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fretless funk

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by shmuck, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. shmuck


    Sep 15, 2002
    i love to slap and pop, but i have a fretless so i have to work a bit harder for those exacting tones i want from it. any suggestion on howto improve or what to work on for a fretless funk playing groove machine. like myself of course. any suggested materials or practices would be grrrrreat:D
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Tommy the Catt (Seas of Cheese Version) is on his fretless. Other than that I know Vic Wooten has done some funky fretless stuff, I don't know any exact titles... in fact I don't know why I'm posting because I don't know what I'm talking about, eh oh well. :confused:
  3. stingray96191


    Jul 27, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Unofficially Endorsing Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars

    In fact its uaully much better when its done with fingers as opposed to the thumb
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Plug straight sixteenth notes into the metronome and come up with syncopated finger grooves around them, a la Rocco Prestia, Victor Bailey or that Jaco guy.
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Like stingray says, you don't gotta slap to play funk. Listen to Jaco, especially "The Chicken". I play fretless (with flats, no less) but I can still get funky - I find plucking near the bridge (and/or using the bridge pickup) sounds good. But, the funk-factor really comes from getting in the groove, rather than the tone you produce.
  6. Audiosolace

    Audiosolace Guest

    Oct 8, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I used to ask the same question when I played a fretless back in the day. Truth be told, there is no real way to get good slap tone out of a fretless, but you can fake it. What you might want to try is turning the treble on your rig way up and using compression to smooth out the low end. A friend of mine uses this method with his Kubicki and it sounds phenomenal... for a fretless. :D
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Having seen Steve Lawson and Michael Manring playing fretless basses and getting great sounds when slapping/tapping/ etc. I would have to disagree.

    But I do agree that slapping is not necessarily funky and a lot of people have played very funky lines without slapping or frets! ;)
  8. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Michael Manring's Monkeybusinessman, on Thonk.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Manring's hyperbass is more percussive than the typical fretless, as it has a phenolic fingerboard and a couple of piezos embedded in the neck (!).

    If you have to slap on fretless, I'd recommend lightening your right hand attack a little; the notes speak more clearly that way. IME, the harder you slap/pop on fretless, the more thuddy and lame it sounds.
  10. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    You don't have to slap and pop to get funky...
  11. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I don't think Michael has the neck and body piezos on for 'normal' playing (like, anything he plays is normal? :D ) - it's just a low action and light strings...

    I'd agree that in general you want to keep things a little lighter on fretless than fretted, slapwise - and also, don't try and emulate the sound of a fretted slapped bass - fretless has its own unique slap tone, that has a very different colour, and suggests very different music to slap on a fretted bass...

    I slap on a 6 string fretless, with flatwound strings and it sounds fine... also works very well for percussion parts - have a listen to MMFSOG from my newest CD (there's an MP3 sample on my website) - the 'tabla' sounding part on there is a slap line on my fretless, no processing except reverb...

    Overall, I have to agree that Slap and funk are no more synonymous than banjo and country or cello and bach or any other musical pairing that may or may not be employed at the same time but aren't actually related. ie lots of funk without slap, lots of slap without funk, lots of funky slap too...

    Music first

    www.steve-lawson.co.uk - (CDs, MP3, gig details etc. etc)
  12. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    oooh oooh got one... Jaco "Come on Come over."
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    what do I win?
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Come on Come over has a riff in it that is really really funky its at the bridge of the song he does this octave thing its so cool I had a teacher that taught me the riff but he couldn't remember what song it came from, so I was keeping my ears open and not only did I hear very similar riffs in MANY Jaco songs but "come on, come over" features the riff most prominently.

    Jaco is probably the best fretless player for funky lines.
    you definatly dont need slap/pop to be funky, but you definatly can be funky with slap/pop...hell you can do funky tapping riffs if you want.
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Funk is about feel above all, not about which technique you use.
  16. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Someone should have told Stanley Clarke that......:confused:
  17. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Or Slam Stewart!! I saw Stanley Clarke last weekend and he did some things on the upright, including slapping, that were just incredible...

    Back to the post... There is some playing on Paul Simon's Graceland album that, while not necessarily funk, is pretty percussive fretless playing... Bakithi... I'm getting more and more into this album since replying to a post the other day! Gotta love TalkBass for causing a guy to revisit an old favorite!

  18. i slap on a fretless six, and it sounds good. try roundwounds, if you play fretless youre gonna have to work on the fretboard sometime. first intone it as best as you can and next play octaves as perfect as possible and learn the about the position of your fingers as you play them (higher frets are harder). im prolly not helping too much, i have just had mine for a week or so but thats what helped me.
  19. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002

    YAY!! somebody other than me mentioned Bakithi !
    The guy is my god, and if you get a lend of graceland (no matter where you are, somebody you know has it) listen to Call me Al and Under African skies for slapped fretless.
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Like most of the rest of the people in this thread said, slap is not funk is not slap.

    Rocco Prestia is the funkiest cat who ever walked the face of the earth, and he doesn't slap. Jamerson was one funky cat too, and he never slapped.

    Slap can be funky, but a lot of Flea/FiElDy wannabe's out there pounding the string with their thumb are absolutely the unfunkiest people around.

    Slapping on fretless? Is that what you really mean? I do it all the time. It has a different tone than slapping on a fretted, but it has a place, like any other technique.

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