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If I played a fretless would that be "cheating" myself?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by de la mocha, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    My friend who is a guitar player, and I was at the guitar center and I was playing a bass and getting a lot of fret buzz and I was playing the wrong notes to a song we made. Then I realized that the bass was indeed larger then the one I own at my house so I guess by muscle memory, I was hitting the wrong spots on this larger bass.

    So I pick up a smaller one and it just happened to be fretless! I couldn't put it down. It felt so smooth and silky that it felt like my hands were having sex with the fret board! :bag:

    Anyway, my friend, who's been playing guitar for 14 years said that he wouldn't recommend that I play a fretless because it's basically cheating! He said that I should stick with fretted basses because I would definitely know where the notes are with out being off or guessing since I am still basically a beginer (playing under 5 years)!

    Even though I instantly fell in love with how silky smooth and warm the fretless felt in my hands and sounded, I really value my friend's advice because he plays so damn good. But then again, he doesn't play the bass, only guitars. So I'm asking my fellow bassists for some advice. What do you guys think? :confused:
  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Life is too short to let other people tell you what instrument to play.
  3. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    Cheating? Are you nuts? Playing fretless well takes years of practice more than playing a fretted instrument well. You've got the added component of playing in tune to deal with.

    Your friend's got it backwards.
  4. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Your friend is an idiot and shouldn't offer advice on things he obviously doesn't understand.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Blunt, but true. How could making something more difficult ever be considered "cheating"?
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Well its obviously cheating if it doesn't have all those frets to get in the way...

    Guitar players, their world is so small.... :rollno:
  7. Cheating tends to make things easier. Playing fretless in tune takes a lot of practice.

    Sounds like an illogical conclusion to me, captain.

    Seriously though, I play both, and fretless is great. Far more expressive, and good fun to play too.

    Oh, and tell your guitar playing friend to remove the fingerboard dots from his neck - its cheating.
  8. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    I agree, your friend is obviously confused. A fretted bass negates the need to "know exactly where the notes are." Pretty much anywhere between the frets will produce the note you want. On a fretless, lined or not, the player has to know exactly where the notes are - and everyone around will know if he/she doesn't.
  9. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    Your 'friend' should stick to commenting on subjects that he's qualified to do so. To play a fretless requires a different and considerably different skill level to play than a fretted. Cheating doesnt even come into it. If you like it, be true to yourself and stuff everyone else. You'll get more out of your music in the long term.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Keep the fretless, dump the friend. ;)
  11. truckin88


    Oct 18, 2001
    Newburgh, NY
    was it lined fretless, then how is it harder
  12. ganga


    Jul 14, 2005
    Fretless being easier than fretted? What the... :| That makes no sense.
  13. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Your friend is a PUTZ!!!
  14. Your finger has to hit the exact spot every time, or you sound out of tune, with or without lines. Much harder indeed when you are playing fast technical stuff.
  15. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    What a Dumb Ass. Bass started Fretless. Stand Up Basses have never had frets! There are all sorts of extra skills it takes to play Fretless and play it well. Tonal variations alone are just crazy. Hitting a note exactly is if nothing else, damn hard. I have used my fretless for country mostly. Rock & Roll is much harder for me to use it. Fretless is not cheating, mostly it is the other way around, it is just the fact that we have become generation after generation of Fretted bass players. Similar to a car with a stick shift.
  16. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    Um, lined fretless still requires complete accuracy in finger placement. The lines are a visual reference. Fretted gives you "cheating space." You can stop the string just about anywhere between the frets and the higher fret does the stopping for you.
  17. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Years of practice? More like 10 minutes :-D!
  18. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    LOL, my friend is cool, I don't mean to make him out to be arrogant or anything like that, he's a cool guy. He can play anything on the guitar by ear and is a genius. But sometimes I guess all of that knowledge doesn't transfer into the bass world. :meh:

    Thanks guys. This forum is my life line! :bassist:
  19. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    FWIW, don't listen to that guy, he sounds like he's got a lot of learning AND a lot of growing up to do and is just plain jealous of you to boot. :mad: I'd like to see him say that to an acomplished upright or electric fretless bassist, guaranteed he'll get his ass kicked into next week.

    Playing fretless is NOT cheating, it's just a different way of playing and a different sound and feel. It sounds like you found your niche, pursue it gleefully!!!
  20. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    In order to cheat there have to be rules.