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Does fretless rock?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom-Jens, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. Tom-Jens


    Jul 26, 2000
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Last week I bought a Warwick Fortress One Fretless... I didn't plan to buy a fretless bass, but I just fell in love with this one (I love its tone and it has a nice bookmatched flamed maple body).
    I like this bass, but I'm a rock bassist and I play in a hardrock-band! I didn't have the opportunity to play with my new bass in my band yet, so my question is: does anyone of you uses fretless basses for rock music?
    While testing it in the shop, it seemed to me that you can play rock with it...
    Is it so that you should use flatwounds on a fretless?
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Yes... fretless can rock. It's all in what you do with it. As to strings, some prefer flats for both the sound as well as the fact that they're kinder to the fingerboard. Others prefer rounds, sacrificing their fingerboards for the sound that rounds give. It's all personal preference. If you prefer the sound of roundwounds, then occasionally having the fingerboard re-dressed and eventually replaced may not be too big a price to pay...

  3. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Just because you play rock doesnt mean you have to play rock with this bass. Fretless will work for rock but you dont have to play rock with it. It can be for personal enjoyment and if you start another band other than rock it could be very useful.
  4. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    There are also some strings that are brighter than your average flats, pressurewounds and groundwounds(for example D'Addario Halfrounds, which are basicly roundwounds with their surface ground flat). Nickel rounds shoulden't damage the fretboard as much as steel ones. But of course if steel rounds give you the sound you are after, re-finishing the fretboard sometimes probably is worth it.
  5. Mama I'm Comin' Home by Ozzy was recorded on a fretless...IMO, it doesn't matter what style of fretboard you have (Fretted/Fretless) for a style of music, but how you use your bass. And as long as you don't do any string bends (which would be kind of pointless on a fretless), or extreme vibrato, or push your strings down on the fretboard until your fingertips turn white, you should be able to play rounds. ALTHOUGH, I do not own a fretless, so I can't tell you from experience, but that is what I'm guessing...
  6. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I play fretless in a rock band too. IMO, it just adds some spice to the flavor. :)
  7. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I'm confused, Tom-Jens. You are a rock bassist, and have a fretless bass. Why don't you play some rock on it and tell us if it works for you or not??
  8. Tom-Jens


    Jul 26, 2000
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks all for your oppinions. I know it's a stupid question I asked, but I just wanted te read some oppinions about fretless basses in rock music.
    Like I wrote, I never considered buying a fretless before. Not that I didn't thought much of them, I just didn't know much of them. (I always thougt that fretless basses are only used in jazz... now that I learn more about them, I know I was wrong!)

    Well...I just walked into the shop without wanting to buy a bass (I only needed strings...). I saw the the Fortress, played it and I fell in love with It. So I bought it (without really thinking if I could use it or not). I think I'm just a bit afraid... I spent a lot of money on that bass and I hope I won't regret I bought it.

    I never played a fretless bass before. This was the first time and I immediately loved the fretless sound!
  9. Tom-Jens


    Jul 26, 2000
    Antwerp, Belgium
    snyderz, I see that you have a lot of great basses... all fretless. You play mostly classic rock. What is your experience with fretless basses in rockbands?
  10. cronus

    cronus Guest

    Jan 17, 2002
    Romulus, Michigan
    fretlesses rule.i just dont like the way they sound when you slap
  11. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I use my fretless in my "death" metal band, it rocks like nobodys buisness.
  12. paul simonon of the clash used a fretless. that's all the convincing you should need.
  13. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i play my fretless for everything i possibly can. recently thats involved a lot of classic and hard rock with a band in ann arbor. fretless can defenitly rock! it can even funk.... but dont get me started on that.

    btw that is a nice bass, good choice
  14. Pearl Jam: Evenflow

  15. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I play mostly rock and blues. As you noticed, I don't own a fretted bass. Many here feel that is one dimensional, but all my basses give me different sounds and cover all of my needs tone wise. Give that fretless a little time, and you will get hooked on it. Have fun.
  16. FractalUniverse

    FractalUniverse Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    Valparaíso, Chile
    Of course that a fretless bass can rock, you can play what you want on a fretless bass, you can play death metal if you want. Fretless will give you an incredible sound, and, for an example try to download these songs: (band - song)

    Death - The Philosopher
    control denied - consume

    or if you want to see some good videos of someone playing fretless on rock bands enter: www.stevedigiorgio.com and find the videos section. I believe that these examples are the best answer you can receive.
    Hope this helps

    (the picture down there it's me on my fretless bass and it rocks)
  17. FractalUniverse

    FractalUniverse Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    Valparaíso, Chile
    oops Sorry it was a response to the message:

    Does fretless rock??? by tom-jens (':d')

    This windows xp is giving me too much problems sorry.....
  18. FractalUniverse

    FractalUniverse Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    Valparaíso, Chile
    Hello Read the Message "hey" by the User fractal Universe, i clicked in the "post new thread button"(i'm a.....) .... sorry for the problems
  19. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Fractal- Ive been thinking about Chile- i played at Vina del Mar in 98 with Chayanne- hes going back this year- i couldnt go this time because of gig commitments- but what a beautiful time and country !- i miss the waves against t he coast!! the warm and beautiful people- Viva Chile!!
  20. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Metallica's "Until it Sleeps" has fretless. And Tony Franklin, a great fretless player best known for playing in "The Firm" with Jimmy Page, has played with hard rock bands Blue Murder and Whitesnake, and recorded with guitarists like Marty Friedman and Tony McAlpine. He is all the proof you need that fretless can be played in a hard rock/heavy metal style. And he has a terrific instructional video on fretless bass.

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