Bass Guitar: What are the greatest bass-lines ever?

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The “greatest bassline” to me would need to have the following characteristics:

  • Instantly recognizable.
  • Drives the song.
  • It can be heard in the recording without any effort/software.
  • An average bass player can play it.
  • It must be played note-for-note.
  • It will be heard on the floor in Guitar Center within the next 48 hours.

While basslines by Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, and Jaco Pastorius are unique, fat chance, an average bass player will bust out “Portrait of Tracy,” “Freewill,” or “Yours is No Disgrace” any time soon.

Similarly, while “Moondance” is excellent, almost any walking bass pattern will be adequate for that song. It doesn’t need to be exact; someone can be sloppy.

You best get these note for note:

  • Good Times – by Chic and Bernard Edwards (and the nearly duplicative Another One Bites the Dust – Queen – John Deacon)
  • Under Pressure – Queen with John Deacon.
  • Super Freak – Rick James (sampled by M.C. Hammer, “You Can’t Touch This).
  • I Want You Back – The Jackson 5 with Wilton Felder.
  • Give me Some Lovin – Spencer Davis Group with Muff Winwood.
  • Come Together – Beatles with Paul McCartney.
  • Money – Pink Floyd with Roger Waters.

Of course, there are hundreds more, but these are undeniably great, original, and familiar to almost everyone who cares about music.

This post was originally published here on Quora. 

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