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slapping at fretless; what do you think?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Eduardo Martins, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. I´d like to get and share some information about slapping at fretless. Tell me what you think. Also, would like to know if someone uses different amps for fretless and fretted;
    Thanks in advance people.:bassist:
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I slap on my fretless all the time. It sounds different from slapping a fretted, but still sounds nice to me.

    I play fretless and fretted through the same amp. As long as the amp is fairly uncolored and has good frequency response, it should work equally well for fretted or fretless.
  3. It is dangerous unless you are rich enough to fix as it gets messed up twice as bad as regular playing. Even if you slap light it will smack harder then a nice little pluck. But it does sound cool.
  4. genesis6891


    May 29, 2003
    I never play slap on my fretless. IMO a fretless bass's beauty is in the lovely nasal sound (mwah, whatever :p ) from playing fingerstyle.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    michael manring does it a lot, and he gets a really clear sound, I don't know how he gets such a sound, but it's impressive.
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Yeah, I thought when I picked up a fretless, the first thing I would do on it is slap, just for curiosities sake, I did... meh... fretless is all about smooth fingerstyle, IMO. Plus, I'd like to keep my fretboard in OK condition thank you very much.
  7. I slap often on my fretless i love it because
    it ' s such a different sound.
    ( and i don't want to change basses between every song so i'll have to...)
    I use a J -retro stompbox to EQ the lows less,
    and more high/treble because i get more low on my fretless than fretbass if i slap
    The Retro is by the way great for finger style
    because of the parametric mid you can switch on and of.
    My Amp is a Glockenklang Soul top with
    Duo + Heartcore cabinets for both fret and fretless.
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Have you guys heard John Turner? He slaps his fretless Conklin(s) quite a lot on his band's album. He gets a very clear and snappy sound from them.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    thanks man :).
  10. nugget77

    nugget77 Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    long island ny
    its a muffled sound when you slap on a fretless. i have a nice warwick fretless and its some purpose is jazz for me and that crazy fretless sound.
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    not when i slap on fretless, it's not muffled. a lot as to do with the set up of the instrument, and the fretboard material.
  12. Sharp


    Jan 27, 2002
    Artists Relations, KMI
    ...Claypoole...Tommy the Cat...
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    The e is silent... and invisible.
  14. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Let's not forget Trip Wamsley, either, in the pantheon of fretless slap gods...

  15. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    "It is dangerous unless you are rich enough to fix as it gets messed up twice as bad as regular playing. Even if you slap light it will smack harder then a nice little pluck."

    Yes, that is a consideration. Many fretless fingerboards are sensitive and can be easily damaged. Even by roundwound strings.

    My solution: diamondwood! I have a Roscoe LG-3005 fretless with a diamondwood fingerboard, that I absolutely love and adore. It sounds fabulous with ordinary fingerstyle, and has gobs of mwah, but it also sounds pretty cool when it's being slapped.

    The thing is (and John Turner, I don't know you and don't know what you're into musically, so I don't mean to be rude with what I'm about to say), that slapping a fretless should be done "tastefully". In other words, don't do it too often. If you do, it'll sound like you're trying to do something you're not supposed to be doing, and on the wrong instrument. But boy, there's nothing like surprising the audience by pulling a fretless slap groove out of your back pocket. A short blazing slap segment can be totally amazing in the context of an otherwise "normal" fretless performance.

    And John, I'd love to hear your stuff, where can I listen to it?
  16. i love to slap on fretless basses, in fact i get more cheering when i do. a fretless was meant for it, its the jazz slap with out the preamp. however i dont go for the slap noises most of you guy ooh and ahh about, its just a neet way of pouncing on the attack. with a fretless you can get way more funky, too! on the topic of fretboard wear i sadly must agree. it took me about three quarters of a year to run down my fretless j bass, it was great while it lasted. the fretboard had emmense string lines (some what string grooves), and the pickups are comepletely gone now... ah but it was great while it lasted!!

    sadly slappin on an ibanez 5 string, lame...
  17. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Hey guys, why dont you get your fingerboard coated at http://www.woodwiz.com/guitarlab/epoxy.html ?

    That guy coated Jaco's fingerboard ;).

    That "Diamondwood" sounds interesting, because i've always found "bare wood" too mellow and muddy, and epoxy coated wood too buzzy and "meeeow"-y.

  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    No, he didn't.
  19. So we have all to agree that fretless was not made for slapping, thought it sounds awesome for some high grooved songs. In this case, I´d like to know of you all, if tapping causes the same harm as slapping; what do you think?
    Ps; Michael Manring should really post something at this thread! :D :bassist:
  20. Next Wednesday i gonna take my Fretless bass to the guy who always repairs fret/defret my basses and he is gonna put a fret-end
    on my bass.( he has done that before with my
    teachers bass)
    He puts at the beginning of the neck ( highest note of course....) a "fret"
    so when you slap you get that "snap " because the string hits on the end-Fret, that's great for the sound but it also protects the neck!!
    When i play "normal" the end -fret does not interfere with the fretless sound.
    As soon as i can i will put up a picture so you can see.
    :D :bassist:

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