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Why a Jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oobly, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. logdrum

    logdrum A person! Supporting Member

    There will be a parallel thread about the P-bass soon and will tower over this thread. So yeah, give more love to the J-Bass before the main peloton swallows this break away group. (Tour de France speak)
    Rodslinger and Hachimitsu Pie like this.
  2. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    It's funny that I came across this now- I just picked up a Squier CV 60's J from Craigslist for next to nothing. It's the first Jazz I've ever owned, and it's not exactly top of the line; the neck is cracked (but stable), and the elephant ear from the G string tuner has snapped off (I shoved a quarter into its place as a temporary fix). Threw on some fender flats and it out on a bar gig last night as a backup, and I'll be damned if I didn't play it nearly all night.

    I was having issues getting a nice tight low end out of my rollerwound-strung P-bass, so I threw on the J and... there it was. By the end of the night I was having way too much fun experimenting with the multitude of voices you can get out of a Jazz- rolling off one pickup or the other almost seems like a way to move around your midrange and "tune" the bass to the particular song. What a blast.
  3. I'd say that this is a genuinely enthusiastic definition of what a J-bass is and why it should always be present in the arsenal of every bass-guitar player ..
    JMacBass65, lowdownthump and Timmah like this.
  4. I owned a precision Elite II, my first bass. I stumbled upon a used Jazz in a shop in '85. Played it for a few moments and it just felt right in my hands. Bought it on the spot. Didn't take long for it to become my first choice, and the Elite to take a back seat, and eventually get sold. A number of other bases have come and gone, but I still have that same jazz, and it's my # 1 of three total.
  5. 600 Ohms

    600 Ohms Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    The jazz works great in dense mixes, and kinda does it all. I’m one of those Jazz players who keeps both pickups on 50-50 for as long as I can get away with it. There’s a throaty character no other bass has especially in the pickup configuration. It gets out of the way. It is also big despite the preceding statement being true.
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  6. Sometimes the breakaway makes it to the line. ;-)
    logdrum likes this.
  7. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Tone, usable voice.
  8. Resonance129


    Feb 15, 2011
    I love the tone and versatility. Plenty of sounds to be pulled out of a Jazz, but even within the "main 3" tones, it covers plenty of ground. They sound great, both solo'd and in a mix, there are tons of aftermarket parts to mod with, and they can look pretty sexy.
    I prefer P necks, but I'd say that's the only "negative" towards the J (which actually isn't really a negative at all). J necks have their perks, but my hands tend to like the width and depth of the P a little more.
  9. AceOfBassFace


    Jun 23, 2019
    @600 Ohms - do you mean both pickups on half volume, or both on full?
  10. 600 Ohms

    600 Ohms Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Full. Thinking of it as a “blend”.
  11. Larchi


    Jul 1, 2012
    Vic, Australia
    You don't need one.
  12. Bob DV

    Bob DV

    Mar 8, 2019
    The neck feels great with the nut width as it is. I like the sound and can change it by rolling off one of the volume knobs slightly. The sound punches through. The offset body looks cool too.
  13. John M Ewers

    John M Ewers Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2018
    Forsyth, IL
    The narrower Jazz Bass neck is better for me. I do prefer the sound of the Precision neck pickup over the neck pickup of the Jazz Bass. Both of my P Basses have the P/J setup.
  14. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    I enjoy the flexibility the Jazz bass designs offers for accessing different pickup tones.

    Back pickup on full with the neck pickup off and vice versa provides a lot of fun.
    Even turning both volumes to about 50% and turning either the neck or back pickup slowly up to full provides an amazing variation of tone.

    Here’s a cool tip...

    1. Plug your bass into your amp and turn all knobs on your bass to zero so no output
    2. Turn on your amp and turn your amps master volume to max
    3. Turn the gain or preamp volume fairly high beyond 12 O’clock
    4. Slowly turn up your bass...realize the tonal variations available

    Some know this already...but some choose to crank their Jazz bass on full.
    Not problem with that...but just try the method above to see if it provides you with a different experience!
    LetItGrowTone likes this.
  15. I've had two Jazzes and 2 Precisions over the last 46 years, and now THIS is what remains: the original, and to me, the best:

    It cuts through the mix better than my jazzes did.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  16. To Whom It May Concern:

    Simply stated, the Jazz Bass is a sexier looking instrument than the Precision Bass that preceded it. Also, there is more fidelity in the sounds that can be produced between the combination of the two neck and bridge pickups. The neck is great for laying down the lines and the bridge is perfect for standing out. In addition, the feel of the Jazz neck is much more comfortable and easier to maneuver around. Nothing wrong with a Precision; I just like the look, the feel and the sound of the Jazz much, much more.


    - southsidesmoka
  17. Guidowitz


    Jun 11, 2019
    Saratoga, CA
    Still trying to find out what GAS means... boy do I hate acronyms!
  18. Gear Acquisition Syndrome
  19. lweastdad


    Feb 5, 2011
    The tone and growl of a jazz bass
    lowdownthump likes this.
  20. candiehappy


    Oct 21, 2011
    I have hand injuries that physically limit what is comfortable to play, even for a single 3 - 4 min song.

    I never wanted a Fender Jazz because I never liked the C shaped profile necks on all the Fenders I had played up that that point. I love the look, especially with the ashtray covering the bridge! Classic!

    I played a charity benefit where I had to play the house bass and the options were a 4 and a 5 string Ibanez SR bass. String spacing is too narrow for my hands compared to what I am used to. And a Squire 4 String Jazz ( Vintage Mod 70's )!

    I fell in love immediately with the relatively thin D shaped neck and the very low profile frets.

    I immediately started looking for a good deal one, it only took about a year to find one. :)

    Found a "used" Natural finish one with the plastic still on the backplate with a case for $100 < than brand new.

    One of my most comfortable to play basses in my collection.

    And with the Cobalt Flatwounds on it, it is one of the best sounding as well.

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