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frettless bassist, this is for u

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


  1. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Unless you're playing in an orchestra, where you'll be fired if it's anything less than perfect.
     
  2. 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
    I am sure.
     
  3. +1. Be sure to check every string and every fret. Things might surprise ya.
     
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    piano;'s are not in tune
     
  5. i think its part of the charm and excitment of a fretless, sliding in to a note when your just out, somtimes even smudging the note intentionally sounds amazing. ... god damn i want a fretless
     
  6. Phalanx

    Phalanx

    Apr 4, 2005
    Then you're wrong.
     
  7. I know this, if I'm not in the ballpark, I get alot of funny looks from my guitar player and drummer.:meh:
     
  8. So you're saying that every single note on every single string is 100% dead on????? :eyebrow:
     
  9. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Jim is correct, it is a physical impossibility for every note to be perfectly in tune on a fretted bass. Hence the equal-tempered scale.
     
  10. Phalanx

    Phalanx

    Apr 4, 2005
    So my tuner is wrong?
     
  11. 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
    OK. :D

    You are right. If you define "in tune" in terms you pick, I'm sure I would agree. :cool:

    The simple fact is that frets are a compromise. You can call it in tune if you want to, and I'll call it out of tune if I want to. We are both right, and it is still a compromise.

    Intonation and tuning are a huge topic, as I am sure you know, but this is not the place to discuss it. Agreed? :D
     
  12. There's an informative article on tuning systems here.

    The basic gist of this topic: there are numerous tuning systems out there and none are perfect. These days, most fixed tuning instruments (piano, fretted instruments, etc.) are tuned using an overall compromise called equal-temperament. With equal-temperament, intervals are not truly in-tune, and some are worse than others. With a fretless bass, you have the opportunity to adjust to be in-tune harmonically. But of course this may be subtle to most listeners.
     
  13. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    Maybe because I'm usually singing it's different for me, but I feel I'm in tune most of the time. It just feels wrong when I'm out of tune & so it doesn't happen very often. I can't use a lined fretless, it confuses me. If it helped me I'd surely have one though. I admit the first month was a bit shaky, but once I started listening instead of looking it all came together. I sometimes listen to tracks & wonder if I used a fretless or not.
     
  14. Phalanx

    Phalanx

    Apr 4, 2005
    If I play any note on my bass when i'm in tune, my tuner will say i'm in tune also.

    That's all there is to it.
     
  15. Every note on a properly tuned piano will not register as in-tune on your tuner, or mine for that matter. If you played a piano where every note was "in tune" it would not sound natural or pleasant. Pianos are stretch tuned, meaning the lower notes are slightly flat and higher notes are slightly sharp. This is done in large part to make them sound in tune.

    Most modern sampled piano keyboards emulate this feature. hold a tuner up to a modern sample playback type keyboard and see how in tune it is.

    John
     
  16. 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
    I agree.
     
  17. That's only a fraction of what there is to it. If you have a tuner that says everything is in tune, it's not even remotely sensitive enough. I suggest reading the articles that others mentioned on what tempered pitch is and the limitations.
     
  18. 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
    Sorry about all the quotation...but I need to ask an honest
    question, and I hope you don't think I am being facetious.

    Do you think your tuner listens? I don't think mine does.

    In my humble opinion, even if you have the ideal tuner,
    music is much more complex than what a tuner understands,
    unless that tuner is you. :cool:
     
  19. blowinblue

    blowinblue Blue in name only. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    The endless number of 'fretless' threads continues to fascinate me. Do violin, viola, cello, bass viol players go online and discuss intonation or discuss how awesome their instrument is because it has no frets? Probably not. It seems to me that we all spend way too much time finding new and creative ways to let others know that we play fretless electric basses. Let's get over ourselves. Just play bass! :eek:;):D

    M. M.
     
  20. 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
    As a very humble violinist and a passable double bassist, I must agree you have a good point! However, don't forget that the musical culture and technique of those instruments is older and actually much more formalized, even for folk/fiddle styles--and especially so for classical/jazz/southern Indian styles.

    My point is that we players of the fretless bass are having conversations about something that is in many ways new. That's OK, IMHO.
     

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