The great bass debate has been going on since 1960 when the Jazz Bass was released.
So which one is better? More to the point...which is a better fit for you?
What is the difference between a Fender Precision Bass and a Fender Jazz Bass anyway?
The first thing that we notice is that the body styles are slightly different.
The Jazz Bass [on the right] has more of a curved tail end that resembles the Fender JazzMaster it was named after.
With this slight body design change the balance of the bass is slightly more centered and gives a little more breathing room for the right arm.
This makes it very comfortable for long gigs. The Precision Bass [on the left] has more of a classic Stratocaster look in design.
The next and most obvious difference we see is in the pickups and electronics.
The Precision Bass [or “P Bass” as it is known] has split coil pickups that give it its classic, solid bass sound. Think of most any Rock n Roll thundering bassline and it is likely the PBass is laying down the groove.
The Jazz Bass [known as a “J Bass”] has 2 single coil pickups which results in a very clean tone that has a bit more midrange than the Precision. Tonally think Jazz, Blues, Reggae and Funk Bass lines.
The J Bass also adds the ability to use the separate volume controls to blend between the 2 pickups to fine tune an exact sound giving it a much larger range of tones.
The last main difference is harder to see in the pictures. The P Bass has a slightly tapered neck that gets smaller up near the headstock.
The J Bass has a much more obvious taper - which makes it easier to hit fast complex changes in the lower register.
This is one reason it is popular with Jazz and Funk players.
The P Bass has a solid thicker neck throughout and therefore provides the meaty tone loved by countless Rock players.
As you may have guessed by now – one isn’t really “better” than the other.
They both really do have their own feel and sound and most bass players end up owning one of each once the budget allows.
If you need more help in deciding just call us at 1-877-778-7845 and one of our MusiciansBuy gurus will be happy to guide you toward the perfect bass!
Happy Bass Thumpin',
- Chad Palmer