The song was recorded as a ballad, but Bill sang it uptempo, his bass lines thumping at a feverish pace. “I always wanted to be John Entwistle, but since that place was taken, I became a lesser version.”, Sting has received so much attention for his songwriting skills and singing chops over the years that his technique as a bassist sometimes gets overlooked. McCartney’s bass could be a cool, steady support, as on “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “Dear Prudence,” or a colorful lead character in its own right — see “Paperback Writer,” “Rain,” and “A Day in the Life,” all songs where his playing conveys the yearning for a freer or more exciting life behind everyday lyrics. Prior to Motörhead, he was a rhythm guitar player who switched to bass to play with space rockers Hawkwind. Born Michael Balzary, Flea was heavily influenced by his jazz-musician stepdad growing up. Use a P bass, pluck as hard as you can over the fingerboard itself to get that really round sound. Sign up for our newsletter. They brokeup for a time, then reunited with Tony Iommi and Bill Ward. Had he recorded “Good Times” alone — one of the most sampled bass lines in history and the inspiration for hip-hop’s first mainstream hit “Rapper’s Delight” — he would’ve made this list. “When it came time to put [‘Anesthesia’] on a record, instead of it just being a bass solo, we turned it into more of a composition. He inspired players like Bakithi Kumalo, who anchored Paul Simon’s Graceland. Davis is at his best in intimate settings, where his profoundly empathic playing can shine, whether he’s playing stirring arco lines in a duet with Dolphy on Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” providing a warm rhythmic bed for Bruce Springsteen’s tale of a small-time criminal in “Meeting Across the River,” or conjuring impossibly poignant phrases to complement Morrison’s poetry on tracks like “Beside You.” “[F]or me, it was Richard all the way,” Astral Weeks producer Lewis Merenstein said, reflecting on the record 40 years later. “Because I was a rhythm guitarist, I’d fill in gaps left by the lead guitarist,” he once said. To learn the instrument, McKagan binged on the bass lines of Prince (“I loved that R&B rhythm,” he once said), Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, the Clash’s Paul Simonon, Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, and, most surprising, Barry Adamson of the postpunk group Magazine. “On a song like ‘California Girls,’ at times you can hardly hear anything else. Thanks to his long tenure in one of popular music’s funkiest groups, Porter held down the low end on classic cuts like “Cissy Strut,” “Funky Miracle,” “Just Kissed My Baby,” and “Hand Clapping Song,” providing round, fluid riffs that strutted like a Second Line parade and rattled speakers with their heaviness — listen to the way he weaves his own syncopated path through the tiniest of spaces in “Pungee,” from the band’s near-perfect second album Look-A Py Py. EMG Pickups has unveiled the GZR-P and GZR-PJ signature bass pickup sets for Black Sabbath 4-stringer Geezer Butler.Designed with Butler, the pickups are made to reproduce the bassist’s tone during his earlier years in the band.. But Johnson also understood the value of Larry Graham’s window-rattling “thumpin’ and pluckin’” technique. “I don’t know where I’m rated,” he once said. “His presence makes you play the best you can possibly play, because you don’t want to let him down. With more than 2,200 credits to his name as of fall 2015, he earned a Guinness World Record a year later for the most recorded bassist in jazz history. The bassist had been playing with a rival metal group, and when they saw him play a jaw-dropping bass solo, they wanted him in Metallica so badly that they relocated from Los Angeles to his native Bay Area at his request. “We understood that we were supporting them and accompanying them,” Sklar says of L.A. studio players of the era. Robbie Shakespeare and his rhythm and production partner drummer Sly Dunbar have implanted their immediately recognizable imprint on decades of reggae. His sense of musicality would guide him well past his time in Led Zeppelin, too. Geezer Butler is probably ny favorite bassist aside from Al Cisneros and Bootsy Colins. Nobody wants to play bass, or nobody did in those days.” But he made the instrument his own, particularly as the Beatles’ studio adventures took off in the second half of the Sixties and he switched out his Hofner for a Rickenbacker. He formed a band with schoolmate, John Osbourne(Ozzy Osbourne), called Rare Breed. “I think I play like nobody else does,” he once said. When most bassists receded in the background, the effortlessly and perpetually stylish Edwards came to the front. Try to imagine Doolittle’s opening track “Debaser” without her throbbing bass part at the beginning, or “Gigantic” (one of the few Pixies songs she wrote) without her hypnotically simple line — it propels the whole song. I really like the bass sound on those two albums. In the same way that the Grateful Dead reconfigured how a rock band should sound — looser and jammier, incorporating equal parts jazz and country — Phil Lesh made us hear the bass in a new way. “Bill was one of the worst bass players in the world,” Sun Records owner Sam Phillips once said, “but, man, could he slap that thing!” Black’s propulsive sound on the upright gave Presley’s earliest sides like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “That’s All Right” the thrilling drive of a full rhythm section despite the complete absence of drums. In the racist oppression of the apartheid era, Makwela took that second-hand bass and completely remade South African music. From the sunny swing of the Beach Boys’ 1965 track “Help Me, Rhonda” to Richie Valens’ now-classic 1958 version of “La Bamba” to Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s romantic 1967 rendition of “Somethin’ Stupid,” Kaye’s fingerprints are all over the history of modern pop. Commenting on the unfairness of jazz critics’ polls, he once said, “I don’t want none of them damn polls. Working with his brother, pianist and cellist Orestes López, he hot-wired stately Havana ballroom music to create mambo, an Afro-Cuban fusion that would influence salsa, Cuban jazz, R&B, rock & roll, and by extension the entire constellation of Latin-influenced modern pop. View the list It's totally produced now. But it was Stanley Clarke who truly defined the role of the fusion bass god. Pete Townshend’s direction was, ‘Play whatever you want, just as long as you play loud!’”, At the center of the emotional tempest that is Fleetwood Mac, sturdy, empathetic John McVie has mixed old-school rock solidity and California smooth, grounding the band’s sound for five peerlessly even-handed decades. “What’s Cuban in origin is also African,” he said years later. Note “I’m still always amazed by Bill’s tastefulness in his bass playing.… He’s a very sensitive musician.” Wyman earned Richards’ praise by playing smart harmonies under the guitarist’s iconic “Satisfaction” riff (playing a melody that goes down while the guitar goes up), a gentle rumble underneath “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and rhythms that wiggle underneath the boogie-woogie of “Rocks Off.” “I’m not a busy bass player,” Wyman once said. Hits like “Go Your Own Way” and “Rhiannon” have a subtle toughness that stood out among the band’s laid-back L.A. peers — “You’re a monster, John,” Fleetwood exclaimed when listening to a playback of McVie’s “Go Your Own Way” lines in the Classic Albums doc on Rumours — and it’s impossible to think of “The Chain” without getting that iconic McVie bass break stuck in your head. “I thought the bass could be moving around more and the music would sound better.” Her star collaborators evidently agreed. You can hear his bass prominently on “Every Breath You Take” and “Roxanne,” where he supports Andy Summers’ guitar riffs without overpowering them. Paul McCartney was so obsessed with Black’s playing on “Heartbreak Hotel,” in particular, that his wife Linda McCartney tracked down Black’s original double bass from the session and gave it to him as a gift in the Seventies. On “War Pigs,” Butler played a bluesy lead underneath Iommi’s drawn-out riffs, and by the middle of the song when Iommi solos, Butler plays his own jazzy, Jack Bruce–inspired fingerpicked solo whenever the guitarist holds a note. Add a bit of OD and use a wah to filter the high end out. It’s unorthodox, but it works for us.” After his predilection for uppers got him ousted from that band, he developed his own gritty style. His bass solo, “(Anesthesia) — Pulling Teeth,” on their 1983 debut, Kill ‘Em All, is an aggressive showcase of classical-music improvisation and wah-wah lyricism, while his delicate intro to “Damage Inc.” and the middle of “Orion” showed just how beautiful thrash could be. “Lemmy was an influence on me in the way he uses distortion — that was different, new, and exciting,” Metallica’s late bassist Cliff Burton once said. Geezer Butler wrote Sabbra Cadabra, War Pigs and Into the Void. For tone, old rounds (honestly I can do a pretty good impression with flats on my bass), P or PJ bass, high gain in a tube amp or a healthy amount of overdrive and some wah for solo-y stuff like NIB. This is the first time Geezer has been willing to put his name to a set of pups and if they’re good enough for him, then maybe we should give them a try! “I sat with him and taught him how to deal with it from the best of my knowledge of what I had heard at the time,” Johnson’s brother and bandmate George, nicknamed “Lightnin’ Licks” to Louis’ “Thunder Thumbs,” once said of introducing his sibling to bass. His other legacy: his son Patterson, the Drive-By Truckers’ singer and songwriter. “John silently challenges everyone,” Dave Grohl said around the time he was playing with Jones in Them Crooked Vultures. When Robert Fripp was reviving King Crimson after a seven-year hiatus, he recruited Levin for the classic Eighties lineup that made Discipline. Whenever he's not doubling Tony's riffs, he usually seems to be improvising his lines. It's remarkable how close to his sound you can get, no matter the gear you have, if you use his technique. No other musical entity in the post-Marley era has been so omnipresent in shaping the sound of Jamaica and bringing it to the world. The longtime bassist for the groundbreaking heavy metal outfit Black Sabbath, Terence “ Geezer ” Butler was born July 17, 1949, in Birmingham, England. Levin plays soulfully on two of Bowie’s greatest late ballads, “Slip Away” and “Where Are We Now?” He invented “Funk Fingers,” a gadget for his percussive approach. Here are a few tips to help you along: Zawinul scoffed at the time, but he wasn’t laughing a few years later, once Pastorius had joined the group and helped turn them into bona fide fusion superstars. He was an ex-guitarist and ex-drummer who had come up in Seattle’s early-Eighties punk scene, and the combo of his background and his raw approach to playing gave Guns N’ Roses songs like “It’s So Easy” and “You Could Be Mine” a rough edge. On roughly 17,000 sessions throughout his tenure, he treated the bass, as! 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