Bass Week on MusicRadar

24th Oct 2011 | 07:44

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Bass Week on MusicRadar

Where would popular music be without bass? It would certainly be a great deal less primal and groovy, that's for sure. Although often overshadowed by preening show ponies on lead vocals and guitar, the humble bassist is an essential ingredient in the rhythm section.

Lest we forget, it's rhythm that makes people want to get up and shake their asses in the first place. You sure as hell can't dance to an unaccompanied guitar solo. Not without an inadvisable level of chemical assistance, anyway.

In celebration of all things bass, from the spectral thump of Bill Black's upright in Heartbreak Hotel to the avant-garde jazz fusion of Jaco Pastorius and beyond, during Bass Week on MusicRadar we'll bring you a selection of features, interviews and tutorials with a heavy emphasis on life at the bottom end of the frequency spectrum.

Bookmark this page as we'll be adding great new content throughout the week. We've also collected some fantastic bass content from our archive that you might have missed the first time around. Click onwards to see the story so far...

Bass Week on MusicRadar
The 25 greatest basslines of all time
The best bass moments in history, as voted for by you

We asked you to nominate your favourite basslines of all time in an effort to crown the greatest bass performance in history. With approximately 10,000 of you voting in our poll, we can now present the top 25 rundown in full.

See the results here!

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Interview: Megadeth's Dave Ellefson on playing metal bass
Tips on technique, philosophy, gear

"My philosophy on playing metal bass is simple," says Megadeth's low-end master, Dave Ellefson. "I try to be the mortar between the bricks that glues the building together. I know it might sound weird to base music on architecture, but the analogy really holds true. Without that strong glue, a building falls down. The same can be said for music."

Read the interview in full here

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Bass Legends: Jaco Pastorius
We salute a true bass guitar virtuoso

Ask any bass player to name his top 10 bassists and you'll find that Jaco Pastorius almost always features in the top three. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion but whether devotees or not all players agree that Jaco was unique, with an extraordinary ability to make his basslines fluid and significant no matter what he was playing or who he was playing for...

Read our profile in full here.

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Carol Kaye: my 10 greatest recordings of all time
Session legend picks her biggies

For Carol Kaye, the most-recorded bassist in history, with upwards of 10,000 sessions to her credit, the very idea of picking the highlights of her career is daunting, to say the least...

Read the rundown in full here.

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Bass Legends: Motown session giant James Jamerson
We celebrate one of the greatest of them all

At a time when The Beatles were headlining the British musical invasion of America perhaps the strongest response from across the pond came from the Motown label. Motown possessed the capability of producing hit after hit from its collection of artists and each recording featured a very tight rhythm section...

Click here to read our profile of James Jamerson in full

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Interview: Dream Theater's John Myung talks bass
Motivation, inspiration, his fave new bassline

"Soft-spoken"..."shy"..."a man of few words"... for years, Dream Theater bass master John Myung has been described in such terms. But the musician who MusicRadar readers voted the Greatest Bassist Of All Time in 2010 is friendly, open and extremely talkative - a regular chatty Cathy almost - especially when it comes to all things four-string in nature. (Or in his case, six.)

Read the full interview here

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Bass Legends: Queen's John Deacon
Celebrating one of the giants of electric bass

Freddie Mercury's recent would be 65th birthday cannot fail to bring Queen's bassist John Deacon to mind. Deacon is not only the first in our series of Bass Legend profiles to coincide with Bass Week on MusicRadar, but also the only player to have two entries in our greatest basslines of all time poll...

Click here to read our John Deacon profile

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Interview: Carol Kaye - the Queen of Bass
Session legend recalls Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and more

Some folks have to pad their resumes, but in the case of Carol Kaye, who from the 1950s and into the 1970s was one of the busiest session musicians around, laying down distinctive bass and guitar tracks on scores of Top 10 smashes and literally thousands of recordings, even a bullet-point sampling of her accomplishments boggles the mind...

Click here to read the interview

Bass Week on MusicRadar
Cool and classic basses
A series of iconic bass guitar profiles

As part of Bass Week on MusicRadar, we are kicking off a series of profiles of some of the most iconic instruments ever to grace stages and recording studios across the globe. And what better bass to begin with than the four-string that a certain moptopped Liverpudlian used to take the world by storm in the early 1960s...

Check out our profile of the Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass and much more here

Bass Week on MusicRadar
The History Of The Electric Bass part one: Early Days
Charting the evolution of the instrument from the 1930s to the '50s

The early days of bass playing must have been a nightmare! Low resonance plus the need for audible volume meant huge instruments like the Mandobass (mandolin style) and the Regal Bassoguitar, which was a monster cross between an acoustic guitar and an upright bass...

Click here to read more

Bass Week on MusicRadar
What is the greatest bassline of all time?
Vote for the best bass guitar performance in history here!
Bass Week on MusicRadar
12 essential live bass playing tips
Let our past mistakes stop you making any!

We've all been caught out at gigs for some of the most stupid reasons. Assuming that you've arrived with all gear present here are a few suggestions to help prevent a gig from becoming memorable for all the wrong reasons...

Click here to read more

Bass Week on MusicRadar
The 25 greatest bassists of all time
Your favourite bass players revealed in our 2010 poll

The humble bass guitarist is an under-appreciated beast. Yet try to imagine the last six decades of popular music without James Jamerson, Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, Jaco Pastorious or John Paul Jones, to name but a few...

Bass Week on MusicRadar
30 amazing unsung bassists (in no particular order)
...including a few who really should've made the 25 greatest of all time list

There's nothing like a good poll to cause controversy. Bass players might often appear to be the quiet ones in bands, but voices were certainly raised when we published the results of our greatest bass players of all time poll. While winner John Myung's considerable chops are beyond question, arguments raged about the guys, some of them legends of the instrument, who didn't make the cut...

Click here to read more

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