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The Best Reggae Bass Players Ever!
If you are reading this article, you are most likely a reggae bass player or an aspiring
one. The reggae bass players highlighted below are the very best at their
craft. A very careful study of these reggae bass players, their technique and equipment will ratchet
your playing to the next level.
1. Of all the reggae bass players, Aston "Family man" Barrett is the best, period. That
is a bold statement, yes, but it's true! Bob Marley would not be who he became without him. Modern reggae
bass players are more "schooled" than the ones of years gone by.
This to me makes Aston Barrett an even greater reggae bass player when one considers that he was self
taught and his first bass was home made. Throughout his career he played a fender Jazz bass with flat wound dead
strings. His reggae bass sound can be found by trying to replicate the upright jazz sound. Aston "Family man" Barrett
2. Aston Barrett taught Robbie Shakespeare how to play the reggae bass. Robbie's accomplishments as a reggae bass player are second to
none really, when you think about it. He played for Grace Jones, Shaggy, Bitty Mclean, Ernest Ranglin, Junior
Reid, Joe Cocker, Gwen Guthrie, The Mighty Diamonds, Ben Harper, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones etc and
etc, you get the picture, he played with everyone.
His go to bass is a 4 string Paul Reed Smith and his technique involves playing with his thumb. A great
reggae bass player indeed and as a student of the reggae bass you owe it to yourself to check him
3. Many of the top reggae bass players did not make their name in Jamaica, Ronnie Mcqueen
is one of them. Although he is Jamaican by Birth he made his name in England playing for Steel Pulse reggae
He did not stay with the group for long but, many of his bass lines can be heard on early Steel Pulse
recordings. He was one of the founding members and he is the one who named the band Steel Pulse.
4. Lloyd Parks is a very outstanding but, also very underrated reggae bass player. He was
part of the Skin Flesh and Bone band which was the house band for Channel One studio, who gave Studio One A run for
their money in producing hit records.
He played for the Revolutionaries (a group he helped to form), Dennis Brown, The Abyssinians, The
Gladiators and Culture. He played a number of bass guitars including a Fender Jazz Bass.
5. Richard Daley is a very humble human being and a very solid reggae bass player.
He has been with Third World for many years and his bass lines can be heard all over their studio albums and live
recordings. He sometimes uses a Fender Precision and a Klein Custom bass guitar (I don't think these are in
production anymore), and he plays with his thumb.
Seems like many of the old school reggae bass players used their thumb, and it may well be the secret
to their captivating sound.
6. There are many reggae bass players out there but very few are as well rounded as Chris
Meredith. He is a producer and can play a variety of instruments. He has played with the likes of Lauren Hill,
Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Israel Vibration, Capleton, Sizzla, The Marley Brothers and many more.
So check him out as well.
7. Earl "Chinna" Smith is a guitarist and singer by trade and has played with
everyone in reggae and beyond but, what most people don't know is that he is also an accomplished reggae bass
guitarist. Check out his Inna Di Yard concert in France where he plays on the acoustic bass, and guess what?
He also plays with his thumb! Very interesting. Earl Chinna Smith
8. Andre Heyer who plays with the Far East Band from Germany is another very good reggae
bass player. He has played for Tanya Stevens, Cecile, Gentleman, Sean Paul and many more. He is worth checking out
too. He brings a sweet European flavour to the reggae bass. Listen to the live version of Dem Gone by
Gentleman, back by the Far East Band and you will see what I mean.
9. Leroy Sibbles was one of Jamaica's and reggae's most prolific bass player.
Not many people know that as well as a great singer, he was the session bass player for Coxsone Dodd at Studio
One. One of his most memorable bassline can be heard on the popular song Pass The
Dutchie by Musical Youth. I almost forgot, he also, originally, created the bassline used
by the reggae band Morgan Heritage in the song Down By The River. That's
just tow of his many basslines and trust me there are many, many more. A very underrated
"Fully" Fullwood is one of Jamaica's and Reggae's most influential musicians. Why do I say this?
Well to begin with, he has worked and recorded with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, John Holt, Ken Boothe,
The Mighty Diamonds and many others. He was also one of the Founding members and leader of the Soul
Syndicate band, which influenced the musical sound of Reggae and Jamaica's music significantly. He now
plays with guitarist Tony Chin and others with the aim of eradicating child homelessness.
Click the link to find out more about Fully Fullwood
1. Some up and coming reggae bass players to look out for are Dwayne Livingston (very
talented), Shiah Coore (Cat Coore's son who plays for Damian Marley) and Danold Waugh. There are loads of
video of them playing on youtube, so check them out. Blessings! Click the link for more on reggae bass players and the reggae bass sound.