Loving the P-Bass but favouring a Jazz Bass for live gigs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Syl_Funky_bass, Jan 17, 2022.

  1. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    Are there any other bass players who own one or several Precision basses and love them for their great (recording) qualities but still favour Jazz basses for live playing (for versatility reasons)?

    I have a 4-string & a 5-string Precision both strung with TI flats. I love how they sound and sit in the mix and use them for 75% of the recordings I do
    for the remaining 25% of songs where I need more brightness and bite, I prefer using one of my Jazz basses (4 or 5-string).
    I feel that in a live context getting a sound close to a "P-Bass with flats" sound using a Jazz bass is easier than getting a bright slap sound with some bite using a P-Bass with flats...
    Of course here I'm talking about a live situation where I'm only using one bass. I tend to consider it more as a hassle having to switch basses in the middle of a set, with all the risks and loss of time related to it. I might be wrong though... 20220112_101134.jpg 20220110_154550.jpg
    bobba66, bdplaid, cpeterso and 8 others like this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just like what you like and don't sweat it.
    mngnt, bmac314, 31HZ and 24 others like this.
  3. Jeremy Crockett

    Jeremy Crockett Amiable Crank Supporting Member

    Use what you need/like in the situations that call for what you have.
    MAXSPINRUN and groovepump like this.
  4. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    Sorry, I don't get your answer...
    Thanks anyways.
    Herrick and Smooth_bass88 like this.
  5. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    What I'm asking:

    1. Are there any other players here in the same situation as me.
    2. Implicit question concerning switching instruments live and experiences.
    LeFunk Machine likes this.
  6. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    I sure feel free to like what I like. Thanks for the tip anyways.
    butterfingers1 likes this.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sorry, I over simplified.

    1) Nobody will be in the identical same situation as you.

    2) Nobody will sweat your switching basses. It'll be fine. Figure out how to do it fairly quickly. Guitar players do it all the time and nobody stresses over it (other than over-thinking bass players).

    But the bigger point is this. If you prefer your J basses live, what's the problem? If your J basses get close enough for rock n roll to a thumpy P bass (and they do) just play the Js and don't sweat it.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    P bass with flats is great for what it is, but it's limited. P bass with nickel rounds handles almost everything (same with a Jazz).
  9. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Overall, I think it's similar for me, but not quite the same. I usually prefer J-basses over P-basses, whether live or recording, but I use P-basses a slightly higher percentage of the time for recording. I've sometimes considered selling my one P-bass, a G&L SB-2, but then something comes up for which it is absolutely perfect, and I come to my senses. For example, in 2019 I was in a Stones cover band project, and had it succeeded, I think I would have played the SB-2 the vast majority of the time.
    Syl_Funky_bass likes this.
  10. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    Thanks! :thumbsup:
  11. jeffb28451


    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    Yes. Have USA ‘62 Vintage with flats that I really like, but multiple j basses with rounds for live. I have various amps and cabs and MAYBE , in a really bright room with decent acoustics, I’d use the p, but Js are my live, “ go to” basses. I don’t quite understand why folks seem to be having a problem with your question, but that’s my $.02 worth.
    furym and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I have experienced basses that sound great on recordings but seem kind of dead, onstage.

    There are things you can do about that, though. My P-bass seems annoyingly tame through certain amps, but with a "bright" circuit and some tube distortion it's a whole different beast.

    My J can get more lively without outboard assistance, and it is my overall favorite for tone. But I do enjoy the simplicity of one pickup / vol / tone so I still play entire gigs on just the P.

    I've been known to switch basses mid-set - it is certainly doable. I probably wouldn't do it just to go between a P and a J - I would use it for more pronounced changes, like fretted & fretless, active 5-string & hollowbody. Or of course going acoustic on some songs with an upright or ABG.
    groovepump and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  13. Al Rivera

    Al Rivera

    Mar 20, 2021
    This is why I like my p/j basses! Sometimes a precision is just not enough, especially in live situations. 20211228_201514.jpg
    TrevorG, DTRN, vin*tone and 7 others like this.
  14. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    I tend to feel the opposite (although my P- and J- basses are G&Ls):
    Usually prefer the P bass live most of the time.
    I’ll often bring both to the sound check; strap on the J first, then the P: I almost always end up gigging the latter.
    The one consistent exception is when I do big band gigs: The JB2 always cuts better to me with all those horns, probably because Ps have a lot of the same accentuated mids as the horns.
    BTW: I never use flats; when I need thump, and I often do, I go for palm muting:
    I love the sound of flats; I just need more flexibility tone-wise, and never do the kind of gigs where bass switching would be tolerated!
    Jeff K and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  15. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio

    D'Addario Chromes. GHS Pressure Wounds. Go with the lightest gauge they make. I also use TI Flats for nearly all of my basses. Recently, I tried a set of GHS Pressure Wounds 40-96 on a Jack Casady Bass. WOW! Best of both worlds. Round wound brightness (subdued) and easier on the fingers than rounds. I use the passive tone knob for getting my flat or flatish sound.

    (D'Addario Chromes are flats with a slight bright edge. It can controlled with the tone knob.)

  16. My Jazz was always prone to hum from ambient electric induction. There for I use my Precision strung with .050-.105 Stainless Steel. Very satisfying.
  17. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Bay Area
    I get where you’re coming from. P bass is a no-brainer for a majority of what I record these days. Fits well with almost everything my rock band does too. But the J works fine for those songs in a live situation, and as you say, it has some other tones on tap as needed.
    Low8 and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  18. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    It’s really easy to have both basses with you on live gigs and switch as you see fit. On my gigs, I’ll carry two of the 3 basses I own. Usually a Jazz style bass or a Stingray (it’s getting heavy, so not sure how much longer that will last) and a Precision-style bass. On my little pedalboard, I have a DI, a tuner and I use a TC Mini-Spark for a little gain boost for the Stingray, if it’s there. The guys in all the bands know that I may switch basses at some point and are really good about vamping the intro for a few seconds until I’m ready to go.

    Personally, I use stainless steel strings on everything (and I will play slap-style on a P bass, thank you very much…:D), but set up the basses your way.

    Switching basses on the gig can be really easy and quick. And believe it or not, I can and sometimes do an entire gig on one bass.
  19. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I'm just the opposite, although I do LOVE Jazz Basses. Love the neck width, the look, and the sound. When I'm sitting at home playing along with a CD or something, I usually grab a Jazz.

    But if I'm playing out with a band, I almost always grab a P-Bass. Just seems to sit better in a band situation (to my ears). But of course it's all subjective. Few things in life sounded better than John Paul Jones's Jazz in "What Is And What Should Never Be" or "The Lemon Song"!! :D
    spiritbass and Jonny Reese like this.
  20. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I'm just going to jump in to confirm that switching basses during a gig is no big deal as long as you prepare yourself during setup to make it easy and fast. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds.
    Geri O and groovepump like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 27, 2022

Share This Page