Bassplayers who shouldn't have played fretless.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Blazer, Jan 25, 2005.

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  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Let's talk about the people who had better leave the fretless bass alone.

    Let me start with the Late great Rick Danko, of The Band.

    Now don't get me wrong, Danko was a good bassplayer, inventive and original. But only when playing either his Fender Jazz Bass or his Gibson Ripper fretted basses. I have seen 1974 footage of The Band supporting Bob Dylan and EVERY DAMN note Danko played on that fretless Ampeg was off, there was not one note fully in key.

    The most horrendous part was when they played "The Load" which normally has one of the best basslines played by Danko, it had my toenails curl upwards when I heard him maul that otherwise wonderfull part on his fretless.

    Then there's Sting


    As with Danko, Sting is another superb bassplayer with a destinct style and tone. The problem with him on the fretless is that it both affects his singing and his playing. Sting is a Double Bass player so he probably thought that a fretless bass would be a natural progression but it wasn't. His fretless playing is off key and his singing (based on the root notes he played) is affected by that.

    Eventually Sting wised up and began using an electric Double bass for live performances, which greatly improved his singing and playing.
  2. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I will probably get seriously flamed for this:

    Pino Palladino and the whole Paul Young thing during the 80's.

    Pino's work on the DeAngelo album "voodoo" is awesome..simply the most killer and funky bass lines I have ever heard.

    I almost can't believe this forward-looking innovative bass player is the same guy!

    I guess I just don't like the sound of fretless with chorus effect.

    (I am already ducking the flames, this is just my opinion, ok? Don't hurt me!)

    I do realize that he was the first to really introduce the fretless to pop music.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA

    He should have stuck to drums.

    (Kidding) ;)
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I LOVE the fact the Sting, Rick, Pino, Jack and Jaco played fretless.

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