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Jazz Basses.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lanzy, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014

    I know i do post a lot about gear and such, but here it goes.

    Ive decided not to get an acoustic. It is something i would only use for one week a year, while I'm on vacation. I can run my current bass through garageband for that.

    Right now, heres the situation

    I have a no-name p with flats on, but it doesn't sound bad. It sounds like a P-bass with flats.
    I have a rumble 25.

    I also play bass in 2 jazz ensembles. While the p was fine for this year, as the other player had a jazz, he is graduating this year so I'm not sure how much that will affect the bands tone. As for the other Jazz band, it is a competitive one. I will most likely be playing upright in that, but it is possible that i have a song or two on bass guitar. So, heres the question.

    Is a Jazz bass that different?
    Is the tone that different?
    Is it worth the extra money?
    Should i get a Jazz, especially for Jazz band?
    If so, what models? I was looking at squier vintage modified 77, and vintage modified FSR, though I was thinking about MIMs and Fender Mim FSRs. I do prefer a maple neck.....


    I have gone to a number of stores and tried various Jazz basses, but i just can't compare side by side. I have tried used Mexican fenders, which would alright, but mostly had problems, and new FSRs from guitar center.

    Sorry for posting so much about gear!
    gjohnson441496 likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    My only thoughts are that they do sound different, that's why both exist, and that the name Jazz has no correlation to the styles of music for which it is suitable (any more than "Precision" or any other brand name would be). A J bass will give you more tonal flexibility - try one, decide which you prefer, don't look back.
  3. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    They definitely sound different. Which one will suit you best? Well, only you can decide that.
  4. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    Well yeah.
    Of course, the p with flats sounds closer to the upright and blended well.

    However, I'm just a student....so i don't have a ton of cash.

    I like the flexibility and feel of a jazz, but i don't know really know how much different it is. Of course, i haven't played a ton of jazz basses. I did try two different basses, of the same model, and i could definitely tell that the neck tone and feel of one was far superior to the other. But it was scooped up before i had enough dough for it...

    I just, I'm pretty sure i do want a Jazz bass, but I'm not sure if it is worth the cash. If so, what models do you suggest?
  5. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Where do you live? Each bass is going to sound a little different (even within the same model) so the ideal option is to go out and try as many Jazzes as possible.
  6. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I'm loving my new P-bass. But now that the honeymoon period is over, my Geddy will go back to my standard working bass.

    Just like Bholder said, it's more versatile. Either way, no choice is the wrong one. I had only a P style bass until my second year of college, and did fine with it.
  7. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    Sure, ill try as many basses as possible. I just feeling I'm outgrowing my current bass and just don't have the range i would like to be able to explore with. I mostly play classic rock, and in jazz band, so its fine for some older rock/alternative and some walking, but it doesnt feel like its really popping..
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    The Fender FSR Jazz bass is one of the best MIM basses made.
    I've always thought Fender was crazy for selling the FSR Jazz for $499...$100 less than the Standard Jazz and it looks like someone from Fender must've read my mind because the FSR went up to $599 a few weeks ago!
    By the way Lanzy, you might try one of these to expand your tone.
    Some people might put down Behringer (hey, some people put down Squier!) but the V-Tone gets almost nothing but positive reviews. Just check out Amazon. It might be the best $30 you ever spend.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
    TyBo and bassrich like this.
  9. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    A J bass can arguably cop a decent P bass tone with the bridge pickup totally rolled off. They can do a whole lot more too. Although versatile, a P bass can't cop a J bass tone.

    A P with flats does not sound like an upright.
  10. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    A p with flats and the right amp adjustments sounds similar to an upright, especially compared to a jazz.
    Ill check it out
  11. gnarlyWarlock


    Dec 23, 2014
    Going fretless with tapewounds really helps you get the upright tone, if that's what you're going for..
  12. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    (Cars, furnirtue, guitars) ? Why......

    Im not really looking for a p/j. I have my p. And if i get another bass it would be a J....
  13. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    I actually have been considering getting a fretless squier vm jazz.... Maybe ill get that and put flats on it, maybe not. That is very good to know as the Jazz 1 instructor has a very strong preference to the sound of upright over electric. However, i am much better at electric, and would know where my hands would go on a fretless. So thats definitely a possibility...
  14. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Its really neither here nor there, but I think you'll find a lot of players that disagree.
  15. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    A fretless jazz with rotos would sound closer, though, i think...
    trothwell likes this.
  16. gnarlyWarlock


    Dec 23, 2014
    If you know how to play on a fretted CORRECTLY, you will have no problem on the fretless. Otherwise, I'd say at first you might have issues with absolute pitch - it might in areas sound out of tune, if a guitar's logarithmic fret progression isn't in your muscle memory. A fretless is a really cool animal in its own right, and you might find yourself sliding a lot more than you would on a fretted, as well as learning to do a classic orchestral vibrato. But again, it isn't exactly a steep learning curve at all, and you might, like I, find yourself adoring the "mwah" of a fretless.
  17. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    You mention that you do play upright. When you have tunes that you play electric, the point is to sound like an electric. If you wanted to sound like an upright, you would stay on an upright.

    Over the years, electric bass players have made countless attempts trying to sound like an upright, rather than putting in the work on an upright. Band directors make the mistake of furthering this quest.

    The closest an electric will sound like an upright involves a string mute and all the tone rolled off--but anybody listening won't be fooled.

    When I work with high schools, I do talk about this with the band director. Truth be told, the electric with big band sound is a great sound in its own right.
    Space Pickle likes this.
  18. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    A P with flats can never sound like an upright.

    OP: you don't need a Jazz bass to play jazz. It's just a name.
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  19. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    Right. Thing is, I'm buying my own bass. I don't have a use for another p, and certainly don't have a car, or furniture, or anything that i could trade.... Oh well.....Good luck with that....
    Actually, since i play upright in orchestra, i know that vibrato. I think i play fretted correctly (Fingers right before the bump) I actually slide a LOT anyways, just because i like the sound. Ill definitely consider it, i really did love the sound of the fretless vm i played at GC. However, i am unfamiliar with the guitars logaritmic fret progression, i think. Anyhow, the notes shouldn't really be too much of a problem, but i wouldn't mind getting a fretless painted with lines, so i could check if I'm playing the right note.

    I can't believe those FSRs went up $100....I would have possibly gotten one at $500, but at 6 i just can't do that.
  20. Lanzy


    Dec 5, 2014
    I personally prefer the sound of electric in big bands. The director strongly prefers upright, and it is his band, so I'm fine with that, just not as skilled at it. i have put in the work, maybe not quite enough. I started music in general a year ago. I started upright 7 months ago, along with some theory, and can sight read at a high school orchestra level most of the time. I can sight read at a high school jazz level on bass guitar, not quite there on upright. If i do make the band, ill get my upright reset up, and polish my playing over the summer. Of course, electrics won't sound the same, but if that was a sort of a compromise, it would work out better for me.
    Yeah, I know. I played through the Jazz season on my p. It just in some pieces didn't really pop.

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