A bass player, or bassist is a musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

 who plays a bass instrument
Bass (instrument)
Bass describes musical instruments that produce tones in the low-pitched range. They belong to different families of instruments and can cover a wide range of musical roles...

 such as a double bass
Double bass
The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, standup bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2...

, bass guitar
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

, keyboard bass
Keyboard bass
The keyboard bass is the use of a low-pitched keyboard or pedal keyboard to substitute for the bass guitar or double bass in popular music.-1960s:The earliest keyboard bass instrument was the 1960 Fender Rhodes piano bass, pictured above...

 or a low brass instrument such as a tuba
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument. Sound is produced by vibrating or "buzzing" the lips into a large cupped mouthpiece. It is one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra, first appearing in the mid-19th century, when it largely replaced the...

 or sousaphone
The sousaphone is a type of tuba that is widely employed in marching bands. Designed so that it fits around the body of the musician and is supported by the left shoulder, the sousaphone may be readily played while being carried...

. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments. Since the 1960s, the electric bass is the standard bass instrument for rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

, jazz fusion
Jazz fusion
Jazz fusion is a musical fusion genre that developed from mixing funk and R&B rhythms and the amplification and electronic effects of rock, complex time signatures derived from non-Western music and extended, typically instrumental compositions with a jazz approach to lengthy group improvisations,...

, heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

, country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 and pop music
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

. The double bass is the standard bass instrument for classical music, bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

, and most genres of jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

. Low brass instruments such as the tuba or sousaphone are the standard bass instrument in Dixieland
Dixieland music, sometimes referred to as Hot jazz, Early Jazz or New Orleans jazz, is a style of jazz music which developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century, and was spread to Chicago and New York City by New Orleans bands in the 1910s.Well-known jazz standard songs from the...

 and New Orleans-style jazz bands.

Despite the associations of different bass instruments with certain genres, there are exceptions. Some 1990s and 2000s rock and pop bands use a double bass, such as Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies is a Canadian alternative rock band. The band is currently composed of Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart. Barenaked Ladies formed in 1988 in Scarborough, Ontario, then a suburban municipality outside the City of Toronto...

; Indie
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

 band The Decemberists
The Decemberists
The Decemberists are an indie folk rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States, fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members of the band are Chris Funk , Jenny Conlee , Nate Query , and John Moen .The band's...

; and punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

Psychobilly is a fusion genre of rock music that mixes elements of punk rock, rockabilly, and other genres. It is one of several subgenres of rockabilly which also include thrashabilly, trashabilly, punkabilly, surfabilly and gothabilly...

 groups such as The Living End
The Living End
The Living End are an Australian rock band from Melbourne, Victoria, formed in 1994. The current lineup consists of Chris Cheney , Scott Owen and Andy Strachan...

, Nekromantix
The Nekromantix are a Danish-American psychobilly band formed in 1989 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their music is generally structured around monster and horror themes. A central icon of the band's image is founder and frontman Kim Nekroman's "coffinbass", a custom-built double bass with a body in the...

, The Horrorpops, and Tiger Army
Tiger Army
Tiger Army is an American psychobilly band that was formed in 1995 in Berkeley, California. Its constant member and lead song writer is Nick 13. The band have released a total of four studio albums.-History:...

. Some fusion jazz groups use a lightweight, stripped-down electric upright bass
Electric upright bass
The electric upright bass is an electronically amplified version of the double bass that has a minimal or 'skeleton' body, which greatly reduces the size and weight of the instrument. The EUB retains enough of the features of the double bass so that double bass players are comfortable performing...

 rather than a double bass. Some composers of modern art music use the electric bass in a chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 setting. Some jazz big bands use electric bass. Some fusion, R&B and house music groups use synth bass or keyboard bass rather than electric bass. Some Dixieland bands use double bass or electric bass instead of a tuba. In some jazz groups and jam band
Jam band
-Ambiguity:By the late 1990s use of the term jam band also became ambiguous. An editorial at suggested that any band of which a primary band such as Phish has done a cover of be included as jam band. The example was including New York post-punk band Talking Heads after Phish performed...

s, the basslines are played by a Hammond organ
Hammond organ
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

 player, who uses the bass pedal keyboard or the lower manual for the low notes.

Electric bass players

Electric bassists play the bass guitar
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

. In most rock, pop, metal and country genres, the bass line outlines the harmony of the music being performed, while simultaneously indicating the rhythmic pulse. In addition, there are many different standard bass line types for different genres and types of song (e.g. blues ballad, fast swing, etc.). Bass lines often emphasize the root, third, and fifth of the chord progression
Chord progression
A chord progression is a series of musical chords, or chord changes that "aims for a definite goal" of establishing a tonality founded on a key, root or tonic chord. In other words, the succession of root relationships...

 being used in a given song. In addition, pedal tones
Pedal point
In tonal music, a pedal point is a sustained tone, typically in the bass, during which at least one foreign, i.e., dissonant harmony is sounded in the other parts. A pedal point sometimes functions as a "non-chord tone", placing it in the categories alongside suspensions, retardations, and passing...

 (repeated or sustained single notes), ostinato
In music, an ostinato is a motif or phrase, which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice. An ostinato is always a succession of equal sounds, wherein each note always has the same weight or stress. The repeating idea may be a rhythmic pattern, part of a tune, or a complete melody in...

s, and bass riff
The Resource Interchange File Format is a generic file container format for storing data in tagged chunks. It is primarily used to store multimedia such as sound and video, though it may also be used to store any arbitrary data....

s are also used as bass lines. While most electric bass players rarely play chord
Chord (music)
A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...

s (two or more notes all sounded at the same time), chords are used in some styles, especially jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 or Heavy Metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...


Classical double bass players

  • Johannes Matthias Sperger
    Johannes Matthias Sperger
    Johannes Matthias Sperger, also often Johann, was an Austrian contrabassist and composer....

     (1750–1812) Composer
  • Domenico Dragonetti
    Domenico Dragonetti
    Domenico Carlo Maria Dragonetti was an Italian double bass virtuoso and composer. He stayed for thirty years in his hometown of Venice, Italy and worked at the Opera Buffa, at the Chapel of San Marco and at the Grand Opera in Vicenza...

     (1763–1845) composer, conductor
  • Giovanni Bottesini
    Giovanni Bottesini
    Giovanni Bottesini was an Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso.-Biography:Born in Crema, Lombardy, he was taught the rudiments of music by his father, an accomplished clarinetist and composer, at a young age and had played timpani in Crema with the Teatro Sociale before...

     (1821–1889) composer, conductor
  • Franz Simandl
    Franz Simandl
    Franz Simandl was a double-bassist and pedagogue most remembered for his book New Method for the Double Bass, known as the Simandl book, which is to this day used as a standard study of double bass technique and hand positions.His approach uses the first, second, and fourth fingers of the left...

     (1840–1912) composer
  • Edouard Nanny
    Edouard Nanny
    Edouard Nanny was an important French double bass player, teacher, and composer. He was a longtime professor of double bass at the Paris Conservatory.-Career:...

      (1872–1943) composer
  • Serge Koussevitzky
    Serge Koussevitzky
    Serge Koussevitzky , was a Russian-born Jewish conductor, composer and double-bassist, known for his long tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949.-Early career:...

     (1874–1951) Conductor, composer
  • Gary Karr
    Gary Karr
    Gary Karr b. November 20, 1941 in Los Angeles, California, is an American classical double bass virtuoso and teacher.- Biography :Although he comes from seven generations of bassists, he was not encouraged by them to go into music...

  • Edgar Meyer
    Edgar Meyer
    Edgar Meyer is a prominent contemporary bassist and composer. His styles include classical, bluegrass, newgrass, and jazz. Meyer has worked as a session musician in Nashville, part of various chamber groups, a composer, and an arranger...


Jazz double bass players

  • Jimmy Blanton
    Jimmy Blanton
    Jimmie Blanton was an influential American jazz double bassist. Blanton is credited with being the originator of pizzicato and bowed bass solos....

  • Paul Chambers
    Paul Chambers
    Paul Laurence Dunbar Chambers, Jr. was a jazz bassist. A fixture of rhythm sections during the 1950s and 1960s, his importance in the development of jazz bass can be measured not only by the length and breadth of his work in this short period but also his impeccable time, intonation, and virtuosic...

  • Jimmy Garrison
    Jimmy Garrison
    Jimmy Garrison was an American jazz double bassist born in Miami, Florida. He was best known through his long association with John Coltrane from 1961–1967.-Biography:...

  • Ron Carter
    Ron Carter
    Ron Carter is an American jazz double-bassist. His appearances on over 2,500 albums make him one of the most-recorded bassists in jazz history, along with Milt Hinton, Ray Brown and Leroy Vinnegar. Carter is also an acclaimed cellist who has recorded numerous times on that...

  • Scott La Faro
  • Richard Davis
    Richard Davis
    Richard Davis is an American jazz bassist who has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1977. Originally from Chicago, he first became known in that city before establishing himself in New York City for twenty-three years. He teaches bass, jazz history, and...

  • Ray Brown
    Ray Brown (musician)
    Raymond Matthews Brown was an American jazz double bassist.-Biography:Ray Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and had piano lessons from the age of eight. After noticing how many pianists attended his high school, he thought of taking up the trombone, but was unable to afford one...

  • George Mraz
    George Mraz
    George Mraz is a jazz bassist and alto saxophonist. He was a member of Oscar Peterson's group, and has worked with Stan Getz, Tommy Flanagan, Chet Baker and many other important jazz musicians...

  • Eddie Gomez
    Eddie Gomez
    Edgar "Eddie" Gómez is a Puerto Rican jazz double bassist born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, perhaps most notable for his work done with the Bill Evans trio from 1966 to 1977.-Biography:...

  • Terry Plumeri
    Terry Plumeri
    Terry Plumeri is an American classical composer, film composer, conductor, double bassist, lecturer, and producer.-Selected discography:* He Who Lives in Many Places...

  • Milt Hinton
    Milt Hinton
    Milton John "Milt" Hinton , "the dean of jazz bass players," was an American jazz double bassist and photographer. He was nicknamed "The Judge".-Biography:...

  • Sam Jones
    Samuel Jones (musician)
    Samuel Jones was a jazz bassist, cellist, and composer.Sam Jones was born in Jacksonville, FL and moved to New York city in 1955. There, Jones played with Bobby Timmons, Tiny Bradshaw, Les Jazz Modes, Kenny Dorham, Illinois Jacquet, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk...

  • Charles Mingus
    Charles Mingus
    Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and civil rights activist.Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third stream, free jazz, and classical music...

  • Esperanza Spalding
    Esperanza Spalding
    Esperanza Spalding is an American multi-instrumentalist best known as a jazz bassist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions...

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