P-Bass love - is it more of a boomer thing?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by g-dude, Oct 7, 2022.

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  1. So last year, one of the guitarists in Polyphia caused everyone to go mental because he made a reference to "boomer bends" - you know what I'm talking about, those bends that are totally the staple of bluesy boomer classic rock. Nothing wrong with them, I've done them, but they certainly do cast the music you're playing as being part of a specific era of modern music.

    Being Gen-X, I get to belong to a generation that ceased being discussed or relevant after the 90s, so sitting on the sidelines of the generational war, I can't help but wonder....

    Are P-Basses the "boomer bends" of bass?

    I've owned P-basses, and have one in my basement. Never really touch it. I prefer my Spector, G&L, Jazz, Höfner, and even my mikro. Don't know what it is, but there's all the different basses that just seem to be...more appealing to me.

    And yet, there's a huge amount of people on here that are high ranking officers in the P-Bass army. Nothing wrong with that - you get to like what you like, and more power to you.

    I see a lot of comments that talk about how Leo got it right the first time - obviously not something he believed. It also seems to be that people consider the P-Bass sound to be "the sound", but it seems like that is also tied to the music of the past, as opposed to the future. With each generation of removal from being a boomer, it just seems like these are sentiments that are increasingly less likely.

    For the folks that REALLY love P-Basses, are you mostly boomers? For the folks that are "meh" when it comes to them, are you not boomers?

    To be clear, not interested in arguing the merits or lack thereof of the P-Bass. More interested in figuring out whether P-Bass love is correlated with your age.
  2. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I'm also Gen X, and while I like a good P bass tone on certain songs, for MY sound, I prefer a Jazz bass. There are several reasons for this, but mainly because my high school owned a 70s Fender Jazz and I got to play it in show choir and loved it.
    amper, jayof9, OldCoupeTom and 13 others like this.
  3. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Never heard of "boomer Bends"! The guitar solo in Smoke On The Water come to mind, though :)
    When I was a young teen the band teacher at my junior high school (grade 8) had just purchased a brand new sunburst Fender Precision and matching 4-10 silverface bassman. I got to use that bass the whole year, so it's pretty much burned into my personal 'sentimental favorites' category. The next year we moved across town and the junior high on that side also had the exact same rig! ( I had my own bass to play by that time...)
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing.

    No idea, but I'm nearly 70 and have never been attracted to any FSOs all that much. And I very rarely listen to the music of my misguided yoof. ;)
  5. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Boomer here...
    Full-time player--I've been at it for decades; owned mostly active basses; don't really know much about electronics, wood, etc--I'm content to let others focus on that... I just know what I like.

    I never owned a P Bass until a couple years ago, when I bought a G&L LB100 Tribute: Gotta admit--now I see what the fuss is about!

    As many have said, it doesn't always sound that inspiring when playing alone at home, but damned if it doesn't sound perfect when playing with others...in almost all musical settings.

    Even my wife--a non-musician--has commented about how much better that bass sounds when she comes to watch me play.

    Yes, I'm a Boomer, but I'm also very late to the party.

    So is there a correlation? IDK!
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I doubt it's generational.
    If it is, I'd have to go with the Greatest Generation and say that I prefer the sound and aesthetic of the original single coil P-basses.
  7. And you know, there's something about "formative" instrument moments. For me, there's something about a superstrat guitar that just feels...right.

    I mean, I have a really nice Les Paul, but I will 100% sell it off before I sell off my Charvel (one of the Japanese-made Jacksons).
  8. If I was a member of the Greatest Generation, I'd be all about the clarinet. Amazing how cool that instrument used to be!
    SLO Surfer, trseal, isaac42 and 29 others like this.
  9. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    Yes, but I'd include the Jazz in that category as well. Our (GenX) basses are a different sound/feel/goal entirely. Warwick, Spector, Ibanez, etc.
    SLO Surfer, J_R, dubrosa22 and 11 others like this.
  10. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    What’s considered a boomer? Seems like that term is thrown around meaning anyone over 35-40 now days.
    Geri O, Kenny235, Gase Baytar and 9 others like this.
  11. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Nah, jazz type basses outweigh them in popularity- in my humble opinion. I strain all the juice in my ears to "hear" the P basses (individual notes) on recordings/ a wall of muddled sound.

    Jazz basses (or Stingray basses, or the myriad of others) are it for many of us.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
    rzero, J_R, Kenny235 and 5 others like this.
  12. I'm going with definition as being born during the actual post-WWII baby boom - 1946 to 1964.
  13. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Man, easily the vast majority of the bassists in new bands I see, which are usually folks early 30's or younger (some much younger) are sportin' a Pbass. Next up would be a Mustang. Then, anything goes...
  14. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I would rather listen to a boomer band than a progressive hipster band.
    I see a lot of p basses played by kids and older.
    I watch a whole festival with international bands and it was 90% p bass.

    Btw Personally I dont own a p bass.
  15. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    It is people born between 45 and 65.
  16. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Gen X here. In the 80s and early 90s Ibanez was my go to instrument. Fender was not too popular then, and hence why it sold for about the same in the 80s as when Leo sold it in the 60s despite inflation. I took a long hiatus from bass and now Hofners are my bass of choice.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I love P basses. I play mine daily and it’s my go-to for many things. That said, it’s not my only bass and there are some styles it is less suited to. Variety is king.
    I’ve heard a P is a one trick pony, it’s a pretty great trick.

    I’ll also say more than 1/3 of hits recorded with a P were really recorded with a J or an Alembic or a Ray. It’s just easier to say everything is a P since even lifelong bassists and tone chasers can’t tell without looking most of the time.
  18. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    Two things: 1. Really, it was the only bass for a while
    2. Recording, sound guys, mixers, engineers and such were taught to mix P-basses only

    So, it is more of nostalgia than anything

    That said I love my P-bass
    it is my #1
  19. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    The Late Night Revelators
    I'm 71 and I have NO idea what a "boomer bend" is! Did you mean "band"?
    McKind, Artman, fig and 4 others like this.
  20. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Not sure what generation I am in. I'm 56. I think P-basses are boring.
    J_R, Loring, Lothian and 10 others like this.
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