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First Fretless.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PollyBass, Jul 22, 2002.


  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I'm thinking about getting a fretless....... hold me......i'm scared mommey.... no but really. i'm getting one with fretlines to, oh heaven! fretlines and sidemarkers and help! oh my! Do that still make that dean fretless rhapsody? with the kick @SS cat's eye f-holes? What where the big hang ups when YOU switched to fretless?
     
  2. ldiezman

    ldiezman

    Jul 11, 2001
    Nashville
    I would say the biggest hang up is playing in tune.... intonation will make you or brake you on a fretless. if you don't have a good ear, you should probably work on it a good bit
     
  3. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Montana
    My other basses feeling very lonely. :D
     
  4. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    My ear is pretty good, my dad trained me from age 3 to have a good ear, regardless of what i picked up as far as playing an insturment. I'm all sic'd. So, do they REALLY sound that much diffrent? ever pick a fretless? i want some cool slides and stuff. and blah blah blah GIMME GIMME GIMME!
     
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Polly,

    Yes they really do sound very different and it's a very nice sound you can get out of a fretless.

    You'll be fine, ear training is very important in playing a fretless. I got my first fretless two and a half years ago and I absolutely love it. I didn't want to spend a mint on my first fretless since I was a bit intimidated about it. :oops: I got a Dean Edge 5 and I haven't looked back. I very highly recommend Dean basses and their fretlesses particularly. I don't think you can go wrong with that Rhapsody, they are certainly very beautiful.

    Check out the Technique section for some good information about transitioning to fretless.
     
  6. Jerry, Jr.

    Jerry, Jr.

    Jun 7, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Hey Polly,

    About a month ago I purchased my first fretless bass. A MIM Fender Jazz. I didn't want to spend big bucks because I knew that it wouldn't be my every song bass.

    So far, I love this bass! I currently use it on about 3 songs for one of the bands I'm playing in. In my opinion, it's tough to beat the MIM Fender Basses in terms of value. There's a lot of bang for the buck there.

    Good luck!
     
  7. virtual.ray

    virtual.ray

    Oct 25, 2000
    You might want to take a look at the Yamaha RBX260F.It's a simple but good quality 4 string fretless that has a great price/performance ratio.
    I got a brand new one for $199 (of course that was 3 years ago.)
     
  8. I bought one too, to test my ability to play fretless, and I find it very good, very easy to play with a good sound.
    I will maybe replace the pickup by a Dimarzio Split-P but it nevertheless sounds good right from the shop.
     
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    When I started messing around with fretless I personally felt better on an unlined fretless since I played where it sounded right, instead of behind the fret where I usually played.

    Now that I have better technique and play on the fret or behind it, I dont have issues with either
    lined or unlined. I still rather play unlined, and usually close my eyes when I play a lined fretless.

    One major piece of advice is to get a bass with the same scale length as the fetted basses you play. It makes it feel much more familiar to the hand, and takes a lot l;ess time to get used to.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My experience differs. I was very nervous about the 35" scale on the Edge fretless when all my fretted basses are 34". It was not a problem at all for me.
     
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I know that is not always the case, but often your hand moves to a position, and the ear needs to tell it that its not the right position.

    Then again this is completely irrelevant if you have a lined fingerboard and look at it.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm a gonna get a fretless...just you wait. I just need a couple more fretted basses first, on account of practicality. I'm in the heavy scene, so fretless isn't very practical, though I love it. So a couple more fretted basses first. Then a nice mid level fretless.
     
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Last time I went into guitar center and I plugged in a Zon 5 string fretless into a guitar amp, and on the Lead channel it sounded pretty rockin.

    I think if I ever join a metal band, thats what Ill do. Nothing sound better than a severely distorted fretless bass (for heavy metal of course)

    Peace
    Nick
     
  14. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I dissagree. So do THE MAJORITY, not all, of heavy metal bassists. Sucks all your tone away, esspicilly if you have ALOT of distortion in your channel. Most metal bassists i know use alot of midrange, or, opt for a cleaner, more growler 100 range type sound. But sometimes i do like a SLIGHTY over driven sound a bass can get in rock. I play metal to, and i was wondering about the whole fretless thing being a good idea. But the other band mates are kinda digging the idea. i bought one to practise (A friends) to see what they thought of it.
     
  15. You mean this guy?
    www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/sid=020718184957205188209042726608/search/g=home/detail/base_id/51507

    I've had my eye on this one for about a year.

    I also have a MIM fretless Jazz, and it is hard to beat them for value. The only thing I can't stand is the hum from the pickups. I can put different ones in, I know, but, that Dean is so alluring.

    Mike J.
     
  16. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I dont like the sound of a heavily overdriven fretted bass either, but on a fretless, it really helps give it the extra bite and edge that most fretless basses dont have.

    I usually boost the mids and an esential part of my bass tone comes from boosting around the 120Hz range, so were on the same track. For a fretted bass, I only use slight amounts of OD if any at all.

    I recommend that you try a fretless bass through heavy distortion with guitars, and then clean, and tell me which cuts through better. Im sure the graphite neck of the Zon was a big factor though since it does give the bass a completely different voice.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  17. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
  18. I love fretless basses, but I definetly prefer the unlined fretless, the lined ones throw me off. My first fretless is (hopefully) going to be either an Elrick 4-string neck-thru with a pink ivory fingerboard and spalted maple top or a 6-string Surine Regency.
     
  19. notduane

    notduane

    Nov 24, 2000
    Location
    [​IMG] Garsh! I've got one and I really wish I could find something
    nice to say about it :(.

    Like maybe they've changed and the fretboard really IS ebony.
    The one I got had what can best be described as "shrink wrap"
    (I swear :p ) black plastic over the fretboard.

    Then there's the tailpiece/string anchor. Sure, I could take a
    drill to it and make the holes where the strings go through larger.
    But right off the bat, I had a helluva time jammin' T/I Jazz flats
    through there (.100 E). So if you're a fan of heavy strings, figure
    on doing some drilling.

    I'd go for a MIM fretless Jazz or an older Yamaha BBN4F (with J pups).
    The Yammer's got a shallower (faster?) neck and the board is lined.
    IME, they sound pretty good right outta' the box, but lend themselves
    readily to a whole lotta' futzin' (i.e., new pups). Here's one for $100 less
    than that Dean -- http://gbase.com/gearlist/guitar_picture.asp?guitar=338868
     
  20. If anyone is interested in buying my Celinder Jazz Vintage 4 Fretless, please contact me. This bass has that 60's Fender vibe down.

    contact: don@reference-av.com