1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Half fretted,half fretless bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Euclides, Sep 13, 2000.

  1. Euclides


    Sep 13, 2000
    Has anybody ever heard of such an intrument?

    I was considering de-fretting a 4 string J type bass from the 7th fret on to try to get the best of both worlds; you'd be able to play "straight" bass on the lower frets and play melodic singing lines up on the neck.( higher region )

    Do you guys think it would work?

    Could anybody please comment on that?

    If you think it would work, where would you start de-fretting?

    I did seach this forum before posting to see if this had come up before but couldn't find anything on the matter.
  2. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
  3. Euclides


    Sep 13, 2000

    thanks for your post!!!
    I guess I'll be doing it.

  4. Hey im new to talkbass and playing bass in general. ive been in a ska band playing bass for about 8 months now and i really have found the need for a fretless bass but i cant really afford a new bass. how would i go about defretting a bass as you mentioned?
  5. Euclides


    Sep 13, 2000

    http://www.mikelull.com and select featured repair.
    But we'd be leaving the first seven frets untouched.
  6. thanks! i think i might just wait until i can afford a lined fretless bass i saw for fairly cheap...could you give me an estimate on how much it would be for the fret removal procedure?
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you could always get one of these... :)D feeling very self-promotional today ;))


  8. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    I'd love to have a frettedless bass! There was a Minneapolis musician named Johnny B. that made one of these for himself and played it like crazy; it was a 4-string fretted up to the eighth fret. I think he tried to market the concept, but I'm not sure if he ever got anyone to bite on the idea...

    If I end up getting a bass custom-made someday I'm thinking about getting a 5-string fretted up to the ninth fret; that would be very cool!

    The biggest knocks that people have against this concept is that compromises must be made in setting up the bass. You might not get your ideal fretless sound, but it'd sure be fun to slide around and be expressive up high!


    May 29, 2000
    hooksett NH USA

  10. Euclides


    Sep 13, 2000
    So what should it be?

    My ( very?! )original idea was to leave 6 frets.
    Daion had 7.
    Johnny B.'s bass had 8.
    Extreme's custom would have 9.

    Come on guys,help us out.
    How many frets would your frettedless have?
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    A few years back I saw somebody play a 6-string bass that had frets for the upper 3 strings and was fretless for the other 3 (or vice versa - I don't remember exactly). How about that idea?
  12. rmp5s


    May 19, 2000
    --gawk-- --drool-- --gawk-- --drool--
  13. rmp5s


    May 19, 2000
    JMX's idea seems the most practical to me. I'd change it a little though...get a 6-string, have the B, E, and, A fretted (that's 3), then, have a fretless D and G and under (or over) that have a fretted G. This would make slapping possible, regular playing possible on all but the D, and sliding on the upper D and G possible. Good?.....
  14. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I played the Schack custom fretless 5 today at Bass Northwest. Killer, killer, bass. Very neat, it had a zero fret on a fretless bass! It was cool! But it had a tiny tiny tiny fret, which is what youd have to do on a fretted/fretless to make it easier on the frets (otherwise when playing fretless youd be killing the fretted ones, especially if playing with low actions!).
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey angus

    what do you think of your new tune bass?
  16. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    How about having a fretless bass, but with very low, almost completely filed-down frets in positions 20-21-22. That way, you'd get a fretless with good slap sound? I just might do that with my Hohner fretless.
  17. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    if you put anything on the fretboard of a fretless even resembling a fret, it will interfere with the string vibration when you play close to it.

    i've heard of a company that used to put a brass plate on the fretboard, around the 24th fret, that was flush with the fretboard, but provided some "snap" for slap sounds.

    i slap on my fretlesses all the time, snappy as hell, great attack characterists, in fact i like the way slapped fretless sounds more than slapped fretted for a lot of things. helps to have a high-gloss finish on the fretboard.
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Le Fay's Reiner Dobbratz used to build fretless basses with an aluminium fretboard - probably makes for a great slap sound, too!
  19. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Can't remember the manufacturer -- I wanna say Kramer but I know it was a well-known name -- but I played a half-fretless back in the early 80's at a GC here in Chicago. I think it was 7 frets (and of course only 4 strings back then). So it's not an entirely new idea.

  20. Now John, I'm disappointed here.

    A double neck 7? You treacherous coward! All that time I thought it was a double 8! Oh man, I respected you.....

Share This Page