Fretless aficionados!!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by smokey713, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. smokey713


    Jun 28, 2006
    Cynthiana, Ky
    Just purchased a second generation fretless V7. I’m new to the world of fretless and flats alike so what are everyone’s suggestions? All tips are appreciated. Maybe some videos too?

    Attached Files:

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  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    my first tip: don't rule out round wound strings! good luck with your fretless! :thumbsup:

    congrats on your new instrument! :thumbsup:

    edit: clarity
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  3. tindrum

    tindrum Supporting Member

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    Cobalt flats are the perfect "transition" flat in that they share some similar traits tone wise with roundwounds yet offer some of the benefits of flats. I had them on a fretless for awhile and really enjoyed them. I just mixed it up and put rounds on it again and ended up putting Cobalts on my fretted Jazz bass. Great strings for sure.

    There are some flats which will be a bit of a shock to your ears in that they won't have near the sustain or brightness/growl you're probably used to. The Cobalts are a great bridge between those two worlds.
  4. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    You don't have to have flats.
    And they won't eat up you fingerboard.
    You'll have some faint winding marks after a while.
    tindrum and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Long time primary fretless player - the only time I have had flats on my fretless basses on when I bought them from other people. Give me round wounds ten times out of ten.
  6. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    +1 on the "don't worry about your fingerboard - use the strings that give you the sound you love".
    For me that's usually GHS Pressurewounds (or their Ken Smith equivalents). Or sometimes DR Sunbeams or Dunlop Nickle (the cheap alternative).
    fretlessguy and tindrum like this.
  7. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    For feet less bass I like playing rounds that are ultra light gauge and low tension.

    D Addario EXLs, Hartke Extra Lights, GHS 35-95s etc. YMMV but this works for me.
  8. srayb


    Oct 27, 2010
    I like LaBella Deep Talkin’ Bass flatwounds.
  9. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    TI (Thomastik Infeld) flats might surprise you on a fretless -- lots of sustain and rich midrange content and they allow for popping harmonics surprisingly well. I've played GHS Precision Flats, cheap Webstrings flats, different tapewound, half-round, and roundwound strings on fretless before, too (though I confess to worrying about roundwounds eating up the fingerboard).

    A lot depends on the bass (strings that work well on one bass might not jibe with another) and on what you're going for tonally and in terms of playing characteristics.
  10. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Though I wonder when OP is going to read this cause he seems not regularly log in to TB... I agree with all the strings related suggestions above, especially on the roundwound thing.

    But for now, might be better for OP to play his new bass with the stock flatwound strings, which probably are D'Addario Chromes, 'till he has gotten used to it. Loads of praises for the Chromes, on fretless as well as on fretted bass. And although the Chromes aren't the most expensive flatwound strings, still they don't come cheap.

    OP, more important that you do the usual newly acquired bass checkup routines (neck relief, string action, intonation setups). There are quite numerous bass setup instruction videos on Youtube. But specifically for fretless, I've seen only the one by fretless bass guru, Mr. Gary Willis. You can just do a search of his name. Although the videos of his are somewhat more related to his Ibanez signature bass(es), still we could learn a lot.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
    MarkA likes this.
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I’ve been using Fodera Light Medium Nickels on my Fretless. I also like D’Addario Tapewounds and La Bella white nylon tapewounds. I just wish they had more tension.