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Pro usage of fretless and flatwounds

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by the low one, Apr 25, 2010.


  1. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    Most pro's use rounds on fretless from what I read. David J and Sting spring to mind but who else uses flatwounds on fretless ?
     
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I thought most pros used flats on fretless? Rounds eat up the fretboard.

    Interested to hear other peoples responses.
     
  3. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    By "pro's" I take it you mean "famous bassists", right? I know far more full-time professional bass players that use flats on their fretless' than use rounds. Myself included.
     
  4. David Gilmour
     
  5. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Gary Willis uses roundwounds on his fretless.
     
  6. TL5

    TL5

    Jun 27, 2005
    Nashville
    My two favorite fretless players (Pino and Tony Franklin) both use rounds on fretless.

    I don't worry about what the strings do to the fretboard. If/when it needs it, I'll have the fretboard serviced or replaced. So far, there's some minuscule swirl marks that can only be seen when you hold it to the light just so. I've been using nothing but rounds for five years.
    If the bass doesn't sound the way I like, then what's the point?

    IMHO, YMMV
     
  7. Bassman316

    Bassman316

    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Word up. This is the reason why I switched to rounds on my fretless. So far I'm really digging how the rounds sound on the fretless over the flats. For the longest time I was all hung up on how rounds would eat grooves into the fingerboard and how I didn't want that. But then, after plenty of reading, I finally realized that it's all about how the bass sounds, not so much how it looks. I say bring on the grooves (my fretless is also a $109 SX Jazz)... :D
     
  8. Dan B

    Dan B

    Oct 19, 2008
    Pittsfield, MA
    Sounds like John Illsley used a fretless with flats on Why Worry.


    At least that's the vibe I get from it.
     
  9. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Patitucci - Both
    Dean Peer - Both
    Stanlty Clarke - Both
     
  10. Epoxy the neck for $200 and use whatever you want.
     
  11. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    Don't worry, this isn't a "why should you use rounds or flats" type thread. I'm happy with flats on my fretless jazz but I don't read about many "working" bassist using flats. Most I read about prefer the clarity of rounds.
     
  12. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    Just remembered another, Steve Lawson.
     
  13. JohnDavisNYC

    JohnDavisNYC

    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    I use rounds on my fretless fodera. Fingerboard is cool (ebony).
     
  14. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    My acoustic fretless came with rounds, which I haven't replaced. Then again, they're bronze, like a lot of acoustic strings. Not sure if this makes a difference or not.

    I thought most people used flats on fretless for a more upright sound?
     
  15. Dan B

    Dan B

    Oct 19, 2008
    Pittsfield, MA
    I use flats on my fretless because:
    A) That's what came on there when I got it.
    B) They sound good on fretless.
    C) My fingerboard isn't epoxied and I don't want to wreck it.

    As for sounding like an upright, for me palm muting works best, but the fretless+flats definitely helps in addition (to palm muting).

    At least this is what I experienced.
     
  16. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    All who worship at the alter of Jaco use rounds, but there's such a variety of flats, grounds, and rolled windings, it seems there's a lot of experimentation these days. A set of bright rounds will help with the mwah that everyone seems to be after, but there are lots of options.
     
  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Jaco, Pino, Tony Franklin, Freebo, Michael Rhodes, Dave Pomeroy, Mick Karn, Nathan East, Jack Bruce, Boz Burrell, Michael Mannring, Steve Bailey, and Mark Egan are all rounds.

    What known bassists use flats on fretless - other than maybe Bill Wyman and Rick Danko, I don't know any.

    John
     
  18. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    Thanks JTE, you beat me to it, and this is the point of my thread. The majority of working bassist who play fretless don't use flats.
     
  19. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I'm still really not sure this is true. I don't think anybody really has a clue (at least, not with any accuracy). Naming off a list of famous bassists that are known to use rounds is no indication of what the "majority of working bassists" uses.
     
  20. craigb43

    craigb43

    Nov 20, 2007
    Oregon
    half rounds for me , easy on the board and have a cool in between sound ,,
     

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