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Fretless Acoustic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jrkc, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. jrkc


    Nov 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I've been playing guitar for about 15 years, blues/funk/rock/jam style mostly. I recently got a Dean Fretless Acoustic bass, real cheap, but it seems like a great value for the price. I put some flatwound strings on it, and I have a fender rumble 100. My funk/slap style sounds pretty good, and I think my calling is a bass player as I've always preferred to pick with my thumb and forefinger when playing guitar, and it seems to transition nicely to the bass. However, being new to the bass, I know nothing about them really. My style sounds better on fretless, and I like playing the fretless better than a fretted. I know on guitars the pickups make a huge difference, and I made a semi-hollow body telecaster from scratch and it sounds amazing with the custom pickups I installed. Are pickups as important to bass as guitar? Would it be worth spending several hundred dollars on an upgraded bass? Also, any advice on playing technique would be nice. I have a lot of "raw talent" for the bass, just looking for tips on how to hone in my skills.
  2. Wallace320


    Mar 19, 2012
    Likes Received:
    First and foremost
    If you're skilled enough to start on acoustic fretless fitting your style, I'm guessing how good can you possibly be on guitar:bassist:
    Another point is that, myself, and many other over the forum, started as guitar players then had transition...

    I wasn't that good on guitar, even if I'm planning to improve with some tricks and good friends of mine teachin' me some, but I'm much better on bass and many things scales, chords and gear and effects know-how that I got, I made them out of playin' guitar

    Same for pickups
    In my two bands, pickups upgrading on guitars are everytime suggested by me

    I normally tend to mod many basses and many are behind me
    I modded lot of Squiers (they're perfect for that reason...) and
    the two I got at the moment sport bass extenders and better pickup, one (Classic Vibe '50s Pecision... I didn't succeded in putting a second one at the neck to enhance overall "lowend",
    so I actually have a cavity underneath the pickguard:rollno:) additional pickup, the other (Vintage Modified '70s Telecaster Precision... I added a DiMarzio ModelP to stock neck Fender WideRange:hyper:)

    So yes, I retain better basses stock, but others are platforms to experiment new solutions...

  3. Immigrant

    Immigrant Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Welcome to TB!

    I haven't any technique advice.

    BUT yes, you get what you pay for when it comes to bass gear, same as guitar (or any other product). As a guitarist, you can tell a distinct difference between a PRS Custom or other high-end guitar and an entry level Ibby, and you will with basses also.

    When I finally spent some real coin on a bass that fit my bill, I has more desire to practice and I got better. A crappy playing and sounding bass can be a deterrent.

    Just be careful not to think like a guitarist. I've always been able to pick out guitarists turned bass players in a club pretty easily.:D
  4. jrkc


    Nov 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Interesting comment - "be careful not to think like a guitarist". What do you mean?
  5. lowendfriend

    lowendfriend Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I have that very Dean fretless bass and still use it when picking around.....a good bass for playing in your study or bedroom, but not such a great choice for a gig.

    I even have it with flatwounds. One variation on yours is that it's strung BEAD instead of EADG, since my electric basses are both 5 strings and I rarely use the high G.

    One of the challenges of bass playing is un-learning things that may not work as well on bass. I use the famed "floating thumb" technique.....search for that on Google in conjunction with Todd Johnson and you'll find a good youtube video that helps you understand it and decide. Going that route early was one of the best decisions I made IMO.

    Good luck and enjoy it!

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