New fretless player needs advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by newbass, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. newbass


    Mar 18, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Hey, about a month ago, I ordered an Essex Jazz fretless. It is an awesome instrument, and thats coming from someone who spends a lot of his time in music stores. Needless to say, I'm happy with it. This may be the wrong forum, but what should I do to protect the fretboard. It is rosewood and I don't want to actually coat it, so please help. Is lemon oil a good idea, etc. Ant help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. yea oil it and use flatwound strings.....
  3. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    :rolleyes: Well, flatwounds are all well and good,, UNLESS you can't stand the sound (like me). I wouldn't worry to much about fingerboard wear with roundwounds, just dont use stainless steel strings, they're a bit harsher on the wood. Many people advocate using coatings on fretless boards, anywhere from Tung oil to poly finishes to Epoxy to Mylar sheeting. I can't comment on those since I haven't tried any of them.
  4. Welcome to the smooth world newbass. Yes, a little lemon oil is a good thing. I use Formby's Lemon Oil Treatment- and a little goes a lonnnng way. Treating the 'board 2 or 3 times a year is probably all you will need. I have had a few Rosewood 'boards over the years and have never had any problems with them as far as drying out.

    As for strings, I have used roundwounds on every bass I have ever owned. I tried flats (too lifeless for me), nylons (waaaaaaay too lifeless for me) and a few 1/2 rounds (ground wound). I always went back to rounds. For the last couple of years I have been using Ken Smith Nickles, and in the last few months have started using his Nickle Taper Wounds. I would definately agree with using Nickel over Steel or Stainless strings- much easier on the 'board. And (for me) a better tone.

    Anyway, good luck with it.
    And practice, practice, practice.
  5. newbass


    Mar 18, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks a lot guys. Oh and by the way, if you want to you can show pics of your fretless basses! (hint hint!)
  6. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I agree with what's been said, but unfortunately I prefer stainless. I resigned myself to the fact that I'll be replacing the board every couple years, but to me it's a reasonable trade off for the sound. Plus, I can get 3 times the life out of stainless than I can with nickel :meh: :confused:
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Well, if you insist.:D

  8. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    How often do you oil the neck? :D :p
  9. bodhan


    Nov 19, 2002
    I use GHS's FAST FRET to clean the strings and fingerboard.
  10. As someone pointed out in another thread, it will help preserve the fretboard if you use traditionnal upright vibrato (parallel to the string) rather than guitar vibrato (perpendicular to the string). It also sounds much better on a fretless. Mwaaah!
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Well, you asked to see it....


    My advice: don't worry about protecting the fretboard. Just play what sounds good and plays nice for you. I prefer flats on my Dean, though there are rounds in that picture.