9 of the best Tim Commerford basslines

Tim performing at the Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans, Louisiana
Tim performing at the Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans, Louisiana (Image credit: 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.


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.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.