P or J?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by StumpsForHands, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. StumpsForHands


    Aug 19, 2001
    I've been playing bass for a little while. I am currently still using my first bass, a Lyon (from Washburn), that I was never too happy with from the start. What did I know about bass guitars when I was just starting out? I should have done more research.
    Anyway, I plan on upgrading to a Fender, but I can't decide between a Jazz or a Precision. Can anyone help me out by listing the pros and cons of each? Any suggestions would help.
  2. P-bass tone is pretty useful for blues/rock/R&B-type stuff
    J-bass tone is pretty useful for jazz/funk/rock/blues-type stuff
    For one thing, if you like slapping, the P route is not the way to go. I'll also say the J is a little more versatile, but personally I go for the P-tone.
  3. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Why don't you do a search of the archives. This question has been asked too many times before, so there is probably more than enough information to answer your questions.
  4. StumpsForHands


    Aug 19, 2001
    In my own defense, there's nothing wrong with "refreshing" popular questions on a message board. Besides, I'm a new member, and I can't find the answer to my question in the archives.

    Good point on the slap tone. I am working on my slapping, and that is the biggest frustration in working with my current bass. I can't get the tone to sound how I want. I did play a friend's Standard J, once, and the slap tone on even that lowest grade Fender J was noticably better than my Washburn. I was leaning toward the J even before I originally posted (even though, despite all this, you prefer a P). Any other cases for the P? more support for the J?
  5. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    In general, J-bazzes have 2 pickups which offer a more versatile tone, and have a narrower and "faster" neck, whereas P-basses have 1 pickup and a thicker neck. The tone which has already been described above is different for both basses. I personally prefer Jazz-type basses myself.
  6. KumoriNeko

    KumoriNeko Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    I don't know what type of music you play, so I can't really recommend one based on that. Tone wise, there's no better, just different (that's why I have both), other than that, the only difference is feel and look. If you have smaller hands, get the Jazz Bass, but if you have larger hands it doesn't really matter. And there's always the P/J option. The Deluxe P-Bass Special has a J neck, P body, a P pup and the neck, and a J pup at the bridge.
    But if you want to slap get the J for sure.
  7. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Id go for the p-bass. i like the "bite" The jazz bass is more versitle. But to me, nothing compairs to the p-bass sound. I am getting a Jazz Bass (Or a p deluxe) next bass i get. both are great basses. and im talking about the MIM ONES! god, i cant wait till i have enogh money for a MIA one. And hes right, it depends on your style of music, and tone you like. to settle it, just play both.
  8. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Go for the Fender Zone (p/j).

    Can't go wrong there, can yah?
  9. purple_haze


    Jun 29, 2001
    London Town
    Depends on what you want it for....

    J-bass - Has a more versatile tone because of two pick ups. But a narrower neck meaning that the string spacing slightly lower down the neck is a tad tight for some people. Checl if it's comfortable for you.

    P-bass - less versatilty in tone, but it has a great "thump". And as far as necks go they're very comfortable. It's also very simple to control: 2 knobs, one volume, one tone.
  10. I have found from using both styles that the Precision bass has a deeper more funky tone. It has a very nice bottom end for a very neat sounding, resonant tone. It is the kind of bass tone that is very good for laying down a groove. Precision basses (I believe) were the mainstay of Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and can also be heard on the early Who (particularly noticable on the BBC Sessions). The Jazz bass tends to be the more popular of the Fender series particularly because (as has been mentioned above) they have two pickups with separate volume controls thus allowing a wider tonal range. I find this bass to have more edge. It is more mid-rangey than the P and is great for accentuating your slap style (something which the P-bass is weak in). The list of Jazz bass users includes John Paul Jones, and Jaco Pastorius (among MANY others). I just mentioned those two so that you can sort of get a feel for the different styles that are possible on the Jazz bass. Hope that helps.
  11. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I think you put it very well... a Precision's very good for "laying down a groove", as you put it.
    I think that translates to the Jazz bass being like the type of bass that cuts better, but isn't as deep sounding. So if you wanna really rumble the floor, the precision would be better. But if you want to be very clear, the Jazz would be the way to go. The Jazz is also (obviously) more versatile. Although, with the versatility thing, the way I look at it is "You always have one sound in mind that you're looking for in basses. If the bass can do it, don't worry about the extras it has."

    Because, if you're only going to use one of the many sounds it can get, why care about the other sounds it can get?