In 1951 Fender® Guitars began producing the Precision Bass®. The Precision bass, also known as a ‘P-bass’, slowly started replacing the use of string bass in recording studios and live performances. It was easier to record, amplify and transport. Soon, other guitar manufacturers began making their own electric basses. Many of which were Precision bass copies.
You can recognize a Precision bass by its split pickup design and body shape.
James Jamerson, the bassist for many Motown hits, played a Fender Precision bass.
The next model Fender bass released was the Jazz Bass®. Compared to the Precision bass it has a different body shape, the neck is shaped differently and it has a different pickup design. The J-bass, as it is often called, has two single-coil pickups and a different sound altogether.
Jaco Pastorius played a fretless Fender Jazz bass.
Since these instruments started the electric bass revolution, many basses are described as P-style or J-style, or Jazz bass clones, etc.
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