P-Bass - right first time

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Mr Glyn
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P-Bass - right first time

Post by Mr Glyn » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:59 pm

Hi All, I'm new to this forum. So pleased I found you.

I'd like to start off by opening a can of worms.

A few years ago now I was at a souncheck waiting for another band to do their stuff. I was there with my friend Brendon who's been a pro for 35 years and played with a huge range of musos including Mark Knopfler. Brendon's seen it all.
Now the young bass player from this band had some flash 6-string active, all flame maple and gold hardware and was slaping n taping all over the fingerboard.
Brendon turned to me and said "you know, they always come back to the P-Bass in the end".
It really stuck in my mind and since then I've noticed more and more how true it is. It seems like the roots of bass tone is right there in the P-Bass. Active 6-strings to Brendon were missing the point. I'm just begining to come round to his way of thinking myself. Leo got it right first time.
Anyone got any comments?
Glyn

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beagle
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Post by beagle » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:17 pm

Hi ya Glyn
Welcome to the site mate. It's always great to have a fresh can of worms to chew on. 8)
I wonder if your friend was referring to the playing technique and style of music as much as the instrument itself?
I've never owned a P-bass but know the sound it and no body can deny the influence Leo's designs have made.
Could it be more appropriate to say that people might return to the upright acoustic bass seeing as that is the predisessor?

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Post by ryla » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:32 pm

I appreciate bass type allegiance as the next guy as long as it nods towards everybodys differing tastes/needs etc which extends to passive vs active , tube amp vs solid state , 4 string vs extended range - heck - bartolini vs seymour duncan - ernie ball vs DR strings -effect vs dry -as always we bass players are cookin' up a groove to suit wots goin' down - are we going to add that archetypel p- bass standard thump ,(listen to Pinos recent p-bass beauty - and flatwounds (on voodoo) to boot or do we have funkyer bros who with a fender jazz could do some snappy mid-range finger-style pocket if it requires(think jaco) for the ballsiest bottom this side of saturn, a stingray is unbeatable, let me tell you - for a personal signature with all of the above a rickenbacker is your foil, studio players adore the hi-fi versatility low-noise and sonic range those animals offer (hats off to fodera and boutique ilk) dont go past yamaha for slap tone, ibanez can snap the heaviest heads - hey, what does your band(s) play - what do you go for? Yes we all have our favourites viva la differe'ncs- me - i thought rickenbackers were incomparable when i began, steinbergers doused that preference, but only till i craved the wood and the bottom end authority of the stingray again, then i felt hindered with the lack of options that vintage warhorse offered, i like my present day versatile hi-fi 5 string honest-tone beast i have at the moment - what i like in five years time - well i'll let you know - hey it might be a P-bass but if i had the bucks it would be as beagle suggested an upright bass fer sure - thats hitting your roots. i'd love to hang off one of those.

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Post by foal30 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:00 pm

if consensus can be found that Leo Fender "invented" the Electric Bass Guitar, then yes for a first try the Precision Bass is a pretty wonderful thing.

It is remarkably "unchanged" in 50+ years, which in and of itself speaks volumes. It is also the template for a million others, and I guess it is this which we should be most in awe/debt too.

I often come back to my P Bass too, but this is not what is required for all employers, or for that matter what I "hear"all the time either. Gear Snobbery enters the equation, as does simple Boss Laziness, so and so used a P, so should you, I do not want to hear anything else.

as for 6 strings, taste will out I guess, because it is not really my thing at all simply does not mean it is not a justified vehicle of expression...life without Anthony Jackson's contribution to the instrument is simply not a meaningful existence! And I'd venture his attitudes on the "Ketchup" of slapping and tapping would be similar to your mate Brendon's.

the challenge or question for all listeners is the resonance of the performance, or failing that ,the connection / the understanding of the performance as a genuine "believable",Authentic piece.

If that means slapping a neon 6 well I might struggle to get it but if it's someone else's bag then any dismissal of performance on preconceived Technique or Instrument ideals is possibly short-sighted.

Leo Fender got an awful lot right, to think or allow the "process" to finish there is artistic dead-end.It could be argued that some of James Jamerson's parts make any other attempt to play "Pop/Soul" Music redundant or lesser. But the totality of his influence probably also gives us Chuck Rainey, Jerry Jemmott and Pino Palladino, so their attempts to "replicate" the master becomes a new sounding board for inspiration
(or slavish copying).

many roads, many tones.

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Post by timi » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 pm

beagle wrote:I've never owned a P-bass
and you call yourself a bassist? 8)

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Post by ryla » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:06 am

"Bass player" is probably the better term, just to open up yet another can (of worms).

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Post by Jazzbass » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:33 am

For me, having had many a bass, my fav was my old P which got me through a hell of a lot of gigs and anytime I play rock, there's no other choice for me. That said, I prefer my jazz for everyday work, but the P sits in my gear cupboard and waits - it knows....

As for them being for everyone - no way!! Life is full of choices and new things - experience them all and work out what's best for you. If you're a Zon person - who needs a P?

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Post by beagle » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:50 am

timi wrote:
beagle wrote:I've never owned a P-bass
and you call yourself a bassist? 8)
Kick a guy when he's down won't ya? :lol:

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Post by Mr Glyn » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:57 pm

A few worms wriggling about.

He was talking about the instrument not the playing style.

I think he's got a valid point, however, if I had a choice of basses I'd go for an old Stingray and a Jazz. Maybe I haven't grown up enough yet - ha ha.
I've never owned a P-Bass either, in fact all i've got at the moment is a rather lovely aluminium body double bass that's borrowed. Bit busy playing other instruments.

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Post by timi » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:08 pm

Jazzbass wrote:That said, I prefer my jazz for everyday work, but the P sits in my gear cupboard and waits - it knows....
I'm kinda the same, I use my Rics most of the time but my P bass gets played at home a bit, and it makes me feel good to know that I own a P bass.

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Post by john » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:59 pm

ive never owned a p bass either. look ugly and sound poorer. spacing is all off. not a good choice of bass. i think its a bass for people who want to be guitarists.(jaco)
some of us need some imagination :roll:

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Post by Dan » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:36 pm

john wrote:ive never owned a p bass either. look ugly and sound poorer. spacing is all off. not a good choice of bass. i think its a bass for people who want to be guitarists.(jaco)
some of us need some imagination :roll:
Once again, I don't know if you are serious or not...........

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timi
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Post by timi » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:05 pm

john wrote:ive never owned a p bass either. look ugly and sound poorer. spacing is all off. not a good choice of bass. i think its a bass for people who want to be guitarists.(jaco)
some of us need some imagination :roll:
Jaco played a Jazz.....

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Post by john » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:12 pm

thats true.he did and was the reason i took the frets out of my bass.i was talking fenders in general... but i guess if something costs that much they got to be good.

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Post by Dan » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:43 pm

If you're suggesting that Fenders are crap, at least give some valid reasoned points as to why you think so.

Fenders are neither expensive nor inexpensive, they are what they are. There are many much more expensive basses, and obviously many many cheaper ones, but you buy a Fender for the Fender sound...and if you don't like the Fender sound then thats fine too (sort of :wink: )

I love P's, Fender in general, but I don't agree with the initial point brought up in this thread. I'll always own and play Fenders, but I'm not going to throw anything else away and just play a P. This day in age its just not practical for session/gigging/touring bassists. Although you think active 6-strings "miss the point", I believe they are perhaps the most practical bass to have. Complete versatility surely isn't a bad thing?

Of course alot of us come from different backgrounds and have different goals, but personally I only belong to one regular band, and that is only for random big gigs/sessions here and there, and apart from that I'm freelance. You gotta have a bit of everything so that you can make yourself available for whatever work gets thrown your way, whether it be a P-bass, a fretless, a 5 or a 6 string or a triple neck bass.

So in summary, I can't say I'll "go back" to a P, but hey, thats just me :wink:


(sorry for being so long winded I'm tired as).

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