10 Great Fretless Bass Guitar Songs

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I remember the exact moment in Weather Report's A Remark You Made that got me hooked on the sound of a fretless bass guitar. Jaco does a sliding swoop up to a higher note. Here's the exact moment:

1. A Remark You Made - Weather Report

Player: Jaco Pastorius

I couldn't believe a bass guitar could make that beautiful noise. Here are nine more great fretless bass lines. Some of them feature the bass as the solo voice and others showcase the more supportive role that the bass usually takes.

2. New York Minute - Don Henley

Player: Pino Palladino.

Here's a video teaching some of the choice lines in the song.


3. Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel

Player: Tony Levin using a plectrum and octave pedal.


4. Hejira - Joni Mitchell

Player: Jaco Pastorius. I had to include another Jaco bass line. This is one of my favourite musical moments of all time.

5. Hurt In Your Heart - John Martyn

Player: John Giblin. One of the most talented fretless players ever (also check out his playing on Family Snapshot by Peter Gabriel).

6. Matha - Jimmy Haslip, Steve Croes, Randy Brecker

Player: Jimmy Haslip

7. Masques - Brand X

Player: Percy Jones

8. Heat - David Bowie

Player: Gail Anne Dorsey

9. Luck Of The Draw - Bonnie Raitt

Player: Hutch Hutchinson (on a Washburn AB40 fretless acoustic bass).

10. Avalon - Bryan Ferry

Player: Alan Spenner


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