James Jamerson: was it a Fender P or J?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimS, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. I'm really not sure. I think it was a P but does anybody know for sure? Thanks.:confused:

    (Mr. Moderator, I put this here because I'm asking more about the bass and less about the player.) JT, did he mod his basses with the first graphite neck/:p

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    James Jamerson primarly used a Fender P but on occasion he would use his double bass.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    ....and a not-so-nice one at that. Word is - he never wiped it down, never adjusted the truss rod, the neck was warped, and the strings dated back to the Egyptian pharaohs, according to sources.

    Since he also played upright acoustic, the supposition is that the high action of his Precis, (that he carved "Funk Machine" into the heel), never bothered him because he was used to upright.

    To my knowledge, th Funk Machine has never been found. "Bass Player" magazine even offered a decent reward for it years ago.
  4. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    If I'm not mistaken, he also had the frets removed from his Precision-Funk Machine at one point. Can a Jamerson fan confirm? In fact, I think that Fender produced a Jamerson "Funk Machine" replica bass (similar to what they did with the Jaco bass) several years ago...mid-'90's I think.
  5. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    That's right. In fact, the Bass Gallery in London has numbers 001 and 009 on their website. The site hasn't been updated for a long time - I imagine they've been sold by now.

  6. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    no doubt about it... It was a sunburst P bass with a rosewood fretboard, dead flat wound strings, and high action.

    If you're even remotely interested in the incredible contribution that this bass genius made to our field, you have to buy the book and double CD set titled "Standing in the Shadows of Motown". The book is a great biography and contains transcriptions for those that can read (I can't). The CD contains a vast array of past and current great bassists who analyze and demo signature Jamerson basslines from specific songs. They include, just to name a few... Will Lee, Marcus Miller, James Pattituci, Jack Bruce, Pino Pallidino, Sir Paul, John Entwhistle, Bob Babbit, David Hungate, etc.

    About $25 at Amazon.com
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" is a must-have for any Jamerson fan... maybe even for any bassist. Very sad story of the man, but his music is timeless.
  8. supergreg


    Jan 20, 2002
    Im not sure it it was Jamerson or Larry Graham who played with their action so high no one else could even play it.
  9. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Another great source for info and inspiration would be the Motown box set. Granted, there will be a lot of Carol Kaye on there (in addition to a few other bassists-not necessarily a BAD thing), but the majority of the compilation will be filled with Jammerson classics.