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FRETLESS BASSES

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dontbesobassist, Dec 9, 2005.


  1. I am currently looking at the rockbass selection of basses from Warwick, basically because I can't afford a proper Warwick. I've been playing bass for a good few years now and I want a fretless bass. I love the sound and ease of play with a fretless. however , due to my lack of experience with them i just want to ask a simple question. Do you get the same good slapping sounds with a fretless bass as you do with a fretted one?
    replies are much appreciated
     
  2. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    The short answer is...generally no. Extensive slapping is also very hard on the fingerboard of the fretless bass. Especially if it's not ebony or pau ferro (sp?)
     
  3. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    Fretless is generally not for slappers. Some people have added metal plates at the end of the fingerboard to help get that metalic sound when slapping with some success.

    I should say though, you can slap on a fretless and it can sound great. But it's not the same sound as with frets.
     
  4. Les Claypool seems to do pretty well with his 6 string fretless. It has a different sound when slapping sure, but doesn't every bass? A Fender's not going to sound like a Warwick as compared to a Ric and an Alembic. Its all in the player's technique, sure it'll sound different, but your technique can change a great deal of that. I'm pretty sure that Flea and Marcus Miller have slapped on fretless before too.
     
  5. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I dont think flea has slapped on a fretless. I just dont see it happening. Hes not the most...creative.. player. Yes i love him, well his playing, i hate his personality, but i dont see him really getting into a fretless.
     
  6. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    You're supposed to play a fretless bass like you're making sweet sweet love!! .. not slap the bitch around...
     
  7. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    I'm with you on that. But I bet Victor can do some mean slapping on a fretless too.
     
  8. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    Yea.. but I think if I wanna slap something around.. it better have frets on it.
     
  9. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    The traditional "slapping" sound is metal strings hitting metal fretts. This topic has been discussed before and there are some folks who slap on a frettless, but they are few and far between and the sound of a slapping frettless will probably never be like the sound that you hear in your head when you think of slapping.
     
  10. I dug the effect of slapping on the JP Fretless 6 string I owned. The strings were flatwound and the fingerboard was acrylized so it was extremely resilient to damage from this. The tone was nothing like a Flea or Marcus type slap.
     
  11. I've heard it done on an FNA Jazzman, and it sounded great, but I would imagine that you need just the right setup and strings for it, or it just doesn't come off well. Probably more work than it's worth. Get a fretless for the fretless sound and feel and leave the slapping for the rest of the basses.
     
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    What Vic Does
    What Les does
    What Flea does
    Who cares? We're not any of those people. Yea, they're killer players, who each have their own technique. Every person has a special trait to their playing, that makes it their own. Don't take what Vic does, or what Les Does, do what you do.


    Mark
     
  13. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    I agree completely, I was just pointing out that there are always exceptions to what we think are the limits of our bodies, minds, and equipment.
     
  14. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Yep! I agree. Didn't mean to sound like a jerk! No offence at all!


    Mark
     
  15. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    None taken :)
    And to continue on that thought, I'm sure if you heard me play you'd think "He doesn't sound like any bass player I like".
     
  16. sanray

    sanray

    Nov 8, 2005
    I have slapped on my fretless and it isn't bad, but popping sounds poop
     
  17. I guess than, that it would be called "pooping", then! ;)