Idol Listening: Haken Bassist Conner Green’s Top 5 Bass Players That (Mostly) Use Their Fingers
Today sees the release of Affinity (InsideOut), the new album from London progressive metallers Haken! After noting that a) Haken bassist Conner Green plays without a pick and b) playing without a pick is somehow a controversial concept to some metal fans, we asked Conner to help us celebrate Affinity‘s release by recommending some of his favorite four-stringers who (mostly) use their fingers!
Check out Conner’s picks (pun intended) below! You can purchase Affinity here.
Top 5 Bass Players That (Mostly) Use Their Fingers
1. Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band, David Bowie, Donny McCaslin Band)
To me, Tim Lefebvre is undoubtedly the most unique and innovative bass player working today, and my biggest influence as a bassit. Although he developed a reputation for playing experimental, effects-heavy bass with the Donny McCaslin band, Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music, and Uri Caine’s Bedrock, his more traditional playing on David Bowie’s “Blackstar” and the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s “Let Me Get By” is next to none. By the way, he’s equally adept at pick-playing as he is finger-playing.
Essential listening: “Losing Track of Daytime” (from Donny McCaslin’s Casting for Gravity)
2. Jon Stockman (Karnivool)
This should come as no surprise to anyone. Jon Stockman epitomizes the modern metal bass player. His monstrous bass tone on Karnivool’s Sound Awake and Asymmetry left me stunned. His grasp of sound, groove and melody gives him a singular voice on the instrument, which is something we bass players should continue to strive for.
Essential listening: “Goliath” (from Karnivool’s Sound Awake)
3. Nick Sollecito (The Dear Hunter, Bored with Four)
Simply put, Nick Sollecito is the ideal bass player. Although he can shred with the best of them, my love for his playing lies in his simplicity and his ability to lay the perfect foundation for any section of a song thrown at him. Check out his playing on The Dear Hunter’s Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise to get an education on how to get hired as a bass player.
Essential listening: “The Bitter Suite IV and V: The Congregation and the Sermon in the Silt” (from The Dear Hunter’s Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise)
4. Simon Grove (Plini, The Helix Nebula)
I first heard Simon’s playing on Plini’s The End of Everything EP, and since then, he’s taken the metal bass playing world by storm. Not only has he already managed to create an instantly recognizable bass sound, but his influence from indie, hip-hop, pop, and other non-metal genres give his bass lines a distinctive quality that is extremely fresh.
Essential listening: “Paper Moon” (from Plini’s The End of Everything)
5. James Jamerson (Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder)
Perhaps this is an unusual choice, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the father of modern electric bass. James Jamerson, who played on countless Motown hits, essentially invented modern bass playing out of thin air. His lines were busy (often based around syncopated sixteenth notes), innovative, and completely groovy. I’m not sure what modern bass playing would be like if James Jamerson never existed, but it certainly wouldn’t be better.
Essential listening: “Bernadette” (from The Four Tops’ Reach Out)