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Just purchased first fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SSINTENSE, May 7, 2010.


  1. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    Ordered a sr300f.

    I have a quick question though. I read online that an epoxied fretless has a slightly different tone than a pure fretless bass. Is there a difference? I was thinking about sending my sr4005e in for a modification to that Harris Thor service prior to buying the fretless, but decided to go down the less risky route.
     
  2. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    So I did some research and found out that the epoxy treatment is to protect the board from the roundwounds and give a certain kind of tone to the bass.

    So my new question is - will my sr300f require epoxy treatment if i want to use roundwounds or is it already protected?
     
  3. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I think Ibanez uses ebanol for their fretless boards, right? If so, you should be fine for a while. Even after time, epoxy starts to wear with rounds.

    I suggest you start off playing with flats and get used to the technique (bending strings is a no-no) before switching to rounds - best to protect the fretboard in the learning stages.
     
  4. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    I'm glad you said something - I wouldn't have known. I did want to explore the fretless though because I love those vibratos that Jaco pulls off in his tunes.

    Where is a good starting place for learning fretless technique?
     
  5. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Hal Leonard might make something on it, but you might be stuck trying to combine upright bass knowledge with fretted bass knowledge.

    The only difference between vibratos on fretted/fretless is that, on a fretted, you slide up and down the string where as on a fretted, you bend the string.
     
  6. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    True. But I noticed that on a fretted I can get a more controlled but much more slight vibrato doing it horizontally than I do bending. I wanted to see where that could take me on a fretless.

    Regardless, I love the sound of those smooth fretless slides.
     
  7. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Play through a tuner when you're starting out. Fretless intonation is key, and knowing that you're on the right note when you don't have a fret telling you that you are is very important.

    Also, if it's an unlined fretless, but has side dots, the dots normally are right on the note, not in between the note where they'd be on a fretted neck. I can't remember how Ibanez does it.
     
  8. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    Yeah I just read about that. I also heard it's best to practice with the lights out and use your ears instead of your eyes. This is probably good ear training in general and would improve my ear for fretted bass too.

    Sounds like i've just dedicated more thousands of hours. This sounds like it is going to be alot more difficult than I thought but I like the challenge and learning opportunity.

    Thanks for the tuner advice!
     
  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    It's easier, and harder, than it seems. Don't be intimidated by it.
    Play along with other music or with a drone - that gives you pitch reference and will improve your abilities to play in tune.

    Don't worry about roundwounds - they will take a long time (years) to do anything to your fingerboard (unless you bend or vibrato your strings from side to side like a guitarist). Worrying about it is like buying a Porsche but saying "I'm only going to drive very slowly so I don't wear down my tires". Play with the strings that give you the sound you want, and enjoy your bass.
     
  10. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    What's a drone? Is that the tool that slows down music so you can slowly play along with it?
     
  11. SSINTENSE

    SSINTENSE

    Jun 6, 2005
    Wait I think I know that that is - is it just an open string that I know is in tune so I can hear the relative pitch?
     
  12. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    The problem with your analogy is that you generally already know how to drive when buying the Porsche, you don't necessarily know how to play when driving...er...playing a fretless.

    Rounds...that's true, but then again, the tone you usually want out of a fretless is probably different than a fretted. I originally planned on switching to rounds, but I've found that I actually really like the sound of the Chromes better. Lots of mwah for sure.

    Plus, I've found that flats have a more prominent fundamental, which will ultimately help in ear training.
     
  13. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Now I want a fretless again. They're so much fun.
     

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