Fretless Sound From A Fretted

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Paul Sung, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Paul Sung

    Paul Sung

    Oct 3, 2019
    I wanna get a fretless bass sound from a fretted bass
    All, I have is a bass chous pedal.
    Are there anyway to get similar sound?(except taking out fret?)
  2. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    That depends on what you mean by a fretless sound.
    Using a Chorus will still sound like suing a chorus, not a freltess--nothing wrong with that--but I'm not sure what you really want.
  3. For my ears rolling off some bass and a lot of treble can help. I've heard fretted Wal basses sound fretless.
  4. I have an easier time making my Fretless sound fretted.
    Les Fret likes this.
  5. Make very smooth slides between your notes. When you slide up or down, maybe you could bend the final note very slightly & return. It’s just a thought.
  6. Just get a would be easier to achieve a “Fretless sound” with one.
  7. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    Depends on what you're looking for. To my ears a lot of Journey bass lines have big mids that make them sit in the mix like a fretless played straight (no slides). This should be achievable with careful EQ. However, you'll never replicate the mwah sound or intonation variation of Bakithi Kumalo out of a fretted instrument.
    Dr. Cheese, TN WOODMAN and tindrum like this.
  8. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Look up Dominic di Piazza bridge.
    gebass6 likes this.
  9. Damorand


    Oct 27, 2019
    Ascot UK
    Some of the zoom multifx peddles have a fretless patch (b1on or b1xon I think).. Not particularly realistic though to my ears.
    gebass6 likes this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think you ought to be able to imitate some fretless parts a little bit, but fretless as a 'whole package' would be impossible, IME.

    but fretlesses are so cool ( :D ), and so available, and so much easier to play --- why not explore that route?! ;)
    TN WOODMAN, zontar and Damorand like this.
  11. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    You can get a Jaco-y sort of tone with most bridge pickups that can sort of sound like a fretless. You could maybe get some sort of mwah by sliding into the note and using a bit of vibrato.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  12. Erik Turkman

    Erik Turkman Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Washington, DC area
    I’ve had other bass players tell me that I get a fretless sound out of a fretted bass, but, honestly, I wasn’t always sure what they meant. The last time I remember this happening on a gig I was playing a Ken Smith BSR5M through a Genzler MG350 into a Genzler BA12-3. As far as playing style, I came up playing upright bass, and I use a fairly strong right hand pluck to really get the string moving. I adjust my plucking position as needed but often end up over the bridge pickup. I also pluck with as much meat of my finger as I can, not just the tips.

    Regarding left hand, I try to place my fingers right behind the fret, not at some vague point in between frets. I also try to hold notes for their full duration, letting them ring. I deliberately avoid fret clank, simply because that’s not the sound I’m going for.

    I’m not sure if any of this has bearing on the original question, but that’s what I do when achieving what I’m told is a fretless sound. I do play fretless, and to me, it’s a very different sound than what I get on fretted.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    As someone who tried for a while before getting a fretless, vibrato will hel a little, but only a very little. Get a fretless.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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