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Make a P Bass sound like a J Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mithriddle, Jul 18, 2012.


  1. Mithriddle

    Mithriddle

    Dec 14, 2011
    I've got a P bass. The short of it is that I want to get a J bass sound from it. I'm strapped for cash at the moment so I can't actually buy one.

    Is there anyway to make a P bass sound like a J bass without modifying the bass itself (only using amp settings and tone knobs). If so, how?

    Cheers :bassist:
     
  2. impossible!

    you need that bridge pick-up
     
  3. What Emibass said.

    I own 2 J's and 1 P and I've found you can get a Jazz to sound much more like a Precision than the other way around. IMO The neck pickup adds a treble quality that you can't get because of the P's pickup placement.
     
  4. jwj1701

    jwj1701

    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    +1. They are 2 different instruments. To get a jazz sound you'll have to get a jazz. Simple as that. Squire makes some good basses at a good price.
     
  5. puff father

    puff father Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Endicott, NY
    I played in a funk band years ago and I only had a P bass. I used to try to get a Jazz sound but never could. On the plus side, even though I couldn't get that sound the P bass always pulled it off with the band.
     
  6. itchy

    itchy

    Jan 3, 2009
    Bay Area
    Pluck closer to the bridge where the Jazz bridge pickup would be.

    Keep the tone pot open enough to let the high-mids pass through.

    Then bump the mids/upper-mids on your amp's eq.

    (might get you in the neighborhood, but not all the way there)
     
  7. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Play closer to the bridge, pluck hard, and try roundwound strings. If you really want to sound like a guy who would really play a Jazz bass, play too many notes, LOL.

    Like trying to get a DB sound from a BG, maybe you can't really really do it but you can sort of get some of the key attributes.
     
  8. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

    Oct 9, 2011
    Singapore
    your question is like asking how to make an apple taste like orange
     
  9. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    There isn't a way to answer your question in large part because a Jazz bass does not have a characteristic sound. Like a P bass it has a tone control that can be set to any one of an infinite number of positions plus it has two volume controls that can also be set to an infinite number of positions. The sound range of a P bass is one dimensional (tone setting), the sound range of a Jazz bass is at least two dimensional (tone setting + blend setting). I am sure you can simulate some of the possibilities by adjusting the tone on a P bass and the EQ knobs on its amplifier but many will be out of reach of a P bass. Given the target you are shooting at it may or may not be possible to get close.

    Some mulit-effects boxes and synthesizers claim to be able to turn any bass into any other bass. Success is in the ear of the listener though and since they tend to cost more than a used Jazz bass would, they aren't an option for you.

    Ken
     
  10. Nope. You might get closer with fancy set up, technique, EQ, string sets, etc. But you'll not get "that sound" from a split P pickup. And that's a lot of work for uncertain (and possibly bad) results.

    And my further 2 cents: The P/J array doesn't really get the J tone either (unless you dig the sound of the bridge pickup solo'd, which I sure don't). Only the combination of the two single rails will do it for my ears.

    Buy a J. If you dig a P and a J, join the millions of players who felt the same way and splurged for one of each.

    If you like the feel of a P but the sound of a J, save your nickels and have the Jazz rails installed in your P bass. I've seen basses with a Jazz rail set and a split P in the middle...best of both worlds.
     
  11. I want to make a monkey into a duck.

    It's just not gonna happen.
     
  12. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Making a piano sound like a trumpet would be making a monkey into a duck.

    Making a P bass sound like a J is more like making roast pork a la wild boar.
     
  13. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Wisconsin
    Make a Lion into a Bear? A Cat into a Dog?
     
  14. portlandguy

    portlandguy

    Feb 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Dont try, just sell and buy a J
     
  15. Maud

    Maud

    Jan 2, 2012
    Down South (UK)
    Forget the P or J bass, I wanna see this monkey on piano and duck on trumpet duo :bag:.


    Ps, is the original question like turning a drummer into an intelligent, literate human being? :D
     
  16. itchy

    itchy

    Jan 3, 2009
    Bay Area
    Aw come on! :crying:
    I'm a drummer, and I was intelligent enough to take up bass as my number one hobby. :D
     
  17. Calebmundy

    Calebmundy

    Apr 5, 2007
    Nashville
    Just out of curiosity, what are you trying to do? Is this for a gig or a recording? I've never really understood the giant on-going discussion about P's and J's on here. They are different, but they're also very much the same-kind of a standard passive bass sound, which you can do a lot with of course. In a band setting, unless it was something really specific I can't imagine many people caring too much.

    I can understand it from a "being a bass player" perspective. I've often wished on a gig that I could easily switch from a Pbass with flats for one song, a jazz bass for another, and an active 5-string for a third, but any will really get the job done for most tunes (caveat, I don't even dabble in metal or many other far from pop/rock sounding stuff). All of that to say, if you're too broke to buy another and not wanting to drop a jazz pickup or some active electronics in there, what's the hurry? What are you hearing out there that you wish you had?
     
  18. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    I agree with the sentiment that it's easy to get a P bass-a-like tone out of a Jazz, particularly if you put the series/parallel switch in, but going the other way is nigh on impossible if you're trying to get the bass itself. Scooping mids and boosting a bit of bass on the amp will be your friend with the P.
     
  19. XtheDeadPawn

    XtheDeadPawn

    May 24, 2008
    Texas
    Go to the nearest shop trade your P for a J.

    Easy and no money is involved YMMV
     

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