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thicker necks = pocket playing! really?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thehangingmist, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. so i was watching this video and the guy said with the thicker necks on the p bass the players tend to stay in the pocket and the jazz players tend to venture out a bit. now i have heard this a lot of times and it could be partially true but i cant say because i have always only played and liked thin jazz neck basses.

    however i do remember i got to play a nice squier p with a slightly chunky neck and it was pretty cool and i liked the fuller feel but anyway my question is to those of you who have basses with thin necks and chunky p or stingray type necks, do you think if you pick a up a bass with a chunky neck you tend to play lesser number of fills and stuff? or its all about the state of the mind really?
  2. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I've seen a zillion J Bass players who lock into the pocket, and a zillion P Bass players who think they're Billy Sheehan. Neck thickness has nothing to do with it, because we all have different preferences.

  3. lol.
  4. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    I have no empirical evidence to support that claim, and it seems to me to be a very subjective assertion. I have both jazz and p basses, and I don't think my overall style/approach to playing is affected by which one I have at the moment. BTW, I have never heard anyone tell me this. I've played bass since 1971.

    IMHO, it's BS.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I think that just depends on the player.

    I do believe that a thicker neck will be a lot less fatigue if you gig quite a bit. This has always been true with my experience

  6. the tone does that to me however, if am practicing alone at home and i can dial in whatever tone then if i have a full bottom bassy tone then i'd play differently to the same drum loop but i guess i have to be feeling like that to dial in that kind of a tone in the first place!
  7. Kromwarp


    Sep 16, 2008
    Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Master Luthier: Ironclad Bass Guitars
    Steve Harris didnt need a J to venture out
  8. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I have heard this theory before, and I partially buy it, and I partially think it's BS. I started on a jazz bass with a P-bass neck. When I was younger, I used to throw everything I knew into my playing all the time. As I got older, I learned to be more selective with my notes and fills. I also got a very nice 70s Jazz bass with a thin neck. I also own a new MIM P. I do enjoy soloing on the Jazz way more than I do on the P, but basically I play the same way. The fills and solos are more fluid on the jazz, but the main thing about the P being more "groove oriented" is that the sound is so much fatter, and somewhat slower. Each note has more impact, thus I use fewer when I play it. I'm really not sure how the different necks influence the playing, because I generally like to keep my playing in the pocket, even when soloing.
  9. Agreed, it's total BS. Most players I know (myself included) play what we play regardless of the bass we're using. I go from Jazzes to Precisions to Rics to Hofners, etc. without changing anything.
  10. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Silly silly silly. Some guys like 'em thick, some like e'm thin.

    Hmmmmm... That sounds familiar...
  11. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Complete BS, IMHO.
  12. And don't lose sight of the fact that Jay is Fender's marketing manager so it's his job to give you a reason why you "need" to buy both a Jazz and Precision! :D
  13. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Never believe anyone that speaks in "absolutes" when talking about a "subjective" topic.
  14. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    While I think he is grossly over-generalizing, there is something to what he is saying. If you think about most of the P-bass players over time (i.e. James Jamerson, Duck Dunn, Bob Babbitt, George Porter Jr., etc.), they play in a more supportive context, while the Jazz players (Geddy, Jaco, Tim C, Marcus, Larry Graham, etc.) tend to be play more of a lead role in their ensembles. I don't think it was the bass that made these players do what they did as much as the player choosing the right voice for what they wanted to do.

    Obviously, guys like Steve Harris and Billy Sheehan play some smokin' lead stuff on P-basses and there are countless Jazz bass players who are purely pocket players, so there is more to it than the just the bass choice itself. But, if I am picking a bass out for a particular situation, I would choose a P-bass for a supporting role and I would choose a Jazz if I were going to be playing more aggressive and out-front. That would be a decision based on tone, not neck thickness though. Like I said, it is an over-generalization, but it isn't a completely baseless one IMO.
  15. That's just common sense... like people with big heads are smarter than people with small heads.
  16. That alone pretty much puts a huge gaping hole in his theory.
  17. exactly what i thought!

    yeah i partially buy it too but in my mind its more tone oriented

    yeah ofcourse he himself said, "am a fender guy, if you ask me i'd say both!"
  18. right on! i do agree with the examples he gave to the sonic space of the basses a bit but i often do think jazz basses sound a lot more "mellow" more often than not. anyway +1
  19. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    A lot of lead style players use Rickenbackers, which more often than not are chunkys.
  20. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I don't understand...are you saying that Jamerson wasn't a pocket player? Or that he didn't play the P-bass in the traditional manner? Not trying be confrontational, just not sure I understand your point. :help:

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