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P or J most used on older traditional country ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cbnutt, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. cbnutt


    Jan 9, 2018
    I know before the Jazz it has to be a P of course , but after the Jazz came out I was curious which might have got the most use , iam talking Buck Owens , Haggard , Ray Price , George Jones kind of country stuff through the 60,s maybe early 70,s . Thanks .
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Most of the time, I see precision basses in country/roots music in videos from over the last 50 years. I can't say that I really noticed any jazz basses until the advent of modern country fusion/bro-country.

    That said, I can't say I've ever really thought about it either, so I may be completely wrong.
    jamro217 and cbnutt like this.
  3. P
    Bassist30, jamro217, ICM and 4 others like this.
  4. cbnutt


    Jan 9, 2018
    I should try a P out maybe , that exactly the stuff i play 90 some percent of the time , but iam a Lead player also 90 some percent of the time too , but for some unknown reason iam wanting to do a few bass gigs . :)
    jamro217 likes this.
  5. Methinks you'd be more likely to see a Double Bass or an Acoustic Bass
    prior to the 80's. After that, it's been electrics abounding...

    Modern country might as well be called Pop Music at this point, dang few
    labeled as "Country" actually are. Personally think any "Country" band
    that ain't got at least a Banjo, Fiddle, or Mandolin in there, ain't really country.
    Really needs at least all three of those, and an acoustic guitar as well.

    And y'all can take those half-rapping BS artists with ya as well.
    If I wanted to hear Rap, I'd listen to MC Hammer. When I want Country,
    wanna hear MELODY & HARMONY, preferably three-part harmony at least.
    Definitely want to hear ACOUSTIC instruments...and good ones at that.
    Bleepers need to get back to basics, like Mumford & Sons have!
    They're flat out THE most Country of any band out there today.
    I'll even forgive the occasional use of the Electric Piano ;)

    Or take the Zac Brown Band, lead's got an acoustic guitar, fiddler,
    with a Les Paul secondary guitar player for backup and some schmuck
    with a Pbass...which is about all the electric junk I can tolerate in Country ;)

    What do I consider NOT Country?
    Brad Paisley is NOT Country, he's a pop icon that wears a Stetson hat.
    Any band with a lead guitarist that's playing an Electric that ain't a Lap Steel.
    If someone is Rappin with a Twang instead of singing, it ain't Country, its C-Rap ;)

    Now you kids GET OFF MY LAWN! :D
  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Uncle Jesse, is that you?? :D

  7. I saw Johnny Paycheck in a vid playing a Teisco Del Ray.

    Can't remember who he was backing, but it was late 50's, early 60's.

    Edit: It was George Jones.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
    PaulPriest76 and cbnutt like this.
  8. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    That was Paycheck with George Jones.

    Actually, I have noticed that in the late '60s to '70s you see a lot of Jazz bass with many of the acts you mention. Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and George Jones.
  9. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    There are probably more p-basses than all others combined.
    cbnutt likes this.
  10. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    I would say P bass. But I would say, "who cares?" Play what you want. I had a Ric 4001 back a few decades ago that fit in quite well with my country/classic rock group. No one ever said anything other than they liked the tone.
    tjh, SactoBass, jamro217 and 6 others like this.
  11. Looking back at the OP's list of artists, I would imagine there was some "tic tac " bass being done in the early days.

    Tic Tac involves using a muted baritone guitar to double the upright or electric bass part.

    TB seems to have little info on it.

    Decent info in this thread: Just what is a "tic tac" bass anyway? - The Steel Guitar Forum
  12. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    The really early stuff like the OP says, I'm thinking P or upright.

    When I got my P I was thinking of all these old (80s, late 70s) country songs I could do just right. Upon to listening to several of them I realized they were a Jazz. I agree you're probably about the only one who would even notice the difference in sound, so play it on what you got.

    But if you're looking, you could always get a PJ bass then you'd have a good portion of both types on one bass.
    cbnutt likes this.
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    While more P basses for sure, J basses got plenty of love in country early on.
    jchrisk1 and cbnutt like this.
  14. 808P123

    808P123 Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2015

    Attached Files:

    DaDo625, dmt, Marikk and 3 others like this.
  15. gsquare

    gsquare Pedal Breeders' BIGBoardClub#104;CabronitaClub#8 Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Peoria, AZ
    In general, I’d say a P bass from what I’ve observed. Having said that, when I was much younger I landed a gig at a place called the Red River Opry in AZ. It was sort of a Grand Ol’ Opry style show revue. The band leader, who played with the likes of Waylon Jennings and Linda Ronstadt, kept harping on me about nailing the tic-tac sound from early country records (upright and baritone guitar doubled, like was mentioned earlier). I’m glad he did, I learned a lot as a young wanna-be jazzer playing country. He gave me a number of tapes and I listened to them religiously trying to get inside of the music. Anyway, back to your post, I ended up playing a jazz bass with a pick and palm muted to emulate the tone. He was happy. But after a few months on the gig I found that I could emulate the same tone on my Modulus 5-string which I was much more comfortable on. Long story a little shorter, he was still happy.

    P or J, it’s more about understanding the genre from a stylistic aspect than the piece of wood, or graphite in my case, that you are holding at the time

    Get the bass that you are more comfortable on, study the music you are playing, and be true to the music first and the equipment second. My advice.

    ***EDIT - after re-reading the OP, obviously Modulus basses were not around in the early days of country music, from my research over the years, I’ve seen more P basses in pics of older country artists than J basses. But both were used just as effectively, along with plenty of other makes and models of basses depending on what was popular at the time.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  16. Just doing cursory searches on country bass guitar, I'm seeing a near equal jazz and precision bass used in country performances, but more interestingly, I'm seeing a lot of neither jazz nor precision basses - non fenders, humbuckers, electric uprights - looks like the country folk were experimental.
  17. gsquare

    gsquare Pedal Breeders' BIGBoardClub#104;CabronitaClub#8 Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Peoria, AZ
    I appreciate your fervor for traditional country, but to say that Brad Paisley isn’t country is like saying that Metallica isn’t rock because they don’t sound like the Beatles. Every style progresses, some into unappreciable territory, agreed. But that doesn’t necessarily invalidate them as artists, or as part of a developing genre. Just my opinion. I’ll get off your lawn now.

    I did, however, really enjoy your rant, assuming it was mostly tongue-in-cheek
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  18. gsquare

    gsquare Pedal Breeders' BIGBoardClub#104;CabronitaClub#8 Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Peoria, AZ
    So, since you are a lead player considering bass as a second instrument, you might try a sound gear series Ibanez or entry level G&L bass. They tend to have thinner necks which seem to be more favorable to guitarists, at least from my experience back when I was in retail sales at a bass store. Jazz necks, of course, are thinner than P necks, except for a few models over the years. Other than fenders, the G&L’s will give you more street cred, or I suppose “dirt road” cred with the country crowd.
    cbnutt likes this.
  19. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Rap... MC Hammer? Wow.

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