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Anyone play a fretless P?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ostinato, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I'm curious...I haven't played one in a while, but I remember really enjoying the sound it made. And I've always been a fan of guys like Percy Jones...hell I can actiually see myself buying one in the near future :) , but I digress...

    And no P-Js, that's cheating:)
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Me! I love it. I'm even thinking about getting a 5-string fretless P.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I have one I use if the need arises.

    fretless P with the right piece of foam under the bridge and you'd be very hard pressed to tell it from an upright on most stuff.

    I don't think I'd like it for a main axe.
  4. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    David J of Bauhaus plays one. That was enough to get me interested :)
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Fretless P is one of my favorite things!
    I'd use it more, but find that if I am doing R&B or country, the mwah is not what I want. I find there is no way to get the punch of a fretted bass without the frets (IMHO). :D

    Consider the styles you will be playing. IMHO, it does work for blues pretty well, and Jazz is an obvious place for it. Also, if you are considering spending a lot on an expensive instrument, I'd get one that will be useable in as many styles as possible. Mind you, I am not saying it is impossible to use a fretless P for any given style, just that my preferences (and those of some of my fellow players/band leaders) have been for a fretted instrument in some styles. :ninja:

    A final consideration: I play upright and am very comfortable on fretless. I don't find consistent good intonation to be difficult, BUT (big but), it requires more concentration and effort. I have to keep my eye on the fingerboard more than with fretted. Of course, your mileage may vary...:bassist:

    edit: Occasionally, I swap the fretless neck on my '71 for a fretted neck, depending on which I want. Oh, and btw, P/J's ARE cheating...that's why they sound so so GREAT! How else could they get that way??? :D :D :D
  6. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I've been into fretless P-bass for twenty years.
    I prefer P-tone for fretless.
    Big, fat, round.
  7. Daffy Funk

    Daffy Funk

    Nov 10, 2005
    I have a CIJ fretless P,and I havent found a bass that
    sounds better than it(IMO).I'm on my way to custom
    ordering a fretless P5 from Stambaugh.
  8. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    I, actually, have never been a big fan of the p-bass, any i have played have been complete crap, but who knows, I might like a good quality one

    oh and P.S. your 4-string pbass is beautiful!
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Mines sitting on my lap as we speak. I was actually sliding down the G string when I read this thread's title.

    '95 MIA Fender Precision. 3TSB, white guard, and a Dimarzio Model P as of about an hour ago.
  10. i do :)
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I bought my P new in '71 and de-fretted it about 25 years ago (rosewood fingerboard). I'm loving the sound of Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats through a Carvin B-1500 and Dr. Bass 2260.

    The versatility of the sound is proportional to my attentiveness; if I'm mindful and deliberate, this is a very versatile bass - not a single-sound axe by any means.
  12. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Not my main gig bass, but I still play it.
    '67-P, defretted, refinished, brass nut, badass bridge, Bart pup.

  13. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Mine has yet to go on stage, but I rehearse with it sometimes, and practice with it regularly. It's composed of new 2005 parts from an eBay seller who parts out MIM Fenders, with Midnight Wine P body and lined fretless J neck. Then I used the Am. Ser. P pickup from my 2004 (that now has a Lindy Fralin), and a Gotoh 201 bridge. I absolutely love the tone, and find it has plenty of punch, especially with the Gotoh. And for some reason I love the Am. Ser. pickup with the fretless -- much more than I did in its original home. My band's material rocks pretty hard, but the fretless works for much of it, and adds substantially to some of it. The band's leader loves it, so I'll bring it on stage eventually.
  14. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
  15. MattMPG

    MattMPG Matt Pulcinella Guitars

    Apr 6, 2006
    I gave up fretless years ago when I started playing in clubs that had a lot of girls. They really throw off your intonation. True story. I've heard other players say it too.

  16. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have a fretless P+J. Bill Lawrence p'ups wired in series with blend knob. P p'up has a lot of punch. J has a lot more mwah/growl. Works great together.
  17. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    +1 :D :D :D

    I would play my fretless Yamaha P/J most of the time, but it is hard to concentrate. . . Ever seen the South Beach scene (in Miami)? Crazy. :cool:

    But yeah, fretless P-Bass sounds rule!
  18. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Does mine count?

    Fretless 6 string slab bodied P with a dual coil in the sweet spot



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