fretted or fretless? and the pros and cons of both

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Erythuria, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. fretted

    45 vote(s)
  2. fretless

    25 vote(s)
  1. i love the sound of fretless basses but it seems pretty much harder to play, especially for a not so experienced bassist.
    views, advice and opinions please! :p :bassist:
  2. Lewk


    Oct 19, 2003
    I have a very cheap one, with no fretlines. sounds great, but you really have to have a good ear cos you think your playing a line well outside of a band, but then you go into a band and you go all over the place. for a new player, if you're serious about the fretless sound, get lined.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I play both. I have 2 fretteds and 1 fretless. The fretless being an Essex P. It has lines, so it isnt much harder to play, you just have to be more careful. I love the feel of a fretless, but i miss the slap/pop of a fretted. The only time i can really get a decent slap sound out of my fretless is with brand new strings.
  4. anyone else have slapping/popping problems with their fretless? i want a fretless but not at the cost of technique...:meh:
  5. Lewk


    Oct 19, 2003
    i've heard people slapping and popping on a fretless. i've tried, but it just don't sound right. To me, a fretless isn't for slapping anyway, it's to play certain pink floyd lines properly :>
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Well slapping obviously doesnt sound normal due to lack of frets, but i wont say you cant slap on a fretless bc there are peopel here who beg to differ bc 1 out of evvery 1000000 people can.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I'm one in 1000000? Sweet.

    Didn't know there were that many bassists out there.
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA

    *exageration may occur*
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  10. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Both, and upright.
  11. Bass B.

    Bass B.

    Jan 26, 2004
    I think fretless bass is much nicer than fretted bass in every way. And it isn't really that hard to play. I myself started out on fretted bass and begun to find the frets to be a hinderance in what I wanted on bass. On a good day I decided to make my fretted bass fretless (I didn't do that myself of course) and I play fretless ever since. I never had any trouble in mastering it. As I said; I think playing fretless bass is much easier than most bass players think it is. All you need is the capacity to HEAR and LISTEN. But then again, that goes for every instrument, doesn't it?
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I prefer both.

    Any technique that you can do on one, you can do on the other. It might not be as easy, but it can be done. I slap on my fretless all the time. It has a different sound than slapping on a fretted, but I like the sound. And I use classical vibrato on my fretted, too.
  13. I had to pick fretted, because I mostly play fretted bass, and I love the sound of it. However, it's pretty close, because I have a fretless Squier that I love playing. Fretless feels so good, so free and expressive. However, my Squier sounds bad compared to my Fender, so I can't compare it properly. If I had a better fretless I'd probably play it much more.
  14. Wow that's cool, I didn't know they had a new guy playing fretted. Does the new guy play j-basses?

    I don't think fretless is any harder than fretted if you learn them properly. I don't think lines should really be an issue You should be practicing with a tuner or some sort of pitch reference regardless of lines or not. Also, you probably don't want to be stuck always looking at your hands to see if you're on a line, just use your ears. You should go for the sound that you like, if that's fretless then go for it! The lack of frets may seem daunting at first but it's not so bad, just go at your own pace. (or the pace your teacher sets) :)
  15. ah, I need to be more up to date on lineups haha. It boggles my mind when these metal bands find replacements like that. I was amazed that Nile found a new drummer. I mean, how many drummers do you run across that can do that stuff haha
  16. finally someone has done there opeth homework ;)
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I played fretless basses for many years but finally sold all but one of them and now gig only with fretted basses. I never thought playing fretless was any harder, although it does require more discipline to stay in tune with one.

    Few people realize that almost all of the classic Rolling Stones records were made with Bill Wyman playing a fretless bass. Seems to me that's about the best example of why it really doesn't matter whether you have frets or not as long as you play some good music.
  18. well, i started out on fretless, but later got a fretted mainly for slap. You can slap on a fretless, but it doesn't sound as good, if you get a fretless with lines, it isn't really that hard. as far as losing technique in a fretless, you won't (outside of slap). Its definatly worth it for a fretless.
  19. Fretted. I can make one I'm familiar with sound either way. I still keep a fretless parts bass around to keep the technique up in case I get stuck with one at a gig or don't want to sound like a total moron when trying one out at a store.
  20. Fretless sounds awsome imo, but I really dig doing two hand tap bass lines and scales. You can't do that w/o frets. Just get both so you're never limited as to what you can play.