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Famous and Influential Musicians - "Bassists"
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)
Throughout the history of music individual performers have had a major impact on the music scene. These influential/notable musicians have left their mark by expanding the envelope of their respective genres, either through technical proficiency, experimentation/exploration, or persona. The following list of notable/influential bassists is by no means complete. The bass players listed are those that readily came to mind, and any additions to the list can be sent using the link at the bottom of the page. The individual home pages for the musicians listed can be reached by clicking on their name in the bio section.
Anthony Jackson - Aston "Family Man" Barrett - Bernard Odum - Berry Oakley - Billy Sheehan - Bobby Sheehan - Bill Wyman - Carol Kaye
Chris Squire - Cliff Lee Burton - David Ellefson - Dave Hope - David Hungate - Felix Pappalardi - Flea - Geddy Lee - Geezer Butler
Glen Cornick - Greg Lake - Ian Ellis - Jack Bruce - Jack Casady - John Deacon - James Jamerson - John Entwistle - John Myung - John Paul Jones
John Wetton- Larry Graham - Lee Sklar - Les Claypool- Leo Lyons - Marcus Miller - Martin Mendez - Mick Karn - Mike Rutherford - Nathan East
Nathan Watts - Oteil Burbridge - Paul McCartney - Phil Lesh - Roger Glover - Roger Waters - Ron Wood - Steve Harris - Tim Bogert
Timothy B Schmit - Tom Hamilton - Tony Levin - Trey Gunn - Verdine White - Victor Wooten
Anthony Jackson - (born June 23, 1952) American electric bass guitar player based in New York City. He is considered a master, who has furthered the technical boundaries of the bass guitar. Anthony Jackson has been a distinctive voice on the electric bass ever since he entered the scene in New York City. He began learning the piano as a teen before switching to the guitar, and finally picking up the bass after being influenced by legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson (see "Influences" below). At age 18, Jackson became a working session musician, whose playing was eventually in high demand. (session man) 'Artist Discography'
Aston "Family Man" Barrett - Aston Francis Barrett (born November 22, 1946) Jamaican bassist for Bob Marley & The Wailers called "Family Man" or "Fams" for short. He was one of the Barrett brothers (the other being Carlton "Carlie" Barrett) who played with Bob Marley and The Wailers and Lee Perry's The Upsetters. It has been stated that Aston was the 'leader' of the backing band and responsible for many, if not all bass lines on Bob Marley's greatest hits, as well as having been active in co-producing Marley's albums and responsible for most overall song arrangements. He is an influential bassist, and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers amongst many other famed bassist's cite him as an influence. He was the mentor of famed reggae session bassist Robbie Shakespeare of the duo Sly & Robbie and is considered one of the elder statesmen of reggae bass guitar playing. His limited solo output is held in high esteem by reggae aficionados, and Aston continues to tour with and lead The Wailers Band, who carry Marley's torch in the music world by performing his songs with several original band members. Aston has strong support from Marley's fan base to this day, despite his legal wrangling with the Marley family. 'Artist Discography'
Bernard Odum - Bernard Odum (1932 - August 17, 2004) was an American bass guitar player best known for performing in James Brown's band in the 1960s. Odum started playing with Brown in 1956 and became a full-time member of Brown's band in 1958. He worked in the James Brown band until the end of the 1960s, and played on such hits as "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (1964), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (1965), and "Cold Sweat" (1967). In 1969, Odum and most of the other musicians in Brown's band walked out on him over a pay dispute and other issues, prompting Brown to create a new backing band, The J.B.'s. In 1970, Odum briefly joined Maceo Parker's group, Maceo & All the King's Men, appearing on the album Doin' Their Own Thing. Bernard Odum played a 1956 Fender Precision Bass, strung with flat wound strings, throughout most of his career. He also played a Vox "teardrop" bass as well as a 120 watt Westminster 1x18 bass combo amp when Brown and his band gained an endorsement from Vox towards the end of 1965. Odum died of kidney failure at the age of 72 in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. (session man) 'Artist Discography'
Berry Oakley - Raymond Berry Oakley III (April 4, 1948 – November 11, 1972), was an American bassist and one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band. Oakley was born in Chicago, Illinois, raised in the suburb of Park Forest, Illinois, then moved to Florida where he met and joined Dickey Betts' band Second Coming. He then helped form The Allman Brothers Band in 1969, along with Duane Allman (guitar), Gregg Allman (vocals and organ), Dickey Betts (guitar), and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson. With the Allman Brothers, Oakley was known for his long, melodic bass runs underneath Allman and Betts' furious guitar soloing. "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Whipping Post" from the At Fillmore East live album capture Oakley at his best. Oakley was also the band member most involved in establishing domestic unity among the band's extended family. After Duane's untimely death, Berry became the band's de facto leader onstage and was generally credited with keeping the distraught members going. 'Artist Discography'
Bill Wyman - William George Perks (born October 24, 1936) English bass guitarist for The Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1992. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. Wyman took piano lessons from 10 to 13. After hearing a bass guitar at The Barron Knights' concert, he fell in love with the sound of it and decided this was his instrument. He created the first fretless electric bass by removing the frets from a bass guitar he was reworking, and played this in a south London band, The Cliftons. He used the stage name Lee (later Bill) Wyman, taking the surname of a friend with whom he had done National Service in the Royal Air Force from 1955 to 1957. Wyman continues to tour with The Rhythm Kings, which has featured such musicians as Martin Taylor, Albert Lee, Gary Brooker, Terry Taylor (formerly with Tucky Buzzard), Mike Sanchez and Georgie Fame. Following his 70th birthday in October 2006, he undertook another British tour.On the 10 December 2007, Wyman and his band appeared alongside a reunited Led Zeppelin at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at The O2 in London. 'Artist Discography'
Billy Sheehan - (born on 1953 March 19) Irish American bassist known for his work with Talas, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr Big, and Niacin.Sheehan has won Guitar Player Magazine's "Best Rock Bass Player" readers' poll five times for his "lead bass" playing style. Sheehan's first instrument was an acoustic guitar that he borrowed incessantly from his sister. Legend has it that Sheehan wanted an electric guitar, but his grandmother said: "Over my dead body!" and that there would never be an electric guitar in her house as long as she was alive. She died soon after, and with some of her life insurance money Sheehan bought his first electric guitar. However, Sheehan says that when he saw Tim Bogert of the band Vanilla Fudge using a Fender Precision bass with a maple fingerboard, he switched to the bass. 'Artist Discography'
Bobby Sheehan - Robert Vaughn "Bobby" Sheehan (June 12, 1968 - August 20,1999) American musician and songwriter and a founding member and bassist of Blues Traveler who died of a drug overdose in 1999 .Blues Traveler is a New York-based blues-rock quartet formed in 1988 by singer/harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, bassist Bobby Sheehan, and drummer Brendan Hill, Blues Traveler was part of the jam band style of '60s and '70s groups like the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin. Signed to A&M, they released their first album, Blues Traveler, in May 1990 He was not related to bass guitarists Billy Sheehan or Fran Sheehan. 'Artist Discography'
Carol Kaye - (born March 24, 1935) American musician, best known as one of the most prolific bass guitarists in history, playing on an estimated 10,000 recording sessions. Throughout the 1960s she played bass on a significant percentage of records appearing on the Billboard Hot 100, although she was almost wholly unknown to the general public at the time. Kaye played bass on many of the Beach Boys hit recordings, including Good Vibrations, Help Me, Rhonda, Sloop John B and California Girls. She worked on Brian Wilson's ill-fated but legendary Smile project (and was present at the "Fire" session in late November 1966 when Wilson reportedly asked the studio musicians to wear toy fire hats). Kaye's work also appears extensively on well-known television and film soundtracks from the 1960s and early 1970s. (session woman) 'Artist Discography'
Chris Squire - (born March 4, 1948 ) English musician best known as the bass guitarist and backing vocalist for the progressive rock group Yes. Squire's bass playing is noted for being aggressive, dynamic, and melodic. Squire's main instrument is a Rickenbacker bass (model RM1999, serial number DC127), which he has owned and played since 1965. The RM1999 was a budget, monophonic version of Rickenbacker's 4001 stereo bass. Squire has concentrated overwhelmingly on Yes' music over the years, and his solo works have been few and far between. His first and only true solo record was 1975's Fish Out of Water, featuring Yes alumni Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keyboards and The Syn/The Selfs alumnus Andrew Jackman also on keyboards. Squire was later a member of the short-lived XYZ (eX-Yes/Zeppelin) in 1981, a group composed of Alan White (Yes) on drums and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) on guitar. 'Artist Discography'
Cliff Lee Burton - (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) Bass guitarist best known for his work with the American heavy metal band Metallica from 1982 until 1986. As a bassist he was known for his unique style, which used distortion and effects. Burton's early influence was essential in creating the unique musical style for which Metallica became famous. Burton joined the band in 1982 and performed on their debut album, Kill 'Em All, which was composed of songs that had been written prior to his arrival. Buirton died when the band's tour bus ran over a patch of black ice, skidded off of the road, and flipped onto the grass. After Burton's death, Metallica released the tribute documentary Cliff 'em All, a video retrospective of Burton's time in the band. It is a collection of live performance footage shot by fans, some professional filming and TV shots that were never used, and some personal photos.
David Ellefson - David Warren Ellefson (born November 12, 1964) American bass guitar player who is best known as a former member of the thrash metal band Megadeth. He is currently a member of Avian, Temple of Brutality, F5 and Killing Machine. With formal training on keyboard instruments and saxophone as a kid, Ellefson was drawn to the bass guitar because of its presence in heavy rock music. He then became an accomplished rhythm guitarist and honed his songwriting skills while leading several of his own bands through the club scene of North America's Midwest region. Throughout his teen years he played bass and rhythm guitar in several bands before moving to Los Angeles in the spring of 1983 at the age of 18 after graduating high school in hopes of attending the Musician's Institute. Other than vocalist and primary lyricist Dave Mustaine, Ellefson was the only constant member of Megadeth from the time of their establishment in 1983 to their disbandment in 2002. 'Artist Discography'
Dave Hope - Dave Hope (October 7, 1949) American bassist for the American rock band Kansas from 1973 until the band split in 1983. He then started the Christian band AD with Kerry Livgren and others. Today, Hope is an Anglican priest on staff at Immanuel Anglican Church, a member congregation of the Anglican Mission in America, in Destin, Florida. He is currently the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach. He is also bassist for the praise band The IRS. 'Artist Discography'
David Hungate - David Hungate (born August 5, 1948) American bass player noted as a member of Los Angeles pop-rock band Toto from 1977-1982. Hungate played on Toto's first four records, including multiple Grammy award-winning album, Toto IV. He left the band shortly after its release for a career as a session musician in Nashville. Mike Porcaro, his replacement for Toto IV's videos (and subsequent albums), is the brother of two of Toto's original members, Jeff and Steve Porcaro. Hungate also plays guitar and has produced and recorded with several country artists such as Ethel and the Shameless Hussies. Currently residing in Nashville, Hungate has collaborated with both former and current members of Toto for occasional recordings and gigs over the years. He was also a primary member of AOR supergroup Mecca fronted by Joe Vana and Fergie Frederiksen, also of Toto fame. 'Artist Discography'
Felix Pappalardi - (December 30, 1939 – April 17, 1983) American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bass guitarist.As a producer, Pappalardi is perhaps best-known for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. As a musician, Pappalardi is widely recognized as a bassist, vocalist, and founding member of the American hard rock band/ heavy metal forerunner Mountain. Pappalardi was forced to retire because of partial deafness, ostensibly from his high-volume shows with Mountain. He continued producing throughout the 1970s and released a solo album and recorded with Japanese hard rock outfit Blues Creation. Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife, Gail Collins Pappalardi, on April 17, 1983 in their East Side Manhattan apartment. Gail was subsequently charged with second-degree murder. She claimed it was an accident, and was found guilty of the lesser criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to 16 months to 4 years in prison and was released on parole in April, 1985. 'Artist Discography'
Flea - Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962) Australian American musician is best known as the bassist and founding member of the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. His work with the band incorporates several musical styles, ranging from aggressive slap bass, to more subdued and melodic techniques. Originally a trumpet prodigy, Flea learned to play bass in high school from close friend and future Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, who required a bassist for his band Anthym. Flea joined the group, but quit several months later in order to play for the punk rock outfit Fear. He soon rejoined Slovak to form an intended one-off band along with fellow high school alumni Anthony Kiedis and Jack Irons; the impromptu collaboration would ultimately give birth to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 'Artist Discography'
Geddy Lee - Gary Lee Weinrib (born July 29, 1953) Canadian musician best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush. Lee joined Rush in September 1968 at the request of his childhood friend, Alex Lifeson in order to replace frontman Jeff Jones. An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and skill on the bass guitar have proven very influential in the rock and heavy metal genres, inspiring such players as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, John Myung of Dream Theater, Les Claypool of Primus, and Cliff Burton of Metallica. In addition to his composing, arranging, and performing duties for Rush, Lee has produced albums for various other bands, including Rocket Science. Lee's first solo effort, My Favourite Headache, was released in 2000. Along with his Rush bandmates—Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart—Lee was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio was the first rock band to be so honored, as a group. 'Artist Discography'
Geezer Butler - Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler (born 17 July 1949) English Musician and founding bassist for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Butler formed his first band, Rare Breed, with schoolmate John "Ozzy" Osbourne in the autumn of 1967. Separated for a time, Ozzy and Geezer reunited in the blues foursome, Polka Tulk, along with guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward. They renamed their band Earth, but after finding a band in the small-time English circuit with the same name, soon adopted Black Sabbath in early 1969. Butler played rhythm guitar in his pre-Sabbath days, including with Rare Breed, but when Sabbath was formed, Iommi made it clear that he wouldn't want to play with another guitarist, so Butler moved to bass. Butler is noted as being one of the first bassists to use a Wah-wah pedal on his bass, as showcased at the beginning of "N.I.B." which inspired many later bassists, such as Cliff Burton who cited him as an influence. He was also one of the first bassists to de-tune (from the standard EADG to the lower C#F#BE), in order to match Iommi who had started tuning his guitar to C# (one and a half steps down). While Ozzy Osbourne was the frontman the band, Butler wrote almost all of the band's lyrics, drawing heavily upon his fascination with the black arts to explore recurring themes of death and destruction. 'Artist Discography'
Glen Cornick - Glenn Douglas Barnard Cornick ( born April 24, 1947) An English bassist and first bass guitar player in the rock band, Jethro Tull. He separated from the band in 1970, after their third album, Benefit. Glenn played bass in a number of bands before joining Jethro Tull, including "Jailbreakers", "The Vikings", "Formula One", "The Hobos", "The Executives" and "John Evan's Smash", and was one of Tull's founding members. During his relatively short tenure in the band, he played some outstanding bass lines, e.g. on "Bourée" from the album "Stand Up".
Greg Lake - Gregory Stuart Lake (born November 10, 1947) English bass guitarist, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer, best known as a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Lake was interested in music at a young age, and wrote what would become one of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's biggest hits, "Lucky Man", when he was still at school. Lake had an old school friend, Robert Fripp, who had recently moved to London. His group Giles, Giles, and Fripp was looking for a new direction after their debut album failed. Fripp invited Lake to join the new group, to be named King Crimson, in November 1968. As both Fripp and Lake were primarily guitarists Lake switched to playing bass guitar. For King Crimson's debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, Lake also contributed as songwriter and singer. The album was originally to be produced by Tony Clarke who was then the producer for the Moody Blues. However, after the first day Clarke walked out as he had difficulty understanding what the band were trying to create. Lake assumed the role of producer. Although the album credits the whole band as producers, it was primarily Lake who produced it. 'Artist Discography'
Ian Ellis - Bassist of "Clouds", a 1960s Progressive rock band that disbanded in October 1971.The band consisted of Billy Ritchie (keyboards), Harry Hughes (Drums) and Ian Ellis. Clouds were a fairly successful live act, whose performances and recordings often earned rave reviews from music critics, but their records never quite captured public imagination. More importantly though, in their earlier days as "1-2-3", they pioneered a sound and musical approach that became the blueprint for many successful acts, such as Yes, The Nice, and King Crimson. Sandwiched as he was between two exceptional musicians of their time, Ellis never tended to receive the credit he was due, though his role in the band was crucial to the chemistry. His contribution to music should not be underestimated. It was not generally known that he had learned to play the bass in a matter of weeks, not only appearing on stage in that time, but taking the lead singing role as well, proving that he was no musical lightweight by any means. He not only was a solid and reliable bass player, he was a fine vocalist in the blues tradition, and went on after the Clouds era had closed, singing and playing in many successful bands, such as The Savoy Brown Blues Band, Steve Hackett Band, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, etc etc. He also formed a band called The Breakers with Ten Years After drummer Ric Lee. At the time of writing, Ian is appearing in a Pink Floyd tribute band called Ummagamma. 1-2-3 had a much different sound from any other band at that time , and have been described as "a unique group...who have created an entirely new sound in pop group music". By all accounts, the music consisted of drastic re-writes of known material, infused with a mixture of classics, jazz, scat, acapella vocals, unusual time signatures and unexpected pauses, often all occurring in the same song. The Clouds were one of those unfortunate bands who were more appreciated by other musicians than by fans. They had a major influence on their contemporary musicians, and on the direction the art form took at this time in music history. 'Artist Discography'
Jack Bruce - (born May 14, 1943) Scottish musician, composer and singer. He is best-known as an electric bass guitarist, harmonica player and pianist, and was most famous as a vocalist and the bass guitarist for the 1960s rock band Cream. Bruce took up jazz bass in his teens, and won a scholarship studying cello and composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, while playing in a dance band to support himself. The Academy disapproved of its students playing jazz, however. "They found out," Bruce told Musician correspondent Jim Macnie, "and said 'you either stop, or leave college.' So I left college." In July 1966 Bruce moved on to his most famous role as bass player, main songwriter and lead vocalist with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton in the power trio Cream, considered the first supergroup. While with Cream, Bruce played a Gibson EB-3 electric bass and became the most famous bassist in rock, winning musicians polls and influencing the next generation of bassists such as Sting and Jeff Berlin. He also wrote most of Cream's original material, with lyricist Pete Brown, including the hits, "Sunshine of Your Love", "White Room", and "I Feel Free". By 1968, Cream were hugely successful; they grossed more than the next top six live acts of the day added together (including Jimi Hendrix and The Doors). They topped album charts all over the world, and received the first platinum discs for record sales. 'Artist Discography'
Jack Casady - John William Casady (born April 13, 1944) American musician considered one of the foremost bass guitarists of the rock music era and best known as a member of Jefferson Airplane. First playing as a lead guitarist with the Washington D.C. area rhythm and blues band "The Triumphs", he switched to bass during his high school years and while still underage (and with a forged I.D.), played the Washington D.C club scene, backing artists such as Little Anthony and the Imperials and Ray Charles. He became the bass player for Jefferson Airplane when lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, a high school friend and former Triumphs rhythm guitarist, invited him to join in late September of 1965. Jefferson Airplane became the first successful exponent of the San Francisco sound. Their singles, including "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," had a more polished style and successfully charted in 1967 and 1968. Casady, along with the other members of Jefferson Airplane, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. 'Artist Discography'
James Jamerson -(January 29, 1938 - August 2, 1983) An American musician, He was the un-credited bass guitarist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s. A native of Edisto Island (near Charleston), South Carolina, Jamerson moved with his mother to Detroit, Michigan in 1954. He learned to play the double bass at Northwestern High School, and he soon began playing in Detroit area blues and jazz clubs. Jamerson continued performing in Detroit clubs after graduating high school, and his increasingly solid reputation started providing him opportunities for sessions at various local recording studios. Starting in 1959 he found steady work at Berry Gordy's Hitsville U.S.A. studio, home of the Motown record label. There he became a member of a core of studio musicians who informally called themselves The Funk Brothers. This small, close-knit group of musicians performed on the vast majority of Motown recordings during most of the 1960s. Jamerson's earliest Motown sessions were performed on double bass, but in the early 1960s he switched to mostly playing electric bass. (Funk Brothers, session man.
John Deacon - John Richard Deacon (born August 19, 1951) English musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the rock band Queen. He also played rhythm and acoustic guitars on several albums as well as occasional keyboards, synthesizer and programming. Some of the guitar work on Hot Space (the clean Fender Telecaster single-coil sound) is the work of Deacon. He would occasionally play synthesizers on his own compositions and often composed at the piano, playing an electric one on his top ten hit "You're My Best Friend". He can also be seen playing the grand piano in the video to "Spread Your Wings", although he didn't play it on the studio version. 'Artist Discography'
John Entwistle - (October 9, 1944 – June 27, 2002) English bass guitarist, songwriter, singer, and horn player, who was best known as the bass guitarist for the rock band The Who. His aggressive lead style of playing was a major influence on many of today's bass players. He was nicknamed "The Ox" because of his strong constitution—his seeming ability to "eat, drink or do more than the rest of them." Bill Wyman, bassist for the Rolling Stones, described him as "the quietest man in private but the loudest man on stage." For this reason, and his onstage demeanor in which he would stand calmly while plucking very fast, he was often known by the nickname "Thunderfingers" by his bandmates and Who fans. Entwistle's Who songs, along with his solo material, reveal a dark sense of humor which was often incompatible with Pete Townshend's more introspective work. Though he continued to contribute material to all of The Who's albums with the exception of Quadrophenia, his frustration with having his material recorded by the band (largely with having to relinquish singing duties to Roger Daltrey) led him to release Smash Your Head Against the Wall in 1971, thus becoming the first member of The Who to release a solo record. Entwistle also contributed backing vocals and horn performances to the group's songs, most notably on Quadrophenia, where he layered several horns to create the brass as heard on songs such as "5:15", among others. In the mid 1960s, Entwistle was one of the first to make use of Marshall stacks. Pete Townshend later remarked that John started using Marshalls in order to hear himself over drummer Keith Moon's drums, and Townshend himself also had to use them just to be heard over John. They both continued expanding and experimenting with their rigs, until (at a time when most bands used 50-100w amps with single cabinets) they were both using twin Stacks with new experimental prototype 200w amps. 'Artist Discography'
John Wetton - John Kenneth Wetton (born 12 June 1949) English singer, bass guitarist and guitarist. He has been a professional singer/songwriter/musician since the late 1960s as a member of such progressive rock bands as Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson , Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry band, Uriah Heep, UK and Wishbone Ash. Wetton found worldwide fame in 1982 with the band Asia. Wetton has achieved an original bass guitar sound utilising a 1961 Fender Precision Bass amplified through tubes. The sound is overdriven and very aggressive. This style and approach was particularly evident during his stint with King Crimson from 1972 until 1974. Known initially for his powerful bass guitar sound, Wetton's vocal and songwriting abilities garnered attention with his work in the band Asia in the early 1980s. 'Artist Discography'
John Myung - John Ro Myung (born January 24, 1967 ) American bassist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Dream Theater. Myung began playing bass at the age of 15 after having played violin for a number of years. His first bass was a "Memphis" brand Precision bass copy, but he quickly upgraded to a salmon-colored four-string Fender Jazz bass. He also began to develop a unique playing style high on the neck, adding counterpoint lines and melodies to the band's material which are not typically heard in traditional "rock" music. He was also a heavy user of effects not typically heard on the bass guitar to better bring out his distinctive style.
Myung has a reputation as the 'mysterious' member of Dream Theater, as he is very quiet (particularly in comparison to bandmate Mike Portnoy) and seldom draws attention to himself in videos or concerts. This has led some fans to jokingly wonder if anyone has ever seen him speak. (Of course, he does speak in DVD commentaries and, obviously, on his instructional video, as well as to fans he meets at live shows. If given the right topic, such as bass playing techniques, he will converse for long periods of time.) His mysterious persona was emphasized when, at a show in Germany, he tackled Dream Theater singer James LaBrie, much to the confusion and amazement of both the audience and the rest of the band; this move later became known as the "Myung Tackle." It would later be revealed in the band's biography Lifting Shadows that he was dared to do it with "a couple hundred dollars and nobody thought that he would do it." Myung is also famous for his practicing principles. Both Kevin Shirley (on the Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York DVD) as well as former keyboardist Derek Sherinian (on his website ) have said that Myung is the only musician they know who warms down after a show. In a forum post, John Petrucci said that, when he and Myung were at Berklee, the two had an agreement to practice at least six hours every day. 'Artist Discography'
John Paul Jones - John Baldwin (born January 3, 1946) English musician, composer, arranger, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist musician.Best known as the bass guitarist, key-boardist and, less often, mandolin player for Led Zeppelin. Jones started playing piano at the age of six, learning his keyboard skills from his father, Joe Baldwin, a pianist and arranger for big bands in the 1940s and 1950s, notably with the Ambrose Orchestra. His mother was also in the music business which allowed the family to often perform together touring around England. His influences ranged from the blues of Big Bill Broonzy, the jazz of Charles Mingus, to the classical piano of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Because his parents often toured, Jones was sent to boarding school at a young age. Jones was a student at Christ's College, Blackheath, London where he formally studied music. At the age of 14, he became choirmaster and organist at a local church and during that year, he also bought his first bass guitar, a Dallas solid body electric followed by a Fender Jazz Bass which he used until 1975. The fluid playing of Chicago musician Phil Upchurch on his You Can't Sit Down LP, which includes a memorable bass solo, inspired Jones to take up the instrument. 'Artist Discography'
Larry Graham - (born August 14, 1946) American musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as both the bass guitar player in Sly & the Family Stone, and as the founder and front-man of Graham Central Station. He is credited with the invention of the slapping technique. This style has become archetypical of modern funk. Slap-pop playing couples a percussive thumb-slapping technique of the lower strings with an aggressive finger-snap of the higher strings, often in rhythmic alternation. The slap and pop technique incorporates a large ratio of muted (or 'ghost' tones) to normal notes, which adds to the rhythmic effect. This "Slap" bass style was later used by such artists as Les Claypool, Bootsy Collins, Louis Johnson, Mark King, Flea, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, John Norwood Fisher, P-Nut, Danny McCormack, Matt Noveskey, Dirk Lance, and Kenny Franklin (of San Mateo). 'Artist Discography'
Leland "Lee" Bruce Sklar is an American musician, singer-songwriter and film score composer. As a session bassist Sklar has contributed to numerous albums and performed with an impressive list of well known musicians. Among the noted musicians and bands Leland has played with are Don Henley, Air Supply, America, Peter Allen, James Taylor, Laura Branigan, Jackson Browne, Ray Charles, Crosby-Stills-and Nash, Faith Hill, Wynona Judd, Toto, and the list goes on and on. He has also recorded sound tracks to films and television shows.
On January 19, 2009, he appeared as the bassist in concert in Los Angeles at a farewell Bush concert, backing Harry Shearer. The show was called Harry Shearer and the High Value Detainees "Bye Bye Bushmen" Concert. The album by the Bushmen is now Grammy nominated in the comedy category. In the 1970s Sklar, Russ Kunkel (drums), Danny Kortchmar (guitar), and Craig Doerge (keyboard) became known as "The Section" and recorded three albums under that name between 1972 and 1977.
Leland is known by his family members as "Father Time", an apt name when one looks at his distinctive long flowing beard. The instrument of choice for Sklar is custom manufactured in Saskatoon, Canada by Dingwall, manufacturer of distinctive, high quality custom bass guitars. Thanx to Donnie D 'Artist Discography'
Leo Lyons - David William Lyons (born November 30) English rock musician, who was also the bassist of the British late 1960s to 70s rock group Ten Years After. He first played with lead guitarist Alvin Lee in The Jaybirds. In 1967 there was a name change to Ten Years After. With this group, Lyons played at major rock festivals including Woodstock in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival on 29 August 1970. Ten Years After disbanded in 1976, although they later reformed several times in the 80's and 90's with all original members. In 1975, he was hired as a studio manager by Chrysalis Records to re-equip and run Wessex Studios in London. He then produced UFO from 1974 to 1976. Later he started two commercial recording studios himself. Lyons moved to Nashville, TN in the mid 90's and was a staff Songwriter for Hayes Street Music. He currently plays in a reformed Ten Years After with new frontman Joe Gooch. 'Artist Discography'
Les Claypool - Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool (born September 29, 1963) American musician best known for his work with the alternative metal band Primus. Claypool's mastery of the electric bass has brought him into the spotlight with his creative playing style. Claypool mixes finger-tapping, flamenco-like strumming, and a Larry Graham-like slap technique, and Geddy Lee influences to develop his own unique style and has earned respect as one of rock's premier bass talents, becoming an influence for younger bassists in recent years. He is a multi-instrumentalist, novelist, music producer, actor, and film director. 'Artist Discography'
Marcus Miller - (born June 14, 1959) Miller is perhaps best known as a bassist, working with trumpeter Miles Davis, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn as well as a prolific solo career. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist, and also plays bass clarinet, keyboard, saxophone, and guitar, and is a capable singer. Miller's proficiency on his main instrument, the bass guitar, is generally well-regarded. Not only has Miller been involved in the continuing development of a technique known as "slapping", particularly his "thumb" technique, but his fretless bass technique has also served as an inspiration to many, and has taken the fretless bass into musical situations and genres previously unexplored with the electric bass of any description. (session man) 'Artist Discography'
Martin Mendez - (born April 6, 1978 ) Bass guitar player for the progressive death metal band Opeth. Mendez is very popular among Opeth fans for his silent yet powerful stage presence. During an Opeth show, Mendez rarely says a word, although he made up for his silence with his trademark nono-style of headbanging before cutting his hair, which Åkerfeldt often joked about onstage. Mendez was also a member of several other bands, some with friend and former Opeth drummer Martin Lopez, including Fifth to Infinity, Proxima, Vinterkrig and Requiem Aeternam. Originally, the other members of Opeth were hesitant about adding Mendez to the lineup, because they feared the band would be divided into two camps, since Mikael and Peter had played together so long, and the Martins had played together so long. However, they eventually conceded, and Mendez joined the band right before the recording to My Arms, Your Hearse started, but the band did not have time to try him out so the bass lines on that album were recorded by Vocalist/Guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt, Martin joined in tour for the album. His first real recording with Opeth was on their fourth studio album, Still Life. Martin Mendez has been with the band ever since. 'Artist Discography'
Mick Karn - Mick Karn (born July 24, 1958) English multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter, most noted as the bassist for the art rock band Japan, from 1974 to 1982. Karn's use of the fretless bass guitar, an unusual instrument in modern popular music, produces a distinctive sound and playing style, which makes his playing immediately recognizable. Karn played an aluminum-neck Travis Bean bass on all Japan albums up to Gentlemen Take Polaroids. (session man) 'Artist Discography'
Mike Rutherford - Michael John Cleote Crawford Rutherford (born October 2,1950) English musician. He was a founding member of Genesis, initially as a bassist, 12-string guitarist, and backup vocalist,later assuming the role of guitarist. He also fronted Mike and The Mechanics. Rutherford's bass lines are known for being tastefully constructed as well as showing a great deal of technical innovation and skill. His bass lines from early Genesis were especially impressive in the rising progressive rock movement. Rutherford played mainly Rickenbacker and Shergold basses. He also developed the idea behind the M-Series Steinberger guitar with the help of English luthier Roger Giffin and he used this extensively in the '80s and during The Invisible Touch Tour with Genesis. In the earlier years of Genesis he used to play bass pedal synthesizers. 'Artist Discography'
Nathan East - (born December 8, 1955) American jazz, R&B and rock bass player. East first studied cello in seventh through ninth grades and played in his (Horace Mann) junior high school orchestra. At age fourteen he developed an interest in the bass guitar, playing in church (Christ the King) for folk masses with his brothers Raymond and David. He was active in his (Crawford) high school's music programs along with a local top 40 band called "Power". He has said his early influences included Ray Brown and Ron Carter on upright bass; and James Jamerson, Paul McCartney and Chuck Rainey on electric bass. East has recorded, performed and co-written songs with Anita Baker, Babyface, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Sting, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Kenny Loggins, Herbie Hancock and B.B. King. He co-wrote the Number one hit song "Easy Lover" for Phil Collins and Philip Bailey. East appears with Phil Collins on the "Live & Loose in Paris" DVD (1998). He also performed on the Grammy award winning Unplugged album with Eric Clapton which featured the classic song "Tears In Heaven"(1992). East was a long-time member of Eric Clapton's studio and touring bands from 1983 until his replacement by Willie Weeks in late 2005. (session man) 'Artist Discography'
Nathan Watts - (born March 25, 1954) American session bass guitar player, best known for his work with Stevie Wonder from the 1970s to the present.He is also accomplished on other instruments. He has also performed with several other artists, including The Jacksons, whom he played bass for on their "Destiny" and "Triumph" albums.
Oteil Burbridge - (born August24, 1967) American multi-instrumentalist, specializing on the bass guitar. He has achieved fame primarily on bass during the current resurgence of the Allman Brothers Band from 1989 through the present day. Oteil drifted through the Atlanta musical scene which introduced him not only to other musicians there but also other genres of music. As one of the original members of Bruce Hampton's avant-garde band, the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Burbridge was introduced to members of the jam band scene in the southeast of the United States. This included members of Phish, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Blues Traveler, who freely sat in with one another in each other's bands. When Hampton left the Aquarium Rescue Unit, it slowly disbanded, however Burbridge had developed a reputation on the four and six string bass guitar, enjoying the less commercial nature of the Atlanta area musicians. With the death of bass player Allen Woody, from the Allman Brothers Band, Burbridge joined them, and was made a full member of the band in 1997. Oteil's trademarks include performing barefoot, wearing tie-dye shirts, and performing the acoustic guitar classic "Little Martha" from Eat a Peach on his six-stringed bass guitar. Oteil is most notably recognized for his ability to incorporate scat-singing into his improvised bass solos. 'Artist Discography'
Paul McCartney - (born June 18 1942) English rock singer, bass guitarist, songwriter, composer. He gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. After leaving The Beatles, McCartney launched a successful solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda Eastman McCartney, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. He has worked on film scores, classical music, and ambient/electronica music; released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist; and taken part in projects to help international charities. McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles. His song "Yesterday" is listed as the most covered song in history - by over 3,700 artists so far - and has been played more than 7,000,000 times on American television and radio. Wings' 1977 single "Mull of Kintyre" became the first single to sell more than two million copies in the UK, and remains the UK's top selling non-charity single. (Three charity singles have since surpassed it in sales; the first to do so—in 1984—was Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", whose participants included McCartney.) 'Artist Discography'
Phil Lesh - Phillip Chapman Lesh (born March 15, 1940) American musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead. Lesh played bass guitar in that group throughout their 30-year career. Lesh started out as a violin player. In high school, he switched to trumpet, studying under Bob Hansen, and had a keen interest in avant-garde classical music and free jazz; he also studied under the Italian modernist Luciano Berio at Mills College (classmates included minimalist composer Steve Reich, and future Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten). While still a college student he met then-bluegrass banjo player Jerry Garcia. They formed a friendship and eventually Lesh was talked into becoming the bass guitarist for Garcia's new rock group, then known as the Warlocks. He joined them for their third or fourth gig (memories vary) and stayed until the end. Lesh noticed that another group had made a record under the name Warlocks when he found their album at a store. He suggested to the other band members that they change their name.Lesh had never played bass before joining the band, which meant he learned "on the job", but it also meant he had no preconceived attitudes about the instrument's traditional "rhythm section" role. 'Artist Discography'
Roger Waters - (born September 6, 1943) English rock musician. He is best known as the bass player, main songwriter, and a lead vocalist of Pink Floyd from 1968 to 1985. Following his split with Pink Floyd in the 1980s, Waters began a moderately successful solo career, releasing three studio albums, one soundtrack, and staging one of the largest concerts ever, The Wall Concert in Berlin in 1990. In 2005 he released an opera, Ça Ira, and joined Pink Floyd at the Live 8 concert in London for their first public performance with Waters in 24 years. 'Artist Discography'
Roger Glover - Roger David Glover (born November 30, 1945) English bassist, key-boardist, songwriter, and record producer. Glover is best known as the bassist and songwriter for rock band Deep Purple, and he is also well known for his work with Rainbow. After spending four years with Deep Purple, where the band saw their most successful releases in albums In Rock and Machine Head, Glover was dismissed by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and became a record producer for such bands as Judas Priest, Nazareth and Elf. He also released two of his solo albums, Butterfly Ball in 1974 (spinning of a #1 hit in Holland, Love is all, as Roger Glover & Guests), and Elements in 1978, before rejoining his former Deep Purple bandmate, Ritchie Blackmore, in his band Rainbow, where he worked on five of the band's albums. He also performed with David Coverdale in the initial version of his solo band, later to transform into Whitesnake. In 1984 he returned briefly to his solo career, recording his third solo album Mask. During that year, Deep Purple reformed and Glover returned to his old band, where he performs to this day. He has sinced played with Ian Gillan during his brief solo tour in 2006. 'Artist Discography'
Ron Wood - Ronald David "Ronnie" Wood (born June 1, 1947 ) English rock guitarist and bassist best known as a member of Faces and The Rolling Stones. In December 1973, Wood collaborated with Mick Jagger on the song "It's Only Rock'n Roll (But I Like It)". Both Jagger and Keith Richards contributed to Wood's first solo album, I've Got My Own Album to Do, released in 1974. Following Mick Taylor's departure from the Rolling Stones in December 1974, Wood participated in the band's March 1975 recording sessions for their forthcoming album Black and Blue. Although still a member of the Faces, he toured North America with the Rolling Stones in 1975; the Faces announced their break-up in December of that year, and Wood was officially declared a member of the Rolling Stones in February 1976. In the Rolling Stones, Wood specializes in playing slide guitar, lap steel and pedal steel guitar, and contributes one half of the "ancient art of weaving", Keith Richards' term for a style of interchange between guitarists that blurs the boundaries between rhythm and lead. He also occasionally plays bass guitar, as seen during 1975 concert performances. 'Artist Discography'
Steve Harris - Stephen Percy Harris (born March 12, 1956) English bassist, band leader and primary composer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Harris is a self-taught bass player. His first bass was a copy of a Fender Precision Bass that cost him £40 when he was 17 years old. He went on to use a signature Lado "Unicorn" model and an early 1970s Fender Precision with RotoSound strings. He now uses his own signature RotoSound flatwound bass strings. The strings that Harris uses, SH77, have a brightness not usually associated with flatwound strings. The Bass has no Tone control and Steve taps his head or body to cue the tech for treble or bass adjustments. Harris's influences include such bass players as Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Chris Squire of Yes, John Deacon of Queen, Mike Rutherford of Genesis, Geddy Lee of Rush, Andy Fraser of Free and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, John Entwistle of The Who, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and particularly Pete Way from UFO. 'Artist Discography'
Tim Bogert - Tim Bogert (born August 27, 1944) American bass guitarist from Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck, Bogert & Appice featuring legendary guitarist Jeff Beck and drummer Carmine Appice. who was also from Vanilla Fudge and later Rod Stewart's band. He is known for his bass solos. After Tim left high school, he was in and out of a number of bands in the NYC area. In 1965, he went on a lounge tour of the Eastern Seaboard with Rick Martin and the Showmen, where he met Mark Stein, the keyboardist and vocalist. The two of them hit it off, and they soon left to join with drummer Joey Brennan and guitarist Vince Martell to form their own band, The Pigeons. After recording an album called "While the World was Eating", they replaced drummer Joe Brennan with Carmine Appice and changed the name of the band to Vanilla Fudge. 'Artist Discography'
Timothy B Schmit - Timothy Bruce Schmit (born October 30, 1947) American bass guitar player and singer best known as a member of Poco and the Eagles. Raised in Sacramento, he began playing in the folk music group Tim, Tom & Ron at age 15. That group evolved into a surf band called the Contenders, then changed its name to the New Breed. Changing its name once again to Glad, the group recorded the album Feelin' Glad in 1968. In 1970, Schmit joined Poco, replacing founding member Randy Meisner as bassist. In early 1978, Schmit joined the Eagles after the Hotel California tour, once again replacing Randy Meisner on bass/vocals after Meisner quit. Thought to be a quintessential southern California band, Schmit is actually the only native Californian (albeit a northern Californian) to have graced the Eagles lineup. On the 1979 album The Long Run, Schmit co-wrote and sang lead on the song "I Can't Tell You Why". The Eagles broke up in 1980 and reunited in 1994, with Schmit singing the lead vocal on "Love Will Keep Us Alive", on their reunion album Hell Freezes Over. In 2007, the Eagles released a new album, Long Road Out of Eden. Timothy B. Schmit is part of the current Eagles lineup along with Joe Walsh and founding members Glenn Frey and Don Henley. 'Artist Discography'
Tom Hamilton - Thomas William Hamilton (born December 31, 1951) American musician, best known as the bassist of the band Aerosmith. Hamilton first started playing guitar when he was 12 and switched to bass when he was 14 to join a local band because they had an open space at that position. Hamilton was in a few bands with soon-to-be Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and David "Pudge" Scott. One of the bands was simply called "The Jam Band". It was at a Jam Band gig in summer 1970 at a place called "The Barn in Sunapee, NH, that the Jam Band met Steven Tyler , and the four of them agreed to move to Boston to start a band (not yet named Aerosmith). Scott left the group shortly thereafter, being replaced by Tyler on drums. The three became a power trio with Hamilton on bass, Perry on guitar, and Tyler on drums and vocals. Then Ray Tabano joined and eventually Joey Kramer joined (who coined the name "Aerosmith") in replacing Tyler on drums so he could focus on vocals. Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford and Aerosmith was born. 'Artist Discography'
Tony Levin - (born June 6, 1946) American bass guitarist. Levin is best-known for his work with progressive rock pioneers King Crimson and Peter Gabriel. Has also been a member of Bruford Levin Upper Extremities, Liquid Tension Experiment and leads his own Tony Levin Band. A prolific session musician since the 1970s, Levin has played on hundreds of albums, including those of John Lennon, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Yes, Seal, Sarah McLachlan, The Roches, Todd Rundgren, and Cher. Additionally, he has toured with artists including Paul Simon (with whom Tony appeared in Simon's 1980 film "One Trick Pony"), Gary Burton, James Taylor, Herbie Mann, Goro Noguchi, Judy Collins, Joe Yamanaka, Carly Simon, Peter Frampton, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, Tim Finn, Richie Sambora, and Claudio Baglioni. Levin helped to popularize the Chapman Stick and the NS upright bass. He has also created "funk fingers", a device for mimicking the sound of hitting the strings with drumsticks (which sounds similar to slap style bass). 'Artist Discography'
Trey Gunn - (born December 13, 1960) American musician and a one time member of the band King Crimson. He played with them from 1994 to 2003. A native Texan who now resides in Seattle, Washington, Gunn began his musical life at the age of seven playing classical piano. His interest in music grew through various instruments: electric bass, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards, and the touch guitar. He moved to Eugene, Oregon and played in punk bands while he completed a degree in classical music composition at the University of Oregon. He then moved to New York City where his professional life began. 'Artist Discography'
Verdine White - (born July 25, 1951), American bassist for Earth, Wind & Fire. White was classically trained by Radi Velah of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and studied bass guitar with the late Louis Satterfield (who later became trombonist for the Phoenix Horns). White is known for his high energy and dancing while playing his bass guitar during Earth, Wind & Fire concerts. 'Artist Discography'
Victor Lemonte Wooten is an American bass player and recipient of five Grammy Awards. Victor Wooten has won the "Bass Player of the Year" award from Bass Player magazine three times in a row, and was the first multiple recipient of the award. Born to Dorothy and Pete Wooten on September 11, 1964, Victor is the youngest of five equally talented brothers, Regi, Roy, Rudy and Joseph, all of whom are musicians. In addition to a solo career and several music collaborations Wooten has been the bassist for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones since the inception of the group in 1988. In 2008 Wooten joined Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller to record an album under the name SMV, r eleasing Thunder in August 2008. Wooten is also an author having written a novel titled "The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music", with a sequel on the way. 'Artist Discography'
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