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I would describe myself as being an intermediate bass guitarist. I played in a band in the 90's and decided to pick up a bass guitar and join a band earlier in the spring. Well the guys were young and inexperienced and commented me on my bass playing however i had forgotten most of what i knew. There commitment was shocking and i was taking things seriousley so i advertised for some musicians to jam with and found out that i was still a beginner compared to there experience and knowledge. My bass guitar that i started back with being a Yamaha RBX that i bought cheap off e-bay. I wouldnt suggest that this was a cheap beginners guitar as it has active pick ups and is well built instrument. However i wasnt 100% happy with the neck and weight of the instrument as i had experienced owning nice Ibanez bass guitars in the 1990's. I was now taking my bass playing very seriousley and picked up the Yamaha virtually every day so i started looking for a new instrument. A proffessional bass guitar that i could keep for life.
The two main contenders to start with being a Rickenbacker or a Fender Precision. However a trip to a music store narrowed this down to a Fender Jazz or an Ibanez SR800 natural burl finish guitar (a beautiful instrument). In the end i decided that i had to have a Fender Jazz Bass due to it being a legendary bass guitar first introduced in 1960 and used and trusted by the most of the top bass guitarists ever since. I had decided that the Jazz was more flexible than the precision as it had the ability to blend the volume of both pickups allows for a wider variety of tones than the Precision Bass can produce. As well as being able to adjust to sound like a precision. So i shopped around and found that the music shops were happy to match each others best prices and when i had the best price on the net i managed to get a stand, tuner and Fender chrome strap locks thrown in for the price (do not use a guitar without strap locks, trust me i dropped a guitar as i didnt have strap locks). I had decided on the sunburst with a toitershell pickguard and a Rosewood neck guitar made in the California factory in the USA.
When the guitar arrived i was absolutely in love with the guitar eventually i picked her up and fitted the chrome strap locks and Fender beautiful logo strap and played her for the first time. The instrument sounded even better than she looked and i cannot bear to pick up my Yamaha any more unless i have to play the punky songs that our band play that do not demand the rich range of tones and response that i get from the Fender. It looks so cool and plays so great my fingers effortlessly glide along the neck and the weight distribution is fantastic. It has a great balance of tones through low to middle and high end with a fantastic tone for R&B and jazz music and is set up perfectly from the factory. I love the thin jazz neck and the action is a dream.
Well when Flea and Geddy Lee have this bass you just know it's a good one. This bass is my pride and joy it has got me through thick and thin. Really reliable with excellent tone and it looks the nuts! Compared to my Epiphone Thunderbird Bass this is much more lightweight and not top heavy at all (even though the headstock is quite large). I have played over 50 gigs with this bass and it hasn't once let me down. It is the perfect bass for any player from beginner to expert, it never gets in the way, its not an odd shape and it doesn't break easy. The only problem I have with my particular one is the input keeps on coming loose but generally most of them won't do that. If you want a bass that you are going to love for the rest of your life then this is the one to get, you won't be disappointed.
I recieved this bass around 6 months ago, and for the price i am really impressed with the standard. I paid £220 (brand new condition with protective plastic and tags still intact) which to me is a bargain compared to the £440 retail price!
Starting off with the sound, this bass is very versatile. When (if) you get this bass make sure you sit down and have a play with the control knobs as you will see the number of different sounds you can get out of it. I play hardcore, screamo, blues, rock, classic rock, metal, and this bass manages to create great sounds for all these styles.
The quality of the bass is also very high standard. A great finish with no blemishes really makes it look great on stage. The action was a bit low and there was some fret buzz on the higher frets, but this is quite common on new guitars so a set up at your local guitar store will fix this if you can't do it yourself.
Again like most fenders there is hardlty any difference between american and mexican guitars. I tried both and seemed a waste to spend double the amount when there was not much difference. It is a lot better than the squire bass though.
I used to own a fender standard precision bass but the jazz completely beats that, being a lot more versatile and easier to play i prefer it, but still make sure you try both out!
Mine is midnight wine with white pickguard, rosewood neck, and it is lovely, so give it a go and see what you think!
I have been playing bass for six years, and to a professional level for over four of these year. I got the Fender Bass nearly four years ago, and it has been used for all my live and studio work since then. I started out in a local youth big band and jazz quartet, and progressed to working in a more prestigious modern small ensemble and a well-renowned big band from the Nottingham area. This bass has accompanied me to many different venues, from pubs, function rooms and hotels for weddings, charity events and private parties, large venues-Derby Assembly Rooms supporting the Cinematic Orchestra (a well know, award-winning jazz group) on their Man With A Movie Camera tour, as well as outdoor festivals. It has also been used for studio recording in a number of venues, with a jazz quintet, and a female pianist singer-songwriter (in the style of kate bush/tori amos) over the summer. The bass has been more than able to cope with the heavy demands I have placed upon it.
The model I currently own and play is a 2002 Fender American Jazz Deluxe bass. This particular model is active (has two 9v batteries) with extra tone controls than the standard model. There are five control knobs on the bass-volume, pick up blend, bass, with the treble control knob stacked on the mid control. Owing to this it has a great tonal range, though, like most players, it is likely you will find the tone setting you like and do little tweaking to it whilst playing/gigging. This bass is perfect for all styles-I am a musician playing mainly jazz, funk, soul and latin, but it is far more versitile than that-you really could do anything with it! Its tone can be adjusted easily to fit in with any style. The additional tone controls also allow you to get a good balance for techniques such as slap and pop, and disco/funk styles, as you can boost the bass and treble fequencies, whilst cutting out the middle range. It is incredibly easy and comfortable to play, certainly not too heavy (I am a young female, and have played this bass since my mid-teens), but sound is not compromised as a result of this. The pickups generate little/no background hum. Another nice feature is the shape of the neck join towards the body-it is rounded to allow greater access to the higher notes. The bass looks stunning, in a gorgeous red sunburst, a slightly "aged" effect scratch plate, and lovely lightweight tuning pegs.
I bought this bass from a shop called "Play it Again Sam" in Derby, though I think it is no longer called that (It's called "Sound Contorl" or something now-I don't really live in Derby anymore), and their follow up service was excellent. They set up the bass for me soon after I got it, and provided free set-ups and cleaning on the bass for a year, including changing the strings. All in all, a very good service.
Simply put, this bass is fantastic, and I would urge anyone who is serious about bass playing to consider this option. I tried out a number of other basses in a similar price bracket, and in terms of sound, playability, looks-everything-they just did not hold their own against this bass. Well worth the £1100 i paid for it!
I hate to sound like a geek here but anyone looking to buy a good bass i reccomend a jazz bass in mexican range as it has american silent pick ups, and hasnt got a graphite neck which in my opinion makes the bass sound horrible because its so tony in my opinion a bass should sound like a jazz bass, warm and bassy.
My jazz bass was £550 and i wouldn't buy an american one just to get a graphite neck on it i think this bass is perfect and reccomend one to anyone who is thinking of buying one as i have a 3 band eq on it and unlike cheaper basses i have owned you can hear a difference in pick up and tone settings.
The only thing that some people may not like about fender basses is they have larger necks than any bass i have played but when you get used to it it is a lot better as you can play things faster and easier than with a thinner neck (though ive been playing 5 years now and have fairly strong hands)so try one before you buy, but in my opinion this bass was made in 1965 and still sells a lot that says something about the quality of it and all other Fender creations.
Although fender often make excellent guitars they are often seen as the choice for most beginners with their bog-standard, but sill quite good fender squire strat. This could also be said for the fender jazz bass or J-bass, which is kinda the strat of the bass world. Although this bass is called a jazz bass, it is anything but that! With a pretty response pick up, good tones can be got from your bass. also, it balances really well compared to some basses these days, and mostly importantly...comes in a huge range of colours!! The Jazz bass is nothing flashy in itself, but if your thinking about learning to play the bass, you cant go far wrong with getting this beauty. versatile enough to cope with all sorts of music, from blues to metal (maybe) it's a worthwhile buy.
A Jazz bass then. So does that mean you have to play Jazz? Well no, the beauty of this instrument is that with a good amp and through the use of the two pickup volume controls and tone control you can get anything from a "rock" sound or a "soul" sound or actually anything you want. So you have your sound but how does it play?Now I'm no expert on how a bass "should" play because I haven't played all that many and my technique stinks (my room mates will confirm this!) but this bass is one you can just pick up and it "feels" right. It's comfortable sitting or standing, (although it isn't the lightest bass out there), the neck is smooth and there are no sharp or sticky out bits to get in your way. Build Quality: It has been said somewhere else but there are 3 varients of the standard jazz bass.It will either be made in Korea, Mexico or the USA. The Korean one is the cheapest and the USA one the most expensive. I can only comment on the Mexican model because that's the one I have. It feels solid, you can slap it to your hearts content and you know it will still be in one piece at the end. It has a beautiful finish and the body is shaped nicely (mine's the same colour as the one shown on this opinion). There is only one small thing that annoys me a bit though,sometimes when I play some of the strings hard when I first pick it up there is an annoying buzz which sounds as though some screw or something isn't tightened properly. It goes quite quickly however and even if it didn't it wouldn't matter all that much because the amp doesn't play the "buzz" as well. Overall if you're looking for a really good bass to use to play at a semi-professional level I would put this on your list as one to take a look at. It's not everyone's cup of tea but if you can see past the "Jazz" labelling then you won't be dissapointed.
The fender jazz bass really is the bass of bassists. Made from Rosewood and Maplewood it offers a great tone which easily be altered by alternating the bio-pole full range pickups pickups. The Jazz bass was introduced in the 1960's as the 'Deluex model' over time it has become one of the most played basses in history. The fender Jazz basses specifications are as follows; Body; Poplar Neck; Maplewood Fingerboard; Rosewood Scale Length; 34" (864mm) No: of frets; 20 Width at Nut; 1.5" (38mm) Machiene Heads; standard butterfly Pickupps; jazz bass single coils Controls; volume(mid) volume(bridge) tone Pick Guard; white these are all standard features on the standard jazz bass. My Bass is a mexican Jazz bass however this has the same features as the American version except for its pickups. The mexican Jazz basss has a mexican model pickups and is cheaper for this reason, however these can be replaced if unsatisfactory. This bass offers great playability, tone and flexibility and has been a joy to play with on many occasions.Furthermore it is also suitable for all types of music, don't let its name fool you, i play in a punk rock band and still offers the right tone, feel and appearance. An American jazz bass could cost you anywhere between £600 and £1000 depending on the model, whereas the same bass of Mexican manufacturer could only cost as little as £400. The jazz bass also has a couple of extra features which varies between models such as its jumbo frets for slapping. The standard Jazz bass is available in the following colours; Black, Brown sunburst, Midnight Blue, Midnight Wine and Arctic White customs may be available but then what isn't if you'v got the money. I totaly recomend this bass and would find it hard ajusting to anything else now that I have played on one of the best.