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Fretless bass

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by seru78, Oct 30, 2002.


  1. seru78

    seru78

    Oct 30, 2002
    Argentina
    Hi! I´ve been playing a fretted JB for over two years, and I´ve decided to change it for a fretless one. I´d like to get some advices to...well, mainly to just play a fretless bass! so i can improve my speed and digitation, Thanks.
     
  2. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    really watch your intonation. If you can pick up some practice methods from voilin or cello (or upright players) that helps. also a lot of guys don't think you need to tune fretlesses too much.. TUNE IT !!!! you want the notes to be in the sameplace when your fingers find their way back. outside of that everythings fair game take your time and be musical. I've heard a lot of non musical fretless players who use it as a gimmicky kind of thing. watch for that give it the respect it deserves as an instrument and play it beautifully.


    god I love the sound of my own voice
     
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I've been playing for 12 years, and i bought my 1st fretless about a month ago. all going very well excpet that i hjave problems setting the intonation onthe G string which makes it very hard to play pitches accurately.
    also it has a muddy tone which is great for some styles - reggae & dub, but crap for practicing becasue the pitch does not come clearly through the tone.

    still i'm learning and i think may particular fretless instrument needs to be played in a certain style.

    it is damned hard work, but the general softer tone and feel of the flatwounds and smooth fretboard is somethin else! if i play the fretless for a few hour then switch to fretted - the fretted is foul!!

    NO,. I love the sound of my own (writen) voice! ;)
     
  4. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    howard.

    I hear you man my flatwounds sound so dark on my fretless. if your looking for more of a jaco sound go to roundwounds (but be gentle and nice to your fretboard) that should brighten up your tone quite a bit. Also use the very very tips of your fingers
     
  5. seru78

    seru78

    Oct 30, 2002
    Argentina
    That´s OK, thanks. Oh... well, as i´m argentinian you can imagine i don´t understand every specific word (plus my english is terrible), what do you mean by "roundwound"?
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    seru78,

    'Roundwounds' refers to the way the string is constructed. You have a central wire, wrapped round with a second wire - the resulting surface is a little rough. I couldn't find a decent close up picture that I could post here, but if you go to http://www.rotosound.com/ the illustration of the end of the string shows what roundwounds look like.

    'Flatwounds' have the central core wrapped in such a way that the surface is left smooth and flat. As a general rule, the tone is less bright (not worse, just different); one advantage is less damage to the fretboard of a fretless bass.

    There are also a range of other string types, such as 'groundwounds' (made like the 'roundwounds' but then ground down to give a flat surface). Check the Talkbass strings forum for much more information.

    Wulf
     
  7. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Aha - I happened across a better picture of the different types of string construction, in the bottom left corner of this magazine scan. You can find the other pages on the Bunny Bass Tips pages.

    Wulf