1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Writing an english paper on Precision vs. Jazz

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by SMILEYSIXX, Oct 12, 2010.



    Dec 29, 2009
    Alright, here's the age old question of Precision vs. Jazz. I'm writing an essay for my english class and decided to do mine on the fundamental differences between a Jazz and Precision. Split coil vs humbucking, 1.5" vs 1.75", growl vs punch. I understand these differences, but I'm really trying to get deep into this. I'm supposed to be writing this essay from an unbiased point of view, but as some of you may know I have an unmeasurable bias towards precision and really need to bring out some different but equal qualities. I'm thinking I'm going to focus on neck width, output (growl vs punch), and I want to add a section which will probably be the biggest point of the paper that will be about the tonal differences of the pickups. I need some insight on these topics, so any info will be great. I'm writing strictly about the differences, however, so showing similarities isn't really what I need. Thanks in advance to everyone who helps me out!

    EDIT: This may need to be moved to the basses section, so if any mods feel the need to move it, thanks
  2. Govier966


    Apr 28, 2009
    New York
    i almost wrote a topic about something like this last week, i chose to write about the unicorns instead. I think you should also write about the visual differences, pick-guard, offset waist on the jazz, stuff like that. also the jazz and p bass have a different number of controls. dont forget to post the paper here when your done!
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Sorry I can't chip in, but I'm curious to know how your teacher is gonna grade that lol... he most likely thinks you speak Chinese there.

    Way to make him check up on factual accuracy and such lol.
  4. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    you should put your whole text in a post here when you're done writing it


    Dec 29, 2009
    I've written two essays so far. One on how to wire a P bass and one on the decline of the appreciation of bass as a rhythmic instrument in popular music through the years. My teacher was lost on both of them. I'm trying to keep a bass theme going so my teacher has no idea what I'm talking about. And I'll post when it's done, I promise.
  6. trayner1


    Jul 1, 2010
    La Jolla,CA
    Try mentioning the shape differences, how the P was modeled after the Stratocaster and the J was modeled after the Jazzmaster. Also mention the history. As for pickup sound, make it clear that single coils cut through the mix while split coils ride with the mix and "thump". Finally, point out that the J is used more for slapping and jazz, while the P is better for rock (and actually created its own signature funk sound).
    Oh, and mention famous bassists who use these models.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Controls was a consideration but I think I'll combine that with pickups because the controls are another piece of the bass that has a profound impact on the output.


    Dec 29, 2009
    I may end up writing a section that relates more to the connotations involved with each such as how you never see a 70s punker playing a jazz and how you don't usually see Precisions being played outside heavier genres.
  9. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    That bit is PURELY subjective. Lots of folks never slap a J-Bass, lots of folks play P-Basses in non-rock genres... even jazz! The P-Bass was first used in jazz settings and in jazz-influenced Motown studio work. Might wanna skip that if it's a 'factual' paper. But yeah, good luck! Let us know how it goes. :bassist:

  10. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Now that's crafty. :D

    If you can get better grades easier that way, more power to you.

    Wish I had done that when I was in high school. I don't need to write papers anymore now (at least not on topics I can pick myself), haha.
  11. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
  12. go to the lakland.com site and listen to the various clips
    of jazz vs P bass tones.

    that site will help you articulate the differences.

    once a guy told me that both basses will kill you.
    a P bass is like getting hit over the head with a shovel
    and a jazz is like getting slashed across the chest with a sword.

    maybe that will help


    Dec 29, 2009
    Greatest comparison ever. I may quote it.
  14. Meyatch

    Meyatch Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    The Precision bass was put into production in 1951, the Stratocaster in 1954. The strat was modeled after the p bass.
  15. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    I see dead people - I mean, sigs.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    And don't forget to mention that the J is usually a bit heavier, but it also balances better than the P. Even a slightly heavier bass can be comfortable to use when it balances well.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Alright guys, got the intro paragraph done. The assignment for tonight is just the intro and conclusion, but I'll post the entire thing when I'm done. I figured you might like to see how it's coming so far.

    “A Precision bass is like getting hit over the head with a shovel and a Jazz is like getting slashed across the chest with a sword.” It is a rather gruesome analogy, yet that does not detract from its validity. The Precision and Jazz basses are the two most commonly used styles of bass in music, yet these two styles, although both basses, have so few commonalities, they almost seem like two completely different instruments. A skilled bassist will recognize the difference between the sound two instruments nearly instantly. To most people, the sound and feel of the instruments will have little to no difference; however, these basses have more differences than similarities. The appearance of the bass will be the most prominent difference to the vast majority, yet these aesthetically pleasing subtleties are much more important than just looking nice. The differences in body shape, neck width and contour, and placement of certain parts will affect the player’s ability to adapt more than anything. The difference of one quarter of an inch on the neck could make or break a bassist’s choice of instrument. A vital difference that divides bassists is the way the sound is gathered and processed. On a Jazz, the sound is amplified by two pickups, whereas only one is used on the Precision. The way these pickups are made will also drastically change the sound output. The most hidden difference, however, has nothing to do with the instrument itself, but those who play it. The connotations tied to each of the instruments will persuade many musicians to choose one bass over the other, which in the end may detract from or supplement the bassist’s search for his or her own unique sound.

    Shout out to PastorofMuppets for giving me my introduction sentence!
  18. Very Cool. :bassist:
    cant wait to read the whole thing!!



    Dec 29, 2009

    Although a Precision bass and a Jazz bass may both be basses, these drastically different instruments are as closely related as fire and ice. The separate but equal qualities of the instruments draw a line in the sand and, inevitably, sides will be taken as to which of these two majestic creations will ultimately serve as the more useful of the two, yet in all reality, these instruments are an undoubtedly evenly matched pair.
  20. Doc Halo

    Doc Halo Musician, heal thyself. Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2004
    Nashville, Tennessee
    From what you've told us, you are writing an expository essay. The point of an expository essay is to explain and to illuminate a given topic. If your teacher has no idea what you're talking about, then you really shouldn't be boasting.

    Okay, but if you use that quote, you need to do more than just give a shout out here on TB: in the essay, you need to say where you got it from. Otherwise, you're guilty of plagiarism. Of course, asking for help from people on an internet discussion board is itself an act of academic dishonesty, so maybe this is a moot point.

    One more thing: most of what you have there isn't an introduction; it's the stuff that goes into the body paragraphs. Your introduction should give your reader of the theme and intent of your essay. (In other words, it should answer the questions "What is this essay about?" and "Why should the reader care?") Save the particulars for the paper itself, dividing them into paragraphs that address the major points of contrast: body shape, sound, electronics, and so on.

    And before you ask: Yes, I am an English teacher. Just be glad that I'm not your English teacher. :eek: :p

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.