bass guitar and microphone

Singing bass guitarists

Hi all! Every bass player who’s ever looked for a band has faced the question, “What’s up with the backing vocals?” It’s already kind of a default option built into every bass player. Whether he likes it or not… Everybody needs singing bassists nowadays.

And meanwhile among bassists there are quite a few of those who quite successfully combine playing bass guitar with full-fledged vocals. Today we will talk about such nuggets, singing bassists.

This is by no means a better/worse rating. And far from an exhaustive list. If you want to add anyone, write a comment and we’ll add them!

Singing Bassist #1 Paul McCartney

Need I tell you who this is? Arguably the most famous and titled bassist on Earth. Working together with John Lennon as part of The Beatles, one of the most successful and productive in all of history.

sir paul mccartney

Paul is self-taught, having mastered guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. Paul McCartney is not just one of the members of a legendary band. He is a talented poet, producer, arranger, and on top of it all, a knight of the United Kingdom, a philanthropist and philanthropist. He is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world (about 800.000.000 pounds).

He plays mostly with a bass pick on the now no less legendary Hofner bass guitar. All in all, Paul is a veteran among singing bassists!

Lemmy Killmeester of Motorhead

A hoarse voice, an uncomfortably high-pitched microphone, and an equally hoarse, weird Rickenbacker bass. It’s impossible not to mention one of the main rock-n-roll rebels in this post – Lemmy Killmeester.

singer and bassist lemmy killmister

I put the microphone that way, for my own comfort. Looking up, I can’t see the audience. It probably goes back to the days when there were 10 people and one dog at concerts…

Motorhead founder and permanent member Lemmy Killmeester is the living embodiment of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle to the very end.

Fired from the band Hawkwind after his arrest for drug possession, Lemmy founded Motorhead in the same seventy-fifth year. The rest of his life was connected to Motorhead up to 2015, when the musician died of prostate cancer and heart problems. Alcohol, drugs and almost continuous smoking since the age of 11 were not without consequences. Throughout the last decades of his life, Lemmy experienced serious health problems.

Geddy Lee bassist and vocalist for Rush

Sometimes I feel like I write these articles just to have an excuse to re-listen to favorite songs…

geddy lee of Rush

Geddy Lee of Rush is another nugget on our list that can do absolutely everything. Poet, bassist. Keyboardist, arranger, and just an awesome vocalist.

Tim Commerford, Les Claypool, Cliff Burton, Steve Harris, John Mayang all call Geddy Lee their inspiration.

Geddy Lee was born in Canada to Polish Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust and survived the war in the ghetto. They were later able to emigrate to Canada.

Geddy studied music from the age of 10, learning acoustic guitar, drums and clarinet in music school and the piano with a private teacher. In his early years he was heavily influenced by British prog-rock and John Entwistle of The Who.

Rush began in 1969 as a band that played on weekends in small local bars. And by 1980, the band was world-famous and packed stadiums. And Geddy Lee continues to amaze everyone with his ability to control the huge pedalboard of his bass guitar, to run from one synthesizer to another, and to sing into three different microphones.

Rush “Tom Sawyer”

Like the aforementioned Lemmy, Geddy Lee is one of the adherents of the Rickenbacker. His main instrument, however, is a Fender. He has also played Wal, Steinberger.


If anything, the man’s name is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner. But who’s going to remember that?

sting singer and bassist

Sting. It’s unclear exactly what he is: a bassist who sings or a vocalist who plays bass. Definitely Sting is one of the most successful living musicians. And he loves to sing. No seriously, turn on any of the live performances. It’s always nice to see how much fun a person has doing what they love.

Bassist, vocalist, and arranger for the legendary new wave band The Police. The quartet lasted five years and recorded five albums, four of them on The Rolling Stones’ list of The Greatest Albums of All Time.

Since 1985 Sting has been engaged in an equally successful solo career. He is the winner of 17 (!) Grammy Awards and numerous full-length roles and cameos in movies, as well as an activist for human rights and freedom. And on top of that Sting is a singing bassist!

Les Claypool bassist and vocalist of Primus

Les Claypool of the band Primus. Funny, misunderstood, weird… There’s an article about Les on the website.

les claypool

Honestly, I don’t know how his brain works, how he composes his parts and, moreover, how he manages to sing at the same time. All right, let it be not a vocal in the usual sense of the word, but recitative, speaking to music. Let’s put him down as a singing bass player anyway.

Les Claypool is definitely very interesting both as a bass player and as a vocalist. Although Primus is a very big fan of the band.

Singing bassists, a little more

Although there are many times fewer singing bassists than there are guitarists, you can’t say it’s very rare. If the article comes up, I might write something like Singing Bassists #2. About who? Well, here’s one, for example:

  • Jack Bruce of Cream.
  • Gene Simmons from Kiss.
  • Roger Waters from Pink Floyd.
  • Tom Araya of good old Slayer.
  • Chris Squire from Yes.

And by the way, I already wrote an article about female bassists, Kim Deal from The Pixies, and Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth and they sing too. Female bass players #1, female bass players #2.

Write your favorite singing bassists in the comments, I read everything and take note.

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