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Hide Lines on Fretless Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ProdigalBassman, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. ProdigalBassman


    Mar 22, 2012
    Hoping someone can help me out with this...

    I have a Schecter stiletto studio fretless 4 string and LOVE IT! But it would look so much better if I could cover the fingerboard lines. If I need to look when hitting a particular rift, I'm looking at the neck edge not the face of the fingerboard.

    I tried a black Sharpie to cover the lines and it looked great. But it wears off fast.

    Has anyone successfully hidden fingerboard lines on a fretless? How?

    Thanks in advance !!
  2. cover the entire fretboard with black epoxy.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Close your eyes. You won't see the lines at all.
    zontar likes this.
  4. ProdigalBassman


    Mar 22, 2012

    Love your sense of humor :D

    I know, it's just vanity on my part. I just want my bass to look its best to the audience.
  5. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    Home depot sells touch up markers for hardwood floors and things like that. If you could match a marker to your fretboard wood, that may yield good results
  6. wigworld


    Nov 16, 2009
    Why do you think the audience even cares? :bag:
    Nephilymbass likes this.
  7. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Sharpie oughta do it. It won't fool a close inspection but should be fine for playing live.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Audiences don't care. I mean, make your stuff look however makes you happy, but they don't care.

    True story: I was playing a gig once on fretless and at the end of the last song a woman in the audience yells up to me "Is that a fretless bass?". After I said yes she yelled back "Good god why?"

    Turns out she meant to say "isn't that much more difficult for no good reason", but still, she's my favorite heckler of all time. Plus she bought me a drink after.
    zontar and bholder like this.
  9. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I’d like to eliminate the dots on all my bass fingerboards; I just don’t like the looks of them, whether I see them while playing or not.

    I also just look at the edge dots— but with my belly all I can see, haha. :oops:
  10. I love talkbass. A guy asks a simple question, and half the replies he gets are ripping him for wanting to hide the fret lines, instead of giving constructive advice. Who cares why he wants to do it? Most of us have modded an instrument at some time "for looks" that the audience won't care about.
    Nephilymbass, rtav and superheavyfunk like this.
  11. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Couldn't agree more. How much of the cost of a bass is in the finish? They'd probably be half as much if they were sold unfinished. And what's up with colored strings? Designer straps? Silver, gold, black hardware? It's all bling. I have a Fender fretless jazz deluxe with fret lines and I hate the look. It's a beautiful fretboard marred, IMHO, by lines that serve no purpose. "Why do you want to..." is not a helpful as you think it is. End of rant.
  12. BenWhoPlaysBass


    Jun 7, 2013
    I agree with the black epoxy suggestion. That'd cover the lines and make the board more durable (Though it'd probably cover up most of the wood grain on the board).
  13. Another suggestion... Order a replacement unlined fretless neck (i.e. Warmoth, etc.) That way, when you get around to selling your existing Schecter, you can return the original neck (unaltered) and/or include a bonus neck (for a small markup.)

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City

    I've done it.
    On my Fender Jaco signature fretless Jazz.
    Why? I did not like the color of the wood of the board (Pau ferro wood) AND lines mess me up quite honestly.

    I used Fiebing's Leather dye. I used dark brown but it also comes in black. It worked great too. Let it dry for a day or two. I play the heck out of that bass (with roundwounds)and it has stayed on pretty well.

    I believe I bought it at Stewmac.com.
  15. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    I can say from experience that when I play the fretless 'Bird, there's always a few people who stare at it. I would like to figure out how to get rid of the fret markers on it, since it started life as a standard issue fretted bass.

    I don't particularly want to epoxy the fretboard. If that's really the solution, then it's just not that important to cover the dots.
  16. mr.black


    Mar 4, 2008
    Fiebings makes a stain sold thru stewmac.com and other places that will "ebonize" your fretboard, others have used minwax ebony stain etc... Problem MAY arise if the dots or lines in your case, are plastic and not some sort of wood. the stain may not take to it as well but should still stain it.
  17. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    In all seriousness, for dots and/or lines cut them out and fill the holes with thin pieces of matching wood.
  18. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    If you have the budget, put a new FB on the bass.

    I can't recall the thread, but someone painted their FB with gloss black paint and then put a clear coat of something on it. Probably similar to the black epoxy.
  19. Turkeypills


    Nov 8, 2012
    St. Louis
    +1 I used to install, sand and refin hardwood floors and this stuff is used all the time to conceal slight imperfections. If you can find a color that matches the board this may be the cheapest/easiest option.
  20. ProdigalBassman


    Mar 22, 2012
    Good suggestion, but it won't work on this bass: neck through body construction, which I prefer for sustain.

    But thanks anyway!