Compare and contrast...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I've led a sheltered life.

    My first time around playing (late '70s-early '80s) was with two basses belonging to the father of a friend - a Guild Starfire and a Ric. I did come close to buying an original Steinie boat oar - close enough that the store sent it home with me for a two week extensive test drive - but didn't do it because of a lack of $$$ at the time.

    I've been playing (?) again for about a year and a half, and have accumulated a DeArmond Starfire and a pair of MusicYo Steinies (one soon to be fretless).

    Could y'all give me a rundown of how the sound and "playing experience" of a Jazz compares with that of a Precision, using well known recordings to illustrate? I've handled a Fretless MIM Jazz for a few minutes (unplugged), but that's about it for my Fender experience.

  2. Hey Heavyduty, your story isn't so different from mine. I've been playing for about 30 years, but with interruptions, it's more like 15 if you eliminate "time off." It's good that you've come back. See, as we get older, we see more clearly, and , we weed out those things that don't really matter.

    As far as the Jazz/Precision thing goes, there's a lot of threads you can search through (I'm required to say that by the management) but, I'll give a quick run down.

    A Precision has a more percussive sound than a Jazz, has a wider neck(at the nut) and is pretty much the standard bass sound. For recordings, the P-bass was on most of The Beach Boys records, and alot of Motown.

    A Jazz has a more focused sound than a P-bass, has a narrower neck, and was palyed on a lot of Country & Western music and a lot of 70s rock.
    Now, so were P-basses; it can be hard to differentiate their sounds on any particular record, unless it was mixed by a guy that paid attention to the bass track. Whichever one you buy, try to buy the other within a couple of years. This way you have them both. Hey, which is *BETTER*, blonde or brunette?

    Welcome back to playing,
    Mike J.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Mike -

    Thanks for the reply.

    I tried an archive search first (I spend a lot of time in the archives, actually), but couldn't find much on point. Most past posts assumed basic familiarity with both basses.

    Hmmmm. I tend to like a percussive "thump" more than the ringing bass that's more common today. (Besides, my Steinies sustain for days, so I have that sound covered already.) I think I'll check out the various permutations of the P-bass and go from there.