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P or J for trio

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sigmafloyd, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. sigmafloyd


    May 1, 2011
    I've been jamming with a drummer and a guitar player a few times. The drummer was previously in a well known cover band, so we're playing a random mix now to feel each other out (superstition, Bon jovi, rain dance Maggie, de do do do).

    My P is my best bass, but I have never gigged it. I spent all of my giggin days playing a J. I brought the P to the first practice and it felt a little hard to tame, I ended up rolling the tone off for most of it.

    Next week I brought a squier VM jazz. This felt much more comfortable and the other guys liked it better. It felt easier to punch out the moving lines on songs like Living on a prayer.

    Question, am I just not used to the P yet, or do you think a jazz is better suited for this setup?

    Machiavelli likes this.
  2. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Both! I gig with my MIM P-bass and my Carvin SB4000 (Jazz type bass) - I switch off between them for different sets.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    The J is more versatile for tones, but both should work (I have both, and alternate depending on my mood that night).
  4. If your band mates like the sound of the Jazz better, that pretty well solves it. Do keep the P for a backup and to play on certain types of songs.
    tangentmusic likes this.
  5. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    There is nothing specific to a trio that works better than something else. How the group sounds is another story.

    I use both regularly in my power trio. I want the bass to stand out and be in your face. These days I prefer a P to a J, but either one works very well.
  6. bagel


    Jan 9, 2014
    My band is pretty much just guitar, bass & drums. I think my jazz type basses fill out the sound more. But I always record with my p bass.
  7. soflbass


    Mar 2, 2013
    S Florida
    This. But if you had to pick just one, I'd bring the J - more tonal options.
  8. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    OP: Here is your answer.
  9. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I use my P bass Lull for everything. Before that I used my Lakland 55-94 for everything. With my fingers they didn't sound a million miles apart!!

    If the band prefers the J and you think you're not quite cutting it with the P, I'd play the J until everyone is happy with the set and the line up is settled.
  10. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    J with an S-1 switch. Bam! Best of both worlds. You'll have the J sound your band loves and can easily switch to a P sound if or when needed.
  11. raventepes


    Jan 7, 2012
    Reno, NV
    If the Jazz sits in the mix better, that's really what counts.

    Sometimes, musicians have to make small sacrifices for the band. Personally, I love using 2x12'a (8 ohms) or 4x12's (4 ohms), but when I was in a band, I switched to 4x10's. 10's just tend to sit a little better in a mix, and it's really not much different from bass guitars. Sometimes, one tone of one instrument will be better for the band itself, as opposed to what you personally prefer.

    Just my thoughts...
  12. 4andnomore


    Nov 14, 2008
    When I hear "rock trio" I automatically think P bass.
  13. sigmafloyd


    May 1, 2011
    See I always think J (rush, Hendrix experience, led zep)
  14. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I think a P has a wider window of frequencies present, while the J has less but presents them in a more focused manner. You can make a J sound wider but with a P you can only attempt to make it more focused, but you will never get the type of focus that a J provides. I think it comes down to how wide of a footprint is appropriate for the circumstances.
  15. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    I play in a trio, and we cover a very wide range of styles; like from Hendrix (Purple Haze) to Etta James (At Last). If it comes down to a choice between a P and a J, I prefer the J, mostly because of it's versatility and partly because I am more of a J guy anyway.

    But what I play most often is a PJ, best of both worlds. There are plenty of songs where I solo the P pickup and go for that completely authentic tone, and blend in the J for most of the rest to get that extra sizzle and top-end when it's needed. The combination makes for a pretty big tone palette.

  16. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    String can make a big difference. I think a P-bass with Steels can do about anything in a rock band. In my experience they are a bit more plug and play. I like DR Lo riders for the P. A J is a little for finicky to get that holding it all down sound for me. But when done right, sounds awesome as well. Today I am playing Nickels and Flats on my Js and steels on my Ps.
  17. I agree with the if-it-fits-wear-it notion. If the Jazz fits, that's the one. I have a bunch of things to chose from, but the MIM Jazz makes it out more than any others, simply because it just works so well for so many things, and I can adjust it on the fly really easily, if I have to.

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