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This is probably a stupid question...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ketch27, Jun 3, 2001.

  1. Ketch27


    May 4, 2001
    ...But the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask.

    What makes a Jazz bass a Jazz bass? Besides the fact that you use it for jazz, what makes it special.
    And while we're at it, what makes a P-bass a P-bass? I just would like to know so I can find out what's best for me.
  2. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    well it depends. are you saying the JAzz Bass as in Fender or a bass used for jazz. I think when you capatalized it, you meant Fender Jazz Bass. A p-bass is a precision bass.
    Leo Fender started this company called Fender (i wonder where he got the name), and was a pioneer for electric guitars. MAny people say that he created the electric guitar or electric bass guitar, but i try not to trust 2nd hand information. Fender made there model called the Precision Bass in 1950-51. It pretty much had the shaped of a common p-bass today. It had a tele style pickup (placed between the neck and bridge, in the middle) and tele head. It was changed in '57 and had a split-coil pickup (commonly called a p-bass pickup or precision pickup, today) and the head was changed. The bass now looked like fender precisions look today. in i believe 1960, fender made a new model, called the Fender Jazz Bass. It had a slimmer neck and an off set contour so guitarists could easily switch over to bass guitar. The jazz bass was a little more versatile. It had two pickups, one at the bridge and one at the neck. The bridge pickup sounded a little more treblely, and the neck pickup had a rounder sound. The term p-bass referes to the fender precision, basically, but it also referes to the style of the bass. There are many p-bass copies that try to copy leo fender's design. same thing goes for the jazz bass or j-bass.
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    the jazz bass isn't always used for jazz. Noel Redding used a jazz bass, just for an example (there are probably millions that use a jazz bass), and he was Jimi Hendrix's bass player. i see you have a kennling wood pro, i new someone who had one of those, i would be more worried about the quality of the bass and not if it was a jazz bass or copy or precision bass or copy.
  4. A Fender Jazz bass is not a bass just used for jazz, it's a model name that Fender gave to the bass they introduced to the world in 1960. It is characterised by having two single coil pickups, a narrow neck, an offset-waisted body, and a chrome plate that all the controls mount on. A Fender Precision bass, which started life in 1951, is characterised by having one split pickup, a non offset body, and is the most simple, basic design of bass. Sound-wise, a P has a fat, punchy sound, where a J has more tonal variation, not quite as much fat, and has a characteristic "growl". Both styles have been played on every style of music imaginable, and are copied by nearly every bass manufacturer on earth, so if you see the term, P bass, or J bass (Jazz bass), it could be any brand, but the real deal is Fender.
  5. "The term p-bass referes to the fender precision, basically, but it also referes to the style of the bass. "

    somone correct me if i'm wrong, but wasnt the precision called the "precision" because it had frets, so then a bassist wouldnt have to worry about intonation, and you could have a more "percise" note?
  6. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    yea, you are correct. Did i not state my statement clearly? i talk confusingly sometimes. I was saying that p-bass refered to precision, and that there are a lot of copies.
  7. Hi Ketch27.

    The Fender catalogue I'm looking at now says the Jazz Bass was first introduced in 1960 (as others have said, here) as the "Deluxe Model". I take that to mean the Deluxe Model of their then only other bass, the Precision.

    There's certainly some confusion, too, about the use of the terms P-Bass and Precision Bass, and J-Bass and Jazz Bass: at least, there's confusion in my mind!!! I think I'm correct in saying that Fender have made basses under both banners but yet they are, essentially, the same respective instruments with perhaps slight differences in style, pups, or whatever. Again, as I understand it, P-Bass, Precision Bass, J-Bass, Jazz Bass are registered trade marks belonging to Fender.

    Both basses are certainly the yardstick. Copied many many times by all and sundry and possibly never bettered.

    I guess, visually, the thing that distinguishes the two is the body shape and the chrome control plate of the Jazz. And on closer inspection, the neck width at the nut.

    And the USA made basses? Yes, I'd like one of each, please......

    Rockin John
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    <img src="http://www.fender.com/electricbasses/images/precision.jpg">
    This is a Precision bass.

    <img src="http://www.fender.com/electricbasses/images/jazzbass.jpg">
    This is a Jazz bass

    There is no bass for one stlye of music. If you like a bass, then it is for your style of music.

    Mast jazz bassist use upright basses.

    You are 100% correct Muttluk.

    Have you ever played a Sadowsky?
  9. Hi Nino.

    No, in short. And I've only just heard of Shadowsky...!

  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well the only confusion is that many bass makers or luthiers make their own "Jazz" or "J-style" basses. Both Sei and Overwater in the UK make their own high-quality basses in this vein and I think that "Jazz" is such a widely-used term now that you can't really patent it.
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Maybe they were never bettered, but CBS sure showed the world how to screw up a good thing...

  12. Ketch27


    May 4, 2001
    I think you guys cleared it up a bit for me. I knew a J-bass and Jazz bass were the same and P-bass and Percision bass were the same too. I knew a little about Fender too. I just wanted to know what makes a Percision a percision and and I think I understand now. I understand about the J-bass too. Thanx. I'll just have to play around with different ones to see what I like.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Amen, Bro.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The current reigning champ is Gibson...where good things go to die.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Amen, Brad. They killed Tobias, Steinberger, and my favorite all time rock 4 string, the RD Artist.

    Oh yes, I will own one someday!:D

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