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Influential bass players


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John Entwistle first got me interested in the bass, then hearing Steve Harris made me sure the bass was for me. 
But as for influences:

Rob Wright (NoMeansNo)
Stuart Morrow and Moose Harris
Billy Gould
Jeff Ament
Mike Watt
GC Green (Godflesh)
and Bob Weston

 

 

 

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My list is made up of people whose lines I have spent the most time intentionally learning (I've ignored the ones I learned by accident through weddings, work etc), or whose ideas on musicality made an impact on me.

Flea

Mike Dirnt

Mark Hoppus

Janek Gwizdala

Victor Wooten

Damian Erskine

Pino Palladino

Sting

Michael League

James Jamerson

Bob Babbit

Willy Weeks

Owen Biddle

Justin Chancellor

Jaco Pastorius

Paul Jackson

Bernard Edwards

Louis Johnson

George Porter Jr.

 Ok, that's a lot more than I thought 😂 I'll stop there.

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11 hours ago, Sarah5string said:

There definitely needs to be more ladies in these lists, gents!

Nicole Row who plays for Panic At The Disco is bloody great. I could mention Tal Wilkenfeld too but she probably gets a lot of attention already…

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Are we meant to list bass players we think could objectively be considered to be influential? Or is this just another exercise in listing our personal influences or favourites (again) ? 😁

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11 hours ago, Sarah5string said:

There definitely needs to be more ladies in these lists, gents!

Ah, but the problem there is that OP asked who it was that turned them onto bass. None of the many exceptional female bass players did in my case (my age and timing being a contributing factor). That is not to say that I’m not aware of them, or that I’m not mightily impressed by their work, it’s just they didn’t turn me on to bass at the time and no offence or bias was implied by their omission. However, a list of female bass players whom I really like since taking up the 4 stringed beast would include:

Rhonda Smith

Yolanda Charles

Tina Weymouth

Gail Ann Dorsey

There are, of course, others but these would top my list.

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7 minutes ago, Gwilym said:

Are we meant to list bass players we think could objectively be considered to be influential? Or is this just another exercise in listing our personal influences or favourites (again) ? 😁

Personal influences, but hopefully highlighting some lesser known bass warriors, rather than just the famous names.

On that note, a player who impressed my greatly back way before I ever took up bass was one Joe Fagin. He played in a local organ, bass & drums trio at a local boozer. A great player with an even more impressive voice (your may know him from the theme tune to Auf Wiedersehen Pet and some ads around that time). He was the the first person I heard use tritones and double stops. My chums and I got him to show us what he was doing after one show, which he was gracious enough to do. He told us that he’d learnt them from Stanley Clarke, who he had met.

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Probably not influential as such, but in my mind one of the greats is the very recently departed Juan Nelson. Another one who caught my ear at an early age and piqued my interest in all things bass was Tiran Porter.

 

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Motown/ Stax and Atlantic were a big part of my childhood/ teen years so that would be Jamerson, Duck Dunn, Bob Babbitt and Carol Kaye, though I didn't know of them at the time.

As a big Talking Heads fanboi Tina Weymouth was a real inspiration when I started playing.

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The guy who made me get up onto my hindlegs and notice that bass was a thing was JJB. 

Then Bruce Foxton at around the same time. 

I joined a band as a rhythm guitarist and the bassist was (and still is) an extraordinary musician - I was mesmerised. 

 But the pro who I really fell for and still love the best is Bruce Thomas from his time in the Attractions. 

I now have a longer list (thanks to Basschat) with Entwistle, Watt-Roy, Dart, Jamerson, Edwards, Dunn, McCartney, Jones, Kaye, Osborne. 

Only criteria for me is liking the band or music they play in. I don't see music as a clinical, technical exercise, so if the music leaves me cold no matter how good the player (Jaco, Mark King for example) I won't learn much from them. 

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2 hours ago, FinnDave said:

Good to see Mike Howlett get a mention in the original post. I don't recognise 95% of the other names in this thread, though.

Isn't that the idea?  Some noms listed are pretty well known in bass circles. As for women, I have to put my hand up and say none have inspired me. Doesn't mean I don't think they're any good just that bass wise I'm firmly rooted in funk and slap and the main influences have been the usual suspects and also some less usual ones

Edited by Barking Spiders
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1 minute ago, Barking Spiders said:

Isn't that the idea?  Some noms listed are pretty well know in bass circles

That's a good point! Also good to see Pekka Pohjola on the list - I saw him and Mike Howlett on the same night when Wigwam supported Gong in the mid 70s.

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13 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

Jack Casady

Ashley Hutchins

Danny Thompson

Phil Lesh

Mark Andes

Dave Pegg

 

I'd go with that list plus

Dee Murray

 

P.S. Bonus point for spelling Jack's name correctly, but Ashley's surname is Hutchings 😀

 

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1 hour ago, stewblack said:

Bruce Thomas from his time in the Attractions.

Off to listen to 'Pump It Up' and that Fab Bass Line in 'I Don't Want to go to Chelsea'....

Twas more Gtr growing up... but same bands, Hawkwind & Motorhead (Lemmy) Zep (JPJ) Budgie (Burke)... Stranglers (JJB) Black Uhuru (S&R, cos ya cant have one without the other can you... wouldnt be right) as mentioned liking the band and music, and how it makes ya feel.

Edited by PaulThePlug
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For me:

Jamerson

Babbitt

Macca

JPJ

Andy Fraser

Carol Kaye

Yolanda Charles (as a 15 year old, I 'got onto' her as a player after buying Paul Weller's 'Stanley Road')

Damon Minchella - I was into OCS as a teen also and listened to Damon's playing a lot

Willie Weeks

Pino

Duck Dunn

 

Now I really like Jamaero Artis and Sharay Reed also and well as Mr Dart too.

 

Countless others too I'm sure indirectly - Glenn Hughes springs to mind.....

 

Edited by bassintheface
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