anyone play fretless with a pick?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by flywheel, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    I know most of you would think this is pretty strange but I always play my fretless with a pick. I've always played with a pick b/c I started out as a guitar player and I could always get more attack, muting control, and speed with a pick than I could with my fingers. I tried playing the fretless when I first got it with my fingers for a more smooth tone but I just couldn't get the speed and control I wanted with my fingers. I've already recorded a little jam thing with it and it sounds good to me but I'm just curious if anyone else plays fretless with a pick.

    I recently read an article on Joe Osborn and he is also a pick player. Anybody know if he ever used fretless for recording?
  2. I play with a pick once in a while on my fretless. It has a very unique sound. I like it a lot actually.
  3. I think sting played a fretless Ibanez artist and fretless p-bass with a pick during his earlier police days. It sounded good.
  4. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    For one song I do. This one song has lots of muted notes, and works best with the deep, dark sound my fretless can do better than my other basses can.
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  6. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    I'd never use a pick for fretless. It just doesn't feel right....although I'm perfectly ok with playing fretted basses with a pick. :cool:

    I almost slapped my oddball friend once for playing a Cort Curbow fretless with a pick in a store, once.
  7. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    i play my fretless with roundwounds and a pick with the trebles boosted to a painfull high

    gives me a trully abrasive and excellet jaggy sound which allows me to cut through like nuthin else!! gives the sound more character than a fretted bass!!
  8. rx jr.

    rx jr.

    May 10, 2004
    didn't justin chancellor of TOOL do that for "Reflection"?
  9. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    Mate, if it get's the sound you desire, it doesn't really matter if anyone else does it. The only rule is that there aren't any!!

    As for Joe Osborn, I don't think I've ever head of him using a fretless, but who knows, maybe he pulled one out for a few sessions.
  10. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    Why? Is there a rule that says that's not allowed? I say more power to him for doing something different.
  11. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001

    couldnt tell you,

    not really my bag baybay
  12. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    Tony Levin. Fretless Musicman Cutlass (graphite-neck Stingray) + pick = Sledgehammer. :D

    Russ :bassist:
  13. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    Really?!! I always thought he slapped that part.
  14. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    Nope, it's picked. Lots of compression, an octaver and a pick. He was talking about it in an old issue of BP. You can hear the pick if you listen carefully.

    Russ :bassist:
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yep. He always plays with a pick and that song was done on his fretless Wal
  16. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    Well there you go!!! Who says you don't learn something new every day!! :D

    Thanks for that!
  17. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I could be wrong but I believe that Tony used his funk fingers on that one and "Red Rain" as well. The funk fingers are the drumsticks that he attaches to his fingers to strike the bass with.
  18. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I believe Carles Benavente (Spanish guy, played with Chick Corea for a time a while back) plays fretless with a pick.

    On the subject of picks and fretless, I believe it's actually a rather common combination for Middle Eastern oud players.
  19. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    I know... I own a pair... :cool:

    This was from the horse's mouth in a BP interview a while ago (the one with the orange-ish cover with him holding his 3-string Musicman). According to that interview, there's plenty of other techniques used there as well, including the funk fingers, and the "super wonder nappy bass"! :D

    Russ :bassist:
  20. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Better in Technique - moved.
  21. brianrost

    brianrost Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Hmmm. lessee...Sting, Rick Danko, Bill Wyman all played fretless with a pick.