Study the Best – Learn from the best – John Entwistle
Improve your bass playing by learning from the best. Part of learning to play bass should include listening to and watching other great bassists. Try to incorporate their techniques, skills, styles, and sounds in to your own playing. In this Learn from the Best series we highlight John Entwistle – undeniably one of the greatest bass players of all time. .
John Entwistle – Career Highlights
- In the early 1960’s, Entwistle started his career playing in a jazz band with future The Who band mate Pete Townshend
- In 1964 Entwistle and Townshend join Roger Daltry and Keith Moon to form The Who
- The Who became one of the most influential and popular rock bands of the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Notable songs and albums include:
- “My Generation” from the 1965 album My Generation
- “Pinball Wizard” from the 1969 album Tommy
- “Baba O’Riley” from the 1971 Album Who’s Next
- “Who Are You” from the 1978 album Who Are You
- “Eminence Front” from the 1982 album It’s Hard
- Entwistle also produced six solo albums in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1981, and 1996
Learn from John Entwistle – Skills, Methods, Techniques and Innovations
Learn to approach your bass playing like John Entwistle – with confidence! He saw the bass as a lead instrument with the responsibility of driving the band in his direction. This was during a time when bassists were seen as having merely a supporting role. Entwistle’s basslines were audible and they stood out even amongst highly animated bandmates Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend, and Keith Moon.
Pay attention to Entwistle’s complex combination of rhythms, fills, and countermelodies. In particular watch his right hand technique that includes a rapid mixture of plucking, picking, and tapping. Appropriately nicknamed “Thunderfingers” he developed what he called the “typewriter” technique – using all four fingers to tap percussively on the strings to create a distinctive twangy sound. Often playing near the neck of the bass, his forceful fingering style delivered a hard-driving signature tone which defined the sound of The Who. Entwistle is also known for his left-handed hammer-ons which he used to create harmonics and percussive sounds. In addition he used a multitude of effects to create overdriven, distorted, “guitar sounding” basslines that were often the melodic, lead parts of a song.
John Entwistle – Impactful Quote
“I set myself up to be a bass guitarist, and bass players get a lot more work than people like me.”
Instruction by John Entwistle:
Bass Guitar Master Class DVD – Instruction from John Entwistle himself!
John Entwistle – Videos of a Legend
John Entwistle the best bass player of all time