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frettless bassist, this is for u

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pierreganseman, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. pierreganseman


    Aug 23, 2008
    hey guys, just wondering ur opinion on this...
    when it comes to intonation, do u guys find that you have to be dead on the note?? just wondering, cuz sometimes people can be like "ah ur out of tune" etc. surely happened to all of us at least once. it did happen to me... i found out later they had perfect pitch... (that's not helping me huhu)

    My opinion is that no one is tottally in tune ( a part maybe people like pino, but i don't consider him human, garry willlis as well)

    do we have to be dead on all the time?? maybe but what about upright player?? are they totally in tune??

    Some jazz recordings you can hear the upright being sometimes dodgy, but it works fine anyway..

    (of course, i know that bad intonation makes evry one sound off, i'm not that bad)

  2. Phalanx


    Apr 4, 2005
    How "intune" you are seems to follow an exponential curve.

    The closer you are to hitting the note dead on, the harder it is to tell if you're out of tune.
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Fretted is not in tune, either.

    IMHO, one of the great things about fretless is that you CAN play more in tune than with frets.
  4. Phalanx


    Apr 4, 2005
    You sure? My tuner begs to differ.
  5. BigKahuna13


    Nov 21, 2004
    LI New York
    no one has perfect intonation.

    and you really don't need. very few people will be able to notice if you're slightly off.

    case in point: i sat in on a few tunes with a friend's r&b band a few weeks ago. the friend was a professional jazz drummer for a bunch of years and has worked with lots of
    upright bassists. when we finished he complimented me on my intonation - and he's not
    the kind to give undue praise. i noticed several notes that were (to me) obviously flat.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Not trying to start a fight but that statement is not true at all.
  7. In Absentia

    In Absentia

    Jul 5, 2008
    Maybe your hearing is sharp. ;) :D
  8. pierreganseman


    Aug 23, 2008
    to me, the two with perfect amazing intonation, are garry willis and pino.. that's it... most are the others are not totally in...
  9. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Tuner will confirm that not all frets are alike.

    The fretless thing is great for pushing or pulling the pitch, much like a guitar player bending a string, although in triads it is more suggestive than actually dissonant.

    I love the difference in the sounds (Fret and Fretless) and although I have been working on my technique for months, I've a ways to go before I feel confident with the pitch.
  10. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    It's all part of the fun... sometimes I'm spot on and nobody can guess I'm playing a fretless... other times I'm 'out of tune'... sometimes I do it on purpose, It's great for bluffing.

    Depends on what you/your band is playing...

    Mick Karn is my inspiration...

    Heh... I always quote this one! Try and get hold of the album if you can... IMO it's a must have for us fretless types.
  11. hockey_head


    Feb 25, 2008
    i played fretted for 25 years and when i bought a fretless i had fretlines put on and i'm glad i did at least it got me goin' in the right direction right away. i don't constantly stare at the neck while i'm playing but the occasional glance keeps me "more in tune" and secure feeling.
    i don't care what others care about my fretlines, i just dig the tones and grooves comin' outa that axe.
  12. I'm usually pretty close to being on the money. I sometimes have a little difficulty above the 17th position.

    As to what we get away with, kinda depends on where you are in the mix and how much bass or treble you have. My Rob Allen basses are deep and thumpy, which doesn't reveal flaws as easily. My fretless CB has a polyester coated fingerboard and emulates the Jaco tone very well. My mistakes are a little more noticable due to the added high end.
  13. BigBassBob


    Jul 17, 2005
    Wales, UK
    Utilise a good vibrato technique. Seriously, good vibrato is key to fretless playing. It allows you to be far more expressive and can cover sloppy intonation.

    Something that helped me: practice scales slowly, with a metronome and use vibrato on each note.
  14. BigBassBob


    Jul 17, 2005
    Wales, UK
    Holy poop!!! I just listened to that link and I swear to god that I've been yearning to hear something like that; electronic music with fretless bass, oozing with jazz overtones. I am definately going to look into that album. :)
  15. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Hey Bob! I was in the bass doldrums for a while, was even considering packing it all in when a friend gave me that album... it blew me away.

    I was in a jazz band for ten years with my trusty SB1000f... now I play in a drum and bass band, laying down the grooves mainly. I feel I can get a great feeling for the music with the fretless here. '61 Jazz Bass.

    Last year I was gigging a lot with a 'proper' band with songs and stuff. Played a fretted for that.
  16. BigBassBob


    Jul 17, 2005
    Wales, UK
    If you guys get any recordings done, gimme a shout. SERIOUSLY, I NEED TO HEAR THAT!!!! :D
  17. that happens to me alot when i try to tune :meh:
  18. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Jim is right. Your ears just aren't tuned to a high level of aural aquity.
  19. I only get sloppy above the 24th position, 't is like playing violin on bass-strings
  20. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Bob's right about the vibrato... something I've never been able to master... yet.

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