Do You Own a Fretless But Not Play It Much?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Smallmouth_Bass, Apr 21, 2024.

  1. Yes.

    286 vote(s)
  2. No and don't want one.

    30 vote(s)
  3. No, but I would like one.

    44 vote(s)
  4. What are you talking about? Carrots don't have frets!

    29 vote(s)
  1. I own a fair amount of basses and while I used to have a fretless, I no longer do. Even though I would never gig a fretless in my current projects, something in me feels like I should have one as part of the "collection". I love the sound and get an itch to play one now and again, even if it is just for fun on my own.

    How many of you that do not consider yourself a fretless player own one and enjoy playing it? Is it an obligatory requirement of any serious bass stable?
    Wyrdlow, DJ Bebop, db59 and 3 others like this.
  2. mapleglo

    mapleglo Warp Engineer Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I own a fretless that I hardly play. It's a shame because it's a pretty bass.

    diva01 copy.jpeg

    I built it back in 2018, gigged it a few times for a couple of songs, and it's been pretty much sitting in its case. I take it out once in a while.
  3. Yes, I have a Manne Custom 6 and a Pedulla Pentabuzz. I tend to go through phases of playing the Pentabuzz a lot, to where it will be my main bass for a few weeks. Then, I sometimes put it in it's case and don't get it out for weeks or months. I've had it for years now, and it's quite happy cycling in and out of use. I guess that's a benefit of having an instrument like that, I don't specifically need it nor do I need to be super-precious about using it all the time. The money spent on it was a deduction in my bank account many years ago, long forgotten now. I don't feel guilty for using it only occasionally.
    dutchwife likes this.
  4. gstaats

    gstaats Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2019
    I play fretless 98%of the time. They just sound so good. 20231124_102955.jpg
  5. Gorilla Monsoon

    Gorilla Monsoon Magician...Can turn a car into a driveway... Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2022
    The Swamp
    Im the polar opposite here…Never play my fretted instruments any longer.
  6. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I own a cheap Yamaha fretless that I play at home some. The only time I played it out was at church on a not too demanding song. It's fun to play but I don't play it enough to get very good.
    Craig22221, bulldean and westrock like this.
  7. Five or Six

    Five or Six

    Jun 21, 2022
    West Michigan
    I used to play a fretless years ago. I really enjoyed it. Certain songs when I was on the road were great for a fretless. Sold it after I got off the road. Couple of years ago I thought, why not? So, I did and it is just ...meh. We actually have a handful of songs it would work on nicely. But changing basses on stage isn't in my cards anymore.
  8. megarat

    megarat (Not My Real Name) Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Likewise. (Well ... I play my fretted basses occasionally, maybe 10-20% of the time.) Thus, carrots get my vote.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2024
    Wisebass and Gorilla Monsoon like this.
  9. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    I bought a fretless Mighty Mite neck at the start of Covid. Put it on a few different Squiers but never totally bonded with it. Finally put it on a Fender MIM body with some Fralin pickups and am really enjoying it. Love having one around.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    Do You Own a Fretless But Not Play It Much?
    TBH, yes --- several: i try to rotate as best i can (when i pick one up, or when i practice), but i have too many, and some get neglected more than others and they happen to be fretless. :D

  11. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    :drool: :drool: wow! :thumbsup:
    Wisebass and mapleglo like this.
  12. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    The only time mine gets used is in theatre pits for shows. It gets used, but it’s not in heavy use. I don’t spend much time with it out with the demands of the job in hand.
    Bohumil Prst and FretlessOwl like this.
  13. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I play mine.
    LadyLoveStingRay5, Mili and Wisebass like this.
  14. Cleezmo


    Feb 25, 2015
    Yep - I have a fretless G&L L-2500. But I don't play it very often, because (a) it's 10lbs and (b) it doesn't really fit our setlist. But I do make a point of playing it for a bit every few months, usually to take it to a jam session or something where I have to learn an handful of songs to play. I find it takes a few practices to get my intonation consistently back, so I would never just grab it for a gig if I haven't played it in a while.

    It's fun to have around and I'm glad I have it as on option, but it would never be my main bass.
  15. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    I've had this 90's(?) Mexican Jazz since about 2005. I've only played it out a couple of times, but I enjoy grabbing it when practicing at home. It is a very nice player that I got cheap, so if I sold it, I'd have to pay a lot more for a decent replacement. The midnight blue paint is very nice and turns a cool-looking purple under some lights. Slightly customized with chrome Dan Armstrong import lipstick pickups, chrome knobs and TI flats strings. I wish the neck was unlined, but as is, it is good fun.
    Fender MIM Jazz Fretless-04 (2).jpg
  16. Whale guy

    Whale guy

    Jul 12, 2018
    I have a '73 fretless P bass. I don't play it much mainly because it has 4 strings and I don't switch back and forth well, but also because I don't want to beat it up.
  17. I have one because sometimes the recording calls for that specific sound. You never know when you're going to need it.

    Case in point: I had MIM Jazz converted to fretless with an ESP neck. I used it on a few recordings but then sold it after years of non-use. Of course, within a year of selling it, new demos appear within a year that need that sound. I picked up a Peavey Foundation FL for the occasion and it's never leaving the stable. (I actually like it better than the Jazz!)

    Fretless is also good for practicing your intonation. Think it's good on fretted? A fretless will humble you right quick.
    bulldean and Lance Bunyon like this.
  18. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    Yes, although I have had periods where it was all I played and suspect I will again because I do love it.
  19. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Yes, unfortunately. A Lakland 55-02D. It arrived with rounds, I changed to flats and haven't enjoyed it since. I should probably change back to rounds.

    I've avoided the "But if I just had a Pedulla Pentabuzz I'd play it all the time!" trap... so far.
  20. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    I've found I can intonate a fretless or sing backup, not both. Mine mostly stays home.
    RTBass70, Lo-E, darwin-bass and 3 others like this.