The 20 greatest bass solos of all time – from the fastest ‘lead bass guitarist’ to the only bass solo James Jamerson ever recorded

20 Greatest Bass Solos
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even in the wake of John Entwistle’s thunderous bass solo on the Who’s 1965 hit My Generation, bass guitar solos have remained pretty rare. We thick-stringers usually have to turn to the worlds of jazz and fusion to enjoy extended flights of low-end fancy.

There are exceptions, however, and tracks that embrace lengthy bass-in-the-spotlight features occasionally bubble into the mainstream consciousness: Bob Babbitt’s improv on Dennis Coffey’s Scorpio and Willie Weeks’ carefully crafted creation on Donny Hathaway’s live version of Voices Inside (Everything is Everything) immediately spring to mind.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.