Longest marathon playing bass guitar
Mark Edwards
60:00 hour(s):minute(s):second(s)
United Kingdom (Bideford)
Age Restriction: Applications for this record title will only be accepted if the applicant is 16 years of age or over.

The longest marathon playing bass guitar is 60 hours, achieved by Mark Edwards (UK), in Bideford, Devon, UK, from 29 to 31 August 2021.

Mark broke his own record of 41 hr 41 min, which he set in April 2018. He says he always knew he could go further than before and could not resist trying again. Mark raises money each year for the Children’s Hospice and used the marathon attempt to do so, generating over £4,300 for the cause. He had originally planned to do the attempt in 2020 but it was cancelled due to Covid-19, and then a further three times after that due to ongoing social-distancing measures.

In preparation for the attempt, Mark had to learn about a third of the songs he played. He already knew how to play the remaining tracks. In curating the setlist he made sure to include songs he had not played on his previous attempt and was pleased to have the opportunity to perform songs he might not otherwise be able to in bands he plays with.

He also planned out his rest-breaks using the experiences of his previous attempt. On the day he was able to follow this schedule to a tee, while also making sure to eat regularly. Meals included sandwiches, nuts, dried fruit, homemade sausage rolls, and one portion of fish and chips. He credits his partner Kelly for helping with the logistics on the day.

The biggest challenge during the attempt was the inevitable blisters from playing for so long. Mark does not use a plectrum, instead preferring to use his fingers. However despite taping them up before playing his fingers were still cut up and it became increasingly painful to play each note. He was able to play guitar again after around three weeks after the attempt finished.

Mark has been a bass player for 35 years and has played in several bands over the years. His favourite bass player of all time is Phil Lynott – frontman of Thin Lizzy – who he calls a “quality bassist but also a fantastic singer/songwriter with amazing charisma.” Mark also cites Bernard Edwards of Chic as one of his favourite bassists, as well as Van Morrison and Paul Weller as his favourite artists.

As for his favourite bassline of all time, that goes to ‘New Year’s Day’ by U2. “I just love the power of the line and how it leads the song during the verse.” The song features as one of the 836 songs performed (some repeated multiple times) during the attempt.

On the prospect of adding to his Guinness World Records title, Mark said: “Achieving another world record would mean the world to me. I was helped by so many good people to finish the 60 hours for a wonderful cause, and the support and encouragement that I received gave me the strength to reach the finish line.”