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Who's the Best Bassist ever?

In Learning any instrument - your sound is partly formed as a result of those who have inspired you. For example the renowned guitarist Eric Clapton bears a lot of the hallmarks of those that inspired him to play guitar - BB King, Robert Johnson, Albert King.

Therefore having a good and varied "musical diet" is important no matter what instrument you play - this is certainly true of bassists - but from a vast array of bass players who should you listen to? Well to start with we'd suggest a broad range of music - sure listen to your favorites but don't limit yourself just to that genre - to help you with this we've put together a list of the top ten bass players that have been an inspiration to many who have picked up the bass guitar - get yourselves some CD's and learn some of their chops - you'll soon see the benefit!

1/ Paul McCartney

The former Beatle - famed for his thoughtful innovative phrasing, was one of the first true rock bassists - intrinsically melodic - he has a variety of techniques from playing with his thumb to playing with a plectrum - one of the most influential players of all time

2/ Pino Palladino

Renowned session player - known for fretless playing - he's played with people from Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck - recently joining The Who replacing the late John Entwhistle - Pino appears on the new Who album.

3/ Flea

Innovative Red Hot Chilli Peppers bass player - with a unique souped up funk style with plenty of slapping and improvisation - Flea is also a renowned session player and has played with the likes of Tracy Chapman to Alanis Morisette

4/ Jaco Pastorius

The bassists choice - widely called the most innovative bass player ever - with his self made fretless bass (a de-fretted Jazz Bass) Jaco has influenced a generation of bassists - with a tone coloured from effects and his unique "Jaco Growl" sound - his talent is still renowned nearly 20 years after his death.

5/ Mark King

1980's Bass player with English band Level 42 - popularized funk and slapping - one of the fastest players around - he used a mix of percussive effects that gave him a unique tone

6/ Tony Levin

Another renowned session player - Tony Levin has played with everyone from Peter Gabriel to Carly Simon - perhaps most famous for his "funk fingers" - Levin used drumsticks taped to his fingers to create an innovative sound. Levin is also one of the players best known for using the Chapman Stick.

7/ Geddy Lee

Bassist for the band Rush - Lee has proven a huge influence with rock bassists - effortless technique - pure style - and great tone - if you want to be a metal bassist - start here.

8/ Bootsy Collins

King of funk - Bootsy has influenced countless bassists and pioneered the funk sound - often mimicked but never matched.

9/ Charlie Haden

Superb Jazz double bassist - one of the most respected Jazz bassists ever - having played with the likes of Ornette Coleman through to Pat Metheny.

10/ John Paul Jones

Legendary bassist with Led Zepplin and a renowned session player prior to that - Jones along with the rest of the band - inspired a generation and helped create modern rock and roll - with a powerful sound and a rich appreciation of timing.