1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How do YOU define "Jazz Bass"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 2cooltoolz, Aug 18, 2012.

How do you define "Jazz Bass"?

Poll closed Sep 17, 2012.
  1. “Made By Fender”?

  2. Reduced body size and shape?

  3. The slimmer neck?

  4. Control plate?

  5. Two single coil pickups?

  6. The lack of a “split-P” pickup?

  7. "I know one when I see it.”

  8. Other.........tell us what!

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I was checking out the post,“Coolest jazz basses ever?”
    and started wondering. How do YOU define a Jazz Bass?
    Apparently “Made By Fender” is not a requirement. Is it the reduced body size? The offset body? The slimmer neck? Control plate? Two single coil pickups? Or simply the lack of a “split-P” pickup?
    Can you have a single pickup Jazz? How about two humbuckers (Roscoe Beck model)? Is the Stingray a Jazz Bass? How about the MM Sterling, which MM advertises as designed for JB players?

    Or is it just, “I know one when I see it.”

    Okay...THIS is a Jazz Bass:
    All beautiful! All Jazz Basses....:D
  2. offset body
    2 pickups
    skinny neck
    the metal controlplate
    all-tuners-in-line headstock
  3. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    I think all it really has to have is the 2 jazz pickups and a thin neck. I like the look of the offset body, but it doesnt necessarily have to have it.
  4. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass Electronics
    1.5 nut (or close) on a 4 along with the 2 J style pickups in that same basic 'positioning'.
  5. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    Yep, forgot the headstock. Sheesh...:crying:
  6. Two jazz pickups and an offset body.
  7. Gotta have the 1.5" nut width neck, and the offset body. Anything else is fair game. Some might say that a Jazz has to have a pickguard and/or control plate, but this isn't necessarily the defining "Jazz Bass" feature.

  8. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    i just dont get this... you wouldnt call a horse a horse if it looked like a cat..? a jazz basses shape is so iconic... its possibly the most important thing about it... that and the single coil jazz pickups.... its baffling to me why anyone would think otherwise..??

    any other jazz bass is a copy of a Fender Jazz bass.... if it doesnt look or sound like one its NOT a jazz bass... there is a very good reason why Fender have the rights to the name... there is no blurring of lines of what a jazz bass is...
  9. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    This is correct. If its not a Fender Jazz Bass, its a copy. Some copies are clearly outstanding but call it what it is. A true jazz bass is a particular design owned and made by Fender.
  10. Who makes the last one? It says T. Anderson but I can't find them online..
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
  12. Skinny neck and 2 pickups; the rest is cosmetics. A hot babe is still a hot babe, whether she wears a skirt, shorts, or tight jeans.
  13. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think the pickups, and their placement, are the key to what makes a jazz bass sound like a jazz bass.
  14. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Offset body
    Two "single-row" pickups (single coil or split, doesn't matter)
    Knobs in line
    Slim neck
    Fender or Fender-style
  15. combo of body and pick ups.
  16. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    "Jazz Bass" is a registered trademark of the Fender Music Co. - you'll have to check with the PTC lawyers...
    Doug Parent likes this.
  17. DenverKen

    DenverKen Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2001
    Mile High City
    To me, a Jazz bass is a Fender-made Jazz bass. Anything else is a Jazz-style bass.

    I have a Sadowsky R5-24 which is very loosely based on a Fender Jazz Bass, in that is has an offset waist and two pickups, but it has two humbuckers with the neck one being closer to the bridge one than you'd see in a Fender Jazz. Personally I really like that sound.

    Enjoying the photos, people! Some of you have amazing basses and a few homemade ones that just RAWK!
  18. In my mind? Body (and brand name) only.

    Pickups don't matter. Fender makes Jazz basses with P/J (Aerodyne) and P/P (Blacktop) and H/H (Modern Player) configurations, and calls them Jazz basses.

    Fender also makes a Jaguar which is basically an active Jazz in everything but body shape, but it's a Jaguar, not a Jazz.

    Also, if it doesn't say "Fender" or "Squier" on it, then it's a Jazz copy, not a Jazz, even if it's nicer.

    That's just how I look at it. Your differ may mileage.
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I refuse to vote in any poll that doesn't have carrots as an option.


    THIS is my personal definition of a Jazz Bass.

    However, I ACCEPT the definitions on the thread in question, that an offset body, slim neck, and dual single coil pickups is a Jazz.

    And really, whatever bass you have, if you WANT to call it a Jazz, you may. I would be a fool to try and stop you.
  20. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA

Share This Page