Often overlooked, the bass guitar is a key addition to adding rhythm and funk to a song, it is more than just a guitar with less strings, it has a different tone and feeling. Bassists such as John Entwistle and Cliff Burton helped change everyone’s perception of the bass by highlighting its melodic potential. A good bass line will shake your core and help you to really feel the music. Here are the top 11 coolest bass guitar solos where the bassists really helped to surpass and rule over the other instruments.
No 11: Blue Monk by Thelonious Monk
This jazz standard composed by Thelonious Monk has now been fully accepted despite all the dissonances and melodic twists that were surreal at its release in 1954. Here is the solo transcription of Christian McBride on Blue Monk. You can find it on the album Superbass 1997 – starting at 1’09.
► Blue Monk bass solo transcription on Jellynote
No 10: All The Things You Are by Jerom Kern
Bassist Ron Carter played All The Things You Are with pianist Cedar Walton and Drummer Jack DeJohnette as part of the All American Trio, it was recorded in 1983. The transcription of the solo part, made by Creator Antoine Brochot again, starts at 3’24 of the recording.
► All the Things You Are bass solo on Jellynote
No 9: Ornithology – Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker, often nicknamed as the “Bird”, made Ornithology, a classic jazz standard, one of the most iconic bebop tunes. The bass solo starting on 2’31 was transcribed by Antoine Brochot, Creator on Jellynote.
► Ornithology bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 8: The Chicken – Jaco Pastorius Big Band
The Chicken was initially composed by Pee Wee Ellis as a funk tune. But it was really made popular ten years later by Jaco Pastorius who performed it on stage. Does anyone know why it was called The Chicken? If you do, please leave a comment below, we’ve been dying to know the secret behind the name!
► The Chicken bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 7: Runaway – Jamiroquai
An easy to learn well-known song with an extra funky bass guitar solo.
► Runaway bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 6: Stand By Me – Ben E. King
The ultimate proof that a bass line can increase the potential of a song. The playing is minimalist and terribly efficient.
No 5: Lovely Day – Bill Withers
A beautifully melodic bass line.
► Lovely Day bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 4: I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
Another iconic bass line that stands on its own, without the need for other instruments to accompany it to recognize the song. You can try it out even if you’re pretty new to the bass.
► I Want You Back bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 3: Papa was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations
A massively badass bass guitar solo!
► Papa was a Rolling Stone bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 2: You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
One of my favorite bass guitar solo thanks to his never-ending enthusiasm, You can’t Hurry Love would be nothing without the tuneful beats of the bass.
► You Can’t Hurry Love bass sheet music on Jellynote
No 1: Dean Town – Vulfpeck
A super funky bass guitar solo that you’ll have lots of fun learning.
► Dean Town bass sheet music on Jellynote
Any other bass guitar solos you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below!