live once with the Chick Corea Akoustic Band in a movie theater in Richmond, VA, and was totally blown away.

No, it's not John Petrucci of Dream Theater! Their names only look similar.

20 Sting Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, known professionally by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor, and philanthropist. He is best known as the lead singer for the English band The Police

Yes, he sometimes plays fretless bass, but he shouldn't be very high on this list because he can't be called a "master" of fretless playing.

21 Bathiki Kumalo

Yes! His work on "You Can Call Me Al" is sublime.

22 Robin Zielhorst

Dutch bassist who plays both fretless and fretted bass (progressive, technical metal - Cynic, Ne Obliviscaris, and more).

23 Stanley Clarke

I'm amazed this maestro hasn't made this list yet!

24 Bunny Brunel
25 Juan Alderete
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