The PJ Bass explained

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What is a PJ Bass? – The electric bass guitar has been integral to popular music since the 1950s. It was invented to hear bass players clearly without carrying a heavy, fragile, upright bass. Over the years, the electric bass guitar has evolved into many different shapes and sizes, each with its unique sound. One of the most popular types of bass guitars is the PJ Bass.

What is a PJ Bass?

A PJ Bass is a type of electric bass guitar that combines the features of two classic bass designs: the Precision Bass (P Bass) and the Jazz Bass (J Bass). The P Bass is known for its thick and punchy sound, while the J Bass is known for its bright and articulate sound. The PJ Bass combines these sounds by having a P Bass pickup in the middle position and a J Bass pickup in the bridge position.

The PJ Bass differs from other bass guitars because it offers a broader range of tonal options. It can produce the deep, warm tones of a P Bass, the bright, clear tones of a J Bass, or a combination of both. This makes it a versatile instrument suitable for a wide range of musical styles.

The PJ Bass explained
What is a PJ Bass – Squier Affinity Series® Precision-Bass® PJ – Charcoal Frost Metallic

The Sound of a PJ Bass

The P Bass and J Bass pickups each have their unique sound. The P Bass pickup is a split-coil design that produces a thick, punchy sound with plenty of low-end. The J Bass pickup is a single-coil design that creates a bright, articulate sound with plenty of midrange and treble.

The PJ Bass combines these two sounds by having a P Bass pickup in the middle position and a J Bass pickup in the bridge position. It allows the player to blend the two sounds to create many tonal options. For example, if the player wants a deep, warm tone, they can use the P Bass pickup. They can use the J Bass pickup for a bright, clear tone. They can blend the two pickups if they want something in between.

Many different types of PJ basses are available from various manufacturers, such as Fender and Harley Benton. Here are some examples of popular PJ Bass models:

  1. Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ by Fender is an excellent option for aspiring bassists. It features a thin, lightweight body, a slim, comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile, and vintage-style open-gear tuning machines for smooth, accurate tuning. It also has a split single-coil P Bass neck pickup and a single-coil J Bass bridge pickup for various tones.
  2. Fender American Professional II Precision Bass PJ: This high-end PJ Bass is designed for professional musicians. It features a solid alder body, a slim “C”-shaped neck profile, and a HiMass Vintage bridge for improved sustain and intonation. It also has a V-Mod II Precision Bass split-coil pickup and a V-Mod II Jazz Bass single-coil pickup for many tonal options.
  3. Harley Benton PB-50 SB Vintage Series: This budget-friendly PJ Bass is perfect for beginners. It features a solid alder body, a maple neck, a rosewood fretboard, and vintage open-gear tuners. It also has a split single-coil P Bass neck pickup and a single-coil J Bass bridge pickup for various tones1.

Here is a table with the characteristics of a PJ Bass:

CharacteristicDescription
PickupsCombines the Precision Bass (P Bass) pickup in the middle position and the Jazz Bass (J Bass) pickup in the bridge position
SoundOffers a wide range of tonal options, from deep and warm to bright and clear
VersatilitySuitable for a wide range of musical styles
Popular ModelsSquier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ by Fender, Fender American Professional II Precision Bass PJ, Harley Benton PB-50 SB Vintage Series, and many more

Fender and Squier PJ Bass specs

Here is a comparison table with the specifications of the Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ by Fender and the Fender American Professional II Precision Bass PJ:

SpecificationSquier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJFender American Professional II Precision Bass PJ
Body MaterialAlderAlder
Body FinishGloss PolyurethaneGloss Polyurethane
Neck MaterialMapleMaple
Neck FinishSatin UrethaneSatin Urethane
Neck Shape“C” Shape“1963 C” Shape
Scale Length34″ (864 mm)34″ (864 mm)
Fingerboard MaterialIndian LaurelRosewood
Fingerboard Radius9.5″ (241 mm)9.5″ (241 mm)
Number of Frets2020
Fret SizeMedium JumboNarrow Tall
Nut MaterialSynthetic BoneBone
Nut Width1.625″ (41.3 mm)1.625″ (41.3 mm)
Position InlaysPearloid DotsWhite Dot
Truss RodStandardPosiflex Graphite
Truss Rod Nut4 mm Hex3/16″ Hex
Bridge PickupStandard Single-Coil Jazz BassV-Mod II Precision Bass Split-Coil
Middle PickupStandard Split Single-Coil Precision BassV-Mod II Jazz Bass Single-Coil
ControlsVolume 1. (Middle Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Master ToneVolume 1. (Middle Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Master Tone
SwitchingNoneNone
ConfigurationSSPJ
Bridge4-Saddle Standard4-Saddle HiMass™ Vintage (String-Through-Body or Top-Load)
Hardware FinishChromeNickel/Chrome
Tuning MachinesStandard Open-GearFender Lightweight Vintage-Style Keys with Tapered Shafts
Pickguard3-Ply Black3-Ply Mint Green
Control KnobsKnurled Flat-TopKnurled Flat-Top
StringsFender USA 7250M Nickel Plated Steel (.045-.105 Gauges)Fender® USA 7250M Nickel Plated Steel (.045-.105 Gauges), PN 0737250406
PJ Bass guitar

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Practical tips for playing a PJ Bass

  1. Experiment with the pickups: The PJ Bass has both a Precision Bass (P Bass) pickup and a Jazz Bass (J Bass) pickup, which gives you a wide range of tonal options. Try experimenting with different pickup combinations to find the best sound for you.
  2. Use the P Bass pickup for rhythm: The P Bass pickup is excellent for playing rhythm parts, as it produces a thick and punchy sound that sits nicely in the mix.
  3. Use the J Bass pickup for melody: The J Bass pickup is excellent for playing melodic parts, as it produces a bright and articulate sound that cuts through the mix.
  4. Find the right balance: Experiment with the balance between the P Bass and J Bass pickups to find the right balance for your playing style and music.
  5. Practice with a metronome: The PJ Bass is versatile in various musical styles. To improve your timing and rhythm, practice with a metronome.
  6. Use proper technique: To get the most out of your PJ Bass, use proper bass playing technique. This includes using your fingers to pluck the strings, correct hand positioning, and proper posture2.
  7. Play with other musicians: Playing with other musicians is a great way to improve your skills and learn new techniques. Look for opportunities to jam with other musicians in your area.

What is a PJ bass Conclusion

In conclusion, the PJ Bass is a versatile and popular type of electric guitar that combines the features of two classic bass designs: the Precision Bass and the Jazz Bass.

It offers many tonal options and is suitable for various musical styles. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional musician, there is a PJ Bass out there that is perfect for you.

The PJ Bass explained

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