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Benefits of Fretless?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Megalomania, Mar 1, 2008.


  1. I play fretted electric bass, but mainly upright jazz bass. I started playing fretless electric, but sold the body of the bass I made. Therefore, I have a warmoth fretless neck (quite nice) sitting around. I am 17 and looking to pursue a career in music, hopefully centered around sessions and jazz (I'm attending berklee's 5 week performance program this summer to further my studies).
    My dilemma is: should I sell the neck and continue playing upright and fretted electric, or buy a new body and study fretless electric also?
    Also, do you feel that the ability to play fretless bass well makes a bassist more desirable for sessions and gigs and such? Is it worth my time (given my experience on upright and electric) to study fretless electric bass?
     
  2. though I don't make a living professionally out of bass I know a lot of people that do. All those guys always recommend that the broader the spectrum you can cover, the better it would be for you financially (you ARE trying to make a living, aren't you?). If you can play electric (fretted AND fretless) plus double on the upright, you will have an edge over 80% of the bass players out there. Practice all styles of music, too!
     
  3. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    +10 If your planing on going Pro the key to keeping the bills paid is being as versatile as you can. So I would say play both fretting and fretless, DB, and these day learn keyboard and be able to double on keyboard bass. The amount of work for musicians is shrinking so unless you play at a virtuoso level you need to be have skills in lots of areas. Because now you are competing for work via internet with musicians all over the world. With the modern digital recording world loops, samples, library music has taken a lot of bread and butter recording gigs away. So study types of bass including KB bass, arranging, some recording, sightreading and good ear and you can make a living.
     
  4. yugo

    yugo

    Mar 28, 2006
    playing fretless electric will make you play better fretted bass so you should keep it up.
     
  5. mattfong

    mattfong

    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Play both! I do, as well as upright bass. The more versatile you are, the better. For some gigs, a fretted might be better than fretless, and vice versa.

    By the way, I am also 17 and am pursuing a career in music.
     
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    Do your best to understand what Doc is saying here. The work demand is less...... the material is reuseable...... the competition pool is world wide.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't pursue your dreams, but now more than ever someone your age going after this needs to have a "plan B".
     
  7. Calebmundy

    Calebmundy

    Apr 5, 2007
    Nashville
    Would you mind expanding on this idea? I can't really see the benefit directly. I own both instruments, although I am not terribly proficient on fretless-I only use it for recording (there's your studio fretless question for you OP). Here's a recording tip-I am sure a lot of people will baulk at this statement, but autotune works wonders on fretless and upright. Even at low adjustment times, it sounds just like the player correcting!
     
  8. Great responses, all very helpful stuff. I definitley hear you on the "versatile" arguement. Seems like a good idea to get a hold of a body and polish up my fretless skills after considering all the points. Thanks!
     
  9. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Honestly being able to play fretless means you can bring another form of bass to the table, as well as all the techniques associated with it. In my mind its a good idea to keep the same style bass neck to make the fretted fretless transition easier, because if you have good technique then its all about muscle memory.
     

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