Slapping On Fretless?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by The Owl, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    Wonder if anyone here has attempted this, slapping on fretless.

    I've heard Pino Palladino do it on a Gary Numan album with surprising clarity and snap? What's the secret I wonders-------
  2. Good technique, roundwound strings, good setup on the neck.

  3. ...and a metal plate at the bottom of the fingerboard to give it the snap.
  4. Bakithi Kumalo does it, too. Quite well.
  5. As far as I'm aware, yes.
  6. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    Up until a few day's ago i had bever played a fretless... I've been playing fretted bass for 9 years. I am an admitted slap-o-holic so I was never realy too interested in fretless. But I was at guitar center the other day and they had a used washburn 4 stringer. Just for kicks n' grins i plugged it in and played it, It seemd almost natural to me... kinda strange, I slapped the dog out of it as well, sounded good to my ears....
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Some time ago I played a Le Fay Remington Steele 5 with stainless steel fingerboard.
    Very nice slap sound, wonderful warm mwah, too, no harshness at all.
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Michael Manring also does some slapping on the fretless hyperbass. I think the key to making it sound clear is roundwounds and a fairly hard/dense fingerboard.
  9. Les Claypool slaps his fretless quite a bit.
  10. I've tried it before on my fretless J-Bass (MIM) and it sounds like crap. The sound of the string on the wood makes an annoyingly click sound, it's more irritating then fun. With a nicer bass, I'm sure it would sound good if you do it right but I hate it on my bass.
  11. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    yes... i've seen the tommy the cat video and he slaps the bejeezus out of his rainbow bass (which is a fretless, i think) and the sound of it was really pleasant... warmer than fretted slap...

    PS: don't forget to coat your fingerboard or it'll be torn to shreds
  12. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    It can be done, when I do it, I get a cool chorus effect even without a pedal. :D
  13. That's bizarre. :confused:
  14. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Not really. All a chorus effect does is shift the notes you're playing slightly out of tune and add those slightly "off" notes to the dry signal to get that cool, broad, shimmering sound.

    As my fretless intonation isn't the best, I get a similar effect when playing octaves or other intervals. This is especially noticeable when I slap as I tend to do a lot of octaves.
  15. So what woods are best for a fretless fingerboard and what is this coating?

    I'm also interested in seeing pics of the metal thing at the base of the neck that you guys have talked about.
  16. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    not much of a wood expert here... just go with the hardest woods there are like hard maple or pau ferro... the coating consists in several epoxy layers which are applied by coatings and sanded to a mirror finish... i really like it because it's useful and aesthetically pleasant to the eye tho it's rather expensive in the US.

    check out
  17. I seem to be in the minority here, but I play on an uncoated rosewood board without noticeable wear.
  18. I can get good slap sound on my fretless Warwick Corvette 4 string if I set my amp with high mids and the bass to high treb. and bottom J-pickup reception. It sounds nice. I use Rotosound rounds btw. The neck is ebony.
  19. Quelm


    Oct 18, 2005
    I've heard of people leaving the last fret on when defretting in order to play slap with out damaging the fingerboard too much.