Does the type of bass affect the type of music you can play?

I’m considering purchasing the Squier Classic Vibe 70s Jazz Bass. I really like the looks of it, and I want to try a jazz bass out. I haven’t found a review that talks in depth about the type of music it’s good for. Is the ‘70’s Jass Bass’ just an aesthetic thing? Or is there something about it that affects the sound?

This is probably a really nooby question, but I’m just wondering if the type/style of bass affects what music I can play along with. Would I be able to play most genres with a Squier CV 70s bass? I’m learning to play bass through Josh’s course, but eventually I’d like to learn to play along with the music I like. I listen to rock/alternative bands like Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Skillet, among others, and also pop and country music (I know, not really the type of music talked about when people talk about playing bass).

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Welcome to the forum @Sarah_B . You’ve just opened a can of worms with that very good questions.
I’m sure you will now get a flood of answers from some very opinionated people.
My answer is, you can play whatever you want with whichever bass suits you. Many will disagree.

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You can play whatever music you want to play with whichever bass you will get. However, your instrument will affect the type of music producers let you record. :smiley: When you are playing you are mainly chasing the fundamental frequency of the next note with the proper dynamic strum, which will be the same and independent of a bass. Some basses sound better (because their sound (harmonics) created through pickups, construction of the instrument, etc. gels better with the sound of … for example classic jazz drum kit through a classic composition of recording mics, etc. ) That’s what people mean mainly when talking about “the right instrument” for a genre. … You will not be limited in any musical way … mechanical, maybe, musical, not

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It’s probably most important that you look the part. This is showmanship!

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Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused was recorded on a Jazz. The Who’s iconic bass solo on My Generation was a Jazz. Flea uses a Jazz. Geddy lee uses a Jazz. Sting uses a Jazz. Verdine White (Earth Wind & Fire) uses a Jazz. Ian Hill (Judas Priest) used a Jazz for years.

It can pretty much do what you want

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Well, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be recording music for producers any time soon, so there’s no need to worry about that hahaha.

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Thank you all. Your answers are very much appreciated! :smiley:

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Welcome @Sarah_B
I’ve got a P bass, a jazz bass, a PJ and a couple of single buck basses and I attempt to play all sorts of genres on them.
The biggest thing I reckon you should do is find the one you love and enjoy it.
Who cares what others think as long as it makes you happy

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At this point I can change the sound of the bass so much in the DAW so I am not worried at all about this. Pick the bass that has the characteristics you like - feel is a lot more important than anything else. If it feels good to you, things will work out fine.

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The one piece of great advice that a friend gave me when I was starting to learn guitar was to buy an instrument that I want to pick up every day. I know it sounds shallow but at the beginner stage (like I am) it’s important to just spend time with the bass in your hand.

So if a Squier Classic Vibe 70s Jazz Bass looks good to you and makes you want to play it every day; it’s the right instrument. Welcome aboard :slight_smile:

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Pretty much you can play any genre with any bass… some styles will add effects to get a certain sound but really the bass is not intended for any specific style (some may have a certain look esthetically that visually is associated to a genre but it’s not a sound thing) Precision bass apparently have been used to record everything out there :man_shrugging:t4:
Get the bass out that makes you want to play it, later you might gravitate to a certain sound but right now don’t overthink it

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Welcome aboard @Sarah_B ,
looks like everyone has had a say on what the right bass could be ???
If you are not sure i would go to a shop that has all different ones and have a feel of them all in your hands.
They are all different in colour, weight, aesthetics, some are nicely balanced etc.
Fender Jazz basses have a narrower neck than a Precision bass.
These are all factors that will determine what feels right in your hands.
$$$ also play a part in what you get.
To many choices, HEY that’s what makes your journey so much more fun, you decide on what feels and sounds good to your ears.
Enjoy the ride,
Cheers Brian

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Squier Classic Vibe 70 P basses have a thinner neck than a Jazz though, the Squier basses are very playable

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Totally agree. I have a couple of moderately expensive basses, a Stingray Ray4 and a Squier Affinity PJ that I just added EMG Geezer PJ pick ups to. I spent a fair bit of time playing them all today and, I’ve got to say, I’m totally surprised that I’m loving the Squier as much as I am (even with the 41.5mm neck). So, yes you may surprise yourself - play as many as you can.

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Glad you are here @Sarah_B
I started B2B and my bass journey a year ago January on a Squier 70 CV.
I love that bass and despite having ~13 now, it is still one of my favorites.
Jazz basses are quite versatile, and Squiers are built well indeed.

You cannot go wrong with it.
you can play any style you like on it.
Later on, you might decide to go down the ‘tone rabbit hole’ and find different nuanced tones in various basses, or, you can simply use 1 bass for everything. A lot of very good players use 1 bass only.

For learning, all lessons etc I still use the Squier because it it most familiar, and keeps consistency in lessons, fret spacing etc.

The 70s part is styling only.
Don’t worry about tone nuance/style, the jazz will get you very far and serve you well.

The most important thing is to buy a bass that calls your name to come play it, that, that makes you want to pick it up.

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Welcome @Sarah_B.
Unfortunately Jazz Bass only allow you to play jazz music genre only maybe fusion jazz but nothing else, that’s what it’s designed for. Pause for dramatic effect…

I’m just kidding! Actually it’s the opposite of what I just said. Jazz bass is a must have in any studio, especially classic setup because it offers wide range of tonal options.

Since Fender was the first to breakthrough the mass production of electric bass the get to name it what ever they like. At the time they wanted a name that would encourage the bassists to transition from big double bass to electric bass and most played jazz music so they named it the Jazz bass. I know it’s very scientific,lol.

Fender’s first mass produced bass is call the “Precision bass” because it has frets compare to the fretless fingerboard of the double bass, the notes are precisely in tune, hence the name. Gotta tell you they put a lot of thought into it, lol.

These are the 2 most popular Fenders to choose from, the p bass is a little bit of a narrower with the middle position split pickup, one trick pony in terms of tonal options but what it does, it does it really well. It has a little wider neck so a bit more space between strings.

Back to your question, then the Jazz Bass, it feature the narrower neck width, it’s easier to play especially with smaller hands. It features 2 pickups, one at the neck and the other at the bridge. That alone can offer a lot of tonal range already. The neck would sound warmer, and deeper than the bridge, which offer brighter crisper tone, then the combination would be even more interesting.

Of course that’s before any modifications for the players end. There are several third parties that offers upgrades from pickups to brides to tuners that they all claimed to deliver excellent sound quality.

Here’s my Squier classic vibe next to a top of the line made in usa fender elite jazz, they play and sound great. They sound almost the same with similar pickups upgrades.



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Those two next to each other really show how much the same they are, at least to the eye, I’m sure there’re differences (electronics, finishes, etc) but ultimately it’s more like different trims of a certain car make and model rather than a different model

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Our own favorite YouTuber Glenn Fricker said in one of his videos (don’t recall which), if you know how to play bass, you can show up at a studio with the cheapest, no-name jazz bass in the world and have a successful session.

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Here is a video that just came out that explains the different types of bass. I happen to have the blue Jaguar she’s playing and it’s a fun bass.

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Yeah they really are, one is $450 and another is $1700. Both with EMG vintage pickups upgrade. The Squier is 90% sounds and playability of the Fender. I said this before, it’s the last 10%, mostly feel that separates the fender to Squier. Aside from pride of ownership, many people wants that last 10%, lol.

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