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Jazz or Precision for old disco 'n funk?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by raymond tx, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. raymond tx

    raymond tx

    Aug 20, 2005

    Which would best for 70s disco and funk: the Fender Jazz or Precision? it's subjective I know, but I'd still like your opinions. what did the bassists of these genres use back then? I've always loved the tone of Bernard Edwards.

    I'm limiting my choices to these two because I won a local contest and I have to choose between these models :) they're both beautiful, Custom Shop models, stripped down vintage style (passive electronics, etc.)

    Thanks, Raymond
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    To be wishy-washy, BOTH were quite popular and both are great, depending upon the specific funk you're playing.

    But if someone put a gun to my head and told me to choose, I'd go with a Jazz, mainly because you can always dial off that bridge pickup for a nice P-bass approximation.
  3. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    Precision. Most recorded bass in history.

    I also believe that Bernard used one in the early days before the Stringray and BC Rich. Whether he tracked w/ it, I'm not sure.
  4. Didn't Bernard Edwards use a MM Stingray? :eyebrow:
  5. Personally, I would choose the Jazz bass, but that's just me.

    In the 70's they both were used in that style of music. I did a little searching and the only two pics I could find of Bernard was of him holding a non-fender bass but with a p-bass pick up configuration and on the cover of Chic, Live at the Budokan. He is holding a Music Man.

    I think if you search this forum with "Jazz vs. precision" you will find a lot of information. This topic has been covered allot.
  6. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    Taken from www.marcusmiller.com:

    'Yeah, Bernard was a friend of mine. We would run into each other in studios, in the street. He would give me advice about a lot of things. He told me not to move to LA (I didn't listen :)
    I remember, around 1978, I saw Bernard on a Chic album cover with a BC Rich bass. It was white with this unusally shaped body. Anyway, the song "Good Times" was on this album and I thought it sounded so good, I ran out and bought a white BC Rich.
    I got it home and started playing Good Times...I'm saying to myself, "This don't sound like the record........."
    I met Bernard shortly after and told him I bought the BC Rich but couldn't get that cool sound. He said, "Man I didn't play a BC Rich on that album. I played my Fender Precision!" I said, "But you have the BC Rich on the album cover." He said, "Yeah, well the BC Rich looks good, so I take pictures with it!"
    God rest his soul......'
  7. The stuff on the first Chic album is a P-bass. I think that my Real People ("Rebels Are We") he was using a Stingray. I saw him live in 1980 and I think he was playing that B.C. Rich. I could have seen him in 1978 but I didn't know enough to care :oops: . I did hear Chic in the distance while I was at Six Flags though.
  8. Awesome! BC Rich was good until they turned into, eh, Guitar Centers "wanna be so hardcore" guitars.
  9. Although I love Larry Graham's tone with the maple necked J, I have to admit when I saw your thread the first bass part I thought of was "Forget Me Nots", which was played on a P.

    Precision Bass...Wins...

    PS In fact, almost every tone on a record that I've fallen in love with almost always turns out to be a maple fretboard P...

  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Although I'm not a fan of Fender basses and even less of the Precision Bass, I must admit that the real Precision tone can't be achieved by any other instrument, not even by soloing the neck pickup, which is a way to recreate it. That Precision sound is so prominent in most of my favorite 70's funk-disco recordings. I'm posting a great example which maybe most of you know, but just in case... "Yo-Yo", performed by Rose Royce and taken from the "Car Wash" OST LP (Not a downloaded mp3 or a CD rip. I transferred to digital from the original vinyl). The whole LP is a Fender Precision Bass fest played by Lequeint "Duke" Jobe. Click here to download it. (YouSendIt link)
  11. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    In the 70's I think both P's an J's were being used equally in disco/funk. Either one will get the job done just fine.

    I was going to lean more toward the P, but since it's a free bass from a contest, take the J.
  12. timmarks

    timmarks Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, D'Addario, Mesa
    both basses were used on a lot of those records. i usually reach for a jazz, but a p with roundwounds will sound great on almost any r&b and disco type gig. old, pre-ernie ball music man basses also sound very "fender-ish" and were popular. I normally don't dig the music man sound, but old ones are a different story.
  13. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Well that's going on the iPod :) Thanks!

    That little slap lick in the tune car Wash always screamed p-bass to me but there is a thread here somewhere saying it was an Alembic. I can't imagine an Alembic sounding like that.

    raymond tx, have you thought about getting the pbass and adding a bridge pickup down the road?
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Old school disco and funk? P-bass!
  15. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    If I were just choosing which bass to play, I would definitely go with the Precision. But if it's true that you won one of these basses and you are getting it for free, then go with the Jazz because it's worth more.
  16. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    If I were trying to achieve the 70's disco/funk sound I'd go with the P. Having my choice....Jazz.
    String spacing and neck profile make this decision easy, I know what I like.
  17. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    +3. My point is, the Precision tone may be distinctive, but I like versatile basses and the P isn't. Again, you can approximate the P tone by soloing the J's neck pickup and get other cool and growly tones with the bridge pickup. IMO, you'll be the happy owner of a more versatile (and sexier) bass if you go with the J.
  18. They're vintage models to choose from? Take the J all the way if that's the case. Yes, the P has "that tone," but it can be gotten close enough to with the J, and don't forget what your amp & FX might have to say about your sound too.
  19. I have to come down on the side of the P bass. Nothing else really nails that chunky '70's slap sound. Thanks Alvaro for that Rose Royce download! That was some sweet nostalgia!
  20. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    maple neck ash jazz sounds awesome,

    p's sound awesome. i would want both and switch coz i'm silly. :)

    just to throw this in and cause trouble. why not look at a lakland skyline with the jazz and mm config??? :bag:

    not the exact tone but flexible and phat for that style of music.

    EDIT: man i'm sure tired, didn't even read you won a comp....

    :scowl: my bad.

    congratulations!!! i edge for the jazz because of more sounds...