I Guess I Can File "P Bass with Flats"......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimFog, Jan 31, 2014.


  1. JimFog

    JimFog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    ....in the same file as "Short Scale Basses" and, as a guitarist, "Les Paul and Marshall".

    All set-ups I LOVE the sound of when someone else is playing them....and THINK I want for myself....but ultimately can't hang with. Even after a few years of gigging and really trying to assimilate various P basses with flats, the second I pick up most any decent Jazz bass, I'm home.

    Sometimes you need to stop over-thinking, and stick with what simply works for you.
  2. danomite64

    danomite64 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    I hear you, man. I started out on a Hondo P-bass 30 years ago, then got a nicer Hondo, then a Fender P, but never liked my tone. Meanwhile, everybody else who played a Precision sounded fine. I finally got a Jazz, and several other basses I had no problem getting great tones out of, but every now and then, I'd get another P in hopes of making it work. About 2 years ago I bought what I thought was an old ESP Precision, but it was a parts bass with an ESP neck. I almost sent it back, just because it wasn't what it was advertised to be, but the damn bass played like butter and sounded perfect. So I got an MIJ Fender body for it, rewired the thing with CTS pots and a Sprauge cap, and it's awesome. The neck is a Jazz, though; I think that makes a big difference in how I play it.
  3. Rusty G String

    Rusty G String

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    I've worked my way through a bunch of basses this past year only to settle on a jazz bass. I recently got a p bass because i love the tone when i hear it and like the simple setup of one volume and one tone. I sold it yesterday. Still hate the neck and sound doesn't come close to My jazz bass.
  4. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    I hear ya.

    I have used halfrounds and groundwounds, but anything closer to flats just sounds too "choked" to me, especially n the upper registers.

    I'm sure a P-Bass with flats sounds phenomenal in the right hands and is PERFECT for some musical situations,.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been in any of those musical situations yet.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Fender Precisions were available with a Jazz-width neck, I have one. I believe it was the "A" neck option.
  7. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Yep, I've tried really hard to enjoy playing a P-Bass with flats, and I dig it when I hear others with that combo, but I've given up. The flats are now on a Squier VM fretless and the P Bass is in the wardrobe. I've accepted that my 'thing' is P/J, J/J, or soapbars - a single P pup just isn't responsive to my style of playing.
  8. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Have you tried a P bass with rounds per chance? I know,people rave about P basses with flats, but I just cannot hang with them. I don't like the tone or the feel.

    I have a P with a 1.5" nut and I have circle K nickel plated stainless on it and I love it. Of course, I'm not much of a Jazz guy myself.
  9. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    :bag:Totally opposite experience here. Once I got a P w/flats going, it was instantly 'it' for me. My active PJ5 is my main player, and nothing sounds as right to me as that bass (and I've used it in everything from Rock to Jazz, finger style and with a pick). For whatever reason, Ive never made my peace with Jazz basses and they seemed to rotate outta here enough to where I just stopped trying.

    But as long as you find what you like, that's all that matters!


    (and I'm with you on short scales…):bag:
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Love flats when recording. Not so much live.
  11. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    40-year P Bass player here. I try flats every 10 years, always take them off for my usual rounds (first Roto RS 66, then GHS boomers, now DR Sunbeams) after about 2 days. The end.
  12. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    ^^^this^^^

    Except I reach for Circle K's now.
  13. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    But I agree totally with this ^^^^^^^
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    west coast
    It took me 25+ years of playing to get around to liking the P with flats. IME flats take at least as long to break-in as rounds take to wear-out.
  15. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    P with flats is also my home base. I realize it doesn't quite work as a one size fits all, and lately the music I write and make calls for a different tone. For example, I feel most OD pedals sound like poo on flats. For playing out or just grabbing a bass for a jam, the P is still number one though, but as with everything else it has its limitations, but on the other hand does what few other basses can.
  16. Major Softie

    Major Softie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    Nothing against P's with flats, but I couldn't get it to sound as good (to me) as P with tapes.
  17. sharkbait130

    sharkbait130

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    hagerstown md
    It's all preference. I play mostly classic rock , oldies , southern rock and a little country.For what I'm doing , a P with flats works great. On stage , since I can't give total attention to my playing I find the wider neck of the P is a little more forgiving for my mediocre skills. I also own an Ibby bass with flats on it too which has a neck that's pretty much the same dimentions as a Jazz and I really like playing that one too.While I do like the sound of flats for the work I do , my main reason for using them is because I prefer the feel of them.I just find them a bit easier on the fingers.The P sounds just a wee bit better IMO so it gets all the stage time but I would have no problems playing the Ibby on stage either. Guess that leaves me in the carrots category on this one.
    A standard question at rehearsals is "what do you want to play next?" My standard answer is "I wanna play bass.":bassist:
  18. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada

    I have been intrigued by taped and coated strings, but have yet to try them.
  19. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Location:
    west suburban boston
    Im close- 5 string.J with P/J config and Pyramid gold flatwound custom gauge. The B didnt work so I went with the "bridge cable" from the Labella Jamerson set- the leader is so thick it wouldnt fit in the machine but its a thumpin good time B string!
  20. SeanNeedham

    SeanNeedham

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    I love the sound of the Precision with flats, I really like the Precision in terms of overall simplicity...

    One pup, one volume, one tone and that's enough for 99% of stuff and will keep most a finicky sound tech happy; but for some reason I just don't get along with the Precision at all. String spacing isn't a problem, neck size isn't a problem, and it's something I've never been able to get my head around fully. I think it's down to the aesthetics of it, because I don't get the same feeling when I've tried the ones based off the 51 style P (either with single coil or the splits) or modified Jazz (either neck/pup or both).

    And for this unknown reason all the Precision bass I've owned have been sold on, but I always end up wanting (sometimes needing) a P because of the flexibility on such a simple platform.
  21. Osprey

    Osprey

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    Lots of folk saying they like a P Bass with flats when someone else plays it but not when they play it themselves. Isn't that because when practising at home there's more varety to hear with rounds, or with a J-style instrument, but playing in a band the P just fits into the sonic space between drums and guitar?

Share This Page