Funk, R&B and Soul Bass Players

Funk bass is some of the most fun stuff to play on bass. In our bass lessons I will show you the roots of funk bass — Blues, R&B, and Soul — on to modern day funk bass.

Some of the best electric bass playing, in my opinion, was on the soul and R&B music from the 50’s and 60’s.

James Jamerson

House bassist for motown records. The father of most everything on electric bass. His lines are as funky as anything since.

Bernard Odum

Bassist with James Brown. Very tasty lines.

Donald “Duck” Dunn

Played on an incredible number of hits. You’ve heard his bass playing more than you know.

Jerry Jemmott

Played with many different people – Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Freddie King and Wilson Pickett.

Tommy Cogbill

One of my favorites. He can lay down some really mean grooves. Played with Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and Elvis.

Bootsy Collins

Funk bass genius. Incredible rhythms with an attitude. Started with James Brown then George Clinton.

Larry Graham

Probably the funkiest man alive. He is often credited with starting the slap bass style. He was the bassist for Sly and the Family Stone. Later, he had his own group Graham Central Station.

George Porter, Jr.

Bassist for New Orleans band The Meters. The Meters have an incredible, laid-back rhythmic feel. Great stuff!

Rocco Prestia

Bassist with Tower of Power. You’ve probably heard the song What is Hip?. Fast and funky.


Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist. He can lay down some super funky slap lines.