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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stanger503, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    hi. i was wondering what the advantages are of using a fretless as opposed to a fretted.i play hard rock metal so i dont know if a fretless would be good for that.i was just wondering. i might wanna get a sx fretless jazz cuz thats all they have rite now but i was just wondering if a fretless would have any advantages for that type of music. would it be harder or easier or the same?thanks.
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Frettless relies on your intonation to produce the correct pitch, thus it can be taken as being harder in that respect. Not as much good or bad, just different.

    Later Metallica (Load) features some fretless lines and is still pretty heavy.

    Also check out Steve Digorgio's (not sure if that is his name) website, I don't like his playing style or the music he chooses to play, but there is no denying that he is talented with a fretless five.
  3. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    yes.metallica makes up about 95 percent of what i play right now. it was until it sleeps that newsted ventured into the world of fretless basses.what i was askin really is a lined fretless so i dont really have to know the intonation and all that 100%.thanks.
  4. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    No problem

    Big Metallica fan here as well
  5. I actually enjoy playing the heavier stuff on a fretless, assuming it's not with a pick. Intonation has to be dead on if you crank the treble or get crazy with a pick.
  6. girlybassplaya

    girlybassplaya Guest

    Mar 24, 2004
    Hi guys! I started out playing cello, which of course is fretless, and I love having frets. You can play faster, smoother, and more accurate. on the other hand, playing fretless would help you if you ever wanted to play an upright double bass. I guess it just depends on what kind of music you want to play! ;)
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    A fretless will help you become a better bass player. It's not as forgiving as a fretted bass. The question is, is that what you want? Fretless has some other downsides, like if you're playing on a dark stage and you're depending on your fret lines to help you, you might need those little lights up and down the side of your neck. Once you get good at it, and your fingers get used to finding the right positions, you can do it by ear, and the fretless is a wonderful instrument when you get to be that good. IME I would expect some considerable growing pains though, don't expect a fretless to be immediately useful, it'll take you some time to get used to it, and before you can create the sounds you want for a specific purpose (like hard rock metal, or whatever it happens to be).
  8. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    When I play the bass, the fretless is better for any music. Note that a minor setup adjustment may change the tone to something better or worse for a certain kind of music!
    Fretless gives you all opprtunities.

    When I want to do well enough without caring (more like "in my sleep") the fretted is better. I also prefer it for real fast tunes with occational long notes, just to be somewhere close to in tune when landing on the long ones.
  9. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I play fretless as my main bass.
    about 75 % fretless 25% fretted.
    Fretless can be played in any style of music.
    It's up to the player.
  10. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    I'd love to play the fretless soon, but I don't think I'm up to it to make the transition just yet... not that there's a specific point to do so, but it's just my call on my own playing.
    But, I'd still love to play a fretless in the near future :D
    I believe it's possible to achieve a "fretted" tone on a fretless, whereas it's pretty darn near impossible to do the opposite :)
    But, if you don't forsee yourself playing anything else but metal, then I think it's best if you started with a fretted... IMHO.
  11. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    No problem playing fretless for any style, I take my fretless Elrick for a back-up, and also use it for standard tuned songs. I would only caution against it's use for songs where you sing lead vocals, that's where I have intonation problems. Just singing backing vocals presents on problem.
  12. ojthesimpson


    Jul 21, 2003
    Draper, UT
    I wouldn't touch a fretless bass with a 10 foot maple fret board with black inlays **bass dork**
    It's just a style thing really.
    I play with a pick
    I play really fast
    I've never been into any band that used one.
  13. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I think that fretless basses are fun to play and I definatley feel they have made me a better player. They sound different and can add a completely different vibe to a song but there are times when they just don't fit in.
  14. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I play fretless exclusively for my own stuff. My compositions include many microtonal passages so for me the fretless is a much more flexible instrument.
  15. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer

  16. As far as rock/metal goes, there's a Progressive Rock/Funk Metal band by the name of Pain of Salvation. I think the fretless bassplaying he does in there sounds really good for the situation. Sometimes I mistake the fretless for a fretted on their recordings. Fretless has its places, and while it's usually not placed in too many metal contexts, it can be pulled off with good results if you have enough musicianship to play in tune on that thing, and from my experience listening, not many metal players have a clue on how to play fretless. Hate to break it to you. There are a handful, but sure, there are afew.

    I don't see how it can benefit you seeing you basically asked if fretless has a role in rock, you obviously haven't heard any good or bad examples yet. That's not a bad thing, but I'd suggest listening to afew fretless players before jumping out and buying a bass you haven't a clue about. It's a waaaay different tone than a fretted, and it's just something you HAVE to hear to believe. :) I love it, and I think you would too, but you can't make final decisions with zero background knowledge. You may not like it at first and dismiss the fact that you can apply it if you try. I'm not being an ass, I'm just encouraging you to do your homework before making a purchase like a new bass.
  17. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    thanks. now im kinda torn both ways. ne one elses oppinion would help. moneys tight thats y i think i wanna go with an sx ftls. jazz.ive got a fretted and ive been playin for about a year and a half and guitar on and off for about5 years. but i love bass 10003xs more than guitar. ill never play guitar again cept at my friends houses. but i wanted to know people oppinions if it was good for metal or any music really. cuz who knows i may switch styles down the road and might like that bass for that style as well.thanks all. keep em comin
  18. Depends on the type of sound i guess...

    I have talked alot about fretless for rock/emo/hardcore

    But those frets add a lot of the charactristcal rockin bass sound...

    With my GB IV and my EBS Rig and the OD set 12 o'clock...

    Bass and treble crancked up and mids cut just slight (around 11)...

    then I get the best sound hard rock bass..!!!!

    Think one mintue Silence, think Incubus and its not far short..!!!!...

    With a fretless u cannot get that...!! its an entirely different beast for an entirely different purpose..!!!
  19. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    there may be a time when we don't want that charactristcal rockin bass sound.

    i doubt anyone would argue the sonic differences. but, what if a player doesn't want that.

    what if a player is reaching for a new sound with and existing style?

    i think its more about how open your ears are.

  20. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    i need more oppinions on metal sounds. would it be good for that. now i dont have a friggen 2000 dollar rig or nething like that. like i said compared to you guys im a beginner and alls i have rite now is a practice amp which does give enough juice to jam with the band without goin deaf. but still i need opinions. the band mostly plays punk but im quitin that and startin a new one.

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