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Slapping on a Fretless???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    Hey all,

    i was just surfing on Gary Willis' site trying to get a hold of his latest solo CD, which coincidently, i cant find anywhere, nor buy!! :(. at any rate, on the song "Bent", he slappin' a really great groove, but on the liner notes or "tunes" section of the website, it says he's using a fretless. ??? can you really slap effectively on a fretless??
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Sure. You don't get the same sound as a fretted bass would, but it's as valid as on a fretted bass. It's just a matter of liking the sound it makes.
  3. I personally like the sound of slapping on a fretless better than that of a fretted, but i might be one of teh few who do.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Yes you can
  5. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    if i had a fretless (7) i would slap on it... ask turner about this one... he slaps his bolt-on fretless almost all the way through Spiritual Animal
  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i had that CD and Deltron 3030 on back order for 2 months before i finally said "@#$% it" and cancelled.

    and i've actually seen fretlesses with a little brass bar or something at the end of the fingerboard so you can get more of a normal slap sound. does this work?

  7. he slaps but its on a fretted ibanez atk. im one of those guys who cant stand the sound of slapping of fretless
  8. stingray96191


    Jul 27, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Unofficially Endorsing Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars
  9. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    Yes you can.

    Bakithi Kumalo does it on "Graceland" with Paul Simon.

    It'll eventually kill your fretboard though.

    A luthier I know tried the single fret where the 24th should be to enhance the slap sound. It doesn't seem to help much, according to him.
  10. Im pretty sure Norwood Fisher slaps a fretless and that guy is remarkable. Fishbone is even more impresive live.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    "eventually" could be a long, long time.
  12. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Not on a Zon! :)

  13. When I defretted my frankenbass, I left the last fret on. I don't know how it sounds, cuz its not fully assmebled yet. If I don't like the sound, I'll pull off that last fret. I don't like the sound of slapping on a fretless, thats why I left the one fret on. But then, I don't slap much anyway.
  14. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Tony Franklin demonstrates fretless slapping on his excellent instructional video for fretless bass. I would highly recommend this video for anyone who plays or wants to play fretless. An excellent video from an excellent bass player.
  15. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    I love that Deltron album. Very intelligent.
    Dan the Automater recently did some work with Mike Patton (Fantomas, Mr Bungle, and ex-Faith No More), and Trevor Dunn (great bassist from Fantomas and Mr. Bungle) which is quite groovy if you like Mike!

    Anyways, just so this seems to adhere to the topic at hand, I love the sound of slapping on fretless (I love fretless period). A little Pentabuzz or Zon Lightwave through a Henry 8x8 will change your perspective if you're not into slapping without the little speed bumps!
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    Thanks for the heads up Showdown. i'll keep an eye out for that video.

    and Stachio, Deltron 3030 is a great album. i saw them live at Irving Plaza last summer and they kicked @$$. Kid Koala DJ'ed the set and was rockin' it. But Dan cant dance to save his life...

    speaking of Dan the Automator, I love his Dr. Octagon stuff or Bombay the Hard Way. but have you heard his joint with Prince Paul called Handsome Boy Modelling School? its kicks major booty. not as dark but hilarious.

    "Everyone can be handsome. Handsomeness is a state of mind. Who do we find to be handsome and would like to have on this record?"
  17. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    My F BNF5 has a 'slap plate at the end of the board. I haven't noticed a 'huge' difference tonally- it's just a slight improvement. However, the board doesn't show much wear for it's age. Of course, I don't know how much the last owner slapped it. But I give it a spankin' now and then.

    Now a Pentabuzz, that's eminently slappable! Sounds great! Very bright, you don't miss the frets at all! Zon's and Modulus will take a beating too, and sound good doing it. The Conklin GT series fretli have phenolic boards, and I think they sound good slapped.

  18. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    I have heard of HBMS but never heard them. Kid Koala is also a crazy cookie.
  19. Back in NAMM (;)) I played a 4 string fretless Sterling with what looked like a pau ferro fretboard. It had a better slap sound than the fretted basses I played there! Maybe it was the pau ferro? Makes me want to defret my MIM Fender J.....
  20. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i spend a lot of time slapping grooves on my fretless carvin. i know its not a zon or a pedulla, but its kinda interesting. when slapping the low strings and combining with a slight glssando, then a double tap, then a pop on an octave or octave+5th above gives a cool "underwater" kinda vibe. the tone of the instrument is too dark for funky slapping though.

    i did slap a fretless once that had a graphite neck, body, and composite fingerboard. it had roundwounds and a very good, bright slap tone. hard to tell it was fretless from the tone. lotsa ring.