Bob Bates (September 1, 1923 – September 13, 1981) was an American jazz bassist.
Bates was born in Pocatello, Idaho. His mother was an organist; his brother is the bassist Norman Bates. As a youth he played tuba, trumpet, and trombone. He studied classical bass from 1944 to 1948 and played with Sonny Dunham in 1947 and with Jack Fina from 1948 to 1949. His first recording session was in 1949 with Jack Sheedy's Dixieland band. Early in the 1950s he played in the Two Beaux & a Peep Trio. He is best remembered for playing bass with Dave Brubeck between 1954 and 1955, after which time he was replaced by brother Norman, then Eugene Wright. He appears on the albums Jazz Goes to College, Brubeck & Desmond: Storyville 1954, Brubeck Time, and Jazz: Red, Hot & Cool. This was his last major engagement; he disappears from recording after the middle of the 1950s. He died in San Francisco, California in 1981.