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5 songs in the field of: Bassists

Five bass-driven classics, plucked straight from some of the greatest rhythm sections in history


Led Zeppelin – ‘Ramble On’

John Paul Jones gives a prime example of why less can so often be more with his sparing use of the blues scale on ‘Ramble On’. Add to that a rampant chorus and you have the spirit that defined Led Zeppelin as the apex of rock n’ roll.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – ‘Aeroplane’

“I like pleasure spiked with pain, music is my aeroplane”. For some funky bass look no further than original Chili Pepper Michael ‘Flea’ Balzary. His sound emulates his nickname, taking the fret board for a walk, with some added slap. His bass solo on ‘Aeroplane’ is an all-time classic.

Stone Roses – ‘Breaking into Heaven’

Mani had a feel for bass that cannot be taught. Crank the speakers and enjoy an underlying groove that few bassists have recreated. The Madchester scene would not have been complete without the Stone Roses, but they, in turn, would not have been complete without Mani.

Warpaint – Undertow

Perhaps I have a slight crush on Jenny Lee Lindberg, but her bass skills are still top-notch. Some expansive bass effects in the verse are simple, but as the track picks up, so does her playing. Actually, I definitely love her (she’s the dream).

Cream – Sunshine of Your Love

Written on a double bass ‘near dawn’, Jack Bruce created a track that has become a staple for budding guitarists the world over. The riff is smooth and every time I hear the transition to the chorus I remember why the oldies still have a place in my heart.