1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Make fretlines on fretless?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Thurisarz, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    I saw an awsome bass that i'm very interested in but there was just one big thing that bugs me, it's a fretless, without fretlines, i want with fretlines. Can i in someway make fretlines with a pen or something that won't disappear or ruin the bass?

    Thanks! :bassist:
  2. Depends on the finish on the neck. Carefully applied strips of masking tape? I think learner Cello players have something that achieves this purpose, ask around at a music store.

    If you check the Basses section, I'm considering the purchase of a unlined fretless too, so I'll be faced with a similar dilema if I go ahead. If I do, I think I'll be sitting around with a tuner for a fair while, which if that fails I'm thinking semi-sidelines will be the go: thin, angled (~45 degree) cut into the neck where the fretline should be, then glue in a small section of wood (using a different wood for 3rd, 5th, 7th, 12th, etc), possibly going to do some research for a local luthier to pull that off, depends on time.

    Josh D
  3. Qohelet


    Dec 20, 2004
    MetroWest, MA
    Don't worry about the fretlines. I just picked up a fretless Washburn about a month ago -- no lines with a rosewood fingerboard. Most of the time they have dots where the 3rd, 5th 7th (etc) frets would be. You can make out the one or two half steps pretty easily. It depends on the type of music you play, but it only took me about two weeks to get used to it.
  4. When I refurbished the first bass I built, a fretless, I did an experiment to help with my loss of decent intonation. My neck had the proper side dots at the intonation points but it was the "inbetweens" that were a problem. I simply used another neck placed face to face with the other and matched the dots on the fretless with the frets on the fretted. I marked the positions and then just added small dots where the marks showed. It works great. It's easy to read, easy to "find" the position, and it maintains that sleek markerless look on the front. Dave Siff played the crap out of this bass last night for the first time and was really taken with the dots. He's getting them on his next fretless.