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If the current trend continues the list of bassists will end up including everyone who's ever picked up a bass. Is it feasible to introduce some sort of collective filtering process?

Descriptive material in bassists index[edit]

I do not think that descriptive prose (other than band memberships) belongs in the bassists index - that material belongs in the relevant entry for the bassist where it can be expanded upon. How would people feel if the descriptive material were removed?

I think it should be included in both places. I think putting descriptive material here helps to keep the addition of "everyone who ever picked up a bass" to a minimum. Then again, we might consider keeping only a few key notable figures here and moving the rest to a List of bassists or List of bass guitarists... — Catherine\talk 03:41, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Huh, there already is such a list -- well, the two lists should definitely be better integrated and alphabetized. — Catherine\talk 03:43, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I prefer this page to the List of bass guitarists. I think short descriptive text helps the reader; otherwise you're left with a list of names that is effectively anonymous unless you're already well versed in the pantheon of famous bassists and thus able to mentally add your own descriptions to each name. Of course, short is the operative word - if someone wants to go into detail about a bassist's career they should edit the appropriate page. Perhaps the other page could be redirected to the appropriate section here or at least have a crosslink and be reserved for a names only list? Basswulf 07:27, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
As it has continued to grow recently, I have boldly moved most of the list to List of bass guitarists, leaving a short list of the most crucially influential players in various genres -- those who have changed the way others play. Please let me know if you disagree; I don't mind reverting if you can convince me different arrangement would be better.
By all means, add or delete from the short list I left if you disagree with my choices, but I think this bit should remain fairly small, no more than a dozen or so names -- everything else should go on the other list. Ideally, perhaps, this short list should be converted to prose paragraphs discussing their influence; it would not only explain their importance better, it would discourage people from idly adding another name to the list, but I don't feel I'm widely enough versed in music to do it justice. What do you think? — Catherine\talk 02:30, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm torn. You've done an excellent job of properly alphabetising and laying out the list of bass guitarists. On the other hand, how do you select who to include in the short list on the Bassist page? Some names, like Jaco Pastorius and James Jamerson are probably beyond dispute but it quickly gets fuzzy! I'd rather see the style of formatting for the list of bass guitarists used here (including a lot more people but perhaps with the stipulation that each should have a short descriptive text) and keep the other page for a names-only list that functions more as an index rather than giving any explanatory text. I also think that both lists would be improved by weeding out anybody who doesn't have at least a stub article of their own. Basswulf 15:21, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree that it's a fuzzy thing. I feel fairly strongly that the list should remain on a separate page, or it overwhelms the rest of the content on this page. The list is only going to grow longer as more people writing about their favorite bands discover the list; I think it was overdue for sectioning by alphabet which would only further overwhelm this page and its table of contents.
Perhaps we should just leave no "short list" at all, just a pointer to See list of bass guitarists? — Catherine\talk 00:43, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Okay - let's try it on for size. Basswulf 10:51, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What is a bassist?[edit]

I've just removed Keith Richards from the list - he certainly deserves a Wikipedia entry as guitarist for the Rolling Stones but I can't see that he merits a mention in the list of bassists because he played bass in the shortlived Dirty Mac ensemble! Many guitarists can also play bass (and vice versa) but I think it's reasonable to limit the list here to people who have played some form of bass as their primary instrument. Basswulf 11:51, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Agreed dburgess
To reflect the opinions of many pure bassists who are not guitarists, I amended the references to include electric bass while recognising others want to call the instrument a bass guitar. - Ozbass 30 Jun 2005]

Why is the acoustic bass left out? The fact that it's said (a few times) that electric bass/double bass are the instruments that define a bassist it's like acoustic bass players don't come into this category. You agree? -- Drrngrvy 21:17, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi folks, I think the description of 'Electric Bassists' is a bit narrow. They're not always introverts. Motorhead's bassist would be a good example of a band leader. They can write songs (Paul McCartney (Beatles), John Deacon (Queen), Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Cliff Burton (Metallica)...), they can contribute lyrically (Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers)). The description makes a generalistaion that is not necessarily true in all cases.

Don't forget Les Claypool, clearly extrovertedThesnoo 21:11, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Electric Bass and Double Bass[edit]

I've just removed Les Claypool from the Electric Bass and Double Bass section of the page. As far as I know (including checking out the extensive article about him) he plays bass guitar and is not at all known for his work on double bass. Therefore, he belongs in the list of bass guitarists and not on the list of doublers. I'm getting a little frustrated because it really doesn't seem all that hard to make the distinction!

Of course, I may well be wrong. Mr Claypool may also have released a whole slew of albums on which he plays bluegrass upright bass and I'd love to know about that. However, if you want to add him to the list of doublers, please (please, please, please) update the article about him first to make this clear. Basswulf 08:50, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm still regularly removing electric bassists from the list of doublers. Grrrr!!! Wise up fanboys! Somebody like John Patitucci belongs there because he regularly performs on both double bass and bass guitar. Remember, this is an information source, not a place to advertise your favourite bassist by indiscriminately putting their name all over the place. Basswulf 10:32, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Claypool, I think you can argue, doubles at least a little, but on record, we're mostly talking about little things like "Seas of Cheese" on "Sailing the Seas of Cheese". I've seen him play it a little live, as well, but I think he's something like 80% an electric player. He is a player of some historic magnitude and, as such, maybe he belongs on the list, but Flea and a misspelled Jaco? Someone point me at a record, else I don't think so. Adbarnhart 19:13, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the criteria for someone to belong in the list of doublers is that they have have a wikipedia article devoted to them that makes clear that they play both instruments. The name of the game is accurate information, not just posting the name of your favourite bassist in as many places as possible. Basswulf 10:07, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Of course the individual articles should spell out what they do and don't play, but that's a perennial problem.
Is there really a good reason to keep this list? It seems to require a dedicated editor to keep it in shape -- why not just keep List of bass guitarists and perhaps a List of double bassists, in addition to List of jazz bassists? This article and each of the lists should have prominent links to all the other lists. Then allow bassist articles to appear on more than one list, and leave it to the editors to sort out where they belong. What do you think? — Catherine\talk 22:43, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm... what about the electric double bass? This article gives the impression that it has to be one or the other (or something else). (talk) 00:00, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Influential Bass Players[edit]

I've zapped the "Influential Bass Players" section - I can see it spiralling into an ugly list of "who's best", which hardly matches the NPV ideal of the wikipedia! Basswulf 12:30, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I was going to zap this section again, as it was starting to gather momentum again, but I decided to replace it with a sourced list which could be clearly cited, resisting every fan's urge to add their own hero to the list. I somewhat arbitrarily chose "Mulhern, Tom. Bass Heroes: Styles, Stories & Secrets of 30 Great Bass Players. Backbeat Books, April 1993. (ISBN 0879302747)", since this list is easily checkable online, but it is somewhat dated -- I was sorry to drop Victor Wooten off the page in particular. Anyone who has a better list of "most influential players" published by a reliable source is welcome to replace my addition, since I'm sure many of the names will be the same. — Catherine\talk 04:21, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea of sourcing the list of influencial bassists, but I dislike the idea of ripping off someone else's list wholesale, especially one published 13 years ago. I think a better approach would be to let editors complie their own list, but source every entry on the list to a reliable publication that has presented the bassist one of the greatest in his field. It would be more work, but I think it would result in a better list that would be unique to this article.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 08:36, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
It was a noble idea, but it has not discouraged fanboys from adding their favorite bass player (or themselves) to the new list [1], [2], [3], [4]. I'm going to revert to the old list, which I believe was well maintained, though it could certainly use the addition of a variety of sources (not just parrotting verbatim one not particularly notable publication's list--see my comment above). I believe most Wikipedia editors trust each other to maintain such a list--it's not a bad thing if the list is constantly be in flux (or deleted altogether).--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 15:31, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Fair 'nuff -- 'twas a bold experiment, but those don't always pan out. Good work. — Catherine\talk 05:51, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for allowing us to see how the list evolves. I also appreciate your quick addition of sources to the first 2 names on the list.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 20:58, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure what the "Unknown" section is meant to accomplish. If no one knows what someone plays, it seems as though a little research would be appropriate before adding him/her to the list (they also ought to, at minimum, have their own page, it seems to me). If "unknown" is meant to mean something like "the bassist in question is not well-known," it doesn't seem like they belong on this page, which, I believe, is meant to highlight a few of the most prominent players in each category. We have larger, more comprehensive lists of bassists elsewhere; it seems that players who are lower in profile belong on those lists, rather than here. Adbarnhart 18:37, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Bass as the most common instrument that females in rock bands play[edit]

Does Wikipedia have any information about this? Aside from possibly vocals (which isn't an instrument), bass (and keyboard too in some instances) appears to be the most common instrument taken up by women in rock bands. Talking Heads, Sonic Youth and The Smashing Pumpkins are just a few examples but there are many others. Female drummers are less common and female guitarists outside of all-women bands are rare, with notable exceptions like Charlotte Hatherley.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 22:28, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, female guitarists who are solo artists (i.e. singer songwriters) are more common, but female lead guitarists in rock bands are relatively rare.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 22:34, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Removal of redundant/irrelevant info and obvious fanboy attractant[edit]

Got rid of the text beneath "electric bassists", as it was redundant with other parts of the article and/or other articles. I also removed the list of "important and influential bassists", as it was obvious fanboy attractant and also redundant with the List of bass guitarists. 15:29, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

"Bass as a solo or lead instrument" section?[edit]

Seems like it would be relevant, interesting, and important to the article. 15:29, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Beware of malicious reverts by user NawlinWiki[edit]

My edits to this article were immediately reverted after submission earlier, and I was sent a "stop adding nonsense" note. Since he/she obviously knows it better, I think I'll take my 15 years bass-playing experience and 20 years of editorial experience elsewhere. 15:29, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

who the hell is Aaron Fong?[edit]

Someone wrote "the best bass player is Aaron Fong". Seeing as this guy does not have an article in the wikipedia and is unknown (as far as I know), I'm assuming it's subtle vandalism or something. Mail10 22:09, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I have no idea. More importantly, who the hell is John Moses? Born 1995? That makes him 14! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


So, would you pronounce "Bassist" bass-ist or base-ist. I know Bass is base, but just curious because "base-ist" just doesn't sound right. Whichever, I think it'd belong in the article (FufuTofu 04:18, 18 October 2007 (UTC))