Lined Fretless Side Dots

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Thumper, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I'm new to the fretless world (about 2 years), but now play them almost exclusively. My problem is the difference in dot position between lined and unlined boards is hard to adjust to when changing basses during gigs. I have 2 of each, and find large, visible dots at the intonation point an invaluable tool. On the lined boards, there is little or no line visibility while playing standing, usually accompanied by poor lighting conditions, and complicated by vocals and trying to maintain crowd eye contact. Even playing seated, they are barely visible. I'm just curious why luthiers continue this practice. Perhaps as a part-time performing musician, I should just be better at hitting the intonation spots?
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I taped thin "fretlines" (of the same length as the fretboard thickness to make it look integral to the design - my band mates thought they came standard on the bass) on the side of the neck of my EUB to make it easier to play in the beginning. I think this might be a good idea for fretless basses as well, put short "fret lines" as well as "fretted neck side dots" on the side ot the fretless neck. That would make the visual cues the same as for fretted basses.
  3. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Anders, I agree. I am experimenting with using Glow Powder mixed into a clear lacquer base to put lines on that are easier to see the worse the lighting gets.
  4. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    lines like that come standard on f-basses.
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I put the dots at the fret markers on lined fretless basses after one of my customers asked for it. I don't play much fretless, so I guess it never really occurred to me.