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Fretless Bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Reg, Aug 21, 2000.

  1. Reg


    Aug 19, 2000
    Is there any resourse out there for playing fretless basses. Or has anyone got any tips of tricks for me. And also how do you check the intonation on a fretless bass??

    [Edited by Reg on 08-23-2000 at 03:28 AM]
  2. Reg-

    There are several articles that have been published in Bass Player magazine recently on fretless playing, written by Ed Friedland, that are very good, and give some great suggestions. Surf on over to http://bassplayer.com and see if you can track them down.

    Failing that, what I did to get my intonation together at first was to play major scales on one string against an open string, very slowly. For example, I'd play the notes in a D major scale on the G string, while playing the open D string at the same time. After a while you just start getting a "feel" for where the in-tune notes on your fingerboard are, it's a combination of muscle memory and trusting your ear. Hope that's helpful.
  3. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    If you could find a decent teacher that knows the upright, chances are they would help you with the fretless.

    One thing I learned from my studies on upright that may help you I call finger substitution. If you wanted to play in the next octave, you can put your index finger where your pinky was or the reverse. The hand seems wired to make this move easily.

    Another thing is with a simple octave held by your fingers, you are measuring the neck/scale at any given position. It's easy to hear an octave obviously, but this tells you what a whole step needs to be at that point.

    Of course what Gard has to say above makes a lot of sense as well. Also playing against the fifth, a third, fourth and other intervals besides the tonic as the drone helps too. Try the same thing as he said except with the A note as the drone, still playing the D major scale… works for me anyway.


    [Edited by Rockinjc on 08-21-2000 at 11:22 AM]

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