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Idea About De-Fretting

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thebrian, Jun 21, 2013.


  1. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
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    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    I had an idea years ago about doing a fretted/fretless hybrid. The idea was to de-fret only from the 12th fret up, so I would have the normal sound of a fretted neck in the lower register for normal accompanying bass lines, but then have the upper reg fretless for soloing.

    I never got around to actually trying this idea, but I was wondering if anyone else has ever thought about this or better yet, done it?
     
  2. Nick303

    Nick303

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    The action would be a compromise, too high for a good fretless sound really, I'd be very cautious.
     
  3. elgecko

    elgecko

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    I think Ibanez made such a bass.
     
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    It's been done many, many times. Like all compromises, there are good and bad things about it.
     
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  6. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
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    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    I figured someone must have done this, just couldn't find anything about it searching. Yeah, I was thinking the action would be high for the fretless part. But, I'm thinking with some relief in the neck I could get the upper reg pretty playable and still not have the lower reg fret out. It would be cool to see some pics if anyone has done it themselves and comments about the playability trade-off between the registers. Thanks fellas.
     
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    The concept has been explored widely, it's all about finding what works for you.
    What's important to understand is that on a fretless, action is normally set with the fingerboard as a reference for adjusting strings, like the top of the frets on a fretted. You have to find a way to compensate action between the 2 parts, either with ingenious setup of by making the board higher on the fretless part.

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  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
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    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I like the idea much better on paper.
     
  9. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
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    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    ^Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing.

    Thanks for the great pics, Jazz Ad!
     
  10. Nick303

    Nick303

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Beautiful pics there man, the hybrids make for some special looking instruments.
     
  11. cfsporn

    cfsporn Banned

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    Aug 20, 2011
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    New York City
    This is news to me. I get a very nice sound with my high action fretlesses.
     
  12. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    I think the 3 and 3 would be the bomb.... EAD fretted and fretless right beside it. Almost like a two neck in one. And takes away any of the action issues you have with partial fretted/fretless strings.
     
  13. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    I'd think more EAD fretted and ADG fretless if it was a combination of groove and solo that was desired.
     
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    I don't think you can come up with a definitive semi fretless concept.
    This kind of design responds to the specific needs of a given player.
     

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