Fretless Beginner

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by 54P, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. 54P


    Mar 16, 2003
    I'm thinking of putting a 70's fretless maple neck on my 54 modded P-Bass with a P/J setup. I love a sound with strong bottom and highs for occasional slapping, and play through several old tube amps. I want to expand musically and appreciate the fretless sound. What will my first concerns be to adapt? Can I still use roundwounds? What will I lose, what will I gain? Thanks for your help!
  2. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Fretless maple?Hmmm,that's interesting,Yes you can use roundwounds,I go back and forth from flats,depending on the gig.Great intonation is a lifelong pursuit for all of us,takes time,patience,the ability to trust your ear...that ain't easy,you have to train it,whatever your method.If however you really know your instrument the fretless is less intimidating.If somebody really does'nt have there homework done,and most of the gaps filled,the fretless can be frustrating,there's a lot less room for error.Steve Bailey has some exceptional instructional material for's an extremely versatile,expressive instrument...listen to Pino Palladino!
  3. Get those little lines, it makes it alot simpler. Or you can learn the double bass fingering technique in which your hand is in positions like first position, second position and so on. Fretless was easy for me because I already knew how to play the Double bass so i dunno, Do a search on it ;)
  4. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    A lined fretless will help ease the transistion. Other than that you will need to train your ear so you inotation will at least be acceptable. Rounds sound great on fretless to me, and they are very fun to solo on, not to mention any guitarists that you know will not be able to pick it up and claim they can play it.:D Both my guitarists and my drummer have tried to play my fretless, and after stinking it up for a couple of minutes, they always give up and say it is too hard. That is very satisfying for me.
  5. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    The lines help a TON I wanted an unlined board cause it looks sexy and its impressive looking, but I'm glad I went with the lines (only did cause that was standard on the Jaco), and dag.. when I get lost or play on parts of the board I usually don't play on those lines are a LIFE SAVER
  6. kroth


    Apr 6, 2003
    practice, practice, and more practice. I have used both flats and rounds w/ my fretless, and they both have their advantages. rounds will tear up the fingerboard over time, but they give a really nice singing quality to the tone. I know some people slap on their fretless, but I prefer not to. that is what the maple neck P-bass is for.
    try practicing without an amp, in a quiet corner of the house, to really get the feel for the bass. you will hear alot more of the instrument that way.
    listen to the whole band and rely more on your ears than your eyes. looking at the bass will soon turn into a crutch, especially if your bass neck shifts with humidity and temp.
    listening to everything is key.