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Anybody only play fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SuperSonic!!!, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. SuperSonic!!!


    Oct 26, 2005

    After considering converting my main bass to fretless, I was wondering if any of you lot only play fretless and/or have a fretless as your main instrument.

    And if yes, let's see 'em! :)
  2. personally, I love fretless....but I would never consider only fretless
  3. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I play fretless about 50% of the time. I used to play it more like 75%-80%, but a recent addition of a 7 string cut into the fretless use somewhat.

    I still prefer the fretless sound, but now I'm using it mostly for jazz and some R&B stuff. Both basses always go the gig, however.

    FBB fretless 6


    FBB fretted 7


    Side-by-side at the gig

  4. acleex38


    Jul 28, 2006
    I played only fretless from '96-'98. I'd post a picture, but a.) don't feel like reposting it, b.) don't feel like it, and c.) it's a beater and not terribly pretty. My main bass for about the first 6 months of this year was my Breedlove Atlas fretless AEB - it a better match with what we were doing than my Jazz.

    Maybe it helped with the old beater fretless that I hadn't developed my "fretless voice" yet, so I didn't emphasize the "Mwaaah" enough to cause problems. But then again, "Fretless Only" isn't a problem if you have a high enough level of creative freedom in your band or musical environment.
  5. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I'm moving in that direction, I haven't played anything with frets on a gig in 6 months or more.
  6. I used to play a fretted '77 Precision, but since i got my Andre Van Der End Fretless, I haven't played anything since, and I'm really loving the fretless bass. I mainly play jazz & fusion.

    Here it is:

  7. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    I've considered switching to only fretless. I just got my first fretless a couple months ago and I can't put it down. The sound is just perfect for everything I want to do. Ever since I got the fretless I get tons of compliments as well. Mostly it's just people impressed I'm playing with no frets, alot of people don't understand it's not really much harder than a fretted if you know the fretboard well. I think it's easier to play actually, but I am a bit of a musical genius. :D

    I'll still have the fretted around though, just to remind me why I love the fretless so much.
  8. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I recently got a fretless again and am loving it. I wouldn't do fretless only, because I love slap, but I would consider going to mainly fretless.

    Well, since you asked for pics of basses from people that play only fretless, I originally didn't post a pic. But since everybody is posting pics, here is mine:

  9. For a few years the only bass I had was a fretless. I picked up a fretted bass and played both for a while. Then I sold the fretless and was without for a few years. Now I have two Elrick 5 strings, a fretted and a fretless. Both are fantastic but I play the fretless 90% of the time. I don't know how to post pics so you can actually see them (They are always little attachment pics) so I spare you squinting to see the basses.
  10. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    When I was in college all I owned was fretless basses. It wasn't until I started getting into slap that I broke down and got my first fretted bass.

    Now a days, even though I have both I still consider my fretless basses as my main instruments. I have a new Carvin Icon IC4 fretless on order.....can't wait to get it! :hyper:
  11. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I play a bit of both, but I think I lean slightly more towards the fretted side of things. Things can get a bit slappity-poppity at times, but I love playing fretless bass, because it is so easy to make vocal sounds and phrases.

    If you look at Jaco, you could say he took a lot of influence from horn phrases. I pilfer vocal phrasing for melodic ideas!
  12. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    I've been playing mainly fretless ever since I got my Guild. Sorry, no pics yet.
  13. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    My two main basses are fretless, a 4 string Standard Jazz and a Spector Spectorcore 5. My only fretted is a Franken P that gets played very little. My style lends itself very well to fretless and I find it very easy to express myself on the fretless. I play primarily country, blues and blues-country-rock and it fits well. I don't slap much, but you can slap on a fretless, it just sounds a bit different than on a fretted.
  14. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    My primary instrument is an nscr5m
    Eub.... I prefer fretless, especially for slapping, and intend on getting a decent fretless bass guitar sometime in the future..
    pic added...
  15. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    I can dial in a pretty sweet slap tone on my fretless. It's not great by itself, but in a band setting playing simple slap grooves it sounds fantastic. It's certainly different though.
  16. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    i know a guy that has played only a 6 string unlined fretless MK III Wal since he got it new in 97' and im pretty sure that he was playing only fretless for quite a while before that, i think it the only bass he owns as well.

  17. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    Since coming to college, I've been using my fretless pretty exclusively at home and at jazz band. Takes a bit to adjust, but it's rewarding to do.
  18. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    For about 8 years I only played fretless. I bought a Warrior 6 string fretless and frankly couldn't afford any more basses for a while. It actually got the point where I had a hard time with fretted basses due to always playing exactly on the fret. Since then I have purchased a few fretted basses - an EBMM Stingray 4, an Alembic Epic 6 and a Pedulla Rapture 5. I still play the fretless, but only about 25% of the time. It didn't get old, I just wanted to venture back into scary metal bars. Steve
  19. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I've briefly owned two fretted basses in the last 30+ years of playing bass, a Starfire and a 72 Jazz. Never gigged 'em, rarely played either, don't plan to ever buy another one. Fretless is it for me, no doubt. These two are my main squeezes of the moment:

  20. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    The only bass I have up here in Toronto is my fretless jazz. so I play Fretless 100% of the time!

    I was considering getting a GT-7 and Defretting it.

    So, I love fretless!

  21. Primary

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