Playing Analysis (written by K.Arayama, translated by mami@webmaster)
from Japanese "Bass Magazine" April 2004
Supporting the band's base, he skillfully handles tasteful melody
John Deacon is a very profound bassist. His bass sound is too rich to express in a word: so delicate, melancholic somehow, sometimes rhythmical and dynamic. Supporting the band's base, he skillfully handles tasteful melody. In Queen music where the essence of various genres (rock, pops, funk, opera, chanson etc.) is blended, his bass can be "singing" exactly. Especially, the superior feature of his play is to counteract excessive heaviness by his soft sound. Sometimes stays in a pretty high tone, but all this is for vocal melody. While Roger Taylor (d) often beats quavers simply (Mr Eight Beat Drummer, indeed), John set an approach to them by semiquavers. In this way, we can say that John takes charge of the plus alpha of their groovy sounds.
Although "Finger-picking with precision" is a common image of his play, sometimes he uses a pick or shows mute play and also chopper(thumb-picking). His main picking style is to fix the thumb of the right hand on the pickup. When storing up or punching tightly, he also picks with the forefinger and the middle finger at the same time. By taking up the contact surface fully between string and finger and cutting overtone of high range, he seems to emphasize low mid range.
Today we come across Queen music in various scenes. Every time we hear them, we cannot be deeply impressed by John's COOL phrase and melody. It is not difficult to hear his bass line on albums of later years because it was recorded louder than before, but it IS a bit difficult to copy his nuance. Has various sides as a bassist and an artist. Talented and accomplished. Such natures make John Deacon attractive.