Jazz bass vs Precision bass

I am such a noob that I’ve never even touched a bass guitar before. I’m planning on buying one in a couple of days to take advantage of the Black Friday deals. I am going to get a very basic/beginner model, and have a very basic question I’m hoping someone here can help me with. What’s the difference between jazz bass guitars and precision bass guitars?

I presume it’s the tone, but want to make sure I’m not make a bad assumption. My plan is to get a bass that is good for multiple types of music, which leads me to think a precision bass is what I should be looking for. Am I right in that thinking?

Thanks in advance,
Dan

Note: I edited my original post twice now because I was calling a P bass a standard bass, and then a percussion bass, lol … still learning the lingo

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Hi Dan.
I don’t think Fender has a “Standard” bass. It has always been a jazz bass or a Percussion bass. Of course I am Old school and when it comes to Fender those are the only choices I prefer. Your right about the tone. the “J” bass has two pick ups while the “P” bass has one. I’m sure that Fender has other models oh hand right know but I don’t know much about them. But no matter which one you buy, tone can be adjusted by different strings as well as so many pedals that are out there
I have a 70’s era “J” bass and don’t pick it up much because she weighs a ton. Good luck on your decision and I feel confident that no matter which Fender you choose, it’ll be the right one.
Have a great Holiday. :slight_smile:

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@Trib
Thanks for the info! I’m still learning the lingo (probably should’ve mentioned that in my post).
Which would you suggest for a total new player, a P or J?
Thanks again,
Dan

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@Dan_Y You’re probably thinking P= percussion, but it’s “Precision” . . . :slight_smile:

Both the J-bass (Jazz) and the P-bass (Precision) are excellent.

The J-bass has a slightly wider tonal range (more treble) than the P-bass. The neck is also slightly slimmer than a P-bass. So it depends on what you like . . . try both of them side by side and see.

Welcome to the Forums!

All best, Joe

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lol, I make myself laugh. Thanks for the correction on that and for the info!

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The “P” in “P bass” doesn’t stand for Percussion, but for Precision. If you’re learning the lingo, you might as well learn it correctly :wink: The most important difference between J and P basses is the tone, due to the different pickup configuration already mentioned. One other difference that might be important is the neck shape. J basses tend to have narrower necks, which are usually easier to play. Something you might want to consider as well. Of course, there’s also the option of getting a P/J bass, which has one split-coil pickup closer to the neck (like a P bass) and one single-coil pickup closer to the bridge (like a J bass). This setup tends to offer more tone versatility.

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Fully understood, @Dan_Y We all were beginners at one time or another, and this is a very friendly Forum, so you won’t ever have to be embarrassed to ask questions.

As I said, either bass is excellent, but then again . . . I may be slightly biased :wink:

Cheers, Joe

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@Mike_NL
Thanks for the correction, I read the first comment too quickly.
Also, thanks for the info on the differences. I’m new to this forum but am already glad I joined.

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Your best bet at this stage is to start out with P/J.

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@PamPurrs
Thanks Pam, I appreciate the advice!

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One thing that gets confusing is the way Fender names their lines. I get where you mentioned “standard” could get confusing as the previous Fender line was called the “Fender American Standard Precision Bass” which is now the current model “Fender American Professional Precision”

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You’re welcome! This might interest you as well:
https://www.bassbuzz.com/gear/beginner-basses

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+1 on the PJ bass. They give you a nice variety of tonal options.

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Not sure if I’m allowed to link to it here, but Scott’s Bass Lessons has a good video on YouTube explaining the differences. Search for “P Bass Vs J Bass (the ultimate battle)”.

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Dan, welcome. Im pretty new myself, so I can relate. I would also recommend a PJ to start with. This site is awesome. Everyone is very supportive, and the gear forum, and especially the B to B lessons are great.

Beware… you may find yourself unable to stop with just one bass :slight_smile: Refer to the Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or the Multiple Bass Disorder threads

I have 4 of them, two of which I have torn apart, so I could understand how they work, and then put them back together. I cant help it, Ive always been that way… goalie gear, golf clubs, bass guitars, etc.

If you have any questions, please let me know

Again, welcome aboard

Kevin

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@Krussell29

Lol, I’ve had similar situations with other items of mine.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts/advice. I think I am now leaning towards a PJ.

I’ve already found this forum to be super helpful and this is only my first day here! I’m looking forward to learning from and interacting with people here.

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why-not-both-animated-gif-7

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@JerryP
lol, I like your thinking but I don’t have the extra cash to get both at the moment

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Just to pile on, I have the PJ and love it. It’s possible to turn off the J pickup and it’s almost a P. Certainly covers a wide range of music.

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Understood. It was just for a laugh, didn’t really mean it.

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