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Fretless basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KingBiz007, Oct 16, 2000.

  1. KingBiz007


    Oct 5, 2000
  2. The rules are as follows:
    1) In order to keep everyone from killing you, you must have near perfect inotation, or else you will be out of tune.
    2) If you have a fretless with lines, your finger usually is pressed down ON the line, unlike a fretted where your finger is close but not touching the fret.
    3) On an un-lined bass, you must have your finger under the dot, or you are out of tune.
    4) Dots on lined fretless can be misleading, as the dots are usually placed in the middle of the fret. ALWAYS watch where you are playing.

    I'm sure others will have better answers, I've only been playing fretless for a few months, so I hope this helps.

    PS: For some good fretless playing, listen to Jaco Pastorius, like his self-titled album (in the Jazz section at record stores), or Weather Report's Heavy Weather (also in Jazz).
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Baseline my answer is not better but complementry. (sp)

    Kingbiz if you have been playing for a while and play with all four fingers of your left hand you should be able to play scales and stuff from muscle memory. Shut your eyes and only use them going up the octave. Also if it sounds dodgy roll your finger not slide, you will be suprised how little movemment is needed.Also try playing into a chromatic tuner to get your ears up to speed. Practice the touch sensitivity of the thing ie dig in to sound like afretted then let it buzz to accent some notes. Jaco used a root octave semi tone drop to accent his lines as in the chicken if you are familiar with the tune. I took a look at the bass and it looks good. I have a fretted 5 in black but my fretless is a Warwick 4 I just feel more comfortable on a fretless 4 string. Last advice is that if you have set your heart on a fretless go for it.

    All the above is opinion usually proved wrong by at least 4 other posters
  4. two things. Is that your bass? And second, that's the same exact bass i am getting only different color scheme, but sound wise the same.
  5. KingBiz007


    Oct 5, 2000
    No, thats not mine. I wish. I want to buy it though.

  6. do you have any idea how much he wants for it? If it's the same as the stores, i'll just the same thing made for me since i was going to anyway.
  7. KingBiz007


    Oct 5, 2000
    I have no idea how much he wants for it.
  8. I've got a few "rules"

    Don't get in the habit of sliding into notes for perfect tuning. It's lazy, sounds bad, and really muddies up the bottom.

    Do learn all of the things you do on a fretted like muting, string crossing, etc. Sometimes they have a different affect but all need to be practiced on the fretless.

    If looking at the fretboard keeps your intonation, then look at the fretboard. As you get better, you'll have to look less but better to get it right first and look like you've done it all your life second.

    IMO you don't need roundwound strings to get a nice tone. A fretless isn't a fretted so it really doesn't need to sound like one. Do yourself and your fingerboard a favor and find a less destructive set of strings.

    Tone is in the hands. It's not the amp, or the bass - It's the hands!

    I love Jaco! I would cower in the presence of Jaco! But there was only one Jaco. We don't need another. Strive for your own voice.

    And Bassline, your answer was absolutely correct!
  9. King, not if I buy it first :)

    I'm waiting on a price quote, just email them for one. BassNW is great, I bought a new Ampeg BA-115 on special sale for an absolutely sweet price from them.. I'd have no hesitation buying from them again. (http://www.basscentral.com seems great too.. they have some fretless Stingray5's you might want to email for price quotes on.. the one at BassNW will probably cost a bit more because it has a piezo bridge.. I'm kind've interested in going with a piezo.. if you don't know what one is, there should be someone here who can give a much better explanation than I could)

    If that's what you're set on and the price is right for you, go for it (in other words.. don't be ashamed of buying it just because I said that I was thinking of getting it). I'm still undecided if I want a fretless Sterling or a fretless Stingray 5.. and it'll take me a few more paychecks to buy something anyways. I could buy it now, but I'm leaving the money I have in savings back home untouched for now.

    I had my heart set on a used fretless Sterling for about $900 at Basscentral... but it got sold. :(
  10. KingBiz007


    Oct 5, 2000
    I just got my price quote. Its 1499$. I dont think i'm gonna buy it though.

    Its nothing i'd really use anywayz. I'm just interested. Maybe when i become a bit better of a player i'll consider it for some stuff i'm writing (if it fits in anywhere). I'll stick with my beat up Ibanez SDGR885 for now.
  11. yeah, i got my quote from them too. I was considering it, cause i'm getting the same setup anyway, but i have a thing against the color. That, and for some reason, at the moment i am deciding whether i should leave the world of 5 and go back to 4 only, or if i should stay with 5. That will make a difference if i get a Stingray or Stingray5 with the entire setup.

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