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P-Bass versus J-Bass. What do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Greg Hagger, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Greg Hagger

    Greg Hagger

    Dec 1, 2018
    This is a side-by-side comparison of a J-Bass and a P-Bass. I play the same funk groove on both basses with different pickup settings too. The J-Bass is a Suhr and is an awesome bass. The P-Bass is a Lakland with Bare Knuckle Pickups which really work well on that bass.

    There is a free PDF of the Funk groove, also with TAB. Follow the link in the video description on YouTube and I will email that to you. I’d love to hear what you think of the basses and whether you have a preference.
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The age-old Existential Question. Personally, I like a J for that burpy Jaco bridge tone, never could get on with P's, though they are apparently the Gold Standard on TB. Meh. J's also much more comfortable to play, for me, anyway.
    Hounddog409 and Greg Hagger like this.
  3. forrestlaw

    forrestlaw Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2018
    My first bass was a J, which I bought instead of a P out of sheer comfort. I had never played bass and it just felt right at the time. A few years later I bought a P and it's my number one gigging bass. My most recent bass purchase was a 5 string J style, though.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  4. I gravitated quickly to the J; it was my first brand-new bass. I love the neck, the offset waist, the pickups; in black with a white PG it's like you're wearing a tuxedo. While I do have a couple of P's, they're oddballs with P/J pickups and skinny necks. My Jazz Bass Special is just a variation on that theme.
    And I just sold a vintage Hohner J copy - to help fund a future purchase of another Fender J. Guess I'm pretty much a J guy.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  5. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Personally for what I do the ideal is a 5 string Stingray HH or an active/ passive Jazz 5.
    But if I had to make do with one from your review .... I would down tune the 4 string jazz bass.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  6. I've always preferred Jazz. Specifically, maple fretboard Jazz.
    patrickj, Liam Wald and Greg Hagger like this.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    '78 P-Bass-1.JPG P-Bass. But, I cheated just a little. My '78 P has the "A" (Jazz width) neck; I like it a lot... I've just never cared for the way a Jazz Bass looks - or sounds. And anyway; when I do want that sound?
    Lefty Duke 1.JPG The DiMarzio "Twin-J" pickup in my Kramer Duke Special fakes it well enough to suite me...;)
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  8. I like the versatility of the J. Never owned a P but have 4 and 5 string J's. I particularly love my 5er.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  9. Greg Hagger

    Greg Hagger

    Dec 1, 2018
    Yes I’m surprised people are still asking this question often on the forums.
    Good answer and yes for me I love the narrow neck on the Suhr J-Bass as it’s so easy to play.
    Thanks for your fre
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. Greg Hagger

    Greg Hagger

    Dec 1, 2018
    My main gigging Bass is a 5-string J-Bass and I love it!!
  11. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010
    I love them both! The j is more comfortable to play for most people. I lost count of how many jazz basses I have owned. never owned a p bass, but I have a birdsong short bass that is essentially a short scale precision.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  12. M-rek

    M-rek Guest

    Apr 5, 2017
    I‘m a P-bass guy, I can‘t stand the skinny J necks. „Baseball bat necks“ somehow feel much more comfortable to me. Also, I don’t like the offset body shape of the J - it concerns me when putting it onto a stand!
    My main basses are a Greco Precision clone and a MM Stingray
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  13. Greg Hagger

    Greg Hagger

    Dec 1, 2018
    I’m the opposite and I love the skinny necks. Maybe because my hands are smaller.
    I know exactly what you mean about the putting a J/bass on a stand and not being sure it’s on properly! I now use the stands that you hang the neck from if I am in a situation that needs a quick bass change.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  14. Erich Bruning

    Erich Bruning

    Nov 25, 2003
    P-bass for me. I do like noodling with the jazz, but for everything else the P bass does it. Never really cared for the 'farty' sounding soloed j bridge pickup, and usually end up primarily on the neck pickup with a jazz.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  15. Yeah... One of the favorites of my collection. While I have two other 5ers I really like the 9.5 degree radius. My other basses have 19-20 degree radii.

    I can understand how a thicker neck can feel better for some people. I prefer the thicker soft V necks of some of my acoustics. Have you thought of a Jazz 5? While not necessarily thicker the necks are beefier with the extra strings. And while you don't have the depth the extra width takes away the skinny feeling of the jazz 4.
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  16. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Best of both for me. Jazz pickups in a Pbass shaped body.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  17. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Both sound good but I gravitate more towards the sound of Jazz basses. I liked the sound of your P bass but when you started to play the Jazz I immediately thought, "Yeah, that's the sound".
    Greg Hagger likes this.
  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  19. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    The answer is 42.
  20. Greg Hagger

    Greg Hagger

    Dec 1, 2018
  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.

    Feb 27, 2021

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