Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Newb Question - Jazz vs P bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by screamingdaisy, Aug 28, 2005.


  1. First off, I'm researching my first bass, so I don't actually own one yet.

    While Reading through various threads I've noticed that this forum has a love for Jazz basses, but a general disinterest in P basses. Any reason? I thought the P bass was the more common/popular of the two? Which would your recommend to an up and coming rock/metal bassist?
     
  2. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    It's all based on preference.. For Instance.. I have 2 Precision basses and love both of them! My buddy has a jazz bass and I like it, but I feel my precision bass is a little better for my needs.
    J basses and Pbasses are like Stratocasters and Telecasters..they are both guitars.. yet have different jobs and require different tastes
     
  3. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    The best thing to do is perhaps read the stickies in the various forums and then try to get to a GC or something and figure out what you read in the stickies to see what people mean when they say certain things.
     
  4. Thanks. :)
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I love a great P but I could only buy one I think I'd get a J. No, I'd get a P. No, I'd get a J. No, I'd get...

    ARRRRGGGHHH!

    They are both great basses. The J has a little more tonal variety and can cut any gig you would ever need to do, but the P just sits in the music so sweet. You can't go wrong with either, really.
     
  6. superfly

    superfly

    Aug 4, 2004
    I love the looks of a J, but a J just doesn't feel right with me. I've owned 3 - J's and ended up selling them all. For what? A P bass. A P bass is more comfortable on me and the sound is just what I like.
    Personal preference.
     
  7. P Basses sound more raw to me, whereas J Basses sound more refined, with a "nasal" sound quality, esp. with the bridge pickup cranked......I like the brightness of the jazz, but am not so crazy about the nasal sound...

    ...but a P Bass with the right ingredients(ash body, maple fretboard) can be very bright too, and have an awesome, fat prescence...
     
  8. Kingston, Ontario
     
  9. tiredman9

    tiredman9

    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    I Pity da foo--who choses two jazz pickus or a p over a P-J
     
  10. burntgorilla

    burntgorilla

    Jan 24, 2005
    Belfast
    I guess the popularity of the P bass is why some people go for a J bass instead. To me, P basses just look so boring, they're the shape that's been ripped off so much. Jazzes are copied a lot as well, I guess, but they're just that bit different.

    Edit: Oh, that other thread says J basses have been copied more. Well there you go.
     
  11. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I have one of each and both serve their purpose.

    The P Bass is more of a "one trick pony", meaning that while there are some tonal differences that the bass itself can produce, there are limitations.

    The J Bass is a bit more versatile in tonal options having a bridge and neck pickup.

    Again, either bass would be a good choice. You can alter your playing style to get different sounds out of each, so the only problem (if you can't afford both) is to pick one!

    If it were me, I would go with the Jazz bass first, then add a P Bass when the time is right.
     
  12. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    There is very little about either that I like. The neck width of a Jazz and the pickup style of the P and that is about it. Oh and the tuners. Not much else. The beauty is - There are a thousand others, but if a J or P is what you like, they are there too!!
     
  13. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    I've got one of each and like them both. I find the P is a bit more one dimensional, but has that unmistakable fat bottom end. The J is more flexible and growlier. The P tends to be a bit more old school, while the J tends to lend itself a bit easier to more modern sounds, but it still delivers great vintage tones as well.

    Beyond that, P necks are generally a bit more tree trunk like, while J's tend to be a bit more slim. I like them both for different things. Try them both!