The Most Famous Bass Player of All Time: Ranking the Ultimate Ranking

Choose the bass player you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 14, 2024 07:02
Welcome to StrawPoll, where the world's most famous bass players are all vying for the number one spot in your hearts and playlists! As the pulsating backbone of countless iconic bands and tracks, these bass maestros have left an indelible mark on music history. Now, it's your turn to help us rank the titans of the bass world. From Paul McCartney's melodic genius to Flea's slap-happy funk, we've compiled a star-studded list of contenders, but we need your help to crown the ultimate bass virtuoso. Cast your vote for your favorite bass legend or suggest an unsung hero we've missed. Dive into the groove, and let your voice be heard in this musical showdown of the ages!

Who Is the Most Famous Bass Player of All Time?

  1. 1
    As a member of The Beatles, McCartney's bass lines were innovative and influential in the development of rock music. His melodic approach to bass playing can be heard in songs such as "Something" and "Come Together."
    The 'Paul McCartney' Carpool Karaoke is an iconic episode of the Carpool Karaoke series. In this particular episode, legendary musician Paul McCartney joins host James Corden for a ride around his hometown of Liverpool while singing some of his most famous songs.
    • Air Date: June 21, 2018
    • Duration: 23 minutes
    • Views: Over 180 million
    • Songs Performed: Around 5
    • Locations Visited: Liverpool, England
    Paul McCartney in other rankings
  2. 2
    Pastorius revolutionized the role of the bass guitar in jazz music with his virtuosic technique and use of harmonics. He played with artists such as Weather Report and Joni Mitchell.
  3. 3
    Known as "The Ox," Entwistle was the bassist for The Who and was known for his aggressive and complex playing style. He was a pioneer of using the bass guitar as a lead instrument.
  4. 4
    James Jamerson
    Experimento69 · CC BY-SA 3.0
    As a member of the Funk Brothers, the house band for Motown Records, Jamerson played on countless hits in the 1960s and 1970s. His bass lines were melodic and influential in the development of funk and soul music.
  5. 5
    Geddy Lee
    Shipguy · CC BY-SA 3.0
    As the vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for Rush, Lee's technical proficiency on the bass guitar and use of effects pedals helped to define the progressive rock genre.
    Geddy Lee in other rankings
  6. 6
    As the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea's funky and energetic playing style has become a signature sound of the band. He is also known for his slap bass technique.
  7. 7
    Bootsy Collins
    MikaV · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Collins was the bassist for James Brown and later played with Parliament-Funkadelic. His funky bass lines and flamboyant stage presence have made him a beloved figure in funk music.
    Bootsy Collins in other rankings
  8. 8
    As a session musician in the 1960s and 1970s, Kaye played bass on countless hits including "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys and "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. Her versatile playing style made her one of the most in-demand bass players of her time.
  9. 9
    Stanley Clarke
    Tsaorin · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Clarke is a pioneering jazz fusion bassist who has also played in the funk and rock genres. He is known for his virtuosic technique and use of slapping and tapping.
    Stanley Clarke in other rankings
  10. 10
    Mingus was a jazz bassist, composer, and bandleader who was known for his innovative compositions and improvisations. His use of dissonance and unconventional harmonies helped to push the boundaries of jazz music.

Missing your favorite bass player?


About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous bass player of all time. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or bassist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 172 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each bassist once every 24 hours. The rank of each bassist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous bass player of all time

The bass guitar is a crucial component of any music group. It provides the low-end sound and rhythm that anchors the entire band. Over the years, there have been many bass players who have achieved legendary status for their contributions to music. From rock to funk, jazz to metal, the bass guitar has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of music. In this article, we explore the question of who is the most famous bass player of all time. We delve into the careers of some of the most influential bassists in history and examine what makes them stand out in a long line of talented musicians. Join us as we take a deep dive into the world of bass guitar and discover the legends that have made it their own.

Share this article