Fretless electric guitar

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Vorago, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    So, I have a Fender Strat MIM lying around here (I started off on guitar) and this morning the idea popped up to defret it. I don't play it anymore at all, and I thought this way it might get some use, and it might sound rather cool.

    Should I do this?

    Would it be the same process as defretting a bass?

    please advice :)
  2. ive done it to a very old strat, dont even know the brand... sounded shi*thouse. Do it if you want to waste a guitar you could sell....
  3. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    did that guitar sound good before you made it fretless? An instrument that sounds crap fretted will sound crap fretless too ;)
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Very true.

    Go for it. I'd love to try it myself.
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Godin makes a fretless classical/electric guitar (acoustic/electric with nylon strings) that comes with out without a synth module in it. You could maybe try one out and see how you like it. It may have been discontinued however...
  6. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    There are a few fretless guitars on the market, Vigier being the best-known maker (glass and aluminium boards available as I recall).
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    If I recall correctly, I think Mr. Scorpions guitar man's guitar is fretless past a certain fret number. So It's fretted until past a certain point, so chording isn't a problem and up high he can get some sweet violin esque stuff.
  8. "can a guitar sound good without frets". that thought has rolled around in my head for a couple of years, and i say yes. all you need is a good grasp on the fretboard, and have a sense of direction
  9. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    If you want to hear fretless guitar, check out Screaming Headless Torsos or any other group that Dave Fiuczynski is a part of. His main axe is a doubleneck with fretless on top and it sounds amazing.
  10. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I defretted an old cheap acoustic guitar some years back. It was fun to dink around on.

    I think Steve Vai has some tripleneck Ibanez guitar that has a fretless neck on it.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...and now you SEE Fuse play it on the new SHT's 2-DVD set.
  12. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    It might be tough chording, leads might be cool though...
  13. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    It's a skill you develop, just like fretless bass intonation. I'm guessing that doing notes and chords with good intonation is even harder on violin than guitar, but even people who have only done it for a couple years can do a decent job of intonation on double stops and the like. So it'd just be a matter of practice. Same as always. :)
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    My friend did it to his old squier. Sounded neat, but he never really did anything with it.
  15. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Doesn't somebody make a fretless guitar with a GLASS (yes, glass) fretboard? I'll see if I can dig the link up...


    hit up :) sound clips, pics, everything! Not the one I was looking for though...
  16. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Alright, I think I am gonna have a go with it. I think it be cool too to have a first defretting experience, and it might sound very cool. The guitarplayer that occasionally uses it as backupguitar might not be too happy, but hell, he should buy his own gear, he doesn't even has an amp.
  17. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I saw Shawn Lane play a fretless strat.
    With Jonas Hellborg.
    Back in the 80's, a Boston based guitarist, Randy Roos.
    Played a fretless guitar.
  18. i remember had a fretless guitar neck for sale, it was pretty cool, and it wasn't that expensive...
  19. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    How Weird, I was just thinking about this on the way to school.
  20. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I can only see myself doing this with frets past say the 11th fret. Half the neck fretted, half fretless. Otherwhise chords would be just too hard for my aluminum ear (not quite tin, but not too far from it...). Leads would be really cool, though. Especially on "quieter" type things where there isn't a wall of distortion to cut through.
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