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Fretted Fretless

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jusplayinmybass, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. jusplayinmybass


    Apr 17, 2003
    Conyers, Ga
    Keith McMillan Instruments, SIT Strings, Accugroove Cabinets
    Hello all

    This may have been discussed before, But I couldn't find it on a search. i have a Yamaha TRB 6P that I love. But I have the urge to play a fretless. And I think that it would make a killer fretless. I only have one bass, and the different styles of music that I play require some slapping, not to mention the fact that I like doing it. I was wondering if any luthiers have made, or converted a bass that is a fretless with the exception of the last (highest) 2 or 3 frets? If so, did it give a good fretless and slap tone? I've also seen a bass with a slap plate. I think it was a Benavente. Has anyone else played it? What was it like? B Easy

    Myron Bennell Carroll
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    With the action on a fretless, the last few frets still being there would greatly interfere with upper-end fretless playing. I think the best bet would be to get another bass. With the time and effort and money you put into a project like that, you can get an inexpensive fretless. Fender Mexicans are nice, Brice's, or buy an Essex to defret. Just my opinion.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    You need to strip them all out, as mentioned. Perhaps you could just file the last fret down, leaving just one millimeter. That would not be much in the way, but provide the metal contact you want for your slapping.

    Or you can develop your technique to slap a fretless. I've heard several bassists slap, and couldn't believe it when I saw - no frets!
  4. Browns Guitar Factory make something which is the *opposite * of what
    you describe! Frets for the lower notes but fretless higher up the neck.

  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    linked here

    I've not played it, but my fretless 51 6 string is being built with one too
  6. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have played two half fretted basses, though it was the other way around. (one was a Hohner Steinie copy and I can't remember the other) They were fretted up to around the 12th fret and then fretless the rest of the way. Interesting, but it felt too drastic for my tastes.
    They were certainly unique looking!

    You are probably better off getting another bass.
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Just get a slap plate. Or use rounds. Be careful not to use hard steel strings on a fretless neck. They wear the fingerboard too much

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