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im a beginner w/ questions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by thetrists, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. thetrists


    Mar 11, 2004
    hey, i have a few questions for some knowledgable bass players. I am reeeeally interested in learning how to play bass, and i want one to start out on. But i'm reeeeally interested in an acoustic bass guitar, preferrably fretless (for the challenge, hahaha). Does anyone have any ideas for me, in terms of what type to look into? I could reeeally use the help.
    - Trista
  2. Coutts_is_god

    Coutts_is_god Guest

    Dec 29, 2003
    Windsor, Ont, Canada
    Its called running with out learning how to walk.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Starting on a freltess is quite hard.
  4. Go for a fretted first
  5. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    What they said, only I am curious as to what type of acoustic you want. Are you thinking guitar style (Squire and Tacoma are two that have inexpensive starter models) or upright (classical orchestra style)? With that information we could serve you better.

    Welcome to Talkbass :)

  6. thetrists


    Mar 11, 2004
    i know learning on a fretless would be hard. . . i guess i just like th etone better. . .anyways, i wanted an acoustic bass guitar, not an upright. . . . . so yeah, any opinions?
  7. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Look at the Squier and the Tacoma acoustic basses. They are probably the most accessible and most affordable that I know of. I would also check Musicians Friend to see what they have, you may find ideas there.

  8. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Don't we all like the tone better :D

    My personal opinion--

    if you want to learn fretless, do yourself a favor and get a GOOD teacher. It WOULD be possible for you to learn a fretless bass on your own, but it would be extremely difficult to learn it RIGHT. Also, if you're not willing to STICK WITH IT, don't even try. Fretless will discourage you right from the get-go.

    That's why most people start out on a fretted--the level of difficulty is much lower, but remember--it's all relative. Starting on a fretted and becoming proficient is no easy task.
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    This is really more about learning to play than about specific basses, so I'm moving it to GI.
  10. I'd like to offer another perspective here. I've played bass (guitar) for about fourteen months. Not just as a hobby, but at least twice a week with two different praise & worship church groups. So, I do play frequently. I started on a fretted bass and play well enough, but as time went on, I noticed that I was playing at a very conscious level, always thinking of where the frets were, and that just was not changing. Playing at that level has been impeding my ability to progress. I've been interested in a fretless for some time so I bought a one several weeks ago. Now, that's not a long time to give a lot of experiential advice, but I do have some insights to share. I had played the trombone in grade school and continued through my first year in college. There are no definite stops on a slide trombome and one must learn to play by listening for correct pitch. I could do this as a grade schooler on the trombone and believed I could also do this with a fretless bass now. Well, within the first day of playing the fretless bass, I could tell something was happening. It was like a doorway was opening into whole new realm of playing. I was forgetting about frets and was instinctively playing by listening. My skills have blossomed more than I even had imagined in this short period of time. I wish I had played the fretless long before now, maybe even from the beginning. Oh, I think it may have been a little more difficult to play than a fretted for those first few weeks as we play at a more conscious level at first. But, as for me, I believe I would have progressed faster. So, as to you, make your choice and may you be blessed.
  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I started playing violin when I was in 4th grade. To me that's a fretless instrument. When you start playing a new instrument it's all a blank slate, in my opinion I would think that both fretted and fretless would be roughly the same difficulty level to someone picking it up for the first time.
  12. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    i had a wal fretless with the fretlines in the wood which was very helpfull...the thing about bass is that its more forgiving if you are not quite bang on the note but a good technique is to always come in a tad lower and slide up ever so slightly so that you can hear it hitting just right...
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Personally I do not see a problem with starting on a fretless. Do violin, cello, viola or double bass players start on a fretted? Sure you have to be dedicated and practise, but that goes without saying for any instrument.
  14. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    One fact is true...violin, cello, viola and double bass students are seldom self-taught. They almost always have a teacher to help them learn technique and help them develop a sense of correct pitch.

    I go along with the advice of another poster above who did suggest having a teacher if one wishes to start their bass guitar experience with a fretless. Actually, I'd advise it anyway, but most especially with a fretless bass.
  15. Deepkick


    Feb 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Starting on a fretless is fine, provided you have musical ears (ie you can hear it when you're slightly off).
    Otherwise start with a fretted, you'll progress much faster, with less fustration.

  16. SciFiGuy


    Dec 27, 2003
    Madison, IN
    I'm going to reply to this even though you probably stopped reading because, not only did the thread get off topic, it got moved to a different forum.

    I bought an Olympia acoustic off ebay a couple months ago. It could use some fret work, but I like it. It's got some volume which the others seem to lack. Mostly because it's HUGE. I don't think Olympia makes a fretless version, but it's (much) more expensive brother Tacoma does (Also a 5 string). Might be worth checking out.

    A local shop just got in an ABG made by Sunlite. It was nice, but they are hard to come by and I don't know about the fretless aspect.

  17. Pimpwerx


    Mar 2, 2004
    I'm just starting out. I've had my bass for about two or three weeks, and I get to play about an hour a day, sometimes more, sometimes none at all. I'm now off the herb until I get a new job, so I plan on playing all night long to pass the time. :) Been playing basic scales up until now, just to get practice with the fingering and build callouses.

    I'm starting on a fretless SX that has the fret lines on the board. I've "played" guitars before, and tried my friend's fretted bass a year ago, and I know for a fact that I love the feel of the fretless neck a lot more. So easy on the fingers, and just feels so smooth. I'm sure I'm all over the place with my tone, but that's what the tuner is for, to make sure I've got my fingering correct, and I've printed up some posts from this forum to help out. No teacher, no books, and no lessons. I'll eventually go jam with a friend, but for now, I'm doing it myself. I'm a big believer in DIY. As soon as I was able to, I took off the strings, cleaned/treated the fretboard and resetup the bass myself, just so I could get the experience. Set the relief and action and everything, although I think I have the action a bit low. Maybe I'll regret it in a few months, but for now, I'm glad I went with the fretless, and glad I'm doing it myself. It feels more rewarding.

    The hardest thing is figuring out which fret is which, but there are markings on the side, and I'm getting used to the locations of the fret lines now. Good times. :) BTW, this forum rocks. :bassist: PEACE.
  18. Word. I've played cello for almost 30 years and one thing I can tell you is that the instant you decide you've mastered intonation is the instant you better start working on it again.

    IDK about violin/viola/violone, but on cello beginners usually have tape on their fingerboards indicating the equivalent of frets 2 (1st finger) 4 (3rd finger) and 5 (4th finger) so they can develop a sense of the finger spacing.


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