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Fretless..........do they really have a place in Alt/Hard Rock??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by panic_striken, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    I love playing a fretless. Everytime I go to GC I sit and play them the entire time. I am a practical man though, and if I can't REALLY use it I won't spend the money. So, here's my question..........Do any of you hard rockers use a fretless??? What mood/sound type does it really fit???
  2. Back before I quit my metal band and I used my fretless for an entire practice and it totally rocked. Then I lent it to my friend and so I didn't use it anymore when I was with that band.
  3. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Absolutely it fits. I went from playing a GT-7 to a fretless Jazz (modded) in my hard rock group. The tone gives something different to the bottom of a band, and forces one to think to differently about approaching parts. Overall, I like how fretless players play in harder bands.

    Check out Pearl Jam's Ten (I think everything that isn't on a 8 or 12 on that album is a fretless) or any Porcupine Tree for good examples.
  4. Eric's fretless jazz sounds great in his band!
  5. Sure, why not. If you can play a fretless good enough to keep up with a metal band without compromising your intonation, go for it.
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    IMO, Les Claypool is the prime example of a fretless player in a rock band.
  7. I can't believe I forgot to mention Claypool! Good call on that.
  8. Unless you do a bunch of slidey stuff, I'd bet good money that your band wouldn't even notice.
  9. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Hard rock? I'd say Testament is pretty heavy, and Steve DiGiorgio plays a fretless with them. He was also in countless other bands, most famously, Death.

  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    +1 Once you get your fretless chops down, you will be in a position to call attention to your basses fretlessness when you want to. If you're like most bassists, that will be when it is appropriate. Check out the old Firm albums with Tony Franklin or the old Police stuff with Sting on fretless. You may also want to check out Jack Bruce, he released ahn awesome album called "A Question of Time" that has some of the most powerful fretless work I've ever heard in my life.
  11. I've been using fretless full time for the last 4-5 years in my original rock/groove band, playing finger stuff and a lot of slap. The fretless is more than capable of doing all I need it to, plus it often adds a dimension bass wise that can be interesting in a non-traditional sorta way.
    That being said, as soon as the 5stg fretted beast arrives, the fretless will be fighting for the lime light a little bit...
  12. I was just listening to "Oceans" on Ten and he is using a fretless on that song for sure.
  13. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA

    And, I'm in the process of learning fretless (need a fretless first and then I can move from there :D ), and my band is definitely a metal band.
  14. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    That, and Once, and Evenflow (I think), and Alive, and Garden, and Black, at least. Fretless rules.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
  16. AmPb100


    Apr 25, 2005
    DiGiorgio is nuts.
  17. Play mine every gig....and love every note of it.

  18. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    Les will knock you on your ass with a fretless.
  19. A Fretless can give the kind of Grind when played agressively that you cannot get on a fretted.

    A lot of known bands use fretless, maybe not exclusively, but in a lot of songs.. the first that comes to mind is Pearl Jam and Primus...

    I used mine in my band as well, and it does rock out. I had to stop using it though as I dont like switching basses and I have a bunch of songs in which I slap, and I dont like doing it on the fretless. I tend to see dark powder close to the bottom of the scale at the end of the session. lol.
  20. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    Thanks for the input. I would say we were closer to Pearl Jam than any of the others mentioned. We play original stuff almost exclusively, but if i had to try to name the sound it would be like Stained or Shinedown. Just wanted some input before I dished out the dough:)