I made up my mind: I prefer lined fretless.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I am so glad I bought the Glarry instead going in the deep end with a Tony Franklin. I can play unlined fretless and I can stay in tune, but frankly, I don’t need the challenge of an unlined fingerboard. Lined or not, it is very easy to go out of tune playing fretless. The lines make it much easier for me to self correct. Your mileage may vary, but I have no shame in my game:we get no bonus points for difficulty of execution, so I am happy to have the help of lines.
  2. CTBassGuy


    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
    Lined or unlined does not matter; it's the mwah that rules them all!
    fretlessguy, zontar, Mcr Red and 41 others like this.
  3. Mr Ralph

    Mr Ralph Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2014
    Hinckley Ohio
    I am thinking of doing a conversion but only putting in lines at certain points as reference points. Sometimes I find the lines seem to clutter things up but I would rather have them then not. Say at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, Octave and 15. Thoughts?
  4. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I had a blank plank as my #1 for a good many years . I rarely went mwah , I also play upright . I was often told that people had no idea I was playing a fretless bass .
    Took that as a compliment ...
  5. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Lined ftw.

  6. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    'Blank planks' all the way for me...
    Jamie Amos, Jaribu, JPDsma and 26 others like this.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    True, and the Glarry has a whole lot of mwah.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Anything that works for you is cool.
  9. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Here we go.

  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have no problem with anyone who prefers no lines. Christian McBride, Pino Pallidino, Percy Jones, and Tony Franklin, like lineless fingerboards, who am I to criticize them?

    Jaco, Mark Egan, and Marcus Miller, like lines. I think they are pretty good too.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  11. steelbed45

    steelbed45 34 on Ignore Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
    I just had my Little Guitar Works bass turned into a lined fretless, and with super-low action and TI flats, it just sings. I'm with you, Doc!
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you say you don't need the lines because you aren't looking, you shouldn't care if the lines are there, because you won't see them anyway.
  13. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    I’ve got one of each and like them both. I find it easier to play in tune and not get lost above the 12th non-fret with the lines. photo mar 11, 12 56 38 pm.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Glenn Mac, flashgod, mjm666 and 12 others like this.
  14. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    I tend to think Jaco couldn't care less.
    btmpancake, SteveCS and JRA like this.
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Glenn Mac, Roger M, eadg98005 and 8 others like this.
  16. bass12

    bass12 Turn up the Eagles - the neighbours are listening Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    My fretless is lined. My first fretless was not. I’m fine with either but I quite like having the lines there. Aesthetically I think some electric fretlesses look good line-free but I think a lot look better with lines.
    Rafar, Bassaga and Element Zero like this.
  17. I can sound real bad with either :).

    I like both, but if I'm doing something that requires a lot of repositioning, lined is much more forgiving and it's hard to ignore that.
  18. HearNoStevil

    HearNoStevil Inactive

    Jul 17, 2020
    When I got my first unlined ESP fretless neck in the late 80's, it was unfinished.

    The first thing I did was go to Radio Shack and bought some of those dry transfer rub-off letter packs that were used to label electronic equipment. They had little 1/8" long lines in those packs you could rub onto anything you wanted.

    I used a fretted neck as a template, and rubbed off lines on the side of the neck where frets would be. I then rubbed off dots between the frets, where they would normally go on a fretted bass.

    So, from the side, it is lined, and looks like a regular bass. I never understood an unlined fretless having fret dots at the actual fret positions, it's not standard and it threw me off. Seemed stupid and non-intuitive.

    I then sent the neck off to Pat Wilkins to clearcoat the entire thing. It came back perfect, but the fretboard was so flawless I never wanted to scratch it with strings. It looked like fine furniture.

    To me, that's how an unlined fretless should be, and I'm surprised no one makes them like that. Lines only on the side of the neck indicating where frets would be, and dots in the normal places on the side of the neck. The fretboard itself can remain blank.

    If someone else makes them like this, I am unaware of it.
    Danthoin, TH63, MikeTranch and 15 others like this.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    When he was alive he didn’t give a damn either.
  20. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Ibanez SRF700/705/706 are exactly like that.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 28, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.