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PROS & CONS OF A FRETTLESS BASS,plus other ???'s

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dalty boy, Mar 12, 2001.

  1. dalty boy

    dalty boy

    Mar 12, 2001
    madison, wi
    im thinking of defretting my bass because of annoying frett
    rattle.also im sum what intrested in the tone youd get.
    is frettless good for a funky(flea fieldy) tone?ALSO(this may be hard to explain)but on fretted bass's,the different pitches are divided up exactly by the fret.if you go below that fret,the sound changes,and so on.on FRETTLESS(im gonna draw the lines in)is the pitch difference still dead acurate between each fret.or does it casually get higher/lower by every inch you move along the frets.
  2. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Me too.
    Hum ... FIeldy, funky tone ????
    Well, I don't think you can get his tone with a fretlless since he plucks so hard that you can hear the string banging the frets/board/pups whatever.

    The picth changes while you move along the board.
  3. i beg you not to class fieldy as "funky"...
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Going fretless is definitely not an option for you. Fretless is a totally different sound and won't get you the sound (sic) you're after.
    Plus: The frets give you a defined intonation, whereas on a fretless, you get the exact pitch that your finger is fretting, e.g. when you fret a little below the (marked) 5th fret, your note will be flat also.

    The only way to avoid unwanted fret noise is by practise, sorry! You have to learn to mute the strings you don't play. Placing your fretting fingers close to the fret also helps. When you play a D on the A string, for example, place your finger as close to the 5th fret as possible. Getting a fretjob for your bass and adjusting the string action may help too, but is still 90% (or more!) lack of proper technique (no offence!).
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Expect to practice a LOT more, especially if you're going to make your main bass fretless. That's what I did and I was surprised that I all of a sudden sounded like crap. If you have the fret lines it will definitely make things easier on you. And, eventually, you'll develop a really good ear, which gives you BETTER intonation than a fretted instrument.

    And if you want that "Funky Flea" tone, (which I'm guessing is slapping) fretless might NOT be for you. Yes, you can slap on a fretless, but it still doesn't sound as good as the zing you get from the strings hitting the frets.
    Good luck!
  6. mark


    Apr 7, 2000
  7. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Generally, fretless will provide a more vocal sound. It's not the way to achieve a bright, aggressive funk sound. Yes, pitch will change as you move your hand. Pitch will change even with the slightest rocking of your fingertip, really. And if you have fret lines, the note you're after will be produced by playing on the line, not to the headstock side of the fret as it does with a fretted bass. From your description of what you're after, it doesn't really sound like fretless is for you, but definitely go find a fretless and play it before you perform major surgery on your bass.
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Welcome to the board, Dalty.

    You might want to have your bass properly set up (or at least adjust the string height at the bridge before you start ripping your bass apart. Please read my signature below.

    Definitely nothing like Flea's.

    It's the same thing with fretless. the notes don't change place just because there are no frets. The challenge is to get the notes right. This doesn't seem to be the way to go for the kind of style you want to emulate. I think you'd save a lot of trouble if you took your bass to be set up by a repair person. If you defret your bass and hate the result, you'll wind up spending more to have it refretted or buying a new bass.

    Will C.:cool:
  9. dalty boy

    dalty boy

    Mar 12, 2001
    madison, wi
    thanx guys,you just talked me out of defretting my bass.(thats not supposed to sound sarcastic either)
    i was thinking about it,but i definantly dont think its what im looking for.im definantly gonna pick one up though the next time i get a chance.thanx again

    P.S. i know fieldy has a bad rep.i dont like him either.but when i listen to korn,.korn.the tones on his bass are to me,the best sounding tones iv heard on a record.lots of edge and punch.
    does anyone know how to get this.i got a bass sans amp DI.(which i HIGHLY recommend)
    does anyone know any other pedals to help create his tone.some one told me EH micro synth was good for this.any thoughts
  10. i know the dumb ass turns his mids on his head off, what a dumb ass
  11. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    Yes and beating his hand constantly on all the strings at once doesn't help either :D
  12. Ay, I play with my mids set to about 1. Anything higher makes the sound all muddy and icky (for lack of a better term)

    Buuuuuuuuuuuut that may have to do with my gear? (Squier P Bass, Squier Amp)
  13. yeah, i'm sure he has more professional gear, and turning them off is different then low
  14. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Going fretless is a good thing if you're doing it for the right reason. Sorry, but you're doing it for the wrong reason.Your problem is one of technique and equipment. By all means, if you have defined a tone you want that you can only get by going fretless then I'm with you but I think you're doing this backward.

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