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opinions wanted on fretted, fretless, or DB for newbie

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lofoo, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. lofoo


    Jun 24, 2002
    Los Angeles
    This will probably sound like a stupid question, but what's the difference in sound between a fretless electric and a DB? Does the DB have more of a percussive quality, while the fretless electric sounds more legato? Thanks in advance.
  2. in my experience, yes. if you're trying to decide between the two, it's also worth noting that DBs cost a lot more than BGs.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA

    I wouldn't call that a fair characterization at all.

    When played pizzicato, a double bass can still have a very smooth, legato character. It depends mostly on the technique, but also the setup, strings used, and the bass itself.

    Those using DB for traditional and folk music do tend to go for the percussive pizz sound, but many jazz and Latin players are looking for something more melodic.

    The same can be said of a fretless bass guitar. It is very easy to get a percussive sound out of a fretless BG. You just have to apply the right technique.

    Many fretless bass guitar makers have attempted and continue to attempt to emulate the DB sound. Some acoustic and semi-acoustic bass guitars do a decent job. Rob Allen comes to mind and Godin. Both sound great, but there is a depth of tone and resonance that only a bass viol can create.

    As far as solid-body fretless basses, they tend to share much more character with their fretted counterparts than they do with an upright bass.


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