rock The All-Time Best Rock Bassists  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
166.6k votes 21.4k voters 372.3k views 233 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.
list ordered by

1
5,996 2,662
Geddy Lee is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Geddy Lee Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

2
4,984 1,692
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
4,447 1,913
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
John Paul Jones Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

4
3,863 2,800
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
2,648 1,540
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
2,611 1,460
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
2,935 1,517
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
2,452 1,823
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

9
2,814 1,301
Chris Squire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Chris Squire Rock music, Pop rock, Progressive rock

10
2,703 1,244
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
2,680 1,200
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
2,119 892
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Jaco Pastorius Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

13
1,421 1,032
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
1,799 1,014
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
1,142 927
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
1,394 708
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
1,062 808
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
1,151 758
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
1,509 1,319
Sting is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

20
1,136 682
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
1,060 746
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 Cities for Young Professionals

22
1,361 491
Lemmy Kilmister is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Lemmy Kilmister

23
1,195 564
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
986 823
Bill Wyman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Bill Wyman Skiffle, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
873 573
John McVie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
DeanGruber added John McVie Rock music, Blues

26
1,011 915
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
1,005 836
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
1,080 857
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
542 366
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
746 712
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
574 595
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
940 597
Robert Trujillo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
jmmikkola added Robert Trujillo Thrash metal, Grunge, Funk metal

33
519 610
Stuart Hamm is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Stuart Hamm Rock music, Jazz fusion, Blues

34
514 294
Carol Kaye is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

35
575 603
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
696 607
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
616 206
Donald
Donald "Duck" Dunn Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

38
532 333
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
575 585
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
901 1,195
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
413 409
Mike Rutherford is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Mike Rutherford Pop rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

42
548 694
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

The Greatest American Rock Bands

43
549 469
Leland Sklar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Leland Sklar Pop music, Rock music, Country

44
496 595
Rudy Sarzo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Rudy Sarzo Heavy metal, Hard rock

45
351 340
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
863 1,459
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
496 555
Jeff Ament is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Jeff Ament Experimental rock, Grunge, World music

48
481 339
Jack Casady is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Jack Casady Rock music, Blues

49
666 720
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
517 417
Benjamin Orr is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
clubsingr28 added Benjamin Orr New Wave, Pop music, Rock music