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Chords on fretless 6

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Philbiker, Jan 23, 2003.


  1. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Hey does anyone here play a lot of chords on a fretless 6 string? How does it sound? DO you use the technique a lot? I've been thinking of a Brice 6 string fretless from Rondo. I've recently been playing chords on my basses at church. The chords on the fretless sound really nice if I can get the intonation right, but the fretted sound nice too.
     
  2. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i do it all the time. sounds great to me. as you said, intonation is the key element.
     
  3. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I have been experimenting with simple chords on my fretless lately, and to me fretless bass 'mwah' has certain natural chorus-like effect, which goes well with chords.

    Also, I think that being ever slightly out of exact tune with fretless gives the chord a bit more 'textured' feel.
     
  4. DBasica

    DBasica

    Jan 6, 2003
    Well not on a 6, but on a fretless 5. Double stops aren't too tough, but many chords I do on fretted I just can't get the intonation clean enough on fretless. With fretted, close is good enough, on fretless, forget it.

    Dan
     
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That's what I'm afraid of. I play chords on both my Dean fretless 5 and my Tacoma, and they sound nice. However, the intonation is not the best. On the Tacoma since it's an acoustic bass guitar the intonation kind of goes south high up opn the neck, and on the 5 the intonation is kind of dodgy, but is usually not that bad. I find that my my chord vocabulary is EXTREMELY limited without the high "C" string. I'm leaning towards the fretted 6 if I'm buying it primarily for chordal use. But I love the expressiveness of the fretless. Maybe if Brice would make a double neck fretted/fretless 6 string... :cool:
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You want to ask our own resident pro - Steve Lawson about that. He plays chords a lot on fretless 6-sring and having been to the clinic with Michael Manring before Xmas, I can tell you he is pretty good at it!! ;)
     
  7. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    the intonation goes south ? are you talking about a fretted or fretless bass. In the case of fretless the intonation is almost entirely up to your hand position.

    i play upper register chords on fretless 6 all day sometimes;you just have to listen to what you're playing, and make those microtonal adjustments that any fretless player (the whole viol family) continually makes.
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Sorry, the Tacoma ABG is fretted. I think over the next few months I'm going to experiment with adding more chords to my playing and kind of stretch out on the high side of the scale, and see how it turns out. Kind of tiptoe where the 6 would lead me and see if I like it.
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    sounds like a bridge adjustment is necessary. is the bridge fixed or adjustable ?
    That is a problem with acoustics; many have poor intonation above the 12th fret.
     
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    As with most acoustics it's fixed. It's not as bad as I thought it would be when I bought it, but it's not very good way up on the neck.
     
  11. shon

    shon

    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    Man...there's so many Steves. Check out Steve Bailey on the 'Bass Extremes' CDs. he plays chords like mad on that 6 banger fretless of his. It has a--well--interesting tone. Kinda watery. You need to be careful though that it doesn't sound out of tune, if you know what I'm saying ;)
     
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Well I did some playing around at Guitar Center on a used Ibanez Soundgear 6 string (aside: That was one of the worst "sit down" basses I've ever played. It constantly kept wanting to crawl off my leg! I hated it!!!!!).

    I loved the sound of chords on the D-G-C strings. Just beautiful. And plucking in a kind of flameco guitar style sounds fantastic, too. I really love it and now I want a 6 string. (Man I thought I'd never say that - 6 strings have always seemed to be kind of excessive to me - gotta love the "Talkbass" influence ;))

    But....

    Ain't no way I'm going to be able to put in the work and practice required to intonate chords on a fretless. No way. Bass is just a hobby to me and I just will not put in the time required to get my chordal intonation to the point where it's usable.

    So fretted it is. The only question is amber or green.... I do love green, but I don't have an amber bass yet..... :)
     
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Resurrecting this old thread. I finally picked up a 6 string, and I just love the sound and feel of fretless too much to get one with speed bumps. The chords I played around with in the music store weren't perfectly intonated, but they sounded so darn sweet I decided I had to go for it. I just love the sound of a fretless bass. :)

    See the last page of the Essex Megathread for a picture of my new Brice V2 sixer - my first six string.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. OUCH! You went for an unlined fretless 6 to play chords on?! Brave man... :eek: Have fun though, looks cool. :bassist:
     
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Well, I've been playing unlined 5 string fretless for 4 years with some chords on that so it's not a totally alien concept to me.
     
  16. That's odd. I have a Thuinderchief and chords sound good regardless of where they're played.