Bassists The All-Time Best Rock Bassists  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
180.6k votes 23.1k voters 385.3k views 223 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
6,386 2,888
Geddy Lee is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

2
4,794 2,100
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

3
5,366 1,852
John Entwistle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

4
4,271 3,037
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
2,861 1,669
Jack Bruce is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Blues-rock, Jazz fusion, Acid rock

6
2,822 1,596
Geezer Butler is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

7
3,145 1,655
Les Claypool is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

8
3,067 1,391
Chris Squire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Rock music, Pop rock, Progressive rock

9
2,668 1,986
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

10
2,885 1,342
Steve Harris is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Progressive metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

11
2,893 1,295
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

12
2,274 979
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

13
1,510 1,125
Billy Sheehan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

14
2,023 1,085
John Deacon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

15
1,236 999
Phil Lynott is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

16
1,150 865
Roger Glover is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Blues-rock, New Wave, Heavy metal

17
1,507 761
Stanley Clarke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion

18
1,230 808
Tony Levin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
DanieleMonterisi added Progressive metal, Pop music, Experimental rock

19
1,628 1,430
Sting is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

20
1,235 732
Victor Wooten is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Progressive bluegrass

21
1,496 566
Lemmy Kilmister is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Lemmy Kilmister

22
1,162 791
Greg Lake is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Samuel Clemens added Rock music, Progressive rock, Hard rock

23
1,291 616
Bootsy Collins is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Numnuts added Psychedelic soul, Deep Funk, Funk metal

24
1,063 885
Bill Wyman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Skiffle, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
1,088 979
Michael Anthony is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Rock music, Heavy metal, Hard rock

26
948 631
John McVie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
DeanGruber added Rock music, Blues

27
1,078 894
Jason Newsted is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

28
1,176 927
Duff McKagan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Heavy metal, Alternative rock, Punk rock

29
606 412
James Jamerson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Funk

30
802 759
John Myung is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Progressive metal, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion

31
1,015 654
Robert Trujillo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
jmmikkola added Thrash metal, Grunge, Funk metal

32
631 642
David Ellefson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Thrash metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

33
622 638
Glenn Hughes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

34
598 338
Carol Kaye is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

35
552 652
Stuart Hamm is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Dismalhead added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Blues

36
747 650
Noel Redding is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

37
704 238
Donald
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

38
960 1,308
Nikki Sixx is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Bootsdad added Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

39
581 372
Dusty Hill is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
liriodendron added Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

40
604 625
Ian Fraser Kilmister is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Rock music, Rockabilly, Space rock

41
599 745
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

42
466 449
Mike Rutherford is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Pop rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

43
938 1,582
Gene Simmons is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Glam metal, Heavy metal, Rock and roll

44
588 504
Leland Sklar is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Pop music, Rock music, Country

45
525 636
Rudy Sarzo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Heavy metal, Hard rock

46
385 376
Marcus Miller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

47
539 369
Jack Casady is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
looksharp added Rock music, Blues

48
526 593
Jeff Ament is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Experimental rock, Grunge, World music

49
713 768
Krist Novoselic is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
Hip hop music, Noise rock, Rock music

50
550 452
Benjamin Orr is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Best Rock Bassists
clubsingr28 added New Wave, Pop music, Rock music