Fretless Bass

Discussion in 'Ask Adam Nitti' started by BassNoob1, Feb 16, 2011.


  1. BassNoob1

    BassNoob1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Adam:

    Do you have much experience on a fretless bass? Have you ever done recordings (sessions) on a fretless before? I'm just curious to know, partially because you say you're such a big Jaco fan. :)
  2. adamnitti

    adamnitti

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    hi bassnoob!

    yes, i have a 5 string fretless that i really love. it's a yamaha trb that's about 8 years old. i don't play as many fretless sessions as much as fretted but i do get hired for that from time to time.
  3. GonzoBfiddy

    GonzoBfiddy

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Fretless MWHAH enhancement. Is it easier to get the mwah effect with lower string height or higher? I always seem to favor the tones on my fretted basses (especially the 1st couple of frets on the A & D strings) when I raise the string height a tad. However it seems to take away the blossoming fretless effect or make it harder to get the effect on my fretless with the strings higher? Does it really matter or am I not on the right track here?
    Thanks for any input you have in advance!

    Gonzo
  4. adamnitti

    adamnitti

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    in my experience, lower action will contribute more to that type of sound... 'blossoming' is a great word for it. however, a lot of factors go into this. i've actually only owned 4 or 5 fretless basses over the last 20 years, but each of them had its own thing going for it tonally. my current yamaha has a very sweet organic tone to it. it's an active bass but it sounds more passive to me in how it's voiced. the most exaggerated 'blossoming' types of fretless tones i've heard have come from basses with synthetic material or composite necks. for example, i had a curbow custom fretless 6 string that sounded like a growling animal. :D
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  6. gzarruk

    gzarruk

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    you had?? please don´t tell us you sold it :rollno:
    if so, you sold the fretted 6 also?? i love that bass´s tone :bassist:
  7. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    Spring Hills
    Yes, to a fretless 5-string with GHS Tapewounds. No recording yet, though. It is really fun to play!

    The fretless sits more than the others, and the reasons more likely have to do with either liking my fretted basses more, or the desire to push the learning curve more with the fretted basses.
  8. adamnitti

    adamnitti

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    i don't have those basses anymore, gzarruk. i sure enjoyed them, though! the only curbow i have right now is that prototype of the retro 5.
  9. gzarruk

    gzarruk

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    oh really?? that´s too bad :(
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Everywhere - All The Time
    Disclosures:
    Manufacturing Supplier OEM's
    Hi Adam,

    It's been a long time. Didn't you end up with the sister to my Curbow? It was a Neck Through IEP with Flame Koa Top/Purple Heart Neck and Curbow's name inlaid in Mother of Pearl. These were the only two he built to ever have the inlay of his name per my request.

    Greg Beasley
  11. adamnitti

    adamnitti

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    hi greg! so great to hear from you! hope you are having a great 2012.. i sure don't have that bass, but i sure wish i did! the only one i have left is my prototype retro II... i've been keeping my eyes out for a few of the ones i had built in the past...
  12. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Everywhere - All The Time
    Disclosures:
    Manufacturing Supplier OEM's
    Wow it took me this long to get around to replying back to you. :D

    Me too, I sold my Curbows all of them for one reason or another. I regret it though. I guess we suffer from the same syndrome.

    G

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