It’s funny that a story about Rick Rubin picking Paul McCartney as the #1 bass player recently came out. I was thinking of asking some of my rock star friends about their top 5 bass lines in songs, so this works out perfectly.
As for what you guys said? I was surprised by how many of you doubted Sir Paul’s playing. IMO, he plays the right notes and doesn’t overdo it. Yes, Sheehan, Claypool, Lee, Burton, Harris, and on and on, are all monster players. All of them bring incredible skill to the instrument. There’s just something about McCartney’s playing, and more importantly his songwriting that makes him the best. As I write this, “A Little Help From My Friends” is on the turntable. The bass sticks out, but is not overdone. Perfect!
Here’s four guys who have over a century of experience playing bass. I asked them to pick five of the best bass lines. Here’s what they came up with.