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fretless q's

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ADU, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. well i just want to know what the advantage of having a fretless it. I never really though there was any diffrence in sound , it it just seems harder to play especially if there arent and fret lines drawn in.
  2. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    To me, a fretless is capable of more expression than a fretted instrument. Then there's the mwah sound - they can really purr and growl. Give a listen to Jaco's work to get a good idea what you can do with a fretless!
  3. but how does not having frets do that
  4. Check out Percy Jones, Bunny Brunel, Tony Franklin, older Pino Palladino, Bakithi Kumalo & that Jaco dude. If none of this stuff sounds *different* I'd suggest cleaning your ears. :)
  5. The string buzzes with a different level of contact to the fingerboard instead of a fret. This results in a sitar like sound quality of the string.
  6. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    It's to do with the fact that the string is making contact with a finger instead of a piece of metal.

    On fretless you're not limited to half tones, you can stick that note literally anywhere you want it. Fretless also forces you to train your ear better so your intonation will generally be more accurate.
  7. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    ...Who's Jaco? :confused:
  8. Well you're playing right on bare wood. The strings are actually touching the bass. Unlike with frets.

    Also, I found once that after playing no other bass but my fretless for a few days, trying to play a fretted was like playing a bass with speed bumps on it! Haha.
  9. Careful not to say that too much around here...haha. :)

    Jaco Pastorius
    [edit damnit thought you were the OP...you were joking werent you ¬_¬]

    Fretless sounds totally different to fretted to my ear at least. Give one a go in a music shop, see how you like it.
  10. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    What, so like he plays bass or something?... Is he as good as that Green Day guy, I like him... :bag:

  11. Read the edit :bag:

  12. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
  13. and i though i was a newbie, man asking people who jaco is around here is not the greatest thing to be doing. its like asking about who Geddy lee is, and if you ask some one who he is cause you dont know you may want to make a run for the boarder :p
  14. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Who is Jaco.......

    As quoted from one of my Fender bass history books (I think it is How the Fender Bass changed the world).

    "The electric bass can be separated into two eras. Electric bass before Jaco and electric bass after Jaco"

    (something like that.....and it is so true)
  15. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Geddy Lee was like a drummer or something, wasn't he? Played for Good Charlotte, right? :confused:


    :atoz: Ok I cringed just writing that...
  16. Groovin


    May 25, 2006
    Wash, D.C.
    To ask this question means one or two things:

    1. You have never truly played a fretless bass.

    2. You have never heard one played correctly.

    Any questions as to why it is different would vanish instantly and in their place would be questions as how to obtain and reproduce that sound.
  17. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    That's about it. Try one out and new moves will immediately become available to you.
  18. I agree w/1 & 2, but as for the following statement, not everyone loves the *mwah*. I do, but I know a TBer who plays ONLY fretless 4s w/flats & likes the thumpy, upright tone. Different strokes.
  19. danomar


    Dec 8, 2007
    When you play a fretted bass, the note is produced by pinching the string above a metal fret. It is more precise, you get the exact note you want. That is where the "Precision" in Fernder's P-bass comes from.

    When you play a note on a fretless instrument, you are pinching the string against a wood (or ebony or whatnot) surface. The sound is significantly different, often 'warmer' or more 'woody,' whatever those qualifiers mean.

    Fretless necks allow much more finesse and tonal control than comparable fretted instruments. That said, they require a bit more concentration to play well, but if you play fretless for very long, it soon becomes second nature. For a while in my college days, my only bass was fretless and I got used to it very quickly.

  20. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Isn't ebony wood? ;)

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