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Jazz Bass or P Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lttoler, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. lttoler


    Dec 14, 2005
    Hi, I am a guitar player and I have a background in bass but I am just clueless about the differences in basses. I play guitar in my band but I am looking to get a bass to help out in some studio work. I am particularly wanting to get a fender jazz bass or precision bass. Can someone tell me the exact differences and their opinions on both??
  2. rhythm


    Dec 4, 2005
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but P-basses are usually considered more for rock, jazzes for jazz.

    But.......try a Spector, I used to think that anything other than Fender wasn't worth considering, then I tried Spector and I was converted!
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Jazz basses are good for anything, and so are P basses. It's all in how it is played. Get to a music store and play some and buy what you like and what feels good.
  4. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    +1 on going and playing both..

    The necks are very different on P's and J's. J's being slim and P's being thicker. J's string spacing is tighter at the nut as a rusult. Precisions have a stronger midrange, while J's tend to sound a little more hollow, and slightly nasel IMHO. Kind of like the Strat, Les Paul thing. They J has single coils while the P is a humbucker.

    You can't loose with either one. They're both great classic basses. My preference is for P's but that's just me. :D
  5. Personally i prefure Jazz basses and i play rock, Funk, And a bit of jazz. They are a very versatile bass. The P bass is also quite versatile but cause you have got the one pickup it limits you to what type of sound you want out of it. Where as the jazz bass hase two pickups you can turn up the bridge pickup and turn down the neck pickup and you will get a very punchy sound, but with just the neck one up you will get a warmer sound. I just think you've got more choice in sounds with a jazz.

    You can also get a P bass Special. This is a P bass body but it has a jazz bass bridge pickup so you are getting the best of both worlds. but at the end of the day just try some out and see what you like. Only you can decide that!!


  6. SamJ

    SamJ Founder - Fender MIA Club

    Apr 22, 2006
    PDX / SFO / HNL
    try both.... they're slight variations of the same thing.. a timeless design, with a great sound.. The P has a wider neck, and the sound is different.. you need to try playing them both.

    I've owned many types.. Warwick, Specter, and even Alembic and I have come back to Fender.. (American models) for the best bank for the buck.
  7. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I own both and I actually prefer the Jazz most of the time due to it's ability to cut through the mix easier and it not sounding as thumpy as the P-bass. But there are situations where I prefer my P-bass.
    It's really all preference.
  8. Personally, I've always thought of P/J configurations to be a tad cheesy... they strike images in my brain of glam rock and hair metal bands in the 80's. :crying: lol

    I agree with Dolando that you should go out and try them both and see which you prefer. For instance, which neck you prefer. I'm not that great a fan of the Jazz's slim neck.
  9. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    they have different pickups. the P pickups are generally more thumpy and jazz pickups are more growly. i personally don't like the thump from P basses and prefer the jazz basses over them.
  10. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Hey man, good to see ya on here (MUTA from UG).

    Personally I prefer to think of guys like Dave Ellefson and Duff McKagen when I think PJ.

    But in terms of P or J, I like to think of somethign I heard on here before.

    It's not P or J, it's P and J. They're both awesome basses that are great to have in your stable, it just depends which one draws you more.

    I prefer J's, but my favorite Fender I've ever played (Well, second to the one I own) was an Am Dlx P 5.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You want a jazz bass.
  12. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    I kinda disagree with the jazz statement(i dont have a P so i cant really comment).

    but pleanty of non-jazz artists use jazzes, eg. tim commerford-audioslave/rage against the machine

    jason newsted-ex metallica

    and the guy from opeth even uses a MARCUS MILLER signature jazz bass.
  13. Hey! Anyone else here from UG?
  14. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Dan's on here as a supporting member, Incubus_SCIENCE is on ehre as Bassnoob?, that's about all I can honestly think of.

    And yeah, Jazz basses are much more versatile than doing just jazz.
  15. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Don't listen to the Jazz basses are better for jazz thing. James Jamerson played a P-Bass and made it swing just as good. Don't down a P until you try one.
  16. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I'm not a Fender fan, but if I ever change my mind, I'd definitely go for a Jazz, mainly because:

    1- Blending a Jazz's single coils allows much more versatility from the instrument than the single P pickup.

    2- The Jazz Bass is way sexier IMO.
  17. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    P/J's Cheesy? You're certainly entitled to your opinion, I played my first P/J in the late 60's/early '70's. In my opinion some are quite beautiful as well as versatile, that's one of my P/J's in the attached thumbnail below. I Like P's and J's but lean more towards P's with J necks and I agree with everyone who have wisely advised that you should try both types, that's the only way you'll know for sure.

    Cheers, George
  18. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    ahh. the eternal struggle of all bassists.
  19. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Personally I love both. I have a Marcus Miller Jazz bass and I'm borrowing a friend's Aspen Precision copy. My two favorite basses, here at once.

    Try both and decide for yourself. Both are very versatile instruments.
  20. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    well, they started making jazz basses with the smaller necks for studio guitar players to play on recordings(or so i read somewhere).

    i am a big fan of the p. i have two. both have excellent tone. plus the neck is big and more comfortable for me to play. i'd really like to get a j body with a p neck, just to have the fender jazz sound in m arsenal.

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