Can I just take my J bass to a gig and leave the P behind

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BasEd, Feb 28, 2024.

  1. BasEd


    Jun 27, 2017
    Last weekend I took my J and P basses to a gig as per usual. I did the sound check on the J and liked to sound of the bridge pickup so decided to use it for the whole gig. Usually I use the P for the first set (Soul) and J for the second (Funk with some slap). I used the neck pickup full (no bridge pickup) with the tone at 50% for the first set and all the songs in the second that didn't have slap in them. For the slap songs I used both pickups full. Using the neck pickup helped to cut through (more mids). Using both pickups full caused the volume to drop a bit because of the scooped mid effect but this was fine for slap which tends to be louder with more attack.

    So, this lead me to thinking I might only need to take the J in future as it doubles up as a P (I would always take two basses anyway in case one fails). I recorded the two basses on my DAW. Can you tell the difference? First 2 bars are bass 1, next 2 bars are bass 2. Then it repeats with drums.

    Attached Files:

  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    This isn't the studio. Your best bet is to take one bass, get a tone that sits well in the mix, and leave it there.
  3. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    You have my permission to do whatever you want unless it breaks local, state, federal, or international laws.
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    My Jazzes and I say its absolutely okay!
    aus_bass, red_rhino, Pilgrim and 13 others like this.
  5. Matt-J2


    Apr 3, 2022
    Appleton, WI

    "The P Bass Is All" crowd will send assassins to your home if you don't carry that P with you at all times, play only it for gigs, and use the finest polishing fluids and unguents upon its sacred form.
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    For many things, the two can be interchangeable IME.
    If I could only bring one, it would probably be the J (assuming it has a worthy neck pickup).
    I like to bring both when space permits just to look cool - and play with more of my toys - and have critical redundancy.
    Wisebass, Max7, SoCal80s and 3 others like this.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    You have never met a bass player or any other musician or producer who can identify a P or a J in a band mix with perfect accuracy. I know I can’t. And I know you can’t either. Play what makes the most sense to you and set your rig accordingly.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    You won't go wrong with either. I wouldn't carry a backup unless I'm playing at Madison Square Garden. A spare set of strings and a wire cutter is all I need for most small club gigs, but that's just me.
  9. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    In the world I live in, a J bass with the front pickup soloed is a completely acceptable proxy for a P bass on a gig. Sonically at least.
  10. Ggaa

    Ggaa Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2018
    murphy, DJ Bebop and BasEd like this.
  11. jimmydean


    Mar 14, 2009
    I am like you , I will play a different bass for the first two sets and then decide which one will work better for the last set . I usually only take one bass on gigs , but I just bought three since January and I need to play them live and not sit in the house .
    Doc Cassidy and BasEd like this.
  12. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    The neck pickup of a Jazz bass, even my Mike Lull Jazz-style bass just doesn’t do a decent enough Precision tone for me.

    My two basses I take are that Lull Jazz and a Stingray Special. I just sold a drop-dead gorgeous Lull Precision-style bass because I just didn’t use it much. But if an employment opportunity came up that was very lucrative and required a Precision bass, I’d run right out and get one, no question.
  13. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    One bass. I am the opposite. I have a Ray4 I bought for a rough joint. Decided to bring my jazz, played 1 set with jazz, had to swap back to ray4. Not a big enough sound. If you run the jazz thru a pedal you can get good sounds. If you use a pedal, that defeats the purpose of playing a jazz.
    Doc Cassidy and BasEd like this.
  14. BGroovy

    BGroovy Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Audience will never hear the difference you hear at home tweaking these tones. For the slap sections the J is probably better suited. Keep it simple and play the J, dial in a tone that sits well in the mix.

    Less fiddling live is always better.

    I can get away with one bass for a vast variety. I only bring a second when we have a sit in singer that does some lounge style where I really want more of an upright vibe. So I bring my short scale with flats. I don’t need to, but I like the vibe and there are sections where it’s only the singer and bass and it feels much better there. Much more drastic difference than a P and a J
  15. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    Can’t say my gigs are lucrative, but I keep hanging onto my Fender p for when I may need it. Considered selling it but as soon as I sell it I will want another. Already happened with 2 previous p basses.
  16. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Are you happy with the Jazz? Is the band? All you need to know! :)
  17. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I’ve never regretted not having a P on a gig and I’ve never regretted bringing my J. It’s not worth overthinking - play what you feel like playing.
  18. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Istanbul...not Constantinople Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    We can forgive you for this...but if you try to bring an active bass to one of those gigs, it's Skid Row for you, Pal!! :rage:
  19. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I take a PJ5 and a J5 to every gig.

    I try both during the sound check and play the one that sounds the best in that room.
  20. jdjk7

    jdjk7 Supporting Member

    May 12, 2016
    Indiana, USA
    I would generally not leave it there and would instead take the bass with me when I return home.