fretted or fretless??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by peaveyman09, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. peaveyman09


    Nov 14, 2007
    im looking into buying a 6 string, alls ive ever played are four strings, so what would be the best to start on, on a 6? i really like the fretless sound but fretted would be easier...what would you do??

    btw ill probably buy a douglas wob-826...fretted or fretless though... :'(
  2. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    I have the fretless, and I love it. I know many people will say buy a fretted, then try fretless later, but if you want the fretless, go for the fretless. It'll take a learning curve, but it'll be worth it in the end IMHO.
  3. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    That'd be one heck of a learning curve to go from a 4 string fretted to 6 string fretless.

    But... No guts, no glory, Baby! :bassist:

    (Might want to keep that 4 banger in the back of your closet for those times when the 6er is just "inappropriate".)
  4. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Hmmm, you'd only played fretted fours so far...

    I think the key question is - what kind of sound are you looking for? If you don't know, then maybe it's worth waiting a little while so you have a better chance at spending your money wisely the first time. Based on your question it sounds like that's the position you're in - not sure.

    Maybe another way to approach it if you're not sure is to pick a starting point - let's say fretless 6 string. If you look for a used model that's in good shape, you'll be able to put in a reasonable amount of time to decide if it's a keeper or not and, if not, then you cold sell it for about what you paid for it. In other words, no serious expenditure is required if you decide it's not the right one.
  5. faltersack


    Dec 8, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I had my first bass stolen (it was a fretted) and I replaced it with a fretless and I didn't find it that hard to make the switch. Like dave64o wrote, it is important to know what sound you want, but in terms of learning to play it well, it really just comes down to how much practice time you are willing to put in. I know that that is what people say all the time, but it really applies in this case.
    If you are worried about it, you can practice on your current fretted bass and fret on the actual frets. That will give you some idea of how it will feel to play on a fretless.
  6. I'm kinda on the fence with this one. I went from fretless 5 to fretless 6 recently. It's a bit challenging. If you're really patient and can allow yourself to be humbled by the 6 string fretless, then go for it. If you're not very patient and expect results NOW, then you better get a fretted 6 or maybe a fretless 4.
  7. peaveyman09


    Nov 14, 2007
    yea this is really hard...i love the fretless sound, but going to a 6 fretless from a 4 fretted is quite a leap...i want to try it but thats 200 bucks out of my wallet if i dont like it... :S hard decision...any more advice on this guyz?
  8. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    It sounds like the only reason you're thinking twice about the fretless is that you're apprehensive about it. If I may ask, why learn to ride a mountain bike if you've always wanted to be a motocross champion? The only way you'd ever be good at motocross is to practice motocross, just like the only way you'd ever be a mountain biking champ is to practice mountain biking. Don't practice one to become good at the other.
  9. peaveyman09


    Nov 14, 2007
    i see your point...i think i will go with the fretless than :) thanks everybody
  10. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    You'll manage anything, if you practice.
  11. Flintc


    Aug 15, 2006
    Some of what you can do now will transfer OK. Some of it won't work, and a great deal you can't do now will also work great. Think of it as a slightly different instrument, kind of like driving an automatic transmission 150-hp sedan for years, and buying yourself a sports car with 450-hp and a 6-speed stick. Some of your driving skills will transfer just fine. But a stick just isn't very automatic. Different skills there.

    And like that sports car, your fretless sixer will require constant focus and attention, otherwise with either one, you can get in trouble in a hurry.