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Do I need a P Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by aparker82, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    I'm almost afraid to ask this question because of the Fury of both sides this might release.

    My current setup is a Ray35 with an Ampeg ba-115

    I enjoy playing Jazz, Contemporary and Rock, I'm hoping to be playing again here soon in our church as we have just gotten a new worship leader and I'm wondering if my Ray35 will fit well, in previous churches we only played contemporary and I had a P bass which sat well in the mix. I recently sold my 4 string because I've switched to 5 string(The Ray35) and am not going back to 4 string. This current church plays more hymns with a slight amount of contemporary and I'm wondering if a 5 string P bass with Flats is going to be more appropriate than my 5 string Ray35 with rounds.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions :)
  2. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    You don't need a P Bass, your Ray should do just fine with some highs rolled off and the bass frequencies more prominent.

    However, it's nice to own a P Bass if you want that kind of sound. P Basses sound great in most situations (if not all). Still, you don't NEED one.
  3. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member


    I love P-basses and have several but when I play in the church band I use my SR5. And as the above post explains, the EQ on the SR5 works really well, put it in single coil mode and boost the bass a wee bit and you'll get a nice warm Fender-ish tone.


    Here's a pic:

  4. stanley00


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    You don't need a P bass to play in church, your Ray35 will work just fine for hymns. I've used a lot of different basses at church, no one other than you will notice any difference in sound from one to the other.
  5. ultra60

    ultra60 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Herndon/Chantilly Va.
    If you are happy with what you have then don't change. If you are curious, then you have to experiment. Then, you'll know if it works. Right now, I'm doing guitar/bass/drums, and vocalist... late 70's, early 80's hard rock. Tried the P, a Jazz, and my Ric. The P is the best choice for me in this situation.
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I don't think anyone NEEDS a P-Bass, but if you're playing a lot of different artist's music, you'll probably have to be able to get "in the neighborhood" of that kind of sound. It's everywhere.
  7. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Your question is like asking "do I need to wear a tie to work?"

    The answer of course depends on your boss.

    So my advice is bring the Ray next time, play your heart out, and then ask they bandleader, "hey, I thought we sounded great today, what did you think?" That is his/her opportunity to tell you, "actually, I need you to bring a P bass next time."
  8. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Funny thing is I have a Squier P5 in Candy Apple Red I'm looking to unload, so if you DO decide to go that route, let me know!
  9. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    Yes you need a P AND a Jazz...lol
  10. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    Reason I had this question is cause at a former church I played at another bassist had a Fender Jazz V Custom and it sounded horrible or just didnt' cut through the mix at all and my cheap MIM P bass did, I'm just wanting to make sure I have the right tool for the job per se.

    So rolling off the highs and throwing it in single coil mode?

    What about boosting the mids and bass, rolling back the highs and using series mode?

    One thing I would really like is finding a tutorial that gives examples of how powerful the EQ is for the right sound for different situations.
  11. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013

    In your situation, I highly doubt that you need a p-bass. But your job is to make someone happy, and if you need a P to make him happy, you need to get a P.
  12. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yes go get one now.
  13. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Maybe it was the player and not the bass?

    Give yourself a little credit. :)
  14. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    My default answer to this question is "Yes."
  15. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
  16. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Seriously, nobody went for it yet?

    Ok, I'll do it......

    Slap a tort guard on your ray and you'll be fine ;)
  17. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    So, what you're saying is


    I'm set for any situation :p

  18. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    As much as I would love to do that, I've only been playing for about 3 years compared to the other guy who had been playing for many many many years :)
  19. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Love the tort on white!
  20. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    You never really NEED any particular piece of equipment... I think you should focus on deciding if you WANT a P bass... you can't buy a new bass everytime your gig changes (well... you can if you have the $$ and if you do then good on ya). Just go an play a bunch of instruments and decide what bass works for you and your overall playing style. Sorry to say it, but the average ear would not likely discern between different bass designs in a mix so really the only ears you need to please tonewise are your own because you will notice it more than anyone. All that being said, if I were to recommend a bass to you it would be a G&L USA L-2500... you'd pay about the same (depending on what options you select) as you would for the Fender American Std 5 P but you would get the versatility of a P, J, and MM rolled into one with some other variations in between. Also you would be getting a FAR superior build quality, more color options, and more options with regard to neck dimensions. A more budget-concious recommendation would be the Reverend Mercalli 5... a lot of the same versatility as the aforementioned G&L but less options.