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fretless to fretted

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrFortuneCookie, Dec 26, 2000.

  1. Tell me, what do you think is the advantages of having a fretless over a fretted and vice versa. I'm trying to figure out which i should have my next bass be, fretted or fretless. So which do you like better in your opinion and what are the advantages to each one?
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey, MFC.

    Fretted and fretless basses are totally different animals. There's no "better" or "worse". Each one has things that are good and bad about them. First, on fretted, Obviously, plaing in tune is less of a concern, plus you can slap to your heart's content without worrying about chewing up your fingerboard. Fretless on the other hand, will allow more vocal-like phrasing, as well as having that warm growl. in other words, it allows for more subtlety and individual expression. the caveat is that you must do it tastefully.

    If you're happy with your Aria, get a fretless. If you have your mind made up to play fretless most of the time, do the same. If neither option applies, I'd look into getting a better fretted bass.

    Will C.:cool:
  3. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I have two identical basses except that one is fretless, the other fretted. I have the fretless set up with fairly low action and the fretted set up a bit higher.

    Simply put, each bass makes me play differently. the fretted lets me dig in aggressively, and the fretless -- well, lets me pretend I can actually play cool stuff. Every once in a while the mindset actually produces a reasonably neato result on each bass.

    I'm really glad I have both.

    But you have to ask yourself: What do you expect the fretless to DO that your fretted doesn't? When you listen to a record, can you tell whether it has fretted or fretless on it? Fretless does require a bit more concentration to play in tune (though I have to admit it's not SO scary as some would have you believe); are you willing to put in the extra effort? What is attracting you to the idea of a fretless in the first place? The tones? The expressive possibilities?

    After you've explored these issues, I believe you'll be in a better position to start to decide what your next bass should be.


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