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1978 Fender P bass weight

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smythe5, May 13, 2010.

  1. smythe5


    May 11, 2010
    I recently bought a fender P bass. It's a real beauty, 1978, craftsmanship is pretty sweet, tone is ridiculous... It's the first professional bass I've ever bought, but one thing that kind of slipped by is the heavy weight. I mostly played it in the store sitting, but I have been practicing my set for my rock band standing and have been realizing it's kind of a beast! My shoulder starts getting sore within about 20 minutes of playing standing up... any suggestions? Some comfy strap? I'm hoping I can find a way to hold on to this baby without selling it for a lighter axe. :rollno:
  2. Get yourself a WIDE, padded, comfy strap. My 79 weighs 11 pounds, and I assume yours is about the same weight. Used to have a thin, crappy guitar strap and it killed my shoulder. Bought a nice, wide strap and now I can play for hours. :)
  3. smythe5


    May 11, 2010
    yep, i will do . thanks...
  4. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    You could route out the back, and fill it with helium. Or, you could get a wide, comfy strap.
  5. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    My '79 Jazz is 12 pounds.

    I went to a tailor a few years ago to get a suit for a funeral. He couldn't find a jacket that fit just right, he was very frustrated.

    He made me walk a few paces away and looked at my shoulders. He realized that my left shoulder is an inch or so lower than my right.


    But I love it. To be honest... once you get used to the weight, you'll have a hard time switching back to a lighter bass. I'm used to leaning back and using the bass as a counterweight. Like I'm sailing and leaning off the side of the boat.

    My '71 P-Bass is super light... like 8 pounds, and it sounds fantastic, but I can't play it too much because it feels like a tinkertoy. It flies around on my body like a plastic bag in the wind.

    When you play a heavy bass you know it will be right there where you left it.
  6. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I am fairly lucky in that I have a 75 P that weighs about 10ish lbs and a 77 J that weighs in at about 9.5 lbs. Most Ps and Js of that era are 11 - 13ish.... :eek::bawl:
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    My '73 ash P weighed 13 pounds. I hated that pig. It didn't sound very good (all attack & sustain, no bloom or warmth) and the weight on the shoulder caused some technique issues which I didn't realize until I got a lighter bass. The posture I developed from playing it on 4-5 hour gigs every week (and a year of playing 5 hour gigs 5 nights a week) caused some real neck and shoulder issues.

    If you really like the bass (and not just the idea if it being a '70s Fender), then get a Comfort Strapp, that'll help a lot. Also pay attention to your posture and maybe have a chiropractor check your spine after you've used it for a while. Don't let the bass screw up your body.

  8. I've got a '78 jazz that is the same way. Wide strap helps, so does occasionally sitting down and taking breaks during long practices. Tone is to die for though.
  9. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Totally correct. This can be an issue with some of the heavier basses. (Denser bodies... Less sonorous.) Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've managed to make my '79 Jazz work somehow, but it definitely lacks warmth. Has more of a "piano" tone.
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yep, it's very subjective. The guy who bought my '73 P when I bought the first Fender Vintage Series '62 P that came into our store loved all that clank & twang like The Clash. Me, I was more interested in the warmth and blossom of Jamerson et. al.

  11. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    My 78 weighs 11lbs. I rarely play it. Just on occasion, and after about 20 minutes, I play something else.

    God Bless, Ray

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