Most Influential...Bassist


Zombie Four, DFZ
Apr 28, 2012
Okay, round two. Again, not necessarily the "best" or "favorite" - the guy/gal who makes you want to be better, or even just pick up your axe and play.

For me, among my favorites are guys like John Entwistle, Geddy Lee, even Gene Simmons (the early years, when he at least pretended he was a musician).

But the guys who really inspire me?

Michael Manring. I found him through his association with Michael Hedges, but he clearly shines on his own. There's a song he does called "Snakes Got Legs" - live, he plays it with loopers. There's a video of him playing it where he's switching basses while the loops are going and he just stops and shakes his head. Technically, I don't think I've ever seen a better example of economy of motion.

And then there's this...

The other guy is Bryan Beller - solo artist, also works with Mike Keneally, the Aristocrats, Dethklok, Steve Vai and too many others. Like Keneally, he's a guy I wish I'd known about when I was much younger because, aside from the insane ability to play ANYTHING and make it look effortless, he's working a career model that I'd have never thought of. Then again, if I'd known about him when I was 16, I wouldn't have learned anything from him because he was 8!


That's Bryan w/my Gene Simmons bass (and Hans, if you want to break out the Kiss tunes at the 40th bash, this will come with me!). To give you an idea how good he is, when he got the gig to play with Dethklok (the most brutal metal band on the planet), he had to come up with a new technique because he doesn't play with a pick. It's really something to watch.

I've been lucky enough to get to know both of these guys a bit, in person and through e-mail, and they are two of the most genuine people you can meet. I've been stunned that they both remembered me at times when I would have never thought they would.

To give you an idea how cool...the first time I met Manring was at a festival in Kent, OH. My buddy and I were taking several Hedges boots to him (this was about 7-8 months after Hedges died). We met him backstage, gave him the tapes and chatted a while (met Arlo Guthrie, too - pretty cool). Later, we ran into Manring again at a merch table and were chatting, and this girl came up and joined the conversation. She looked at him and said, "Wait a second - you're the guy who was playing bass before!" Michael said he was, and she said, "You're pretty good - you should stick with it." Even after she left, he was still gracious about it (even though we teased him about it every time we saw him for the next few years).

Your turn...
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I love playing bass, I even like playing it in bands more than guitar. (I just don't lust after basses like I do guitars)

Verdine White from Earth Wind & Fire.

He's one of the most energetic performers I have ever seen, take a look at this bass solo, he moves around like this the whole show! Oh, and he's 61 years old!!!! Look at that hair! Look at those pants!

Alright, this guy changed the way people play bass like Jimi did for guitarists.

R.I.P. Cliff

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For me Geddy Lee, Jaco Pastorius, John Paul Jones, Les Claypool and Sir Paul McCarthy (who is criminally underrated) I however like players such as Seth Horan, Aram Brodasian, Steve Lawson.

Seth Horan
Aram Brodasian
Steve Lawson
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I think everyone agrees with the standards...Geddy, Stanley Clarke, Jaco, Victor, ...I would have to put Gary Grainger up there, with his ability to sit in with ANYBODY, and sound like he's been with them for years!!!...a few not so "heard-of" to check out...Jimmy Johnson (Flim and the BB's), Dave LaRue (solo, Dregs), Roscoe Beck (Robben Ford, pretty much any Texas style blues guitarists), Tal Wilkenfeld (sp??)...check her out with Jeff Beck...great feel, and chops.
Guy Pratt. Top session bassist who's worked with some of the biggest names in rock & pop. Madonna, Robert palmer, Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, Page & Coverdale and many others.

Can't recommend his bio "My Bass & Other Animals" enough!
John Entwistle,Geezer Butler,Jaco and Tony Franklin

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John Paul Jones
Robert DeLeo is my favorite from my generation.
Love his style
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I love some of these topics!

The absolute top of my list of bassists is John Entwistle. To me there's him, then there's everybody else. Here's my list:

John Entwistle
John McVie
Tom Petersson
Lemmy Kilmister
Duck Dunn
Dusty Hill
Tommy Shannon
Pete Way
Marshall Grant
Michael Anthony
Roger Glover
Ronnie Lane
David Hood
Billy Sheehan
Bill Wyman
Leon Wilkeson
Terry "Geezer" Butler
Tony Levin
Jerry Scheff
Gene Simmons (an influence more for his belief in his vision, his dedication, his business sense, and his commitment to entertaining an audience than natural talent on his instrument or great chops.)

Gene Simmons (an influence more for his belief in his vision, his dedication, his business sense, and his commitment to entertaining an audience than natural talent on his instrument or great chops.)

Gene thinks you've underrated him.

Gene thinks you've underrated him.


Hahaha... If he knew, he probably would.

I've always been a big fan of the ORIGINAL KISS with the founding members. But I always liked them sort of in spite of Gene, because he always seemed like a less-than-nice guy to me. Totally unfair of me since I don't know him at all, although there was an ugly event that took place between the two of us many years ago.

But as far as having a vision, sticking to his guns, and letting the naysayers bite it, I admire him.

I don't know about influential but one of my favorite bass tones is on the EP "Jar of Flies" by Alice in Chains - the first song is "Rotten Apples". It opens with Mike Inez playing a Bass line. It got me to buy a bass just to learn the line. :D

I didn't see Sting mentioned... got to be on the list. Pompous Ass? Maybe but like Getty he fronted a pretty successful 3 piece outfit. ;)

And for up and comer.... Wolfgang VH. Hey listen to the new VH record - I though maybe "Dad" played the bass parts and Jr. would just loaf live - not in the concert footage I've seen! The kid is tearing it up. And I guess he's on tour with Tremonti now? :rock:
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Roscoe Beck has a bass tone and technique that is unparalleled in my opinion. I saw him play with Eric Johnson at a show once, and they did "Manhattan", which relies heavily on keyboards on the CD and sounds a bit thin when there's no keyboard player... But Roscoe was playing these jazz bass chords that really filled out the song in an amazing way. Brilliant working musician.