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In-between notes?!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by friedtransistor, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Dunno if this is in the right subforum. Anywho, I have an interesting issue. A lot of times I'll have a cool-sounding scale pop into my head, and I'll try and play it on my bass. More often than not, though, I find that I need notes that are between two frets. It's quite annoying to have to play a note lower and bend it a quarter fret higher. Anyone else have this issue? Would making a fretless neck solve my frustration of not-notes? Idk, because sometimes I'll hunt around for the note, and none of the twelve notes within any octave match the scale playing in my head, nor partial notes sometimes. Would I just get frustrated with a fretless, sliding up and down, never finding that one note? Am I even making any sense? Please tell me I'm not crazy.
  2. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    You hear comas ??? Maybe you would like a fretless and listen to music that work outside of ours 12 tones system
  3. Maybe you're not crazy and are just innovative in an unorthodox way.
  4. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    It's difficult to say what you're having trouble with - If you practice real, legitimate defined major minor scales (I know, BORING) and start learning modes (modal stuff is fun) and you still notice this, the physical intonation of your instrument might not be as close to perfect as it could be.
  5. Naw, not my intonation. I have gotten that adjusted to the point where I would expect my bass to produce zero-point energy... :ninja: I just do any combination of notes I can think of, although I do tend to revert to major and minor scales. I really love the harmonic minor scale and the gypsy scale(?). And more dissonant scales like minor to major 3rd, to dim 5th, to minor 6th, to major 7th. Stuff like that...
  6. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    So your basically saying you'd like to break away from the Western 12-tone equal temperament system to use microtones instead of/in addition to the traditional Western scales, as in lots and lots of non-Western music traditions. That's cool :)

    A fretless bass might just be your thing. Check out Justin Gray on YouTube, playing Indian classical music on fretless bass. I love it. E.g. -

    On the other hand, it could be difficult to jam with guitarists and the like, unless you're soloing and they're playing a drone.
  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    I think what you are looking for is just one fret away. One fret above or one fret below your last note. If that is not it, try bending - as you have already said.

    I walk chromatic notes all the time, target your next note, miss it by one, two or three frets and then walk to it.
  8. It may just be that bending notes into a different timbre (or playing on a fretless where you allow your ear to be the guide) is something your music is calling you to do.

    Nothing wrong with that, I've used bends in that manner plenty of times before for much the same reason: it felt like that particular sound belonged there. So I'm going to tell you to rock it :)

  9. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
  10. IWieldTheSpade


    Mar 15, 2010
    As mentioned previously it sounds like you want to play around with microtones instead of the boring old western temperament. Get yourself a fretless, it will open up a whole new world for you :bassist:
    This might be of some interest:
  11. Microtones... Hmm, sounds tasty. Might be worth making a fretless neck, even if it's for just every once in a while. Ah, here's an example of what I'm talking about: on the A string, play 5 7 7.5 8 9. That kind of sound.
    Granted, most of what I play is western stuff, but I guess I'll work on my bending technique to be able to quickly hit the microtones. Thanks for the support!
  12. Shanannigan

    Shanannigan Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Welcome to the wonderful world of micro-tonal music, as well as non-western music. A fretless would help, as it removes any limitations of intonation. You may want to check out some Indian, and Arabic music as well, they commonly use microtones.
  13. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    Didn't Don Ellis have a quarter tone trumpet?
    You may want to check out some of his work with that -- I think he was also into some non-standard time signatures -- the two seem to go hand in hand