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Seems kind of counter-intuitive, but does anyone else move faster on a P-width neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IPA, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    I always figured I should stick to jazz-width necks since I have short fingers, but after having gone back and forth between P and J necks for a while, I definitely feel that I am able to move faster on a wider neck. Strange! Wonder why that is...
  2. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    I dunno about faster, cause I don't really play speedy stuff, but they're waaaaay more comfortable to play.
  3. Thebrownarrow

    Thebrownarrow Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2011
    I have small hands and the thick p bass necks just do not groove with me. I have always played on slim jazz style necks. Now I did pick up an amber colored Squier vm Precision bass in a store one day to mess around with. One of the most comfortable sized necks I have ever played on.
  4. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I agree. I'm not usually too picky about necks. I love my chunky G&L necks. I love mychunky SX jazz necks, but I also love my thin and light Ibby necks. What I don't seem to enjoy so much is my real Fendr jazz bass neck. Which is why I was so surprised when I put together a modded PJ Squier with the wide P neck and I just positively loved it! I never expected that!. But there it was. Live and learn.

    And I guess it's what you prefer, but all those guys who put a jazz neck on P bass just seem to be going the wrong way to me!
  5. The whole "small hands require a skinny neck" thing is a myth.
  6. Noonan


    Oct 27, 2011
    I like the Precision width. It's narrower than the fretboard on a Les Paul guitar.
  7. A P neck fits my hand better. Jazz necks are too tiny! My Spector neck fits even better. :)

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    From listening to people's comments on this board, I would almost conclude that smaller hands prefer Precision necks and bigger hands prefer Jazz necks.

    I have big hands and do seem to prefer Jazz sized necks. I really couldn't understand why anyone would like that baseball bat-like necks a lot of Precisions have.

    Having recently bought a couple Ps (one 57, and one modern sized- 1.65") At the first through third frets I actually can play 'cleaner' for lack of a better word.

    Now my Jazz basses seem too small some of the time. Weird.

    I can move very fast on the Jazz though, but I have a new appreciation for the wider necks now.
  9. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls. Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Yeah.. I'm probably in the minority but I can switch between jazz necks and precision necks, chunky or otherwise, without really missing a beat. There are certain sizes and shapes I think I prefer, but I don't think I can necessarily play faster or better, for that matter. Maybeon a short scale neck I can play faster if I really tried, but otherwise, size doesn't matter to me (lol).
  10. This.
    Plus, if possible, a little flatter radius wise. Most comfortable neck I've played in years was a vey chunky SX Ursa 1 P-bass neck with a 15 inch neck radius. I can't say that it played [Ufaster[/U] per se, but it certainly felt very comfortable. I would assume the more comfortable a neck feels, the faster you would be able to play on it.
  11. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    If you use good technique, the difference in width is pretty meaningless. So for me the critical factor is not nut width, but the depth front-to-back of the neck. Too deep (like most J necks) forces the left hand to be at an awkward angle and causes more problems than a wider neck that's less deep. That's why my favorite neck is my Fender VS '62 Precision. It's a very early Fullterton VS bass that's very shallow.

  12. Im no big guy and play on a P bass and can say that other than my action being to high (maxed truss rod) the only real problem I have is for having to playing chords fast. Never played a jazz neck but have pondered putting one on my P bass to see how it feels. Im moving to short scale soon here and am excited to see how it will feel.
  13. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    I'm starting to agree with that!
  14. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I don't think neck shape affects the speed at which I play. I can play the same lines at the same tempo on my Smith 6-string FL as I can on my Fender CIJ Jazz FL.
  15. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I prefer the P neck over the Jazz neck, as are 5 and 6 strings . . .
  16. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    I with ya. I've owned/played lots of Js and Ps that I like. I see them like cars.. they all feel different, but there are ones that I like and ones I don't. The only thing I don't really care for, regardless of J or P, is a super chunky neck. String spacing and nut width doesn't matter to me so much, I adapt quick to that. But really fat necks tire my hand out faster. I had a '74 AVRI Jazz that was as thick as I would ever want to go.
  17. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    There isn't a neck I move faster on than the 1.75 nut/7.25 radius "C" on the 50's Classic Fender's and AVRI series. The 9.5 radius and 1.65 nut on modern Precisions is very well regarded and many folks seem to LOVE it, but it absolutely sucks for me.
  18. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    I love those guys who swap the J necks onto their P basses. They usually dump their discards on TB at pretty decent prices.

    I really don't know what the hell is wrong with me. Not only do I like C-width (1-3/4") necks, but I like them super thick front-to-back...especially below the 7the fret, where I do most of my business. Last time I was in Chicago, I stumbled into CME and tried a '66 P-Bass. It was the comfiest neck I'd ever touched, so I bought it on the spot and asked questions later. Fortunately, Mrs.Engine was cool with it.
  19. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006

    To be able to consistently execute a fast passage, comfort and familiarity do play a role but I personally don't notice a correlation between neck dimensions and the ability to play faster. I don't think that there is a "faster" neck profile as it is often marketed to the masses, but a matter of finding the right one to fit your hands.

    To answer the OP: when I play a 4-string, I prefer an in-between 1 5/8" width and a flatter fb radius- that would put me in my comfort zone.

    In addition to the dimensions: I think that nut slot depth, neck relief, string tension, saddle height and butter content have equal or greater importance in playability.:)

    ^ I'm in the same camp as Engine207- I also prefer thicker necks (front to back).
  20. lsabina


    Sep 3, 2008
    Love the wider necks. My Robin Freedom's nut width is actually a smidgen over 1.75" and my Schecter custom shop P-bass copy is 1.75. I find they're good for my technique, as I never have my thumb over the fretboard.