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The 10 best basslines ever (possibly)

You’re heading to the shop to try out a new bass or synth. At the shop, surrounded by your peers, what do you play to mark yourself out as a person of taste and musical distinction?

We’ve surveyed the Red Dog team, and come up with our choice selection of those classic bass lines; some obvious, some so obvious they’re a cliché, some less obvious, but all will get stuck in your head.

So, in no particular order:

Michael Jackson, Billie Jean. Where to start with this? It’s just awesomely perfect. Probably don’t need to say much more than that really…

Larry Young’s Fuel/Frank De Jojo, Turn off The Lights. The bass guitar version or the synth version: take your pick. Both full of groovey-funktastic sexiness.

Donna Summer, I Feel Love. The first techno record? Utterly hypnotic groove that definitely requires the full near sixteen minutes of the Patrick Cowley mix.

Charles Wright, Express Yourself. Do basslines get much more recognisable than this?

Chaka Khan, Some Love. Played by Chaka’s brother Mark, the bassline in this 1979 classic brings you straight into the groove and sets you up for a disco-funk journey of greatness.

The Beatles, Drive My Car. Taxman comes up a lot in these sorts of lists, that gives this cracking bassline a bit of extra kudos.

Archie Bell and the Drells, Tighten Up. Such a great bassline, this song has been covered by more funky people than we could even hope to begin to count.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give it Away. Yes, we know it’s on every list of ‘top basslines’, and it was a difficult choice between this and ‘Aeroplane’, but it probably just edges it…

The Pixies, Debaser. Perhaps not the most technically advanced in the list, but pick this out when trying out a new bass and you’ll see a few knowing nods of approval: those are the cool kids.

Buddy Rich, The Beat Goes On. Quite a simple bassline, but bounces around perfectly underneath the one chord verse and brings the groove kicking and screaming to the surface.

And there we have it, we’ve kept things pretty concise here, so if we’ve missed your choice of the art of the low end, let us know your picks and we shall noodle them around the metaphorical campfire.

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Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, and our London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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