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fretless exclusively?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by basss, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    does anyone play only fretless? i'm interested in hearing from players who play a variety of styles. do you ever get asked to play a fretted bass or does anyone actually care?
  2. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005
    Used to.

    A few bands/projects: one rock and some 'experimental' instumental rock/jazz (for lack of better term)

    Rock band was sorta prog, i guess, and liked the sound. others i don't think cared one way or the other.
  3. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    can fretlessactually product those rock lines though?
  4. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005
    Open your mind! Follow your muse! If fretless is your thing and your any good, people will want to play with you.

    Will you sound like everyone else? No, but if that's your thing - than do what everybody else does.

    My first objective on fretless was to try to make it sound like it wasn't (by playing in tune) - the sliding and mwah stuff is the easy part.
  5. I play almost exclusively fretless

    I play it like I would a fretted bass though. Fret the note and play in tune. Not that I wouldnt take advantage of not having frets when its called for, but I make it a point not to overuse it
  6. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Sounds familiar...that's 'zacly what I do! :)
  7. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I'm thinking of giving fretless a whirl. I've never been particularly drawn to "fretlessisms" - slides, mwah and such but I love the warm thump that guys like Jaco and Gary Willis get when they are playing a funky line. I am thinking I'll approach it more like a fretted instrument as well. Mostly I'm tired of fret noise and a sound thats either metallic or too warm. I'm mostly curious as to how it will do with the some of the more rockish gigs I do.
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    A good maple necked fretless played with proper intonation will fool a lot of people into thinking you have frets. You can use it as your only instrument, I did for a while...and still kinda do, except my current fretless is a 1950 King Double Bass;)
  9. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Hm, very familiar...

    I have noticed, thouhg, that I tend to play more 'lyrical' with the fretless and more 'fractional' with fretted. So therefore I change for some tunes.
  10. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    My fretted is being rebuilt so for the last 6 mos I've been playing fretless exclusively. I've gotten pretty good @ not making it sound fretless. I'm also doing a demo where I'm playing drums & the fretless. I did the bass tracks before the guitar was laid down & it was cool to hear it was pretty much perfectly in tune w/guitar and other bass takes making a cool chorus effect when mixed together.
    On a Gm swing w/an Amin turn around type song, you can tell it's fretless, especially w/the piezos on.
  11. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    If it's solely my decision, I always play fretless. But since I do a lot of sub work, I usually check with the band first to see if there is a preference. I hate to stereo-type people, but there are an awful lot of narrow-minded rock cover bands that believe a fretless bass is only good for jazz.

    If it's my band, though, it's exclusively fretless. You don't have to (and shouldn't) slide and mwaah all the time, that sounds as lame as a bassist that only slaps all the time .....