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Fretless 5string for funk(ish) sounds in a horn-based band?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by guitarrophobe, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    TBH, I hadn't used my Portamento SRF705 in a live situation that much before I got the Aerium SRH505. I think I had only brought it on stage three times, although I used it in band practices a lot more. Then I got the Aerium, which instantly became my gigging bass.

    Of course, the Portamento has 3 pickups whereas the Aerium only has the piezo. But what I think the most important part that differentiates the Aerium sound is the combination of the piezo pickup with a semi-hollow body which able to produce a warm and woody tone that I really like (which I felt that was missing from the Portamento).

    Yes, the Portamento has three pickups, with three vol knobs. But you need not to worry so much about these.

    Personally, I prefer a bass with a master vol knob. But, my first bass in the 80s was a PJ, which had 2 vol knobs, and then my 2nd one which became the only bass that I had owned for ±22 years starting early 90s, was a J bass, which also had 2 vol knobs. So, I can bare a bass without master vol knob.

    Regarding how I would use the three vol knobs, it's purely situational. Mostly I started with the piezo, then add the magnetics. But in studio practices or when I gigged with it, I've never used all three pickups at the same time, either neck with piezo or bridge with piezo. I think there were also times I used only either one or both magnetics, without the piezo. Again, it was all situational. Depends on how I would like the bass sound to sit in the band mix.

    But TBH, I haven't really enjoyed the piezo so much until I got the Aerium, which I think none other than because of the combination with semi-hollow body thing.

    But referring back to your opening post, particularly that you would like it to be funk-ish sounding, I think the Portamento would suit you better than the aerium.
  2. n1as


    Mar 29, 2013
    MM Stingray fretless or Ibanez GWB-35. Esp the GWB-35.
  3. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I love fretless, but the last kind of gig I’d bring mine to would be a funk gig. To me, funk screams out for bouncing strings off the frets.
  4. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Depends on the tunes and the band. I played in a funk band for a couple years and rarely slapped. In fact I did a gig or two with a Rob Allen fretless. There is a lot of fingerstyle funk out there...
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  5. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Liege Curry isn't slappin here and he's on ESP! is this funk? (after the first tune it's all classics)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  6. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Well, it's George Clinton, so the answer is fairly obvious. However.....I do think if the bass had at least some fret grind goin' on, it would add something to the proceedings. Not that it's bad without it,... just my opinion.
  7. guitarrophobe


    Mar 20, 2017
    Hey bass people,

    Time to conclude that story and maybe this thread.

    So I tried

    - the Ibanez fretless 300: which felt pretty cheap or at least felt according its price point. Also really didn't like the color.

    - the Ibanez 505: Felt somewhat like a shoebox with neck attached and I learned that I very much appreciate a PU which lets me rest my thumb on it.

    - the Ibanez 705: That knob layout is a nightmare for what I want. I really want to turn down the bass between songs and adjust volume from time to time which is a joke if you're forced to deal with three separate volume knobs.

    End of story: I bought a used Stingray 5er with rosewood fretboard from the late 90s. Stringed with LaBellas and with higher saddles for less 'mwah' and more punch, this really seems to be what I was looking for.

    Used it for rehearsal after one week of practice (quite the optimist) and got compliments on the sound.

    I still don't exactly understand the 3way switch and wonder if the fabled 2band pre would benefit the sound but that's something for the future.

    Now I maybe should sell my fretted Sandberg...

    MuttThud likes this.

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