What's the deal with all the P basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Swipter, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    I see everyone looking to buy or trade for a P bass. Love my Jazz bass, never played a P bass. What's the difference? Why the P over a Jazz?
  2. Opposite sound from a jazz. A jazz is a versatile, growly, beast that accentuates the upper mids. A P Bass, to me, is a thumpy, warm, boomy mother that accentuates the lower mids. One isn't better in my opinion, but having both is pretty essential.
  3. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    I wouldn't call them opposite sounds, just different. And having both is a luxury, not a necessity.

    (Sorry to be argumentative.)
  4. No worries, LOL. Your post may be a little more accurate anyway.
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Your tone descriptions are good, sir.

    Paradoxically, a P-bass often cuts through a mix better than a Jazz.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    It's THE Rock axe.
    A P-Bass & Ampeg 8x10 rules the rock world.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    P basses are awesome, that's why!

    So are J's, Rays, Rics, and pretty much everything else.
  9. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    That's because contrary to what conventional wisdom would say, lower mids cut better, because that range belongs exclusively to the bass. Upper mids and highs get eaten up by guitars and cymbals. Nothing wrong with having those frequencies, but they CANNOT cut. Can't slice through bread with bread, no matter how much bread you use. You just end up with a mangled mess, and everyone is sick of bread.
  10. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    +1!!! Play what you like.

    I like P-basses.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    The p-bass is sorta like a jazz except it sucks.

  12. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Come out of hiding and read my avatar.
  13. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    It works

    A True Plug and Play Machine

    I HATE it..Practicing it alone. BLOWS

    Tracking to Tape...Yeah..Okay - Perfection. That's why I have 2.

    I use my Jazz to Practice! Sounds pretty. Have 2 of those
  14. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    Thanks all. I am a,ways looking for another bass. I will have to play one. Sounds interesting.
  15. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    I do love the sound and looks of a p bass, but to me it comes down to the neck. I feel like I'm gonna snap a jazz neck. My first bass was a Spector, so I just got used to thick necks.
  16. Rudyboy98


    Jan 25, 2008
    South Bay, CA
    P basses are extremely versatile. Years ago when recording engineers were recording bass tracks..only a P-would do. Today, there are so many basses to choose from..it's ridiculous. Of course, any bass will fit the bill now. But for those who have played both a P- and a J -bass...the difference is varied all depending on your music style, amps, recording equipment, etc. Just consider the variety in sounds a good thing!
  17. P necks have nice fat necks compared to the thin necks found on J's. P's also have a very punch tone to them, they're just different basses. I'm keen on J's but having a P is on my to do list as well (with flats).
  18. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Jazz Bass = mid punch, growl, more harmonics and tonal variation.

    PBass = low end thump/thunder, more fundamentals and singular tonality.

    What each does is does well and for those of us who like Fender style basses we find a use for both. I tend to prefer the Jazz Bass more for blues and funk and the PBass more for rock and r&b stuff. It's nice to have a choice or so Leo Fender thought.
  19. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    this is a topic I'd hoped would be discussed here for quite some time.

    simple answer is this, it's a great sounding bass. I've got a ray, a jazz, and a streamer II. they aren't better sounding than my P, just different.
  20. wolfmancharlie


    Nov 28, 2009
    both basses have their places, however the p or the P/J have been my number ones.
  21. Bald Steve

    Bald Steve Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Fodera Basses, Aguilar Amplification
    Everyone else seems to have the tone piece covered, so I'll go ahead and be the vapid one. And I can't believe I'm going to say this, but P-basses are also really "in" amongst the touring scene around LA now. You show up at an audition without one (preferrably road-worn - either artificially or real miles), you're nuts.

    That said, having one is essential. I've never shown up on a session without a P-Bass strung with flats, a modern 5 (currently an AC LM5), a Jazz Bass, and a fretless. Probably 7/10 times the P takes are the ones that get used. I can't use the P live, though. Given my current schedule at 4-7 nights a week, 20 hours minimum live in high-energy band settings, that fat neck with medium flats just slaughters my wrists.