9 of the best Tim Commerford basslines

Rage Against The Machine bassist brings the funk to rap rock

9 of the best Tim Commerford bass lines
Tim performing at the Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans, Louisiana
(Image: © David Atlas / Retna / Corbis)

BASS EXPO 2014: Tim Commerford is the tattooed bedrock of Rage Against The Machine's hugely powerful instrumental trio.

From Killing In The Name to Wake Up, the vegan four-stringer supplies the audio beef in the band's biggest tunes, forging a powerful link between Brad Wilk's thunderous drumming and Tom Morello's guitar manipulation. For your audio pleasure, we've picked out nine of his finest bass moments…

Killing In The Name

The off-kilter riff that opens the track shouldn't work but it really does. Then Tim Commerford digs into the verse groove replete with cheeky runs up the fretboard.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWXazVhlyxQ

Take The Power Back

Slap bass was never a huge part of the Rage sound, but Timmy C sets the groove from the start, slapping and popping his way through the tasty lead riff.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMjjsjNBS_4

Bullet In The Head

Surely one of the most satisfying basslines to play of all time? Three simple notes that open a monster track. And let's not forget the bulldozing riffs that brings this banger home, too.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TDgkOOlbwg


Yes Tom Morello is a guitar pioneer, but the monster riffs punctuating every exhilarating second of this relentless track wouldn't sound nearly as huge if they weren't locked in with Timmy C's bass.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_vQt_v8Jmw

No Shelter

A lesser-known track that featured on the Godzilla soundtrack. Timmy is firmly in the spotlight on this belter, notably the rapidfire fingerpicked run that builds to a frenzy as the track ends.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NEoesmnYU4

Without A Face

The closest Rage ever got to straight hip-hop. Stripped back verses are sinister in their darkness before Timmy's Jazz bass lends a head crushing muscle to the closing two-note riff.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSMrV4bI0QI

Calm Like A Bomb

Unexpectedly slipped into gear by a cheeky Commerford bass solo. He then holds it down in style through the verses as Morello meanders off on another squeal fest. 

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haSTbIfdGEU

How I Could Just Kill A Man

How do you make a hip-hop classic into a rock destroyer? Give it to Rage Against The Machine and have Timmy C slather it with groove. Textbook.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR6GqcPd60U


By the third album, Commerford and Morello were virtually telepathic in their note choices, instinctively matching heavily effected guitar with soaring basslines to make this an album highlight.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_zyb-XXWz0