Famous Bass Guitar Players

Duff McKagan

It seems like lead guitarists always get the lion's share of attention, but there are many famous bass guitar players who also garner their share of accolades. This slideshow presents some of the best known bassists, but there are many more wonderfully talented artists that deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated.

First up is Duff McKagan. Duff has been around for a long time, and he perfected his aggressive playing style in a bevy of punk rock bands before hooking up as the bassist for Guns N Roses and, later, Velvet Revolver. For recording, Duff prefers to use his trusty Fender Jazz Special.

Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons is probably better known for his showmanship than his bass playing, but few bass players have achieved as much fame as this musician.

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Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influental bassists that ever lived, although mainstream music fans may not recognize his name. To get a taste of this jazz master's genius, just listen to his debut album, Jaco Patorius. Pastorius passed away in 1987, but young jazz musicians are still learning from his musical legacy.

Bootsy Collins

Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins is a legend in his own time. His outrageous sense of fashion is only surpassed by his ability to lay down a funky bass line. When Bootsy plays bass, he is the lead guitarist.

Paul McCartney

What can you say about Beatles bassist Paul McCartney that hasn't already been said? He's a first rate muscian and songwriter whose contributions have influenced generations of young musicians coming up through the ranks. He's pictured here with his famous Hofner.

Verdine White

Bassist for Earth, Wind & Fire, Verdine White's playing provided the backbone for the band's many hits. In addition to his outstanding skills, White is also a consummate showman. Everytime he plays, the party kicks into high gear.

Les Claypool

Les Claypool's playing style is just about as diverse as it gets. The Primus bass man combines a variety of techniques including slapping, tapping and strumming to produce his funk/metal sound. Case in point, listen to the theme song for South Park.

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John Deacon

Queen bassist John Deacon, pictured far left, is one of the most unassuming yet talented bass players in the world. He definitely has an ear for a great hook; after all, he wrote Queen's smash hit Another One Bites the Dust. This song contains what is arguabley the most recognizable bass line in music today.

Kim Gordon

Women bass players seem to be in the minority, but Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon is heralded as one of the pioneers of alternative rock.

John Entwistle

Former bass man for The Who, John Entwhistle was affectionately referred to as "Thunderfingers". He virtually pioneered the concept of bass solos in rock music. Sadly, Entwhistle passed away in 2002, but his musical influence lives on.

If you'd like to check out different style of basses, visit LTK's Bass Guitar Gallery.

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Famous Bass Guitar Players