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Fretted or Fretless on MM's Sophisticated Lady

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ras1983, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Any one listened to Marcus Miller's album Silver Rain? You listened to Sophisticated Lady? Is that really a fretless he uses on his solos? i seem to be hearing frets when he slides. maybe i'm just hearing things that aren't there, as the mwah is very pronounced.

    Anyway, is that one of his fretless basses?
  2. While I can't actually answer your question, I think it's funny that you ask this. I absolutely love Marcus's fretless tone on his M-squared album. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" and "It's Me Again" just sound incredible. I did, however, have a discusssion with another bassist once who swore he could hear frets in the slides of the "fretless" bass on those tracks. I'm listening to it right now and I honestly think I can hear them too. So, (1) Marcus has the fretless tone I dream of and (2) I hear fretlines. I'm just as confused, but as I read in the liner notes and a Bass Player article, Marcus has a fretless F Bass. What we hear as "frets" may just be part of his technique - something like hammer-ons for the notes in the middle of a slide. Who knows! Check out those two tracks on M-squared, if you can.

    Also, I need to pick up Silver Rain. If it's anything like M-squared, and I've heard it is, then I need to own it. I love Marcus's music - even if some people say it's not as original anymore or something like that. His lyrical composition, funk, groove, and technique are all I need to enjoy his music - and he's got all that in abundance.
  3. From Marcus's website, he talks about some specific tracks on Silver Rain and M-squared. About "It's Me Again," he says:
    And in the extended description of Silver Rain, it says this:
    So, I'll take the word of Marcus and MarcusMiller.com that he plays fretless on those two tracks - and I'll assume he does in fact play fretless on "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," though the webpage doesn't explicitly say so. Even then, if you're hearing in "Sophistacated Lady" what I hear in "It's Me Again," I understand your confusion. I'm thinking of posting on the message board (where Marcus often answers questions) to see if he'll explain his technique and how (or why) he he tries to get that specific sound in his slides.
  4. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for clearing that up. it is a lovely tone he gets.

    It will be interesting to know what technique he uses...
  5. Well, it took me two months before I really remembered to post this on the Marcus Miller message board, but he actually responded the same day. How cool is that.

    I asked Marcus:
    Marcus replied:
    Well, I guess that a fretless Fodera is the fretless of my dreams.