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7 String Fretless Tuning Low F# or High F

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by 7StringBassist, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Quick question
    IYHO what sounds better fretless a low F# or high F:confused:
  2. I had a fretless 7 but could not make the high F sound like I wanted ; OTOH low F# is too low for my tastes. Unless you're absolutely set on a fretless 7 I suggest playing one first. Mind you this is just me; I'm sure lots of guys can play circles around me on a smooth 7. :)
  3. I defretted my 7 already I was thinking of going Low F#-C
    but if the high F sounds good fretless I might keep it like that
    Its not that I solo much anyways but I'm thinking a Low F# might be more optimal for what I play (Death Metal and Prog stuff)
  4. I'd go with the low F#, but I'm a low note addict. With that many strings, I'd be looking at dropping the C for a low C#.
  5. Krowser


    Feb 10, 2009
    Wow, I start getting lost at B, how the hell can you play something with Low F#??

    It sounds more like a bear snoring that anything else.
  6. I'd go higher. More chord voicings available, sweeping, soloing etc..
    I can't see how a low F# would come in much use.
  7. Krause


    Mar 17, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB.
    I would go with the higher string over the low F#. I looked into this when we started to design my 7 string. The low F# is just to deep and you need to make sure your amp can handle it. If your amp can handle it and you are planning on using it alot than maybe, but you will probably use the high string more. That is why I choose to go with the high F over the low F#.
  8. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    The problem I always had with the high F string was getting enough volume out if it in comparison to the other strings. I always found myself plunking at it really hard - way too hard in fact, because it was so much softer than the other strings and so much thinner of a sound. I used a .24 F for a while, which mitigated the problem, but it wasn't ideal. What the F was good for was chords, but on a fretless chords beyond three notes (even beyond just two) are close to impossible to play with any fluidity in tune. Ever hear a fretless guitar? There's a reason why they aren't that popular. I personally would go for F#.
  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Probably should have put this in the STRINGS subforum. Anyway. Now that I've found an F#0 string I genuinely like for a 34" scale bass, I use an F# instead of a high C on my fretless six. I'm well covered in the rig department to make good use of it so getting a decent F# string in the first place has kept me in the past from keeping my Six string up that way permanently. Now that's changed.

    The reasoning mentioned about chording on fretlesses also fits my experiences. How many notes do I really need anyway to define what I'm trying to put across musically? For me I actually have ideas that makes it nice to not only have a few more lower notes available, but also having the range shift there that kind of makes me think about bass differently even when playing further up the neck. Also, it's hard in 34" scale to really have skinnies pitched high have a sound I care about.

    I like the phattie.
  10. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I imagine the F# would work better for fretless. The high F would probably have significantly less sustain than the other strings.
  11. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    Rubish on the F not sounding right. As long as you use a wound F (mine is a 22)not one of the wimpy plain ones (I have only found wound Fs from Dean Markley strings but there may be another manufacturer). It is a little thinner sounding because it is thinner but depending on what music you use the upper registers on and for it won't affect the sound adversely overall.

    If you are going to make a choice make it based on the type of music you are playing or wish to play first. If your role is to be more bassist with little room for soloing or reason to use the upper registers and higher strings than going lower makes perfect sense. If you would like to lay down basslines and then turn around and have a range that can get over that and sound right you may want to go higher rather than lower.

    Just MHO.


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