rock The All-Time Best Rock Bassists  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
169.7k votes 21.8k voters 375k views 231 items

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

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.

1
4,527 1,948
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
John Paul Jones Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

2
5,074 1,727
John Entwistle is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
John Entwistle Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

3
6,076 2,707
Geddy Lee is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Geddy Lee Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

4
3,957 2,852
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
2,701 1,567
Jack Bruce is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Jack Bruce Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Acid rock

6
2,650 1,487
Geezer Butler is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Geezer Butler Doom metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

7
2,988 1,544
Les Claypool is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Les Claypool Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

8
2,878 1,317
Chris Squire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Chris Squire Rock music, Pop rock, Progressive rock

9
2,502 1,864
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

10
2,739 1,260
Steve Harris is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Steve Harris Progressive metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

11
2,708 1,219
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Cliff Burton Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

12
2,158 905
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Jaco Pastorius Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

13
1,444 1,049
Billy Sheehan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Billy Sheehan Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

14
1,834 1,022
John Deacon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
John Deacon Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

15
1,160 937
Phil Lynott is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Phil Lynott Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

16
1,433 713
Stanley Clarke is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Stanley Clarke Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion

17
1,077 816
Roger Glover is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Roger Glover Blues-rock, New Wave, Heavy metal

18
1,171 763
Tony Levin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
DanieleMonterisi added Tony Levin Progressive metal, Pop music, Experimental rock

19
1,540 1,343
Sting is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

20
1,165 691
Victor Wooten is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Victor Wooten Rock music, Jazz fusion, Progressive bluegrass

21
1,086 755
Greg Lake is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Samuel Clemens added Greg Lake Rock music, Progressive rock, Hard rock

The Best Political Drama TV Shows

22
1,393 506
Lemmy Kilmister is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Lemmy Kilmister

23
1,222 573
Bootsy Collins is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Numnuts added Bootsy Collins Psychedelic soul, Deep Funk, Funk metal

24
1,002 834
Bill Wyman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Bill Wyman Skiffle, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
889 588
John McVie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
DeanGruber added John McVie Rock music, Blues

26
1,028 928
Michael Anthony is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Michael Anthony Rock music, Heavy metal, Hard rock

27
1,017 846
Jason Newsted is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Jason Newsted Glam metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

28
1,103 867
Duff McKagan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Duff McKagan Heavy metal, Alternative rock, Punk rock

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

29
557 375
James Jamerson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
James Jamerson Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Funk

30
762 719
John Myung is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
John Myung Progressive metal, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

31
586 603
David Ellefson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
David Ellefson Thrash metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

32
528 618
Stuart Hamm is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Stuart Hamm Rock music, Jazz fusion, Blues

33
956 606
Robert Trujillo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
jmmikkola added Robert Trujillo Thrash metal, Grunge, Funk metal

34
533 306
Carol Kaye is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

35
580 610
Glenn Hughes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Glenn Hughes Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

The Worst Albums by Great Bands

36
707 614
Noel Redding is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Noel Redding Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

37
638 211
Donald
Donald "Duck" Dunn Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

38
543 339
Dusty Hill is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
liriodendron added Dusty Hill Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

39
583 590
Ian Fraser Kilmister is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Ian Fraser Kilmister Rock music, Rockabilly, Space rock

40
912 1,214
Nikki Sixx is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Bootsdad added Nikki Sixx Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

41
560 703
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

42
422 415
Mike Rutherford is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Mike Rutherford Pop rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

The Best Female Hard Rock/Metal Guitar Shredders

43
558 474
Leland Sklar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Leland Sklar Pop music, Rock music, Country

44
502 603
Rudy Sarzo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Rudy Sarzo Heavy metal, Hard rock

45
361 345
Marcus Miller is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Marcus Miller Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

46
880 1,489
Gene Simmons is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Gene Simmons Glam metal, Heavy metal, Rock and roll

47
505 562
Jeff Ament is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Jeff Ament Experimental rock, Grunge, World music

48
496 343
Jack Casady is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Jack Casady Rock music, Blues

49
680 730
Krist Novoselic is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Krist Novoselic Hip hop music, Noise rock, Rock music

50
347 289
Larry Graham is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Larry Graham Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Funk