P-Bass vs Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 3rd Rock, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. 3rd Rock

    3rd Rock Guest

    Sep 19, 2001
    Toms River, NJ
    I'm considering purchasing a Fender American Jazz Bass or a Fender American P-Bass.

    Which of these would you consider better for ska style of music, and for recording in the studio?

    I'm in two bands right now. One is an original ska band, and the other is a cover band. The cover band does lots of modern rock like Smashmouth, Matchbox Twenty, but also some disco stuff thrown in here and there.

    Just curious on some opinions...:)
  2. gozan


    Sep 17, 2000
    Jazz is more versatile. P Bass has 1 sound only.
  3. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i used to have a jazz and a precision, actually i have onlt the precision. with the jazz you can't go wrong, it's more versatile, with a faster neck. but if you want the precision sound you have to own one. i loved and still loves jazz basses but i feel better with the precision. and in my opinion the precision has 2 sounds that are both very usable. tone closed and tone open.
  4. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Carlsbad, NM
    On the contrary, a P bass can get out multiple sounds and tones. I don't like either one better than the other, I like a P neck better than a Jazz one (Then jazz necks are just so tiny). If you want to do Ska, either one would work. Just play them, and see. Also you have to remember, with a P you can't get it to sound like a J and viseversa. my favorite over all is a P/J or P/Hummer.
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have owned both. I prefer the Jazz. The P bass is a great bass, but my personal preferences go to the Jazz because of tone versatility, narrow neck, and "look".
  6. I've always been heavily biased to a Jazz bass mainly cos i own one and the one P i owned sucked. As for the tone you can get, i think the Jazz is oh so much better. It tonal diversity is great plus I mean, i think it looks better. The neck is fast the offset body is great. The two pickups rule, you can get a P tone out of it. You get two volumes and tow pickups. The slap tone is that not experienced on any other bass and its just so user friendly. I think it truly is the standard for other basses and that bassist should own a jazz at some time in their playing life.

    Get the jazz, please. P stands for Poo.


    (I take that back, Ps arent poo, they just arent as good.)

  7. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Do yourself a favor and just search the archives at the Fender Discussion Page (www.fenderforum.com). This question has been asked a million times and whenever someone asks it it just incites a war.
  8. bb77


    Oct 13, 2001
    Both are fine for the Ska one, but for the cover it's better the Precision
  9. 3rd Rock

    3rd Rock Guest

    Sep 19, 2001
    Toms River, NJ
    I'm going with the P-Bass! :D
  10. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I have both and I gig with both regularly. I like both flavors which is why I have, and use, both. The Precision is way more tonally flexible than many critics suggest. But the flexibility is in the amp. I have an Eden rig and the very powerful Eden EQ is perfect for shaping the P into a more Jazz-like tone.
    But if could only have one - wow tough choice - I guess it would be the Jazz...naw, maybe the P.....hey, just get one now and save up for the other.
  11. You can't compare a P-Bass and a J-Bass in terms which one is better. They are different and they are great basses.

    If you have the money, go and get both. If you don't have the money, go and look for cheaper copies like Fernandes and get both of them. Actually thats what I would do anyway. If you don't care for the name on the headstock you can save a lot of money and get actually the same sound. I think is kind of funny that people buy Fenders and put new pups and bridges on them.
  12. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Jazz is versatile, but I think p has a better tone...you'll sound more unique on stage and you'll probably just generally love your tone. I hate when people make songs with a P cuz you can't it without actually having a P
  13. I like PJs, personally. Jazzes are nice, but I love that lower midrange sound.
  14. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    That's news to me. Please elaborate.
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Im more partial to the tone and playability of the jazz bass, IMO its also more versatile, you can get it to sound a bit like a P bass when you want to, but you cant make a P sound like a jazz bass if you want. at least I havent been able to ever do that.
  16. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    Tone open - tons of high mids
    Tone rolled off - huge lows

    Those are the only two I'd use on the P.

    On the contrary, the J can get a very articulate
    sound with the bridge pup soloed, or you can do use both, which produces a fuller sound.

    All in all, I perfer the Precision.
    Then again, I always EQ my amp so that I boost around 1.4k. :)
  17. ...I'd get a P and a J...and a P/J

    I can still dream right????

    The thing about the P-bass is that from what I've heard on concerts (meaning the guy on stage has a P because he has money) and on recordings is that the P-bass has an incredibly dominating/imposing/buttkickin' low heavy bass tone. If it's the only tone you can get it's a helluva tone to have.

    The J is cool too...plus I personally like the idea of having two pickups instead of one.

    Now if you can and want to play complicated ska parts then the slim neck of the J might be a decider for ya...
  18. i think jazz basses are better because they provide much more clarity and better tone versatility IMHO.

    and for ska...the bass is gonna play some pretty fast, groovin' basslines, and you'll wanna hear every note clearly...go with the jazz if you haven't made the decision yet.
  19. chickeNeck


    Dec 6, 2001
    You can get a half dozen tones out of a p bass. It's all about where and how you pluck/pick/mute/slap. Introduce the tone knob into the mix, and you have a dozen tones.

    However, the exact same thing can be said for the J, and you do have another p/u to play with, so yes, the J is more versitle.

    My opinion to the question:

    "Should you go with a J or a P?"

    YES. :D

    Try em both and go with yer gut.
  20. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The "real" question, in my opinion, is not which will fit your style of music the best (because both basses are very adaptable and have been used in every type of recording session known to man over the last 50 years), but which one fits YOU the best. Although they are both Fender basses, they are very different from each other. Most notably, the nut on a jazz is 1 1/2 inches, where it is 1 3/4 on a P-bass. One might not think that a 1/4" would make that much difference in feel and playability, but it does! Also, the profile of the neck is usually slimmer on a jazz, and is a bit heftier on a P-bass. Also, while this may be a minor detail for some, the pickups "feel" different under your thumb. If you don't use the pickup as a thumb-rest, don't worry about it. If you do, this may be another comfort issue for you to consider. Overall, as far as the audience is concerned, 9 out of 10 people won't be able to tell the difference between a Precision and a Jazz. Play them both and find the one that is comfortable to play, will inspire you to play, and will work with you, not against you.