Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

My first fretless!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Suckbird, Jun 22, 2005.


  1. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    A dean edge 4string.

    [​IMG]
    (the same except mine is a 4string).

    It's funny as hell to play fretless except i'm out tune all the time..(i started play today so what can i expect).

    So, i think i'm going to buy a new tuner so i can practice intonation more effectly, right now i use my pandora and i think it has pretty bad tracking, it takes a year until it knows what tone i play...

    what tuner should i get? I'm thinking about maybe the boss Tu-2?

    Also, when i slapped on my fretless the pops sounded dead, is it the strings or?
     
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Very nice :D

    Fretless playing might seem a little rough at first, but you'll get the hang of it ... don't get discouraged too fast. Slapping is going to be a different sound and feel with a fretless, you'll probably need to change your technique a lot to try to get near the sound of a fretted bass. But even though it's a different slap sound, it's still pretty cool :cool:

    Good luck with it and congrats!
     
  3. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    You're not going to be able to stare at a tuner when you're on a gig. It'll be more effective for you to play along with recordings and use your ears to get your intonation in shape. You have to develop your ears as well as your hands - intonation = ears + hands. Gotta have both. It takes some time, but you'll get a feel for where your fingers need to be, and you'll develop methods for adjusting when you're a little bit off. A tiny bit of "strategic" vibrato will often allow you to imperceptibly correct a slightly off note, but you have to have quick ears to catch it before it's obvious to the listener.

    Good lookin' bass, BTW. Classy. Kind of reminds me of an F Bass (and F's with that "violin burst" always remind me of classical instruments, something you'd see in a symphony orchestra).
     
  4. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I like to use a TU-2 tuner when I'm practicing with my fretless. Even though you can't use one when you are playing live, they are a great tool to help to help you teach yourself where you need to be to get the exact note you want. Through repitition you will gain muscle memory that will help you to hit that note with more accuracy. Sometime I use it in the regular mode instead of the bypass mode. I will play a note, then engage the tuner to see how close I came to hitting it on the mark. From there, I can see if I'm playing sharp or flat and make the proper adjustment.
     
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I played fretless for the first time about two weeks ago, only to confirm what I already sensed: I want to play fretless! :D

    I'm going to defret my acoustic this weekend, I have most of the materials now.

    For me, it wasn't so bad - with ample muscle memory and hearing, I could quite well stay in tune when playing scales, but when I had to do a big jump on the neck... :meh: (it was an unlined and I played a righty lefty, so I didn't see the dots, either)

    Anyway, looks very cool, enjoy!
     
  6. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    Of course i can play pretty well in tune the note to each other but when i'm going to play in tune with other instruments too..

    also, i thought about using the tuner when i pratice, not when performing.
     
  7. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    Family pic:

    [​IMG]

    J&D YC100, Dean Edge, Ibanez btb405.


    Also, on my dean i noticed that the nut is higher on the e-string than on the g-string, is this normal? Because i have fretbuzz on the first frets of the e-string..

    [​IMG]

    I also noticed that i had fretbuzz on the e on my a-string..


    And yeah, i played "Infinite dreams" by iron maiden to the cd and i think i was pretty much intune :bassist:


    EDIT: ***, why doesn't the pictures work now?
    Could someone tell me a good place to upload pictures?
     
  8. I play dobro and steel guitar, so I get a lot of practice with fretless. BruceWane has the right approach. It is your hands and ears that will tell you if you are right. And vibrato sounds good while it covers a world of slightly misplaced fingers as you adjust your pitch. Tuners are essential for getting every thing in tune (I really like the Boss TU-2) and checking the intonation of the bridge, but it is the ear-hand coordination that will make or break you. Funny story- A few weeks ago I pickup up a fretless Michael Kelley Dragonfly at my favorite shop. The inlay on the fingerboard is so ornate, that I didn't realize it was fretless until I had been playing for about 5 minutes. Then I started noticing that the G string was slightly off. I said something to the shop owner and he said, "The intonation problem is you, not the guitar." That's when I looked at the fingerboard and realized there were no frets!

    I don't have a big urge for a fretless bass; I get those kicks from the dobro and steel guitar. But looking at a vast expanse of unbroken fingerboard is certainly tempting. I read some comments from some very well known fretless players who say that fretlines are essential. I almost never look at a fingetboard, so I would probably get one with detailed dots on the edge or Rick Turner's exclamation points. That way I could have my visual cues for starting in the right key and still have the visual impact of an unlined board.
     
  9. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    I have sidedots on mine, it's very easy to see where i'm playing, how could you play without these dots? Must be very very hard..
     
  10. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Not really that hard ....... Upright basses have no dots or lines ......

    You'll see, once you get more comfortable with the fretless you will have less dependency on the markers :cool: