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Has this been done or seen before

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fusion man 85, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. fusion man 85

    fusion man 85

    Dec 7, 2013
    A half fretted and half fretless bass has it been attempted of seen
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yeah there have been a few. There are examples of both frets on the low strings, fretless on the high strings, and frets on the lower (outer) end of the fretboard with fretless on the higher (inner) end of the board.

    It requires adapting your playing pretty significantly as you go between the fretted and fretless portions, so most people would find it annoying and frustrating rather than musically useful.
  3. Yes, played a 6 string bass where the two highest strings did not have frets and the other 4 strings did. Was quite a fun bass to play actually.
  4. fusion man 85

    fusion man 85

    Dec 7, 2013
    Did that offer any advantages with the bass built like that
  5. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    There's also THIS.
  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    It's been done:

  7. fusion man 85

    fusion man 85

    Dec 7, 2013
    Way cool video there the wammer bar is a neat touch just dont like them always in the way I feel
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It's been done many times under many forms. These instruments serve a purpose for the player but never seem to be used for long.




  9. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Aluminum-necked Kramers were also offered as half-fretless, back in the '70s. Not too many of them around, though.
  10. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    What happend to Kramer are they only making I line of bass now?
  11. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    A couple of weeks ago we were in Las Vegas and saw "Raiding the Rock Vault" at LVH (I HIGHLY recommend this show, the history of classic rock played by a live band featuring great musicians from top classic rock bands). The main bass player is John Payne from Asia. He played a number of basses, including this one that is fretless above the 12th fret:


    The show was awesome, with great musicians and singers like Howard Leese, Doug Aldrich, Robin McAuley, Paul Shortino, Jay Schellen, Andrew Freeman (who played bass on a few songs). Payne never used the fretless portion in the show, but there were no songs that needed fretless. The bass sounds great BTW.
  12. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    Oh man, I use to think of a way to make a neck with retractable frets. Now I see its been done.I gotta start writing down my ideas. I had that in the '70s. I actually built a headless EB0 back then too.
  13. Duplo42


    Jan 23, 2007
    In '95 I had local luthier build me a MM copy - mahogany body, oak neck, warwick bridge, bartolini pup, ebony fingerboard with frets up to 12 and rest fretless - it worked extremly well. Also what he did is left more wood on fretless side - it involved more work but the result was great.
  14. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Actually yess, since the dawn of electric-bass-time! The updated model of the first electric bass guitar ever had such a feature, in 1948 no less:
  15. Gibson bought what was left of the company and still uses the name.They haven't made aluminum necked instruments since the early 80's.I'll never get rid of my old 650B!!
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I've never seen one in person, but there was one on the local CL a few weeks ago. A couple, now that I think about it - one was fretless on the upper end of the neck only if I remember right, the other had frets that only went halfway across the neck - frets for the E and A strings but not for D and G.
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    My son takes lessons from Lamont Johnson, bassist for the funk group "Brainstorm" back in the day. He was one of the earliest bassists to record with fretless in popular music. He has a prototype signature bass that a luthier made for him that is fretted to the 12th fret, fretless beyond that.

    This is Lamont, but not the bass I'm talking about. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it. The line of basses will be called "Mr. BassMan"

  18. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    They had a brief resurgence under the name Vaccaro, but that went by the wayside as well. Full wood sleeve on them which was nice. Or is nice, I have one in a 5er. The aluminum neck Hartkes were rebranded Vaccaros with a different headstock and EMGs unless I am mistaken.
  19. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I remember seeing ads for those. I believe any Kramer bass could be had in fretted, lined fretless, unlined fretless, or half-fretted/half-fretless. Seemed pretty brazen at the time

    ...still would be. :meh: