Who do you aspire to be/play like?

I am curious… and I hope you all humor me and reply to this thread!

Name one (and ONLY one) living or dead bass player that best describes the style, tone, attitude, approach to playing/music etc that you are aspiring to achieve/emulate as a growing bass player!

I know this is tricky, as we all have many influences - but you need to choose ONE!

It certainly doesn’t need to be one of the “big ones”, but it could…

I also realize this can change over time - OK, let’s have another “survey” a year from now!

This is not a “who do you think is the best bass player” kind of survey! I would like to learn who the one bass player is who inspires YOU the most (currently), who has a playing style you aspire to reach, or who personifies an artistic level you dig!

I think I know who this is for @howard, and for @Jazzbass19 (but I might be wrong!), and someone mentioned Steve Harris a significant number of times recently :wink:, but for most of you I don’t know, and I think it could be interesting to find out!

So, reply with ONE name, a short motivation (why? what inspires you the most? etc) and perhaps ONE video showcasing/highlighting this!

Could become an awesome thread…


You’re right, @joergkutter . . .

It’s John Entwistle for me . . . his style and playing technique, along with that signature heavy treble tone has always captivated my imagination . . .

One of these days, I’m going to have to make a topic all about all this. :slight_smile:

Cheers, Joe


Ooh, cool topic.

While I am sure you are expecting me to say Hooky, and Peter Hook is indeed who inspired me to play bass at all originally years ago, I actually don’t think I would say I am following him stylistically, directly anyway. He’s definitely an influence for sure but he is all about playing lead bass melodies picking in the upper registers, while I am evolving more in to drop tunings and booming lows. I love his work, I love playing his work, but when I play on my own it usually doesn’t sound very Hooky.

If I were to think of a bassist whose style I am closest to following and pursuing right now, it would probably be Chris Wolstenholme.

dat drop D :slight_smile:


I have to say, Timothy B. Schmit. You never see his name on the lists of great bass players, but I love his playing style, and it’s the closest to one that I feel confident I can emulate. I’ve watched him play (whenever the camera focuses on him) during concerts on YouTube and on AXS TV, and find his plucking style to be exactly the style I am trying to perfect. His left hand shifts fluidly up and down the fret board, and he doesn’t appear to have a very wide finger span: pretty much how my left hand works as well.
Irrelevant to this topic, but we also have in common that we’re both throat cancer survivors.
Yes, Timothy B. Schmit is the model for my bass playing.


Ha! . . . I thought you were going to say Kiyoshi, @howard . . . :slight_smile:


At the moment it is…

Normal Watt-Roy.

If I had his skills and attitude I think I could play whatever I wanted: he’s nothing too flashy (other than his body popping moves on stage) but in his repertoire there is plenty of variety and some absolute gems of bass lines to his name.

Excellent question.


Howard can’t slap :slight_smile:

Not yet anyway. But she and I have nothing in common stylistically, I just think she’s awesome. She is my slap hero though.


2020 Bill Wyman this year
2021 Probably Paz Lenchantin
2022 could be a toss up between Carol Kaye, Ida Nielsen, Pino Palladino, Jack Bruce, James Jamerson, Duff McKagan, Pete Farndon, Duck Dunn, or one of many others. Time will tell.


At the moment Andy Rourke from the Smiths.


Not one hundred and one, @Mark_D. :wink:


That was for this year - and my choice is Bill Wyman. It’s quite clear.
The others are for next year and the year after. That is also quite clear.


So while he’s one of the biggest names and therefore not all that exciting of an answer, I have to say Flea. The bass lines he makes just speak to me. Plus IMO he’s never lost sight of a bassist role in a band. The lines he writes always feel organic for the song. While he has all the ability in the world to do so, it never feels like he’s showing off or making the bass line more than it needs to be. It’s always felt like to me that his priorities in order are: what’s best for the song?, what’s best for the band?, and finally what do I want?


Thanks :+1:


No drama.
I forgot Nicole Fiorentino on the 2022 list of possibles though

I think I’d go with Paul McCartney myself. Not a shredder, but very effective at bass lines. Though I like a bit of shredding for fun too!


Oh good call, @JT. I feel bad for not thinking of him as he’s a ‘local lad done good’ to me and I have some tenuous links to him - as does EVERYBODY in that area (well them or Cilla Black :laughing:)


I would probably have to go with Mike Dirnt from green day. Although I don’t really listen to anymore of their stuff American Idiot and onwards, all their other stuff is amazing. He was the one who originally inspired me to play bass, and while I don’t really play like him I still love playing his basslines. They are so fun and unique yet they fit into the songs perfectly. Especially on their albums kerplunk, dookie, and insomniac. Just listen to this hidden gem.


@joergkutter I’m reading some of the responses. Methinks many people have misinterpreted the spirit of your question. This question has the makings of a long and wondrous thread, if everyone answers the question properly.

Cheers, Pam


Thanks, @PamPurrs - it is a bit like editing a multi-author book, I guess: you have some idea (vision even) as an editor, but each one of the authors has their own take on the task, and thus, the end result will never quite be as originally anticipated. That said, I am happy with most of the replies so far (they are what they are in any case!), and I look forward to many more…

Maybe, I can prepare a small digest at some point…


The bass player who I most aspire to be able to “imitate” is Frans Vollink. He is not largely known, I would guess, and is himself certainly heavily influenced by Jaco Pastorius. So why not take Jaco? Well, I think Frans has developed his own style and tone and a very melodic approach to bass playing, which I find brings the best out in a bass. Frans is a more “modern” player than Jaco (if that is the best way to say it), who can groove like crazy, and spans all from funky lines to melodic ballads. And his solos always have lots of melodic and rhythmic ideas (that drive me nuts to even begin to transcribe). And he plays almost exclusively finger style, which I like as well!

I hope one day to be able to play stuff like this: