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Fretless issues..

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by keepmusicevil, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. keepmusicevil


    Jul 1, 2002
    San Diego
    Got my first fretless yesterday (Brice 4 string) and got to put about an hour on it. I LOVE the new tone. Some problems I'm having:

    When I play on the G string, my E starts vibrating and producing sound through my pups. Never had this happen while playing fretted. Is this normal (I think I already know the answer to that).

    The roundwounds are leaving marks on the fretboard allready. Is this bad for such a short amount of time played, or am I being paranoid?

    Thanks for your help and sorry if this is in the wrong forum.
  2. keepmusicevil


    Jul 1, 2002
    San Diego
    I can dampen the strings, but it puts my hand at a SLIGHTLY ackward angle. Nothing too ackward. My other basses did'nt vibrate open strings as much as this fretless does.

    Played along with CD's yesterday, and OK......my playing is not as accurate as I thought, but still not bad with 2 days exp. under my belt.

    Do you recommend exercises/techniques/????? that will help with intonation?

  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Resonating strings (E vibrating when playing the G) is not a fretted/unfretted issue. It's due to the entire build of the instrument, and all you can do is mute it.
    I recommend the floating thumb method, where you unhook the thumb from any anchorage, and let it float along with the playing fingers, muting all strings above the one played. Works fine for me, anyway. The strings below the one played, I usually mote with my fretting fingers.

    Marks on the fretboard will come, as you use rounds. Softer wood will suffer more. If you find that it wears much more than acceptable, you can try groundwounds. Pretty similar tone, hardly any wear even on maple boards.

    And, of course, fretless is the way.
  4. And with that sage advice from Suburban, this thread's going up to Technique. Mainly because it's all in the hands and so far, we can't twist any screws to adjust those. :)
  5. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    When I change the rounds on my Stingray, I lay a healthy dose of lemon oil on the board and let it set for 30 minutes. That restores the looks of the pao alero to an evenly dark wood color. The wear is still there, you just have to look closely to see it.
  6. Glad you discovered fretless, Fretless Rules! You might try SIT Power Wound Nickel strings, good tone and they are easier on your neck than steel strings. But you will always get neck wear using roundwound strings, in my opinion it's worth paying a luthier to redo my neck every now and then, acceptable maintenance to achieve the sound I want.

    As to muting, practice, it gets easier! :cool:
  7. Have just bought Gary Willis' book 101 Bass Tips (which I recommend for everyone!). Tip 42 is about this very subject.

    He says wear on the fingerboard is increased by pulling from side to side when doing vibrato. He recommends moving your finger up and down the string slightly instead. I have to admit this is harder (I guess unless you're a classically trained chellist), but I'm giving it my best shot!
  8. Ryan K

    Ryan K

    Dec 11, 2002
    New Jersey
    vibratos are supposed to be a twisting of your fingertip...instead of the side-to-side motion that is required on a fretted bass.