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My 2nd bass, fretless or 6strings ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Basstyra, Sep 1, 2005.


  1. Basstyra

    Basstyra Commercial User

    Apr 3, 2005
    France
    CTO @ Two notes Audio Engineering
    Well, I just sold my MIJ Jazzbass. So I have money to spend.

    And I want to change. So I'm attracted to a fretless 4 strings or a 6strings fretted. 6strings fretless is out of question, too much changes at a time ! :)

    Could you help me choose ?
     
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    IMO a fretless 4 is going to be more useful than a 6 string.
     
  3. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    In a word, no (should that be non)? Both of those options (and countless others) could be great!

    Two questions:

    1. What have you got at the moment (your profile only mentions a MIJ Jazzbass - does that mean you've sold it and haven't got anything)?

    2. Which of the options you've given do you feel most drawn to?

    Wulf
     
  4. Basstyra

    Basstyra Commercial User

    Apr 3, 2005
    France
    CTO @ Two notes Audio Engineering
    Yep, I mention in the title only. This is fot a 2nd bass.

    My first is a Vigier Arpege, I'm updating my profile right now.

    [​IMG]

    http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jumping-jack/autre/vigier/vigier.html

    The thing is, a fretless will be hard to handle. It will demand work. But I love this sound, the possibilities of the fretless fingerboard. Secondly, there is this used bass for sale, Ibanez Musician, I tested it, it's great... And it's quite a rare bass.

    A 6strings would be quicker to handle, I think. More "plug and play" if I may use this expression. And I'd love play more chords, have more possibilities to work on melody (as a bassist, it's hard to switch from bassline to melody, one more high string could help considering the neck differently than what I consider now).

    So I'm really, really hesitating...
    In any way, it would remain a second bass. My 4 fretted is fine for most things I play.
     
  5. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    why not a 6 string fretless? I have three main basses-
    4 string
    5 string
    6 string fretless

    between those I really have many if not all grounds covered.
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The absence of frets makes chords much more difficult. It's certainly not impossible (eg. listen to stuff by Steve Lawson - plenty of chords, in-tune and on a six string fretless) but will be hard work.

    One way to decide might be to look at the playing opportunities you have at the moment. In many band situations, the fretless bass will make a bigger difference in giving you another "voice" to use. On the other hand, if you do a lot of sight reading, the move to six strings might be a real boon (less position shifting).

    Another, more laid back approach is to see what instruments come your way. Don't rush but wait until you find one that is inspiring (and in your price range); you can get another bass sometime further in the future.

    Wulf
     
  7. Basstyra

    Basstyra Commercial User

    Apr 3, 2005
    France
    CTO @ Two notes Audio Engineering
    The last thing you said may well be the right. ;)
     
  8. I too have been debating the 6 string vs the fretless, what I really want is a six string fretless with wide string spacing (20mm) but they seem to be very difficult to find. I've been leaning towards the six string for more variety, and they're so much fun. I don't know what's more fun though. Play with both and take pictures or videotape when you try them out, buy the one that puts a bigger smile on your face. :D
     
  9. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    My first six string (a Washburn XB-600 that I bought after several months of deliberating between five and six strings) was good but I sometimes found the narrow (15mm at the bridge) string spacing frustrating. Since getting a better fretted six string, I've had it defretted and it works very well like that; therefore, I'm inclined to say that narrower spacing is probably less of a pain on a fretless instrument.

    Wulf