#1
im a soon to be bassist and am in the process of searching for a suitable bass. in my research i have come across the terms p bass and j bass but i dont know what they are. so what are they? do they affect the sound of the bass? how? can you provide examples of p and j basses please.
#2
p bass and j bass is referring to the 2 of the most popular bass models in the world. The Fender Precision bass and Fender Jazz bass.

It could also refer to the pickup setups on other basses, named after their respective pickups on the fender models. somebody else can go into details of the sound as I lack adjectives to describe the audio/ not enough time using a Jazz
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#3
bassicaly just different styles of bass guitar. p bass is named after the fender precision bass, and is pretty much the standard setup for a bass guitar. j style is similar, except they have different pickups and looks a little different. j styles are made for a more flat, jazz sounding bass. but you could use it for anything. go to your local store and ask about a good starting bass.

you should be able to pick up a decent standard bass (p style) for around $200 if you look around.
#4
Fender Jazz bass:


Fender Precision Bass:


Most of the time you will hear the terms precision and jazz referring to pickups though because they both have different pickups as you can see from the picture.
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#5
They differ in sound fairly greatly actually.

The P has a very punchy low end boom. A P is used mostly for that boomy rock sound but with a good EQ on your amp you can get quite a few tones out of it. All in all though a P excels at playing rock, metal, and sometimes jazz because of the smooth tone you can get with the tone knob rolled down.

The J is an entirely different bass. I've heard a J described as the jack-of-all-trades bass. This bass is versatile because the two pickups (as shown on indie's ex) give a very different sound. The neck pickup gives a very warm yet still middy smooth tone. While the bridge pickup gives a very middy, high-end punch. This bass can literally be used in any genre you want. Rock, metal, jazz, funk. You name it. The only complaint I've ever heard about a jazz bass is that they really don't master a genre they can play any genre okay, but they can't play any perfect.

Aside from sound the J-basses neck is thinner than the P so you can get a lot more speed on a J bass.
#6
can you get combinations of the two pickups? i think i read something like this in some other thread.

Aside from sound the J-basses neck is thinner than the P so you can get a lot more speed on a J bass.

i presume thats bass specific, not to do with the actual pick ups.

and for a beginner a j bass would be better?
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#7
No the neck has nothing to do with the pickups. Just threw it in there for some general knowledge.

You can get a combination of pickups normally called the P/J pickup configuration. It has a P pickup where it normally is and then it has the jazz pickup where the bridge pickup normally is. I personally hate these but for some they won't do without. It's like a J bass is %100 and a P was 0% a P/J would be %50. Why go for %50 when you can go for %100. Anyway enough of my bias. I would recommend a J for a beginner just because it opens you up to more sounds than a P bass would. Over all I would say try both out and see though.
#8
the precision bass is punchier generally more agressive and boomy... not my style though... if you can get one of the OLD ones, THEY ARE BEASTS!

the jazz bass (which are among my personal favorites) are more versatile and all... more articulate, better if you like to play all along the neck...

if you like to play mostly low end then the precision would be a great choice... the precisions are great for punk and stuff like that....

but i'd personally go for the jazz... what kinda music do you play dude?
#9
P-Basses can fill out some bottom, and so can Jazz basses (used in reggae). But honestly, I play Jazz basses because of my small size, I like the small neck. I like the sound cause its more nasaly and out front than a boomy P-Bass. I would like a P-Bass cause it may suit my band better, but I can't manipulate it.I have really light guage strings on my Jazz basses and plus they're good for slap.

Honestly, go for a Jazz bass if you ask me. You can get a Fender one for a little less than $500. Don't get a knock off or cheap Squire model. Get the real thing and you'll be happier and want to play.
#10
Quote by Joetime
P-Basses can fill out some bottom, and so can Jazz basses (used in reggae). But honestly, I play Jazz basses because of my small size, I like the small neck. I like the sound cause its more nasaly and out front than a boomy P-Bass. I would like a P-Bass cause it may suit my band better, but I can't manipulate it.I have really light guage strings on my Jazz basses and plus they're good for slap.

Honestly, go for a Jazz bass if you ask me. You can get a Fender one for a little less than $500. Don't get a knock off or cheap Squire model. Get the real thing and you'll be happier and want to play.


Actually feel free to get a Squier J-Bass if your funds are more limited, just know what you're getting into. About 1/11 of Squier basses actually play like a genuine Fender (or at least a made-in-Japan Fender) and so try out as many as you can until you find one that feels great. Also, the bodies will mostly be made out of agathis, a crappy sounding tonewood. If you're very lucky (like I am) and manage to get an awesoem playing J-bass made out of alder instead of agathis, then you're set for a very decent bass with only a couple of minor mods like replacing the bridge which is a standard move for anyone buying a Fender (or Fender copy) bass because in general, unless they come ith a BadAss or Hipshot bridge as standard, their bridges suck.
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#11
Yeah I guess you are right, but you said 1/11. Alder is much better. Fender bridges suck on standards. BadAss Bridges cost about 70 to 90 dollars.

If you get a Squire change the pickups!
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#12
Icog, it sounds like you're new to the instrument. If Im wrong disregard this info. Hopefully what the guys said above clarified things for you but they might have digressed. An advice I'd give to anyone thats new to any instrument is... don't worry about ripping it up and replacing pickups/ or w/e and saudering it and stuff until you get the basics down. First comes learning the proper way to handle it, basic technique, learning some scales, and then you can go after improving the tone and doing bass surguery. Ya sure a squire will suck but for its price it will get the job done. Then as you start to become sick like Tom Araya from Slayers start replacing pickups or save towards you're new battle axe!!
#13
Quote by DesolationRow0
if you like to play mostly low end then the precision would be a great choice... the precisions are great for punk and stuff like that....

Actually the greatest punk bassist alive IMO (Matt Freeman) uses a Jazz bass because it gives a middy sound that cuts through really well. Both do well in punk, because you can either go for the low end growl or the punchy mids.

But I'd recommend the Jazz to start out, because like everyone has said, it gives a versatile tone.
#14
Quote by bass_kid92
Actually the greatest punk bassist alive IMO (Matt Freeman) uses a Jazz bass because it gives a middy sound that cuts through really well. Both do well in punk, because you can either go for the low end growl or the punchy mids.

But I'd recommend the Jazz to start out, because like everyone has said, it gives a versatile tone.

Klaus Flouride of the Dead Kennedys used a Jazz Bass. If you want a good example of what a true Jazz Bass sounds like listen to it. I think he solos the bridge pick up to give it the aggressive nasaly sound.
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#15
Quote by ICOG
can you get combinations of the two pickups? i think i read something like this in some other thread.


There's a few more than this, but the first thing that came to mind was the Deluxe Fender P Bass. It's about $100 more than the standard Fender P-bass, and has a P-pickup by the neck and a Jazz by the bridge.

#16
Of course if your budget doesn't quite stretch to that you can still get the best of both with a Squire by Fender P-bass Special. If you can find a good quality one it should be almost as good as the real thing.

#17
i find a p-bass is a bit more comfortable for legato playing and vibratos because of the extra space on the neck. besides that, my jazz bass destorys my pbass in every other category.

so yes, jazz bass. and squier did come out with the 70s vinatage modifyed...i recomend that

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