Alright, alright. It’s been awhile, I know. However, I promise it’s been for good reason.
One of the biggest things I’ve been doing has been taking lessons. Over the new year, I decided it was time to get back into the swing of weekly lessons and it has been nothing but great. My bass teacher has an extensive knowledge of bass players from every single music genre and he’s made me obsessed with several different bass players. So, I figured I’d share with you a few of those bass players with you! And I encourage you to really listen to these bass players if you haven’t already.
1. Cliff Burton/”Metallica”
I got into Metallica not too long ago when I listened to “The Black Album” for the first time. However, a good friend of mine urged me to listen to the “Cliff Burton era” of Metallica. This “era” consists of the first three Metallica albums. Cliff has been cited by many as being one of the greatest bass players ever. Personally, I liked him because of his ability to play fast and grungy, but he can also be very melodic. I also love how he’ll double on a guitar riff. AMAZING bass player!
2. Me’Shell Ndegeocello
I discovered Me’Shell when my bass teacher mentioned that a certain bass lick we were learning sounded a lot like her bass line in “Wild Night.” He played me the song and I fell into instant love with the bass line. I went home and learned it note for note and then listened to some of her other work. I absolutely love her versatility. Funk, Jazz, Soul, Rock, you name it, she’s got it. There’s something for everybody when it comes to Me’Shell Ndegeocello.
3. Eric Wilson/”Sublime”
My biggest obsession lately is funk and bass line syncopation. Personally, I think Eric Wilson has to be one of the best, recent bass players for that kind of style. I feel like he’s in the same category as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and P-Nut (311). Eric Wilson is great at fitting nice funky grooves into Sublime’s ska/reggae/rock thing they had going on. He’s also extremely melodic and creates gorgeous bass lines.
4. Jaco Pastorius
I know, I know. EVERY bass player worships Jaco. However, I never was one of those people until recently. I kind of wrote him off as this bass player who was just too fancy for me. But now, I see the art and the beauty in his playing. I love listening for the ghost notes that he throws into his fast riffs and I love mulling over his creative melodies. My journey of listening to every song Jaco has ever done has been an awesome one. And I can’t wait to continue.
5. Bernard Odum/”James Brown”
James Brown is another person my bass teacher told me to listen to religiously. So, on one of my many road trips, I listened to more James Brown singles than I could count and I can pretty accurately say that Bernard Odum wrote some of my favorite J.B. bass lines. Bernard Odum played on some of James Brown’s greatest hits such as “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” and “I Got You(I Feel Good).” These are three more songs I just had to learn note for note. The Bootsy era of James Brown is probably one of the most popular, but if you haven’t really looked into Bernard Odum’s era, you totally should.