Ask any bass player and they'll tell you that the launch of the Fender Precision "P" Bass in 1951 - the first commercially successful solidbody electric bass - changed everything.
Why We Love This
"To fully understand the role of the Precision Bass in the decade of its arrival, it’s important to understand the times and circumstances into which it was introduced. Its predecessor was the age-old upright bass, a large, bulky instrument that took up a lot of space in the touring bus and had become increasingly difficult to hear as bands grew louder. Given the brash horn sections that provided the main voice of many dance bands, the inherent loudness of drum kits and the advent of better electrified guitars with better amplification, something needed to be done for bass."
The American Original ‘50s Precision Bass is essentially based on the 3rd revision of the instrument that was launched in 1957 and features: a split-coil pickup, a headstock shape based on the Stratocaster guitar, and one-piece pickguard assembly to which the electronics were fixed, bridge-mounted rather than through-body strings, individual threaded bridge saddles for better intonation and height adjustment, a two-screw plastic thumb rest replacing the single-screw wooden one, knurled metal knobs with flat rather than rounded tops, and a redesigned pickup and bridge covers.
One look at the list of players who have used a P Bass will tell you all you need to know - James Jamerson, Brian Wilson, Carol Kaye, John Entwistle, Roger Waters, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Sting, Paul Simonon....the list is endless!