Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Anyone like paying fretless more than their fretted?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, Feb 8, 2005.


  1. I'm having an "issue" at the moment. I have both fretted and fretless basses. I play the fretted most of the time because I can be 'less precise' when I play, and it allows me to look around more from the stage, or at whatever music may be in front of me. The fretted sounds good, but I do have that occational fret buzz that happens :meh: .

    Now then, there is my fretless. Sounds better, has 3 band EQ [as compared to 2 band on the fretted]. I can play the faster songs on it, but I really have to watch what I'm doing, and when I do, I seem to have a little more fun playing it.

    What is your input?
     
  2. umm i dont know what you are asking but i guess my input is play both
     
  3. I love playing my fretless, and currently I use it about 80% of the time.
     
  4. I had a Squire P-bass as a back-up that I got defretted, so the fret lines were clearly seen. I managed fine with this on stage in a rock covers band. It got nicked after a gig, and I eventually got an Aria Magna fretless. This had no fretlines and I am now replacing it (it's on eBay) with a Japanese Fender Jazz Bass that has the dear old lines. I'm pretty sure this will help. How about you? Does your fretless have lines or just the dots on the side of the neck?
     
  5. Oh, definitely lines. I played on non-lined fretless the other day, and though I did okay, I like the lined much better. I call them 'idiot lines', but even Jaco had lines! ;)

    My fretless was my own semi custom job. My body with a Warmoth Gecko neck. Pau Ferro fingerboard, but rather than use the maple line inlays, I had them put ebony instead. From a relative distance, you can't even see the lines. :D

    It DOES need an adjustment of sorts. Whereas down on the lower frets [when in tune] I have my finger pretty much on the line. Up towards the body, my fingers are more towards the middle of that fret area. An adjustment to my bridge that I haven't taken time to do yet. It's a Hipshot and not difficult to do, just finding the time.
     
  6. Side dots...no lines.:)
     
  7. I am considering buying a fretless for my next bass. I was thinking a Fender Jazz bass fretless. Any other suggestions for good fretless basses in that price range?
     
  8. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I hate to rain on anyones parade, but does the fretless fit the music? I the 90's I was 'mr fretless'...played it in everything I did wether it fit or not.

    I recently went to see a local original rock band with a chick singer, that we play with occasionally. The bassist got a very nice new high-end fretless, and well, it really didn't fit the material slip sliding all over the place the way he did.
     
  9. Not a problem with me. I don't play [or really like] rock music. Mostly play at my local church and other times with Spyro Gyra, The Rippingtons, . . . . . . . . . . . . along with their CD's, that is! :p
     
  10. alembic5

    alembic5

    Dec 5, 2004
    Seattle, Wa.
    I am, for the time being, a fretted player. However, my Peavey B-Quad 5 fretless is due to show up tomorrow! This will force me to learn how to play this beast. It has a lined neck, which is phenolic on modulus graphite. I have the fretted B-Quad 4, and have been looking for a 5 for the last 8 years. According to an un-named high ranking Peavey employee, it's 1 of around 25 ever produced. I'm hoping that fretless comes fairly easy to me, as I love the fretless tone and it would go perfectly with the material I currently play. Oh... and we're going to see Spyro Gyra this friday at Jazz Alley! I can't wait!
     
  11. I am Stingraymund, and I play fretless bass.

    I have three basses and spend most of my time playing my fretless. I don't know. I love slapping on a fretted but there's something about the buzz and MWAH of a fretless...It's like when the strings are vibrating I feel connected to the instrument as opposed to playing a slab of wood and metal. I play a ton of other musical instruments, and none of them as as epxressive as fretless bass. Well the tenor sax comes close, but the fretless is a lot less messy :)
     
  12. Qohelet

    Qohelet

    Dec 20, 2004
    MetroWest, MA
    I play about 50/50 fretted and fretless. My fretted is my baby. The body is still leftover from the first bass I ever owned. I've had it about 15 years now (though most of it's been upgraded). I like my fretless a lot; its a 4 string with no lines (not a problem for me),a nice sound and balance. However, when I go to gig, I sometimes get flashbacks from the Island of Misfit toys and take the fretted so it doesn't feel bad. :rolleyes:
     
  13. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I love both, playing all fretted now because my fretless is in the shop getting a Badass and a brass nut. I love that because it lets me play in a less traditional sense, and requires me to be a bit more in touch with my bass as I play. My mind can wander more with a fretted.
     
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I play my fretless 75% of the time at church.

    I am starting to use it more in my band, too. We are going to do some acoustic coffee shop gigs, and the fretless is perfect for that.
     
  15. I enjoy playing my fretless Squier but it really depends on what I feel like playing. Sometimes I'll go a week without touching my Fender, and sometimes I won't touch my Squier for a few weeks. I finally brought it to band practice this past weekend and it had great P bass thump and mwah (sounded amazing overdriven), but it sounds really bad through my amp compared to my Fender. Until I can get a better amp or maybe a better fretless, the Fender will be number 1. But at home, I enjoy playing it a lot.

    Which suits the music more? In my case, it's the Fender by default since the pickups are much better than the Squiers, and this makes a huge difference through a cheaper amp.
     
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I dig my $200 pawnshop fretless Jazz more than my $1000 GT-7 fretted lately. As for whether or not it fits - I think one also has to ask onself whether or not -fretted- basses fit in all the songs. The sliding thing - that isn't a necessity, but it's what we're used to.
     
  17. I've been playing bass for 15 years...Got my first fretless in August (a wishbass... :bag: ).

    I LOVE IT! I play it all the time. It's just so expressive. Like some others have already said, it's about the way it feels in your hands. Changing the pressure of my fingers against the finger board and getting different sounds and nuances.

    Fretless bass is GREAT. If I'm doing a lot of tricky stuff like triads and double-stops etc...however, it's still loads easier on a fretted.
     
  18. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    currently the fretless gets alot more play. I prefer the feel, tone (usually) and *gasp* slapability. :hyper: I still have trouble slapping and popping on the 6es though.
     
  19. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I personally prefer the sound and feel of a fretless bass over a fretted. But for the styles of music I've been playing lately, I need that 'edge' that a fretted bass has. I started playing a fretless in the late 80's; I put a lined Warmoth P-style neck on a P-Bass body and off I went. That bass really kicked my a**. I remember my intonation was horrible at first, especially when I tried to play double stops or triads. I wasn't playing in bands at that time, so I devoted a couple of years to the fretless. I would often practice scales plugged into a strobe tuner to monitor my intonation - I was pretty obsessed (or OCD'd! :p ). It really helped my pitch, and having to finger notes so precisely really built up my strength. I haven't played a fretless much lately; I've put together a Warmoth J-style fretless that turned out really nice. I take it out to gigs as a backup occasionally.

    -Art
     
  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    What is your input?

    I haven't owned any fretted basses for at least 20 years. At this point I find fretted to be much harder to be precise on, and if the fretless doesn't work for something, I stop doing that. Mostly I'm playing EUB these days, actually.

    I did play a really nice fretted 5 a couple of months ago, and I briefly considered buying it. If the right gig came along, I might bite, I guess.