The Bass-ment

Cool Bass Lines


Good Vibrations Carol Kaye...most things by carol Kaye


Carol Kaye - Mission Impossible though there's an upright too supposedly


Jim Pons did the bass in The Leaves' version of "Hey, Joe".

Can't forget James Jamerson of Motown, or Donald "Duck" Dunn of Booker T & the MGs/Mar-kays/Blues Bros./STAX. Their bass lines are legendary.


I found this pretty early Guess Who song, It’s My Pride, when I was reading up about Garnet’s Stinger Fuzz.


Mirror in the Bathroom - English Beat


Any talk of bass lines from my youth has to include The Animals. Chas Chandler, to me, is the star of such songs as We Gotta Get Out Of This Place and It’s My Life.


In my middle years, XTC bass lines were often special.


I love how this bassline keeps doing the same (or similar) for so long in the song.

Great perrformance btw.


I'm a fan of any bassist who doesn't follow the standard idea that the bass is part of the rhythm section and should never try to be anything more. That "Thump, thump, (change note), thump, thump, (change note again), thump, thump..." method is booorrrrrrrriiiiiinnnnnnggggg.

If you're Cliff Williams, that's different. Nobody ever came to see AC/DC to see the bass player anyway, and it fit the songs. But the bass can add a dimension to the music that can make a good band great.

I've always admired McCartney's take on it - he may have gotten stuck playing the bass because nobody else wanted it, but when he did, he flat out owned it.


I always thought this was a killer groove:


For me, this is everything a bass line should do and be, holding down the bottom, melodically thrilling the listener and illustrating the song’s motion.


James Jameson. Take your pick of umpteen Motown classics but I'll settle for Stevie Wonder's 'I Was Made To Love Her'.

Honourable runner-up: Tommy Cogbill for Dusty Springfield's 'Son Of A Preacher Man'.

Oh, and that Al Green/Lyle Lovett workout of 'Funny How Time Slips Away' is absolutely priceless.

Register Sign in to join the conversation