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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by heavyfunkmachin, May 8, 2005.

  1. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i was thinking of buying one of thoose ultra-cheap basses on the net, a fretless one, so i can get on the fretless thing, but i was wondering, how hard is to switch to fretless, with no marks on the neck at all. i mean, would i be able to play it? i guess i´ll need to play scales untill i can play it in tune, but i wanted to know if it is really hard to get it, im trying to avoid a waste of money, so... i guess the question would be about how hard and how long takes to play fretless, just average playing... to get along.
  2. Koushaku

    Koushaku The artist never sleeps, only dreams

    Mar 10, 2005
    Albany, NY
    if you're worried about the tonation, then get a lined fretless to start with, and work on getting used to the feel. You can still buy a cheap fretless like an SX with lines on it. It doesn't really take too long in my opinion, ut that may depend on your level of experience.
  3. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    no lines, im from spain, i cant get sx here, the ones i found have no lines on them, so yes, im basically concerned about intonation, how long does it take, how long did you took, to intonate properly? are there any specific exercises besides scales?
  4. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    my first bass was a fretless and it wasn't to hard to learn just do scales for a few hours and you'll get it
  5. I prefer fretless instruments without lines. They really force you to know where the notes are. It's hard to play in tune at first with or without lines. You'll probably get the hang of either one in the same amount of time.
  6. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Definitely worth it to put in the time, lines or no lines... Practice in an environment where you can hear yourself clearly, use open strings as an intonation reference throughout...

  7. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    +1, lines won't help you much if you can't hear whether you are on pitch or not.
  8. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    I started playing fretless in '89 and haven'ty looked back since. I'd been playing since '85, and that was mainly punk and metal music. The sound in your head will come out through your hands, the errors you make will be learning experiences. Go for it and don't worry about it. I started on an unlined fretless, because I thought the look of that vast expanse was a real universe unto itself, turns out I was right!

    I only have one friend that has played my bass and not been able to mess around with it in my home and sound passable within minutes, and that person is a guitarist. With dedication and practice, I'm sure your first rehearsal with your fretless will draw compliments from those you play with. Go for it! :)

    Don't be afraid to make mistakes, and learn to correct them with beautiful vibrato, or by sliding around a bit. Work on scales and complicated fingerings at home through the years, and it will be easier and easier to play the things you hear in your head as time passes, and don't forget to pla the cimplest stuff with great conviction, trying to get the best SOUND you can from the very simplest stuff.
  9. I've received the bass I was getting defretted recently, and I was blown away by the sound of it. Its lined fretless, and I've noticed a few misses while playing, but its a matter of keeping an eye on the fretboard at first (something im not used to doing), and getting those brakes up to speed... thats what Im having the most dificulty with, on the slides, there arent any speed bumps, and so, its harder to slide RIGHT to the exact note you want.

    Also, I was curious about BMGecko's comment. you were playing Metal and Punk with a Fretless? :| I was considering using my fretless in my band, maybe as my main instrument, but we play stuff like Faith No More and A Perfect Circle, and Im not sure the sound would integrate... though I'd like to give it a try... I guess I consider the fretless sound to integrate better with things like Jazz and smoother sounding music... Thoughts on that?
  10. small, heavy be

    small, heavy be

    Apr 25, 2005
    i almost bought an unlined bass yesterday from sam ash, but i decided it'd be more fun (and less expensive by far) to defret my old bass. i'm pretty stoked to start learning - i am pretty sure i'll be getting more work in the studio this way.
  11. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Well played fretless can sound cool under anything. The key is playing it well and not trying to sound like a fretted bass.

    If you don't belive me listen to any of Steve DiGiorgio's later projects (Death, Testament, Sadus, Vintersorg, Dragonlord). Steve D. has used fretless basses exclusively for the last 10 years on some really heavy stuff and sounds simply amazing. He's not the only one either. Sean Malone of Cynic and the original bassist in Opeth (forget his name) both make extensive use of fretless as well.
  12. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    thanks all,im gonna go for it, time will tell
  13. pbass1


    Dec 8, 2004
    i got my first fretless some weeks ago....an its unlined and uh i got used to it in a day.....i enjoy fretless better that frets...its so much smoother :bassist:
  14. Do yourself a favor and find one with lines, or at the very least, markers showing where the fretlines should be. Don't let anyone cnvince you that lined fretless fingerboards are "uncool". Many well known fretless players have lines or markers and there's no shame in that. It will help you play faster and with more confidence, which will make for a more pleasant experience (for yourself and anybody listening to you play) on the fretless.
  15. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
  16. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    i used to have a lined wal and really appreciated the lines.

    I dont know how good all you fretless guys are but to be playing way down there say on the low G on E area and then to suddenly throw in a little pattern way above the 12th and then drop back down again...really fast to keep within the beat ...well if you dont land right on those upper strings straight off..theres no time to slide up to the note...well its gonna sound pretty bad.

    Of course way down there in the lower regions peoples ears have a certain tollerance for notes that arent spot on and we can all do the fret below with a slight slide up trick.

    So after a fairly short period of getting used to a neck can you hit any note or semitone straight off above the 12th at will....be honest now.
  17. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    It's just a question of a players comfort level on the bass .... either you are or you're not. If you are comfortable with the intonation a fretless requires, those 12 "fret" jumps are no more challanging than they are on a typical fretted bass ;)

    Like any instrument, you need to put in the practice time to master the skills needed to play a fretless bass (lined, unlined, whatever) :cool:
  18. i bought a fretless from Justyn here and I picked up the intonation within a few hours, mastered it in a few days. It's really not that difficult if you've been playing for a while, you just have to learn to use your ears rather than your eyes
  19. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    well ok guys...on the strength of these reccomendations im going to order a fretless without lines...lets hope your right.
  20. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    All my fretless basses are unlined.
    Learn to play with your ears.
    How many lined violins have you seen?
    I find fretless eazyer to play than frettrd.
    But thats me?
    Whatever works for you is the right way.

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