Music

The All-Time Best Rock Bassists 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated March 16, 2020 219.5k votes 27.7k voters 413.5k views 185 items

List Rules Vote up and add all of your favorite bassists, but make sure they play rock.

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Rock 2020 playlist on Spotify!

The best rock bassists of all time are a varied bunch, and all the best bassists in rock are on this list. From the hard rockers, to the blues bassists, to the genre crossing masters of four (or sometimes five) strings, this is a list of all the top bass players in rock.

What makes someone the best bass player in rock music? Should the rock bassist with the best stage presence, or the famous bass player with the fastest fingers, or the bass player who's the best singer be considered the "best rock bassist? Should the bass player with the craziest hair should be given special consideration (although, to be fair, at one point or another in their careers, most of the people on this list were bass players with crazy habits, hair or otherwise)? Well, that would probably go under the category of bass player with the best stage presence, but still...

Who are the best bassists in rock? Who are the best bass guitarists? Who is the top rock bassist ever? The top 10? The top 100? These are some of the questions this list of the best rock bassists hopes to answer. If you don't see your favorite bass guitar player on the list, make sure to add them to this list of the top rock bassists so others can appreciate their musical gifts to rock! We can all assume that the top ten people listed here are truly the most legendary. 

If you want to hear some of the harmonious music the greatest bass players take part in, make sure to check out the best rock bands of all time.

list ordered by
1
John Entwistle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
2
Geddy Lee is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
3
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
4
Chris Squire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
5
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
6
Steve Harris is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
7
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
8
Les Claypool is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
9
Geezer Butler is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
10
Jack Bruce is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
11
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
12
Stanley Clarke is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
13
John Deacon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
14
Bootsy Collins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
15
Tony Levin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
16
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
17
Victor Wooten is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
18
Billy Sheehan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added
19
Greg Lake is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
20
Phil Lynott is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
21
Roger Glover is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
22
Carol Kaye is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
23
John McVie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
DeanGruber added
24
James Jamerson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
25
Sting is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists