Fender Jazz Bass

Fender Jazz Bass, Color: Olympic White, Year 1966

2 x Single Coil

  • 2 × volume
  • 1 × height aperture

The Jazz Bass, also briefly called J -Bass is an electric bass guitar model of the U.S. instrument manufacturer Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. The model was first introduced in 1960 and introduced a more sophisticated alternative to about ten years older model Fender Precision Bass dar. The Jazz Bass is one of the most popular electric bass models.


The Jazz Bass is different from the Precision Bass in particular in the electronic equipment, by a narrower neck and by the distinctive asymmetric shape of the body. The sonic possibilities of the Precision Bass are limited by its individual electromagnetic pickup, which has two separate coils features, which are connected together as a humbucker ( split coil ). The Jazz Bass single-coil pickups contrast, has two ( single coils ), the regulated independently in their volume and individually, but can also be operated together. This brings the Jazz Bass a variety of sound which can be almost all styles of popular music justice.

With this all-round properties and its easy playability of the Jazz Bass Precision Bass was soon rank as "Bass No. 1". To this day, countless based on the Jazz Bass variants have come onto the market, partly as the cheapest copies, partly as upgrades from their own home with active electronics and partly as expensive to most expensive precious models independent manufacturers with exquisite wood and selected electronic components.

Further developments by Leo Fender after the Jazz Bass in the e- bass were in the 1960s, the model Fender V ( a five-string Jazz Bass in form but similar with a single split-coil pickups like the Fender Precision Bass ), the Fender Bass VI (which is also counted among the baritone guitars), from 1976, the Music Man StingRay model, and since 1980 more electric guitars and basses with co-founded by Leo Fender musical instruments company G & L.


The Jazz Bass has in its classical form ( 1960 to about 1970) an alder body with a bolt-on maple neck wood. Chance came ash wood for the body to use. The rosewood fingerboard is fitted with twenty frets. The scale length is 864 mm (34 inches).

The two pickups are Einzelspuler ( single coils ) with two bar magnets from an Alnico ( aluminum-nickel - cobalt ) alloy per string. Here, the neck pickup closer produces a deeper, more similar to the Precision Bass sound that the bridge pickup closer a more defined, nasal sound with more mid shares, but less bass volume. In combination, the two pickups act as a humbucker in parallel, in which the otherwise over Singlecoils audible interference disturbing are obliterated. In this case, certain frequency components cancel each other out or reinforce what the Jazz Bass gives this setting a third distinctive characteristics sound, which is characterized by great clarity and definiteness of simultaneous foundation of wealth.

For the first models from 1960 to 1962 two concentric double-deck potentiometer ( Stacked Knob -Pots ) were characteristic, which for each pickup individually volume and treble could be regulated. After 1962, used to this day common configuration along with two volume controls and a tone control for both pickups. In the early years were under the bridge cover strings damper mounted rubber to produce a double-bass -like sound can.

The bridge itself is a simple design of a bolted to the body sheet metal angle at which four saddles made ​​of steel, in height ( string height ) and depth ( intonation ) adjustable, are attached. The saddle of the model was traditionally made ​​of bone, synthetic bone material is used nowadays.

The corpus of classical models has a nitro finish - typically in black, white or in a three-step gradient ( from black to red to clear lacquer, known as 3 -tone sunburst ) - combined with a reddish- brown pickguard in tortoise shell looks ( Tortoise pickguard ). Other colors - Blue or Pink Metallic - were rather marginal. The nitro lacquer has the property over the years to become dull and brittle, which explains the frequent today worn charm of old Fenderinstrumente from the 60s.

Around 1970 the first submerged typical " 70s jazz bass " on. They began to easily change the design of the Jazz bass and adapt to the zeitgeist. So especially the fingerboard ( Binding) was then provided and large block inlays (inlays ) with a skirt. For the first time appeared frequently on fingerboards made ​​of maple wood, in which the position markers were either black or light-colored Mother of Pearl (as in the Palisandergriffbrettern ).

The neck was fitted with a new three-point "Micro- Tilt " thread, with which one could adjust the neck angle without immediately having to remove the entire neck, as in the previously usual Vierpunktverschraubung. Other features were the now located at the headstock access to the Truss Rod ( " bullet truss rod " ) and the shifted thumb rest (above the strings instead of below ). One now used preferred ash wood, which was presented in a transparent like "Natural" finish for the body. The " old-fashioned " Tortoise Pickguards evaded white or black. Although made ​​in the 1970s, the quality of the instruments according to ( Leo Fender sold his company in 1965 had on the consolidated CBS), but the look and the sound of " 70's Jazz basses " ( the Ahorn/Esche- instead of rosewood / alder combination made ​​the Jazz Bass wiry and more present in the sound ) are in great demand today.

In the 1980s, changed the policy - CBS began a new management. The product lines have been modernized and many model series new or reintroduced ( Vintage reissues of the 60 's and 70's jazz bass deluxe models with active electronics, five-string ). To date, this diversity of options remained the same.

Formative Fender Jazz Bass Players

Many influential bass players have played in her career, a Fender Jazz Bass; some of them were of a Fender or ( in exceptional cases) devoted several special models. However, few had bassist by the modifications they made to their jazz bass or could make - individual changes that have been taken over by Fender completely or partially - or through a direct collaboration with Fender influence on the development of the Bass model. Among these bassists

  • Jaco Pastorius ( USA, 1951-1987 ). He was in the 1970s a larger audience known as the bassist for the fusion band Weather Report. From the rosewood fingerboard his 1962 Jazz Bass he removed the frets in order to on the fretless bass so incurred can apply his virtuoso playing techniques better. He also removed the pickguard, which further contributed to the characteristic appearance of his bass. Pastorius, who is considered one of the world's most influential electric bassists, called his Fender Jazz Bass of Doom. After the death of Pastorius gave out several Fender Jazz Bass models that are modeled on the musician's instrument in detail. An example of this is published in 1999, Jaco Pastorius Signature J -Bass, which was available both with and without frets.
  • Marcus Miller (USA, * 1959 ) made famous in the 1980s for his work with the jazz and fusion trumpeter and composer Miles Davis. Miller did modifying the electronics of his Fender Jazz Bass to get advanced options for setting the tone for his virtuosic slap technique. On the basis of this modified Fender instrument developed for the musician in the 1990s, a signature model, the Marcus Miller Jazz Bass.
  • Stuart Hamm ( USA, * 1960). In 1993, Fender developed with the bassist a highly modified jazz bass special model called Urge. The model has 24 frets, a 32 inch measured Short Scale Scale, an additional split-coil pickups and an active electronics. Was published in 1999 with the Urge II, a long scale version of the model.