The 10 Fastest Bassist In Classic Rock
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Singer from the band Rush, Geddy Lee visits the SiriusXM Studios on December 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
If you think only lead guitarists can play fast and cool, guess what? Bass players can do it too! Even though bass guitars have thicker strings, more space between the frets, and a different sound range, the best bassists don’t let that stop them.
So, forget what you thought you knew about bass playing. The list below introduces you to a group of bassists who play in a way that will make your jaw drop. They don’t just keep the beat; they make the bass guitar sing, scream, and shred like you’ve never heard in classic rock.
1. Chris Squire
The co-founder and longtime bassist for the progressive rock band Yes, Chris Squire, was known for his intricate bass lines and unique playing style. His work on songs like “Roundabout” showcased his ability to weave complex patterns that complemented the band’s progressive sound.
2. Jack Bruce
As a member of the iconic power trio Cream, Jack Bruce laid down the foundation for some of the most memorable bass lines in classic rock history. His melodic approach to bass playing and his exceptional improvisational skills set him apart in an era dominated by guitar heroes.
3. Paul McCartney
While often overshadowed by his songwriting and vocal talents, Paul McCartney’s bass playing with The Beatles significantly contributed to the band’s sonic identity. His innovative bass lines on tracks like “Come Together” and “Something” showcased his ability to push the boundaries of traditional bass playing.
4. Roger Waters
As a founding member of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters brought a distinctive, atmospheric quality to the band’s music through his bass playing. His work on albums like “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “Animals” demonstrated a mastery of tone and an ability to create mood-setting bass lines.
5. Tim Commerford
Known for his work with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Tim Commerford’s aggressive and groove-oriented bass playing added a heavy dimension to the band’s sound. His distinctive style heard on tracks like “Killing in the Name” and “Cochise,” solidified his place among the fastest bassists in rock.
6. Geddy Lee’s Double-Neck Bass Pedals
In addition to his prowess as a bassist, Geddy Lee is recognized for his use of double-neck bass pedals, adding an extra layer of complexity to his performances with Rush. This innovative approach showcased his versatility and contributed to the band’s progressive and experimental sound.
7. John Deacon
As the bassist for Queen, John Deacon’s melodic and tasteful bass lines played a crucial role in the band’s diverse musical landscape. His work on hits like “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Under Pressure” showcased his ability to create memorable and influential bass parts.
8. John Wetton
Known for his time with King Crimson and Asia, John Wetton’s bass playing displayed a fusion of rock and progressive elements. His intricate bass lines on songs like “Heat of the Moment” demonstrated a technical proficiency that influenced many aspiring bassists.
9. Tom Scholz
While primarily known as the guitarist for the band Boston, Tom Scholz also contributed bass parts to many of the band’s recordings. His meticulous approach to recording and arranging bass lines played a crucial role in Boston’s distinctive sound, particularly on tracks like “More Than a Feeling.”
10. Mike Rutherford
As a founding member of Genesis, Mike Rutherford’s bass playing evolved alongside the band’s transition from progressive rock to pop. His work on songs like “I Can’t Dance” showcased his adaptability and ability to create bass lines that served the song’s overall musical vision.