Some Questions About Fretless Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by supernaut_1, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    i was wondering, since fretless basses have no frets (obviously) does that eliminate fret buzz? i mean, i know there's no frets but does it take away all buzzing on the neck? and what are the pros an cons of a fretless?
  2. fleetwood


    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    You won't have Fret buzz because there aren't any. But you could still get buzzing from the fingerboard if the bass is set up incorrectly.
  3. There would be a buzz/rattle if you don't apply enough pressure. I don't own a fretless (but would like to pick one up someday), but I would imagine they need a slightly lower action...and you need to be able to hear the notes too, not just push down on fret 8...
  4. The buzz on a fretless is the "Mwah" that people talk about, and this is desirable, but has to have a certain amount of control. The mwah, combined with a nice controlled finger vibrato, is the classic fretless sound as heard on records by the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Percy Jones, the Andre Seccarelli Trio, Dave Pomeroy,and many others.
    The big "con" with fretless is that it's very hard to play in tune. You can play in your bedroom and sound really good, then play it in a group situation and all of a sudden you realise how far out of tune you are, and if you dont realise it, your fellow musos will soon tell you. Playing fretless in a band is a huge challenge.
  5. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Is it easier to play in tune with a lined fretless ?

    I play in an acoustic rock band and I think a fretless would sound great with what we do but I am worried about playing in tune as I've never played a fretless.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Lines help. But your ears have to be the final judge on whether you are in tune. I like having lines as a guide. And they are a godsend when you are in a situation where you can't hear yourself.