“I think Sgt Pepper was a ‘prize period’ when I was playing my best bass”: Paul McCartney’s 10 best basslines with The Beatles

Ringo Starr (playing Ludwig drum kit, drums) and Paul McCartney (playing a Hofner 500/1 violin bass guitar) of English rock and pop group The Beatles perform together on stage for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) music television show 'Shindig!' at Granville Studios in Fulham, London on 3rd October 1964. The band would play three songs on the show, Kansas City/hey-Hey-Hey!, I'm a Loser and Boys.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Everyone knows a lot about Paul McCartney, but here are the essentials: born in Liverpool on June 18, 1942, McCartney learned his first instrument about 14 years later – a trumpet bought for him by his dad. He soon moved on to guitar, re-stringing it to be left-handed.

Shortly after the Beatles formed, in 1960, Paul switched to piano, while the band was performing in Hamburg, Germany. In 1961, on a second tour of Hamburg, original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe informed the others that he was leaving to pursue his art career. By default, McCartney inherited the bass guitar chair; he purchased his first Höfner ‘violin bass’ for the equivalent of $45.

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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.