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Fretless Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hookha, Mar 2, 2006.


  1. Hookha

    Hookha

    Nov 6, 2005
    somebody told me that if i wanna build a fretless bass i need to leave 2 frets on the fretboard (2 frets in the end of the neck,close to the bridge)

    is it true?
    i need to do it?
    if i need to do that,why?
    what the 2 frets help me?
     
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    you get this advice from your guitar player or vocalist? :bag:

    Nope, no frets on a fretless neck ... hence the name. You do need a nut at the headstock end.

    All the best,

    R
     
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    :eyebrow: Tell "somebody" to put down the crack pipe and step away from you bass :hyper:
     
  4. Dumb question. How high should the strings be off of the FB on a fretless? Is it slightly lower than a fretted bass or the same?
     
  5. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I cut my nut slightly lower to compensate for the absence of frets. I could go measure, but I believe it's lower by about the same distance as the fret is high.

    I also tend to set my neck relief pretty flat on a fretless, and adjust the strings just a tad closer to the board than I would to the frets. It's a little more expressive this way for my playing technique, and I get a good amount of mwah with little plucking force leaving me with a very loose left hand. If I find I get too much mwah, I'll raise the string height en masse accordingly.

    All the best,

    R
     
  6. Thnx!
     
  7. sublimate

    sublimate

    Jan 12, 2006
    The only reason to leave 2 frets at the bridge end would be if you wanted them for slapping. But the finger board would need to be lower there so the string wouldn't buzz on the frets. Others have used a flat plate there for the same reason. Or you can just slap without it.
     
  8. Hookha

    Hookha

    Nov 6, 2005
    the "somebody" told me that jaco pastorius leave 2 frets on his FB?
    it is true?
     
  9. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    don't see any frets on this neck

    [​IMG]
     
  10. I see them! Oh wait..... wait a minute..... nope! No frets! :p
     
  11. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I know Jaco worked magic on bass, but I don't think a Houdini inspired "disappearing fret act" was included in the show

    again I ask the question - was this profound 2 fret story told by your guitarist or vocalist?

    All the best,

    R
     
  12. i think the drummer had a hand in this
     
  13. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Go easy on the guy, I've heard this said before. And as someone's already said it's to do with slapping. To get the same string on fret sound as a fretted bass and cut down on the wear from the string slapping against the end of the f/board. I dunno about a couple of frets though, I'd have thought just the one would suffice?