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Why do people say a P bass ISN'T a 1 trick pony?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 14, 2020 at 4:53 AM.

  1. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Both of my Precisions sound great, my old Jazz Bass sound like marshmallows with a little pepper on it. The tone knobs on my Ps make them a lot more versatile than my upright. That okay with me, I don't have to sound like twenty different bass players, I just have to thump.
  2. Father Gino

    Father Gino Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2018
    Farthard, Connecticut
    An upright bass surely is the most one trickster of them all.
    LBS-bass and acleex38 like this.
  3. fishdreams

    fishdreams Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification and and Martin Keith Guitars
    Now take Colin Hodgkinson, where the Pbass is the ultimate solo instrument on top of the mix.

    tzohn and Mastermold like this.
  4. I agree. We love to talk about bass at talkbass. Passing time is more than fine to me.
    And since we are talking about pony and Pbasses, I would love to have this one in my stable.

    “The One Trick Pony OG”
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  5. Yeah I think this is part of the problem -- the phrase "one trick pony" really isn't very helpful and its meaning is used or understood differently enough that people "argue" because they mean different things by it.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I think you're right on with the "workhorse" term. Combines the suggestion of simplicity and lack of frills with the positive connotations of reliability, strength and utility.
    Plectrum72 and roccobass like this.
  7. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    Well Joe, you do realize that when you give people (like me) more knobs to play with-we have more of a chance to screw things up...and you'd think numbers on the knobs would help...NOPE. Too many numbers.
  8. Another one-trick pony:
  9. roccobass

    roccobass Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Northern California
    Yes, a one trick pony of a different breed. One that has its own magic.:thumbsup:
  10. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    I think the EB-0 is less versatile than the P-bass.

    P-bass is not a 1-trick pony because it does more than one trick. So can the EB-0 for that matter.
  11. This is kind of the way I've always understood it, as well. From back in the day when horses and ponies (as someone who owned horses, my understanding is that a pony is just a horse that's 14 hands tall or smaller) were expected to do work around the farm. If a horse was trained to pull a plow, but nothing else, you could say it was a one trick pony, but that wouldn't mean it wasn't useful. It was a still a workhorse and still valuable. A pony, being smaller, could be trained to do something a draft horse couldn't do, like pull a cart with ore out of a narrow mine tunnel (there were ponies trained to do this in the day).

    But clearly there are people seeing it as a more nefarious term than I have, and others seeing it the same. So Joe is right when he says a lot of the controversy probably stems from people understanding this term in different ways. Go figure :)
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  12. Like the P bass! :thumbsup:
  13. Yep :)
    LBS-bass likes this.
  14. roccobass

    roccobass Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Northern California
    No, the DB is special. No electronics and a very different technique. Just you and the big boy. Anyhow, this for different thread.:)
  15. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Alright alright... break it up.

    This debate of J vs P is useless.

    You always have people in both camps who are never going to see someone else’s side.

    Personally I prefer a Jazz Bass. Oddly enough because of the neck. Not the pickups. P necks are just terrible. TO ME!! I have never had much luck with the pickups either. Other people can (and do) have a totally different experience. Neither Bass is the be all end all. Both have their place.

    But a Jazz was the be all end all for me.

    At least until I can afford the Alembic.
  16. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Sorry, not even close.
    No one who's heard Gary Karr and Ray Brown would ever call a doublebass a one trick pony.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 3:33 PM
    DJ Bebop and roccobass like this.
  17. JSandbloom

    JSandbloom Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Redding, Ca
    Grace Guitars USA
    If you need any other trick besides sitting fat in the mix, you’re not playing for the song you’re playing with yourself.
  18. moreblues

    moreblues Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2013
    hudson valley,n.y.
    How many Tricks do you need? That's what she said...
    Regardless the P...and the J are really all that most players need.
    While I have more then only a P...If I could only have 1 bass and had to choose...It would be a P. ymmv...
    Polish Thunder likes this.
  19. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Yep, just the natural change of connotations in language. Probably helped along by the fact that the country is no longer majority agrarian and most folks have no daily connection to horses of any kind. I bet a large swathe of the population thinks that a pony is a young horse.

    Pony these days seems to imply frivolity, being less-than, something effeminate, etc. And that's even before getting into the more "fringe" uses. None of which would seem accurate to people who actually work with ponies or other types of horses.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  20. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    Do ponies eat carrots?
    Mushroo and DJ Bebop like this.

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