P players, do you ever feel limited by one pup?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KayXero, Dec 24, 2013.


  1. KayXero

    KayXero

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Just a friendly discussion for veteran P bass players.

    My first bass was the Squier MB 4. I bought it back then because I liked the look of the bass (i was a teenage punk kid at the time) and needed something affordable. As I got older and became more familiar with basses and guitars, I found that I loved the shape of P basses and strats the most.

    But I could never enjoy a regular P bass. I always felt as if I was limited tonally and that a regular P lacked versatility. I really needed a second pickup in any bass id used in order to get more variety. Never mind that I feel the bass looks naked with only 1 pickup.

    So to the P bass players, do you ever feel limited by 1 pickup despite loving your P tone?
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Location:
    Scotia NY
    No, because between technique and that one tone knob I feel I can get as great a range of tones out of it as any bass.
  3. darrenmt

    darrenmt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    Land of Oz
    Never. It is that single PU in that sweetspot that gives that lovely tone. The tone knob does it's job well at giving me what i need and lastly, i love that i can vary the feel and tone of what i play just by adjusting right hand position.
  4. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've been happily playing the same P-bass since '73. After I replaced the pickups with Quarter Pounders and pulled the frets, I never looked back.

    The basses I had before I bought the P-bass had two pickups, but I never heard "my sound" until I got my P-bass.

    I have several other basses, but the ones I play the most are my double bass and P-bass.
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  6. BassDaddy77

    BassDaddy77

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Well, I don't consider myself a veteran player by any means but....I feel like the P bass is unique in that it's inherently sensitive to hand/picking placement. You can get such a variety of tonal changes with even the slightest position change. YMMV, but that's been my experience with P basses.
  7. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    I have never felt limited by a Precision. As others have already said, between the tone control and varying your technique there are many tones to be had from this bass. Then there are the other variables to throw in, such as strings and amps, that there is always something more to discover or pull out of a Precision. It is much more than a "one trick pony".
  8. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    P Basses are limited when compared to a two pickup bass, but they do their thing well.
  9. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out.... Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    pretty much this. I have used my P bass for pretty much every genre except electronica/techno etc (only cause I have never been asked to...) and no one said a (bad) thing....well, about the tone at least. Me playing certain genres is another story :eek: :D
  10. stratovani

    stratovani

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Spencer, MA, USA
    ^^^^ What all these guys said. Nothing sits in the mix so beautifully as a P-Bass. Who needs two pickups?
  11. KayXero

    KayXero

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Good stuff so far guys.

    I guess Im just an options kind of guy. I feel like I get a little of both world with a PJ bass. What would be really nice was if I could afford such a bass with a full PJJ configuration.
  12. Crabby

    Crabby

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    I generally prefer one pickup basses. Leo nailed it with the P-bass but then really brought it home with the Stingray!
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    I get 'limited' by the lack of practice that others in the band have failed to do.

    I am limited 'cause the drummer is not into playing the songs, nor does he study them as I do.

    The other limits I encounter musically are largely because I lack imagination to feel them. Or, my body wears out before my mind is ready to.

    The instrument isn't half as limiting as my humanness is.

    I never blame the bass. I see the limits in the mirror.
  14. deathsdj

    deathsdj

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    To me a single P pickup is the very best bass sound you can get.
  15. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    22 ft below sea level
    It's just a matter of where and how you strum or pick a P bass. Close to the bridge or close to the neck, tonewise it's a broad and rich spectrum.
  16. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    Not limiting at all.
  17. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Disclosures:
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    No. As others have noted, hand placement/picking technique variations give me about everything I need tonally.

    And, maybe it's just me, but I hear two-pickup basses as kind of "blurry"... like two people talking in unison, with some frequencies sorta cancelling each other a bit and some being over-emphasized. It just sounds less "clear" to my ears than one single pickup.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Not for a second, Although I do play my P less these days as I prefer to pluck closer to the bridge than the P allows. I might add a thumbrest.
  19. jake3

    jake3 Guest

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    These days I only play P's (a Lak 35" P5, a '78 P fretless and an AVRI '62 P). I'm considering a Lull PJ5 but I'm not sure I need the extra pup. Between the tone knob and right hand technique (where you pluck the string, whether you use a pick or not), there is a lot of variation available.
  20. huckleberry1

    huckleberry1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Location:
    Mesquite, Texas
    Disclosures:
    student
    I've got flats on my p-5 and am in tonal bliss with this particular bass, little compression, reverb, and it croons just beautiful and sounds great naked too.
  21. GRAHAM JACOBS

    GRAHAM JACOBS

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Cape Town South Africa
    And of course, single p/u's don't only apply to P basses.
    Anthony Jackson certainly doesn't regard any of his Foderas limiting because of their single p/u's. In fact, just the opposite - and then they don't have volume or tone pots either!

    Ok, so that's an extreme example, but It all comes down to classic good design. That applies not only to P basses but Stingrays too.

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