Fender P-Bass vs. Jazz Bass

February 12, 2019

I've been playing a lot of bass recently.  My favorite tune to jam out to as of late has been "Roots Radical" by the great Jimmy Cliff.  He is the performer of the hit reggae tune "I can See Clearly Now" which was featured in the movie Cool Runnings back in 1993.  I love the energy in his music and also gravitate toward the beautiful melodic lines he chooses to utilize in his various up beat compositions.

I remember how much of a struggle it was for me to choose which bass I wanted to buy...I had at least made my mind up that I wanted a Fender, because most of the bass players that I regularly play with hold this company in such high esteem.  I just had a hard time narrowing down my selection to a Fender Precision-Bass or a Fender Jazz Bass.  While they are very similar, the main difference is in the pickup system.  A P bass has one split pickup right in the middle of the body.  This produces a deep thud of a sound and is perfect for many musical settings and has been used for decades by people trying to replicate that James Jamerson sound.  The Jazz bass is funny in that it wasn't really used that much in jazz, as the name would suggest.  This bass has two pickups, one grabbing the sound near the right hand fingers, and one near the bridge.  These basses are very versatile and have been used a lot if Reggae music and even punk rock.  

The funny thing about these basses is that they are so very versatile.  You hear both of these being used in all kinds of styles of music.  I guess incidentally, it all comes down to personal preference.  Some artists like Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 even mix and match bodies and necks of each kind of the Fender basses to create their own Frankenstein bass!  

 

I ended up choosing a beautiful Fender Jazz Bass in White with a white pick guard.  I also pair it with an Ashdown Engineering 30W Bass Amp which sounds deep and solid!!

 

Fender P Bass

 
Fender Jazz Bass

 

 

 

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