It is said that Dragonetti influenced Beethoven’s composition deeply, reorienting the composer’s eye toward making more creative use of the double bass in how it interacts with the rest of the orchestra. As for his own composition, he really took it upon himself to expand the repertoire for double bass, having written dozens of short works for double bass and piano, string quartets, as well as a sort of “instruction manual” with exercises and studies for the instrument!
John Entwistle almost didn’t make this list, by virtue of being, well, too good. There are so many great Who songs to choose from, but one melody that tends to stick in my head is the pentatonic major run heard behind the “I tip my hat” refrain in this song. The riff starts at the relative minor and runs down to the root, hitting all five notes of the scale. It’s a simple sequence, but I’ve noticed that scalar walk-downs to the root pretty much always sound good on the bass. (For example, check out the choruses of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” and Kiss’ “Shout It Out Loud”). Entwistle repeats this motif several times throughout the chorus with slight variations that keep it continually compelling.