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So I tried my first ever fretless for fun yesterday

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Helbent Revenge, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Helbent Revenge

    Helbent Revenge

    Feb 16, 2009
    Here's a story to maybe change the way others view a fretless bass.

    While shopping around for my first guitar (cheap one, will mostly be playing rythem), I went to a local shop and there was a guy playing heavy rock in the guitar section so I thought I'd mess around on a few basses until he was done. The music shop stocks Hamer, Hagstrom, Stagg, and J-Turser (some rare brands, weird since it's only one of three shops in the area), I'm not sure which one I tried but I thought I'd mess around on the one fretless they had hanging up, unplugged though.

    Right away I noticed the flats on it, entirely different than the rounds I was used to, they're much more friendly with the fingers. The side of the fingerboard had dots for where the 1st, 3rd, 5th and so forth frets would be so it helped to know where there would have been frets (that sounds redundant but I'm not sure how else to phrase it). Now I've been playing for close to 5 years now and I'm not one to toot my own horn, so I'd call myself an intermediate level player but I don't think I'd be an expert, so my expectations were that I would suck at this thing from being so used to frets and positioning.

    I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy and smooth it was to play. The strings were easier to hold down, there was absolutely NO BUZZING (no frets to buzz, yay!), smooth for sliding around, actually easy to estimate where to play a note at and was MUCH easier than I thought it would be, and though it was hard to hear from being unplugged and being a short distance away from metal-head, it sound deep and smooth, just the way I like it. Only thing is I'm mostly a pick player and I forgot mine as I usually do, but as I mentioned earlier the strings work very well with fingers, love those flats.

    I jammed on this thing even after the guy on the guitar left, I was just amazed at how much it exceeded my expectations. I had zero interest in EVER buying a fretless unless I got crazy-good down the road, but now I'm much more interested in getting one in the next year or two.

    Umm, I'm not too sure what to discuss, maybe your first time with a fretless? Input from die-hard fretless players? That sounds nice actually.
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Careful, they're addicting. I haven't touched a fretted bass in 8 years.
  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Fretless are totally dependant on the quality of the guitar.

    Your playing will throw the competition in the dust if you can "get fretless"

    If you're considering buying a fretless.. check out a Godin A4 or A5 before plunking down your loot. I own a few different brands and models.. this is the single guitar that changed my playing direction.

    Hope you had fun.
  4. I play fretless on gigs and play fretted bass at home for practice. (What is that?)

    Before you buy put a strap on it and play it standing up. You'll notice a big difference. You don't want to spend all your time playing the instrument looking at you're fret board fingering.
    Don't be afraid to check out the Squire Jazz fretless. For $250. I was pretty impressed for a first timer fretless.
  5. rapturebass


    Dec 6, 2008
    Yup., I've only been playing bass for 11 months, and last month i went to a GC for yucks and giggles. Played a fretless Warwick there, easy as pie!
  6. I bought a Squier VM Fretless Jazz a couple of months ago and it's an unbelieveable bass for the money. After a pro setup and a set of flatwounds, it's now my main bass.

    It's just as you described it.......smooth and easy to play with a fast neck........VERY nice!

    I'm a pick player too......95% of the time!
  7. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Exact same thing happened to me. I only got back into fretted basses in the last few years.

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