Fender P Bass-best selling electric bass of all time?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bstark, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. bstark


    Sep 8, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Hi Everybody,

    I have long held the belief that the Fender Precision Bass is the top selling electric bass guitar of all time.

    Do any of you know if there are any real facts available to support or refute my claim?


  2. Joshuadriller

    Joshuadriller Guest

    Apr 30, 2011
    Kansas City
    Just go watch people play, almost every band I have ever seen use a p bass. Other than that I don't think there is any written proof
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Inactive

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I use one...

    The P bass, as American as apple pie and the burger of the bass world.
  4. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
  5. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    It is in my house, if anything can be extrapolated from that.
  6. It's hard to know what a Fender Precision is anymore. There's passive, active, single coil, humbucker, single pickup, double pickup,...it never ends. Even the kinds of pickups in the Fendre P are really different, and that is just the standard issue stuff from Fender.

    It's interesting that it is supposedly the best designed bass in the history of music, yet probably more so than any other design, it has been modded and changed so much that saying Fender P really doesn't mean anything anymore.

    I always wondered, if the original was so great, why did Fender and everyone else change almost everything on it? Like, if it rules the roost, why didn't they just at some point leave it alone?

    I would guess that probably more basses called Fender Precision have been sold than any other. But these basses, all and all, are really different, so...

  7. msaone

    msaone Guest

    May 13, 2012
    That's kind of a loaded question woukdnt you say?
    No manufacturer leaves perfect alone ever!
  8. awesomesawyer


    Aug 27, 2012
    what about the jazz bass? i would assume that they have similar amounts sold.
  9. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Yeah, but that's heavily weighted by what kind of band you like to go see, what kind of music, and how old you are.

    There sure are a _ton_ of P basses out there; but these days they're concentrated in the current rock-derived, rawer bands, and also in oldies/retro rock.

    If you like music that (for lack of better way to describe it) doesn't center around distorted or overdriven guitars -- dance/pop/synth styles, jazz, r&b, country, gospel, show/broadway, "diva" vocalists, older solo acts, latin, other ethnic, etc, etc. then you'll see a lot less P basses.
  10. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Ummmmm, what?! That's ridunkulous! I know that when I choose a bass, it's based upon the feel, the look, and the sounds I can coax out of it - not the genre of music, and not the kind of effects that a guitarist uses.

    Stop generalizing.
  11. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Mar 8, 2009
    To the OP's question, it's gotta be the P or the J. Anybody know whether Fender has stated which one is its best seller?
  12. michaelstrand

    michaelstrand Guest

    Sep 16, 2012
    while the jazz bass is also extremely popular, it does not match the precision in overall sales.
  13. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Mar 8, 2009
    Just checked, and Musician's Friend calls the Jazz Bass Fender 's best selling bass, FWIW.
  14. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Inactive

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Are you sure its not THEIR best selling Fender bass?
    jd56hawk likes this.
  15. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    In my informal observations, there are more Jazz basses than Precisions. I have one if each, so I cancel myself out of the debate. :)
  16. heckraiser


    Aug 28, 2009
    Mine are all pj combos except for one. I guess I cancel out too.
  17. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Yikes! Is that an order??

    What I wrote was a generalization, and in my opinion a perfectly useful one.

    How you, deeptubes, personally choose basses notwithstanding:
    On average, if you look at the styles I listed that tend not to have so much overdriven or distorted guitars, I think you'll see a lot less P basses.

    That's not some kind of value judgement, it's an observation.
  18. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Mar 8, 2009
    "It has been and still is Fender's best-selling bass," according to MF 's Hands-On Review of the AmStd Jazz. Don't know if the writer's info is accurate.
  19. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I'd bet so.

    If for no other reason, the Precision was out a few years earlier.

    At least, the Precision's "Sphere of Influence" is enormous, with copies, clones and offshoots all over the planet.
  20. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Mar 8, 2009
    Yeah, but nobody played electric bass in the early years of the P Bass. The guitar sales boom didn't start until the '60s.
    The J is also no stranger to copies, clones and offshoots.