fretless basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Feb 4, 2001.

  1. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    r tey any good coz i wanna new bass and im not sure whether or not to geta fretless or 5/6 string bass.

    i always imagined fretlesses to b impossible to play coz u dont know where to put ure fingers
  2. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I thought the same.
    But I tried recently a fretless bass with fret lines on the fingerborad ... and since I want one.
    That's call GAS, some they say.
  3. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    but wot bout a pure fretless wit no lines on it?
  4. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Buy a fretless with fretlines, and if you don't like em, don't look at em :D

    I think it's much easier to begin fretless with fretlines.
    My Yamaha is a good and inexpensive bass for first fretless.
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    In answer to your original question; buy or borrow a copy of Graceland by Paul Simon, if you like the bass sound then get a fretless (Jaco is too obvious an example).
  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Fretless basses without fret lines usually have side marker dots posotioned EXACTLY at the fret positions. It winds up being considerably easier than u think.

    Find one at a store and try it with a guitar playin' buddy. You'll be surprised how easy it is to get used to.

    That having been said, it is something you'll have to work on for a while before it becomes second nature. But it's an achievable goal.

    Another popular example of fretless tone is Mark Egan's stuff on Joan Osborne's "Relish" CD. Especially on "St. Theresa" which made it to the charts. Very tasty.

  7. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I dont like lines, sinces those are INLAYED and not painted it could ruin your sound, and also decieve you.
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    i think fretlesses r ez'er 2 play cause dere r no stupid frets 2 get in da way.

    u know, sometimes u wanna get dose quarter tones...:D

    Will C.:cool:
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Woohoo! Fretless! Flatwounds!

    Fretless is kinda weird at first. You can fall in love with it, noodling around in the store, not realizing you're out of tune. I bought my Fender Fretless Jazz thinking "Damn I can play a lot faster without having to worry about fret noise! And this low action rules!".

    Hooboy... fretless is a different world. It's definitely worth it if you want to practice... a lot. I thought the transition would be easy with fretlines, but man, you have to hit it EXACTLY otherwise it sounds like crap. Fretless is a good way to develop your ear, and one things I've noticed is that my accuracy on a fretted is pinpoint, because I'm used to going to an exact spot on my fretless.

    Fretless is a lot of extra work, even with fretlines, but I think it's worth it. The tone is great, you can do cool glissandos, and whatnot. I'm not going to say anything about "mwah". That's annoying. Oh yeah, and Will's right, quarter tones rule!!

  10. Big Wheel, u mus b reely clvr ta figr orl dat stuf out!
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That's a lot easier said than done, for someone used to no lines.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    SuperDuck, this is a matter of personal preference, but I like the sound of roundwounds on my Zon.

    Of course, I like the nylon tapewounds on my old Electra Westone fretless. Yum! Sounds almost like a doghouse!
  13. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    u guys gotta play upright
  14. I tried, but I can't find a long enough strap.

  15. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Marty: Teks wan 2 no wan... ;)

    Will C.:cool:
  16. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    The inlayed lines are ... hmm ... hearable ?
    Is is true ?
    What fretless bass has painted lines ?
    I think that the Yamha BNN4F I was looking to try has inlayed lines ?
    Is the MIM Fretless Jazz Bass with lines painted or inlayed ?
  17. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Yeah, I know you don't HAVE to use flatwounds... I've used rounds in the past. I just like flatwounds a lot, and they save your fretboard from wear and tear. Roundwounds on a fretless give you a really nice tone, but I prefer the old-school "thump" of flats.
  18. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    If inlays affect the sound, I can't hear it... I mean, they're designed to be perfectly flush with the fingerboard and they usually are, so...
  19. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    The frets are what make it easier to play because you don't have tp have your finger in the exacxt place to play a specific note.

    If you want 1/4 tones, bend. :)