The Fender Precision Bass (often shortened to "P-Bass") is a model of electric bass manufactured by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. In its standard, post-1957 configuration, the Precision Bass is a solid body, four-stringed instrument equipped with a single split-coil humbucking pickup and a one-piece, 20-fret maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard.
Its prototype, designed by Leo Fender in 1950, was brought to market in 1951. It was the first electric bass to earn widespread attention and use, remaining among the best-selling and most-imitated electric basses with considerable effect on the sound of popular music.
The original Telecaster-derived design, with a few updates, was reintroduced in 1968 as the Fender Telecaster Bass. Within a few years, however, it had evolved into a model distinctly different from the contemporary Precision Bass, alongside which it was marketed through 1979. Two artist-designed models use the Telecaster Bass body style; the Mike Dirnt Precision Bass, using today's standard single split-coil pick-up, and the Sting Precision Bass, using a single coil pick-up as did the earliest design.
Since 1969 the 1-piece maple neck option has been fitted to many Fender basses and the rosewood fretboard offered as an alternative. Some Precision Basses made in the 1970s were also available with an unlined fretless rosewood, ebony or (usually) maple fingerboard, popularized by endorsees Sting and Tony Franklin. Fender briefly offered a fretless P Bass in the mid-1990s as a part of the first-generation American Standard line but dropped this variant at the end of the 20th century.
In 1968, The headstock graphic was changed to a new "waterslide" design. In 1977, the "Precision Bass" wordmark was changed to a smaller, sans-serif design.