The 5 Nirvana basslines you need to hear

Krist Novoselic of Nirvana during MTV Live and Loud: Nirvana Performs Live - December 1993 at Pier 28 in Seattle, Washington, United States.
(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

As a founding member of Nirvana, bassist Krist Novoselic helped create some of the most beloved and endearing guitar music of all time. While Kurt Cobain was the band’s primary songwriter and drummer Dave Grohl added huge drive and dynamics to the sound, Novoselic made the most of the melodic opportunities presented to him by virtue of being in a power trio, always a bassist’s dream.

However, he never hogged the limelight or indeed the full frequency range; his basslines were definitely an important part of each song’s melodic content and often an actual hook, but the songwriting remained the trio’s main focus rather than each members playing skills. Or as Krist once told BP, “I’ve approached bass playing as a bridge between the rhythm section and the guitar/vocal melody.”

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.