Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Fretless Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by oglesby_to, Feb 14, 2002.


  1. I got my new Fender Fretless Jazz Bass today! What kind of strings should I use? I know that it is personal preferance, but I wasn't sure if I needed to put on flatwound or round. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    P.S. I know absolutely nothing about fretless setups!
     
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Congratulations on getting a cool new bass! Let's see pictures! :)

    If you like the kind of "mwah" sound that Jaco is famous for, use roundwounds. If you like a more mellow uprighish "thrump" sound go with flats.

    Rounds will scar your fingerboard, I wouldn't worry about that. It's all about the playability and sound you like.

    Personally I run rounds on my Dean Edge fiver and I really like the sound.
     
  3. lowfreqman

    lowfreqman

    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    Congrats on the new bass.

    If you want something in between the round and flat sound that will not "scar" your fingerboard as much, try some groundwounds or compression wounds.

    If you decide on roundwounds, be aware that nickel plated steel strings will chew up your fingerboard less than stainless steel strings.
     
  4. Velkov

    Velkov

    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    I got my Fretless Jass a year ago and have tried 3 sets of strings on it. I played the Fender flats it came with for about 6 months and liked them enough. Then I got a set of Thomastik flats. They were amazing. Compared to the fenders I thought they had a lot better definition, harmonics, and were a lot more comfortable to play. You can get a reasonable amount of growl with them and you can also get a good upright-like sound. Then I got bored of them and got a set of D'Addario XL's. They are definitely a lot different because they are roundwound. They sounded very bright and funky for the first two weeks. They've mellowed down a bit but are still very bright compared to the flats. They give me more growl but not too much more than the TI flats. They give me more output for sure. I don't know if their core is thicker but they are definitely louder. But I'm still thinking of switching back to the TI's. You'll hear all kinds of opinions. That's why I decided to just keep trying different stuff and figure out the differences myself. That's probably the best thing you can do. The next string I will try is the DR lorider.
     
  5. Thanks for the information! I do want a Jaco sound, but I want to insure long life to the fretboard!
     
  6. lowfreqman

    lowfreqman

    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    If you want the Jaco sound, I would go for the nickel roundwounds. If you use a light touch when playing and don't use to much string bending, your fingerboard should hold-up for quite some time.
     
  7. ctorre

    ctorre

    Feb 18, 2002
    USA, Seattle, WA
    "I do want a Jaco sound, but I want to insure long life to the fretboard!"

    Well, that's a bit of an oxymoron.

    If you really want the Jaco sound, you'll need to coat the fingerbaord with an epoxy-type compound and use round wounds. But of course this only gives you the capability to achieve the Jaco tone. Most of the work will have to be done by your fingers, head, ears, heart and soul.