20 legendary players who shaped the sound of electric bass

Larry Graham
(Image credit: Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)

Tone. Described with our woefully limited vocabulary - warm, nasty, mellow, searing, scooped - it’s one of the more esoteric ingredients in the making of a bass player. But the best chops played through the finest gear will fall on deaf ears if that crucial ingredient isn’t in place.

Here, we look at 20 players who have shaped our tone vocabulary. Read. Reflect. Discuss. There are countless others of course, but these are some of the most influential players who have forged the sound of the electric bass as we know it...

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Bass Player Staff

Bass Player is the world’s most comprehensive, trusted and insightful bass publication for passionate bassists and active musicians of all ages. Whatever your ability, BP has the interviews, reviews and lessons that will make you a better bass player. We go behind the scenes with bass manufacturers, ask a stellar crew of bass players for their advice, and bring you insights into pretty much every style of bass playing that exists, from reggae to jazz to metal and beyond. The gear we review ranges from the affordable to the upmarket and we maximise the opportunity to evolve our playing with the best teachers on the planet.